“Tell us all about it, Raggedy dear!” the dolls cried.
“Oh I am so glad I fell in the paint!” cried Raggedy, after she had hugged all the dolls, “For I have had the happiest time. The painter took me home and told his Mamma how I happened to be covered with paint and she was very sorry. She took a rag and wiped off my shoe-button eyes and then I saw that she was a very pretty, sweet-faced lady and she got some cleaner and wiped off most of the paint on my face.
“But you know,” Raggedy continued, “the paint had soaked through my rag head and had made the cotton inside all sticky and soggy and I could not think clearly. And my yarn hair was all matted with paint.
“So the kind lady took off my yarn hair and cut the stitches out of my head, and took out all the painty cotton.
“It was a great relief, although it felt queer at first and my thoughts seemed scattered.
“She left me in her work-basket that night and hung me out upon the clothes-line the next morning when she had washed the last of the paint off.
“And while I hung out on the clothes-line, what do you think?”
“We could never guess!” all the dolls cried.
“Why a dear little Jenny Wren came and picked enough cotton out of me to make a cute little cuddly nest in the grape arbor!”
“Wasn’t that sweet!” cried all the dolls.
“Yes indeed it was!” replied Raggedy Ann, “It made me very happy. Then when the lady took me in the house again she stuffed me with lovely nice new cotton, all the way from my knees up and sewed me up and put new yarn on my head for hair and—and—and it’s a secret!” said Raggedy Ann.
“Oh tell us the secret!” cried all the dolls, as they pressed closer to Raggedy. “Well, I know you will not tell anyone who would not be glad to know about it, so I will tell you the secret and why I am wearing my smile a trifle broader!” said Raggedy Ann.
The dolls all said that Raggedy Ann’s smile was indeed a quarter of an inch wider on each side.
“When the dear lady put the new white cotton in my body,” said Raggedy Ann “she went to the cupboard and came back with a paper bag. And she took from the bag ten or fifteen little candy hearts with mottos on them and she hunted through the candy hearts until she found a beautiful red one which she sewed up in me with the cotton! So that is the secret, and that is why I am so happy! Feel here,” said Raggedy Ann. All the dolls could feel Raggedy Ann’s beautiful new candy heart and they were very happy for her.
After all had hugged each other good night and had cuddled up for the night, the tin soldier asked, “Did you have a chance to see what the motto on your new candy heart was, Raggedy Ann?”
“Oh yes,” replied Raggedy Ann, “I was so happy I forgot to tell you. It had printed upon it in nice blue letters, ‘I love you.’”