When the great day arrived and the surrey drove away from the Wendells’ gate, Betsy was in a fresh pink-and-white gingham which she had helped Cousin Ann make, and plump Molly looked like something good to eat in a crisp white little dimity, one of Betsy’s old dresses, with a deep hem taken in to make it short enough for the little butter-ball. Because it was Betsy’s birthday, she sat on the front seat with Mr. Wendell, and part of the time, when there were not too many teams on the road, she drove, herself. Mrs. Wendell and her sister filled the back seat solidly full from side to side and made one continuous soft lap on which Molly happily perched, her eyes shining, her round cheeks red with joyful excitement. Betsy looked back at her several times and thought how very nice Molly looked. She had, of course, little idea how she herself looked, because the mirrors at Putney Farm were all small and high up, and anyhow they were so old and greenish that they made everybody look very queer-colored. You looked in them to see if your hair was smooth, and that was about all you could stand.
So it was a great surprise to Betsy later in the morning, as she and Molly wandered hand in hand through the wonders of Industrial Hall, to catch sight of Molly in a full-length mirror as clear as water. She was almost startled to see how faithfully reflected were the yellow of the little girl’s curls, the clear pink and white of her face, and the blue of her soft eyes. An older girl was reflected there also, near Molly, a dark-eyed, red-cheeked, sturdy little girl, standing very straight on two strong legs, holding her head high and free, her dark eyes looking out brightly from her tanned face. For an instant Betsy gazed into those clear eyes and then ... why, gracious goodness! That was herself she was looking at! How changed she was! How very, very different she looked from the last time she had seen herself in a big mirror! She remembered it well—out shopping with Aunt Frances in a department store, she had caught sight of a pale little girl, with a thin neck, and spindling legs half-hidden in the folds of Aunt Frances’s skirts. But she didn’t look even like the sister of this browned, muscular, upstanding child who held Molly’s hand so firmly.
All this came into her mind and went out again in a moment, for Molly caught sight of a big doll in the next aisle and they hurried over to inspect her clothing. The mirror was forgotten in the many exciting sights and sounds and smells of their first county fair.
The two little girls were to wander about as they pleased until noon, when they were to meet the Wendells in the shadow of Industrial Hall and eat their picnic lunch together. The two parties arrived together from different directions, having seen very different sides of the Fair. The children were full of the merry-go-rounds, the balloon-seller, the toy-venders, and the pop-corn stands, while the Wendells exchanged views on the shortness of a hog’s legs, the dip in a cow’s back, and the thickness of a sheep’s wool. The Wendells, it seemed, had met some cousins they didn’t expect to see, who, not knowing about Betsy and Molly, had hoped that they might ride home with the Wendells.