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her for the good service she had rendered him, the happy creature rolled over and over on the soft carpet in an ecstasy of delight. "Then Winnie clapped her hands for joy. "'You are our own cat,' she said. 'You shall have sugar and cream to eat. You shall lie on Caesar's silk cushion; and because you are yellow, and papa says you are worth your weight in gold, your name shall be Gold Elsie,' "So Furry-Purry became a family cat. "The first time she met Mrs. Velvetpaw after this change in her life, that excellent tabby looked at her with evident admiration. "'How handsome you have grown!' said she; 'your eyes are topaz, your breast and paws are the softest velvet, your coat is spun gold. My dear, you are the belle of cats,' "'Dear Mrs. Velvetpaw,' said Gold Elsie, 'my beauty and my prosperity I owe in large measure to you. But for your wise counsels I should still be a'-- "'Hush! don't speak the word. My dear, never again allude to your origin. It is a profound secret. You are received in the best society. Mrs. Silvercoat tells me it is reported that your master sought far and wide to find a worthy successor to King Caesar, and that he esteems himself specially fortunate in that, after great labor and expense, he procured _you_. The ignorance you sometimes exhibit of the customs of genteel society is attributed to your foreign breeding.' "'Mrs. Tabitha, I feel at times a strong desire to visit my old friends in the barn once more.' "'Let me entreat you, my dear Miss Elsie, never again to think of it.' "'But there is poor Mrs. Barebones almost gone with a consumption. I should like to show her some kindness.' "'Her sufferings are ended. She has passed to the land of cats,' "'Poor Mrs. Barebones! and Robber Grim? Do you happen to have heard any thing of him?' "Silently Mrs. Tabitha beckoned her to follow, and, leading the way to the orchard, pointed to a sour-apple tree, where Gold Elsie beheld a ghastly sight. By a cord tied tightly about his neck, his jaws distended, his one eye starting from its socket, hung Robber Grim--stiff, motionless, dead. "They hurried away, and presently Gold Elsie timidly inquired after her former playmate, Tom Skip-an'-jump. "'Don't, my dear!' said Mrs. Velvetpaw; 'really, I can not submit to be farther _cat_echized. If you are truly grateful to me, Elsie, for the service I have rendered you, and wish to do me credit in the high position to which I have raised
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