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you, you must, you certainly must, break every tie that binds you to your former life.' "'I will, Mrs. Tabitha, I will,' said the little cat; and never again in Mrs. Velvetpaw's presence did she mention Tom Skip-an'-jump's name," "And didn't she ever see him again?" Nellie Dimock wanted to know. "I am sure there was no harm in Tom." "Well, but you know she couldn't go with _that set_ any more after she had got into good society," said Mollie Elliot. "Mollie has caught Mrs. Velvetpaw's exact tone," said Florence Austin, at which all the girls laughed. "Well, I don't care," Mollie answered; "she was a nice little cat, and deserved all her good fortune." CHAPTER VI. TOMMY TOMPKINS' YELLOW DOG. "I have a letter to read to you this afternoon, girls," said Miss Ruth; "also the story of a yellow dog. The letter is from a friend of mine who spends her summers in a quiet village in Maine, in a fine old mansion overlooking green fields and a beautiful lake with hills sloping down to it on every side. Here is the letter she wrote me last June:-- "'We have come back again to our summer home--to the old house, the broad piazza, the high-backed chairs, and the blue china. The clump of cinnamon roses across the way is one mass of spicy bloom, and soon its fragrance will be mingled with that of new-mown hay. There is nothing new about the place but Don Quixote, the great handsome English mastiff. Do you know the mastiff--his lion-like shape, his smooth, fawn-colored coat, his black nose, and kind, intelligent eyes, their light-hazel contrasting with the black markings around them? If you do, you must pardon this description. "'I am very fond of Don, and he of me. He belongs to our cousin, whose house is but one field removed from ours; but he is here much of the time. He evidently feels that both houses are under his protection, and passes his nights between the two. Often we hear his slow step as he paces the piazza round and round like a sentinel. He is only fifteen months old, and of course feels no older than a little dog, though he weighs one hundred and thirty pounds, and measures six feet from nose to tail. "'He can't understand why he isn't a lap-dog, and does climb our laps after his fashion, putting up one hind leg and resting his weight upon it with great satisfaction. We have good fun with him out of doors, where his puppyhood quite gets the better of his dignity, and he runs in circles and
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