Mme. la Duchesse douairière d'Agen thereupon closed the gilt-edged, much-bethumbed Missal which she was reading since this was Sunday and she had been unable to attend Mass owing to that severe twinge of rheumatism in her right knee and placed it upon the table close to her elbow; then with delicate, bemittened hand she smoothed out one unruly crease in her puce silk gown and finally looked up through her round, bone-rimmed spectacles at the sober-visaged, majestic personage who stood at attention in the doorway.
A much-bethumbed envelope, addressed in crooked "printed" characters to "Mis Janis Day, Pokton," enclosed in a teacher's letter to the storekeeper, was the cover of Janice's love letter. Inside, the child said: "Dear Janis, jus' to think, I can see reel good, and my techur what I luv says maybe I will heer reel good bymeby.
Interspersed about the room, crossing and recrossing in endless irregularity, were innumerable benches and desks, black, ancient, and time-worn, piled desperately with much-bethumbed books, and so beseamed with initial letters, names at full length, grotesque figures, and other multiplied efforts of the knife, as to have entirely lost what little of original form might have been their portion in days long departed.
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