New text is Copyright 1998 to <>. Please respect this copyright. Don't distribute or archive this story in any way except for personal use without explicit permission. No, it's not in the public domain. Ask first, okay? Thanks.

[horizontal rule]

This summer I'm in a reading group for 19c American fiction (I know, havin' to study over the summer didn't seem fair to me either - almost as bad as working). For this week, I have to read a novel first published as a serial in the New York Ledger in 1858. The book is The Hidden Hand, by a woman named Emma Nevitte, who published under the pen name E.D.E.N. Southworth. It's a potboiler and is great fun.

The main character is an irrepressible brat named Capitola (nicknamed 'Cap'). She is an unrepentant tomboy from the beginning of the book (where we meet her dressed as a boy selling newspapers on the streets of New York) to the end where she releases a criminal from prison on the eve of her wedding. This is a character, indeed a book, that cries out for a spanking scene. So inspired by Tasha's additions to Lolita, here is my attempt to supply this obvious want. I had a hard time cutting this, so it runs pretty long.

But first a bit of plot summary. . . .

At the point where the following scene picks up, Capitola has already been found by her guardian (whom she calls 'Uncle' despite a lack of biological tie) in New York and rescued from the streets to live in (boring) luxury on his estate in rural Virginia. She is being pursued by an arch-villain who wishes her dead and thus must both learn to live like a lady (when she has been used to the freedom of being a boy) and be watched over most of the time. Thus she begins to take pleasure in bratty tricks on her guardian, Major Ira Warfield (nickname Old Hurricane). He is unable to figure out how to discipline the young woman (age about 15), being used to dealing with boys, so in despair consults his minister, Pastor Goodwin. All of the following text before and after the break is edited original. The text between the breaks is mine. We open mid-chapter, the major having told something of Capitola's history to the Rev. Goodwin. . . .

[horizontal rule]

"I'll be merry and free,
I'll be sad for naebody;
Naebody cares for me,
I cares for naebody."

- Robert Burns

[horizontal rule]

[Image of Little Miss Naughty] Cap's Tricks and Perils - The Missing Scene from The Hidden Hand
by E.D.E.N. Southworth and Mija

The honest clergyman was shocked. . . .

"I say that she has suffered a frightful series of perils."

"She has come out of them safe, sir! I know it by a thousand signs! - what I fear for is the future! She won't obey me except when she likes! She has never been taught obedience or accustomed to subordination, and don't understand either! She rides and walks alone in spite of all I can do or say! If she were a boy, I'd thrash her! But what can I do with a girl?" said Old Hurricane in despair.

"Lock her up in her chamber until she is brought to reason," suggested the minister.

"Demmy, she'd jump out of the window and break her neck! or hang herself in her garters! or starve to death! you don't know what an untamable thing she is! Some birds, if caged, beat themselves to death against the bars of their prison! she is just such a wild bird as that!"

"Hurumph! it is a difficult case to manage; but you should not shrink from responsibility; you should be firm with her."

"That's just what I can't be with the witch, confound her! she is such a wag, such a droll, such a mimic; disobeys me in such a mocking, cajoling, affectionate way!"

"Then you should talk to her! try moral suasion."

"Yes, if I could only get her to be serious long enough to listen to me! But you see Cap isn't sentimental! and if I try to be, she laughs in my face!"

"But then is she so insensible to all the benefits you have conferred upon her? - will not gratitude influence her?"

"Yes, so far as repaying me with genuine affection, fevent caresses and careful attentions to my little comforts can go! but Cap evidently thinks that the restriction of her liberty is too heavy a price to pay for protection and support!"

"This protegee of yours is a remarkable girl, as interesting to me in character as she is in history; her very spirit, courage and insubordination make her singularly hard to manage and apt to go astray. With your permission I will make her acquaintance, with the view of seeing what I can do for her."

"Pray, do so, for then you will be better able to counsel me how to manage the capricious little witch, who if I attempt to check her in the wild and dangerous freedom of action, tells me plainly that liberty is too precious a thing to be exchanged for food and clothing."

"Oh! for heaven's sake, sir, no more of that until we have further evidence," said the minister, adding - "I will see your very interesting protegee to-morrow."

Do! do! to-morrow, today, this hour, anytime!" said Major Warfield, as he cordially took leave of the pastor.

[horizontal rule]

The next day, according to agreement, the pastor came and dined at Hurricane Hall. During the dinner he had ample opportunity of observing Capitola.

In the afternoon Major Warfield took an occasion of leaving him alone with the contumacious young object of his visit.

Cap, with her quick perceptions, instantly discovered the drift and purpose of this action, which immediately provoked all the mischievous propensities of her elfish spirit.

"Uncle means that I shall be lectured by the good parson: if he preaches to me won't I humour him 'to the top of his bent?' - that's all" was her secret resolution as she sat demurely, with pursed-up lips, bending over her needlework.

The honest and well-meaning old country clergyman hitched up his chair a little nearer to the perverse young rebel, and, gingerly - for he was half afraid of his questionable subject - entered into conversation with her.

To his surprise and pleasure, Capitola replied with the decorum of a young nun.

Encouraged by her manner, the good minister went on to say how very interested he was in her welfare; how deeply he compassionated her lot in having never possessed the advantage of a mother's teaching; how anxious he was by his counsels to make up to her as much as possible such a deficiency.

Here Capitola put up both her hands and dropped her face upon them.

Still farther encouraged by this exhibition of feeling, Mr. Goodwin went on. He told her that it behooved her, who was a motherless girl, to be even more circumspect than others, lest through very ignorance she might err; and in particular he warned her against riding or walking out alone, or indulging in any freedom of manners that might draw upon her the animadversions of their very strict community.

"Oh, sir, I know I have been very indiscreet, and I am so very miserable!" said Capitola in a heart-broken voice.

"My child, your errors have heretofore been those of ignorance only, and I am very pleased to find out how much your good uncle has been mistaken; and how ready you are to do strictly right when the way is pointed out!" said the minister, pleased to his honest heart's core that he had made this deep impression.

A heavy sigh burst from the bosom of Capitola.

"What is the matter, my dear child?" he said kindly.

"Oh, sir, if only I had known you before!" exclaimed Capitola bitterly.

"Why my dear? - I can do you just as much good now."

"Oh, no, sir! it is too late! It is too late!"

"It is never too late to do well."

"Oh, yes, sir, it is for me! Oh, how I wish I had had your good counsel before! It would have saved me from so much trouble!"

"My dear child, you make me seriously uneasy! do explain yourself," said the old pastor, drawing his chair closer to hers, and trying to get a look at the distressed little face that was bowed down upon her hands and veiled with her hair - "Do tell me, my dear, what is the matter?"

"Oh, sir, I'm afraid to tell you! - you'll hate and despise me! you'd never speak to me again!" said Capitola, keeping her face concealed.

"My dear child," said the minister very gravely and sorrowfully, "whatever your offence has been, and you make me fear it has been a very serious one, I invite you to confide it to me, and having done so I promise howevermore I may mourn the sin, not to 'hate' or 'despise' or forsake the sinner. Come confide in me."

"Oh, sir, I daren't! indeed I daren't!" mourned Capitola.

"My poor girl!" said the minister, "if I am to do you any good, it is absolutely necessary that you make me your confidant."

"Oh, sir, I've been a very wicked girl! I daren't tell you how wicked I have been!"

"Does your good uncle know or suspect this wrong-doing of yours?"

"Uncle! Oh, no, sir! He'd turn me out of doors. He'd kill me! Indeed he would, sir. Please don't tell him!"

"You forget, my child, that I do not know the nature of your offense," said the minister in a state of painful anxiety.

"But I'm going to inform you, sir! and, oh, I hope you will take pity on me and tell me what to do; for though I dread to speak, I can't keep it on my conscience any longer, it is such a heavy weight on my breast!"

"Sin always is, my poor girl!" said the pastor with a deep groan.

"But, sir, I had no mother, as you said yourself."

"I know it, my poor girl, and am ready to make every allowance," said the old pastor with a deep sigh, not knowing what next to expect.

"And - and - I hope you will forgive me, sir! but - but he was so handsome I couldn't help liking him!"

"MISS BLACK!" cried the horrified pastor.

"There! I knew you'd just go and bite my head off the very first thing! Oh dear, whatever should I do?" sobbed Capitola.

The good pastor, who had started to his feet, remained gazing upon her in a panic of consternation murmuring to himself:

"Good Angels! I am fated to hear more great sins than if I was a prison chaplain." Then going to the sobbing delinquent, he said:

"Unhappy girl! who is this person of whom you speak?"

"H-h-h-him that I met when I went walking in the woods!" sobbed Capitola.

"Heaven of Heavens! this is worse than my very worst fears! - Wretched girl! tell me instantly the name of this base deceiver!"

"He-he-he's no base deceiver; he-he-he's very amiable and good-looking; and-and-and that's why I liked him so much; it was all my fault not his, poor, dear fellow!"

"His name?" sternly demanded the pastor.

"Alf-Alf-Alfred," wept Capitola.

"Alfred whom?"

"Alfred Blen-Blen-Blenheim!"

"Miserable girl! how often have you met this miscreant alone in the forest?"

"I - don't - know!" sobbed Capitola.

"Where is the wretch to be found now?"

"Oh, please don't hurt him, sir! Please don't. He-he-he's hid in the closet in my room!"

A groan that seemed to have rent his heart in twain burst from the minister as he repeated in deepest horror:

"In your room! (Well! I must prevent a murder being done!) Did you not know, you poor child, the danger you ran by giving this young man private interviews; and above all, admitting him to your apartment? Wretched girl! better you'd never been born than to so received a man!"

"Man? man? MAN? - I'd like to know what you mean by that, Mr. Goodwin!" exclaimed Capitola, lifting her eyes flashing through her tears.

"I mean the man to whom you have given these private interviews."

"I! - I give private interviews to a man! Take care what you say, Mr. Goodwin! I won't be insulted! no not even by you!"

"Then if you are not talking of a man, who or what in the world are you talking about?" exclaimed the amazed minister.

"Why, Alfred, the Blenheim poodle that strayed away from some neighbor's houses, and that I found in the woods and brought home and hid in my closet, for fear he would be inquired after, or uncle would make me give him up! I knew it was wrong, but then he was so pretty -"

Before Capitola had finished her speech, Mr. Goodwin had seized his hat, and rushed out of the house in indignation, nearly overturning Old Hurricane, whom he met on the lawn, and to whom he said:

"Thrash that girl as if she were a bad boy - for she richly deserves it!"

"What is it now?" inquired Old Hurricane.

The pastor took the major's arm, and while they walked up and down before the house, told how he had been 'sold' by Capitola, ending by saying:

"You will have to take her firmly in hand."

"I'll do it," said Old Hurricane. "I'll do it."

The pastor then called for his horse and, resisting all his host's entreaties to stay for tea, took his departure.

Major Warfield re-entered the house, resolving to say nothing to Capitola for the present, but to seize on the very first opportunity of punishing her for this flippancy.

The village fair had commenced on Monday. It had been arranged that all Major Warfield's family should go, though not all upon the same day. It was proposed that Thursday, when the festival would be at its height, Major Warfield, Capitola and the house-servants should go.

Therefore, upon Thursday morning all the household bestirred themselves at an early hour, and appeared before breakfast in their best Sunday suit.

Capitola came down to breakfast in a rich, blue silk carriage dress, looking so fresh, blooming and joyous, that it went to the major's heart to disappoint her; yet Old Hurricane resolved, as the pastor had told him to 'be firm' and once and for all by inflicting punishment bring her a sense of her errors.

"There, you need not trouble yourself to get ready, Capitola, you shall not go to the fair with us," he said as Capitola took her seat.

"Sir!" exclaimed the girl in surprise.

"Oh, yes! you may stare but I'm in earnest! You have behaved very badly! you have deeply offended our pastor! you have no reverence, no docility, no propriety, and I mean to bring you to a sense of your position by depriving you of some of your indulgences. To begin, I say, you shall not go to the fair today!"

"You mean, sir, that I shall not go with you, although you promised that I should," said Cap, coolly.

"I mean you shall not go at all."

"I'd like to know who'll prevent me," said Cap.

"I will, Miss Vixen," and with this dismissing the servants.

"Now, minion," he began as soon as he found himself alone with the little rebel:

"I did not choose to mortify you before the servants, but once and for all I will have you understand that I intend to be obeyed!" And Old Hurricane gathered his brows like a gathering storm.

"I order you to immediately go and take off that gala dress and settle yourself down to studies for the day."

"Uncle, I will obey you as far as taking off this dress goes, for since you won't give me a seat in your carriage I shall have to put on my habit and ride Gyp," said Cap.

"WHAT!! do you dare hint that you have not the slightest idea of going to the fair against my will?"

"Yes, sir," said Cap gaily - "sorry it's against your will but I can't help it! not used to being ordered about and don't know how to submit, and so I'm not going!"

"Come here to me! Come - here - to - me!" exclaimed the old man, peremptorily, rapping his cane down upon the floor with every syllable.

Capitola danced up to him and stood, half smiling, and fingering and arranging the lace of her undersleeves.

"Listen to me you witch! do you intend to obey me or NOT?"

"NOT!" said Cap, good-humoredly, adjusting her cameo bracelet, and holding up her arm to see its effect.

"You will not! Then demmy, miss, I shall know how to make you!" thundered Old Hurricane, bringing the point of his stick down with a hard rap.

"Eh!" cried Capitola looking up in astonishment.

"Yes, miss, that's what I said! MAKE YOU!"

"I should like to know how," said Cap, returning to her cool good humor.

"You would, would you? Demmy, I'll tell you. I have broken haughtier spirits than you in my life. Would you like to know how?"

"Yes," said Capitola indifferently, still busied with her bracelets.

"Stoop and I will whisper the mystery."

Capitola bent her graceful head to hear.

"With the rod!" hissed Old Hurricane maliciously.

Capitola sprang up as if she had been shot, wave after wave of blood tiding up in burning blushes over neck, face and forehead. . . .

[. . . end of original by E.D.E.N.]

[horizontal rule]

[start of Mija's addition . . .]

Before Capitola could recover herself from her guardian's rough threat, the major suited action to word and pulled the girl by the arm over his lap, lifting her so far that her black ringleted curls brushed the carpet and her feet kicked high above the floor.

"Unhand me, sir! how dare you so abuse my person?"

Old Hurricane said nothing, but lifted layers of blue silk and petticoat so Capitola soon found herself surrounded by a tent of her own garments. Her heart quickened and mouth dried as she felt the brush of the cool breeze as her pantaloons were uncovered. Surely this could not be! In desperation she kicked still harder.

"Be still, miss! I intend to tan your backside as surely as I live and breathe! and the more you struggle, my girl, the harder this will be for you," said the major, tightening his grip on Capitola with his left arm while raising his right.

Still he gave her one last opportunity to save her remaining dignity.

"Say you will stay at home this day as I have ordered and I will let you up and save you this thrashing, for even now I trust your honesty, Cap, and know you to be a good girl."

To his amazement, and perhaps to hers, Capitola cried from beneath her skirt:

"I recognize no authority but my own and Him who made me! thus I shall go where I like!"

"Indeed, miss! Well let me introduce you to mine!"

Steeling himself to be firm, and feeling his blood rise at the scent of victory, Old Hurricane brought his hand down hard on the seat of her pantaloons ten times in quick succession.

The fiery pain of the slaps did not still the girl, who kicked her gartered legs still harder. Old Hurricane was not about to surrender his advantage, so untied her pantaloons and, remembering the pastor's advice, slid them down to bare her pale globes, his previous spanks having caused but a dim flush.

Yet the sight of her fair bottom gave him a moment's pause. For while he was to 'thrash her like a bad boy' this slim fifteen-year-old was clearly no boy. Meanwhile, Capitola's struggles were weakened as she found herself restrained by her own tangled garments. Her legs were stilled as her pantaloons bound her ankles, and her thrashing arms were wrapped in her own skirts. Cap felt tears of frustration prick behind her eyes.

Meanwhile, Old Hurricane recovered from the sight and unleashed a storm of hard smacks to Capitola's bottom and thighs. His spanks were sharp and quick, forcing Capitola to struggle for her breath.

A minute passed; the only sound in the room was the major's ringing palm and Capitola's protests, which were so muffled by her layers of clothing as to be inaudible. The color of her bottom and thighs had increased considerably.

Major Warfield administered six increasingly hard swats then paused:

"Do you intend to obey me now, miss?"

He heard nothing but the girl's rapid breathing, waited, then his palm rained down another volley of spanks.

"I said, do you intend to obey me now, miss?"

Capitola clenched her teeth and vowed to remain silent even if it should kill her. She said an ironic prayer of thanks for the concealing silk, which hid from her oppressor the shameful tears which had begun to fall unbidden from her eyes.

The major was irritated yet impressed by the girl's stubborn spirit. He fought a desire to laugh and gather her into his arms. Yet with her very safety at stake he steeled himself again and began spanking without further pause, this time lecturing as he went.

"Capitola, I love you as my own child; you are the joy of my life. Yet I must get you to see that you are not an adult, that you cannot make all choices for yourself." The intensity of his smacks rose with his emotion. He continued the spanking for another minute, then paused again.

"I shall ask you this last time, will you submit yourself to my authority?"

Capitola's breaths were deep, almost sobbing as she lay still across his knees, the message of his words, his affection, still ringing in her ears. Her soul told her to cry yes, that she did submit; yet still stubborn pride deterred her from that course. Language from New York's rag-alley rose to her lips:

"To hell with you and Rev. Goodwin, you buggering bastards!"

Major Warfield froze, anger tightening his grip on Capitola.

"WHAT!" roared the old warrior.

Cap froze in horror. The word was one she did not clearly know the meaning of, yet knew she had given grave insult. And to have damned the gentle minister who had wished her only well! Capitola was religious after her own fashion, and felt from within a sense of God's own scorn for her folly.

Meanwhile, Old Hurricane checked his own fury and sensed his ward's softening. The child could not have known what she said. He lifted her up off his lap to stand before him, brushing her hair off her face. His heart caught and softened as he saw the salty traces of tears on her face. As a Virginia gentleman, he had been trained from childhood to think ill of any man who left the gentle sex in tears. Yet the major knew this was the moment to press for Cap's submission.

"Capitola, no, look at me," he began, holding both her small hands in one of his large, "did you intend to insult me so?"

The girl struggled to hold his gaze and flushed pink, well aware that her pantaloons had fallen off her ankles.

"I - I -"

For once the brave child had no words.

"This is the sort of behavior I can not - will not - accept from you. Since you persist in talking like a rough school lad, that is how you shall be treated."

With that Major Warfield stood, and taking the girl by the arm led her reluctantly into the library. Capitola was too preoccupied by her lost pantaloons to wonder where she was being led or why. The sting in her bottom became a warm glow and she felt a sense of physical relaxation. The major led her to a corner of the room and removed the chair which stood there. Releasing his grip, he spoke with confidence, bending close to her ear.

"Capitola, you shall stand right on this spot until I return. I intend to punish you for your naughty tongue and wild ways. This can be done one of two ways. Either here, in private, between you and me. Or with you restrained by the housekeeper over that table in the dining hall we just left. The choice is yours. I should prefer you be brave and save yourself the embarrassment of being punished before the household."

Cap felt her heart thud in her breast. Her every instinct said "Fly!" Yet her pride shrank from the idea of being pursued and captured. She straightened her back and resisted the desire to rub her abused bottom.

"I shall stand fast, sir, until you return."

The major felt his heart swell at her quiet but brave words. Yet he hid his pleasure least the child realize his desire to spare her this last, for it was for her own sake that this last punishment must occur, must be severe.

"Indeed, I hope so."

She felt his gentle fingers pluck two ribbons from her hair and heard him leave the room. An eternity passed as she contemplated her folly, her heart heavy with regret. At last she heard his footsteps returning across the heavy rug. There was the sound of shuffling papers and objects being moved. Finally, she heard his voice.

"Turn around and face me, miss."

Capitola turned slowly, noticing his desktop bare but for a single curled blue ribbon. She looked up at him and saw him bearing a curious and fearful bouquet of birch twigs wrapped 'round with her second blue ribbon. She looked down again, shame flushing her cheeks, fear quickening her pulse.

Major Warfield held out the birch rod to her and said:

"Come and take it from me, Capitola."

She searched in vain for her saucy tongue, but it was lost amidst the shame of her earlier behavior. As if in a dream she watched herself walk across the carpet to him, reached out a reluctant hand and took the rod by its ribboned end. Cap noted with dismay the abundance of budding twigs, still damp with the morning dew.

Old Hurricane looked at his child-foe, his dearest heart and saw her bite her lip in nervous anxiety. He did not lecture her again as he had planned but merely said:

"You have been a naughty girl, miss; you deserve to be punished, yes?"

Capitola, still lost in her dream, one that she had never dared, would never dare mention, could only nod.

"Then tell me so; ask for your due reward; hand me the rod."

"I should be a-a-ashamed to, sir." Black ringlets fell before her eyes as her head drooped still lower.

"But, child, the shame was in your action, not your confession nor your punishment. Can you not see that? Now, lift your face."

At his words Capitola raised her eyes and held out the fearful birch. She swallowed, found her voice and heard herself say softly:

"Sir, I have been a bad girl and deserve your punishment."

Major Warfield took the birch from the girl, much as he would accept a sword from a defeated soldier. Leading her by the hand, he brought her to the desk, put the rod to the side and picked up the ribbon. She held out her hands, the dream guiding her actions, tempering the fear with fantasy. He bound her hands in front of her with her hair ribbon and gently bent and lifted her over the desk so her fingers gripped the opposite edge and her toes left the floor. Firm yet gentle hands lifted and folded her skirts neatly across her back, baring again her bottom and thighs, unclothed from her waist to her gartered knees. The blood pounding in her head almost drowned out his now soft voice:

"You will receive eight strokes. Should you attempt to rise, that stroke will be repeated. Is this clear?"

Capitola felt a chill as she nodded. There was more silence as she found her voice.

"Yes, sir."

Resolute, the major tapped the twigs against her still-pink bottom. He drew back his arm and brought the rod down full across the fleshy center of the left side, then quickly again across the right. Stepping back, he could see the beginnings of a gentle lacing of fine welts.

The sharp fresh pain awoke Capitola from her dream and she kicked the front of the desk, losing one of her slippers. Yet she did not dream of releasing her hold on the desk.

Two more strokes fell, these lower than the first, catching the gentle undercurves of her bottom, the twigs biting her nether cheeks.

A gentle sob escaped her lips as she again kicked the front of the major's desk, losing her other slipper in her toes' mad scramble for purchase:

"Aaaaahhh! Nooo!"

Ignoring her cries, Warfield brought the next two strokes down still lower, across the crease where her bottom and thighs met, letting the thin branches weal the area between her thighs.

He paused a moment before the last four. His ward's bottom, hips, and thighs were a maze of delicate red and pink weals and he felt concern, hating the idea of hurting her further. Yet, he told himself, this had to be done and done well lest he be forced to repeat his performance for not having been severe enough. Giving himself more time, he heard her sobs and said:

"After these last two strokes, my Capitola, nothing more will ever be spoken of your actions in these matters. The subject will be forever closed and forgiven unless you repeat these offences. Be a brave girl, Cap!"

Capitola felt a variety of curious feelings; pain surely, a chastened suffering, a sense of atonement, a lightening of her guilt, and, finally, a warm sense of love and security, of being accountable and forgiven.

Through her sobs, Old Hurricane thought he heard her whisper "yes". He brought the ribboned rod up and then swished it down across the center of her cheeks twice, watched as her legs stiffened, straightened and then went limp. Her face an image of agony as her chest lifted from the desk, while her fingers still held a vice grip on its edge.

"Ahhhhnnnoooooooo! I'm sorry!" she sobbed, wailing like a child.

His hands gently lowered her skirts and lifted her gently into his arms, his heart breaking with her cries, bleeding with her tears. He carried her with him to a large leather wing-back chair and held her on his lap like a babe, careful lest he brush her tender bottom and cause her further pain. As his heart shook with her sobs he wondered if her obedience to his will would be purchased at the price of her brave spirit and affection for him. Old Hurricane squeezed her gently and wiped her eyes, dreading the moment hers would recoil from him in hate and horror.

Capitola quieted and seemed almost to doze in his arms, feeling a luxurious security and love. Affection for the old man swelled in her breast. Yet he could not know her feelings on the matter. Rising finally, she disentangled herself from his grasp, stood and walked to the window. Should she tell him how she felt?

The vacant spot on his lap where Capitola had lain felt like an open wound. He watched her stand at the window and hardly dared speak to her. But, taking a deep breath, he finally said:

"I hope to never have to do this again, Capitola."

Cap smiled a small grin he could not see. Her own heart ached to hear the pain in her guardian's voice, the love swelled within her. The imp within her awoke. Turning . . .

[. . . end of Mija's addition]

[horizontal rule]

[Back to the original by E.D.E.N. . . .]

. . . she approached and stood before him, and spoke these words:

"Uncle, [until now] in all the sorrows, shames and sufferings of my destitute childhood, no one ever dishonored my person with a blow; and if you should ever have the misfortune to [again] forget your manhood and strike me -" she paused and drew in her breath hard between her set teeth. . . .

"Oh, you perilous witch, what then?" cried Old Hurricane in dismay.

"Why then," said Capitola, speaking in a low, deep, and measured tone, and keeping her gaze fixed upon his astonished face, "the-first-time-I-should-find-you-asleep-I-would-take-a-razor-and-"

"Cut my throat! I feel you would, my terrible termagant!" shuddered Old Hurricane.

"Shave your beard off smick, smack, smoove!" said Cap, bounding off and laughing merrily as she ran out of the room. . . .

[horizontal rule]

Back to Mija's stories

Back to the treehouse