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always clad in the Virgin's colors, blue and white, having been
dedicated to the Blessed Virgin at their baptism. They played a
duet from "Zampa," and at the earnest solicitation of every one
present followed it with the overture to "The Poet and the

"Allez vous-en! Sapristi!" shrieked the parrot outside the
door. He was the only being present who possessed sufficient
candor to admit that he was not listening to these gracious
performances for the first time that summer. Old Monsieur Farival,
grandfather of the twins, grew indignant over the interruption,
and insisted upon having the bird removed and consigned
to regions of darkness. Victor Lebrun objected;
and his decrees were as immutable as those of Fate.

The parrot fortunately offered no further interruption
to the entertainment, the whole venom of his nature
apparently having been cherished up and hurled against
the twins in that one impetuous outburst.

Later a young brother and sister gave recitations, which every
one present had heard many times at winter evening entertainments
in the city.

A little girl performed a skirt dance in the center of the
floor. The mother played her accompaniments and at the same time
watched her daughter with greedy admiration and nervous
apprehension. She need have had no apprehension. The child was
mistress of the situation. She had been properly dressed for the
occasion in black tulle and black silk tights. Her little neck and
arms were bare, and her hair, artificially crimped, stood out like
fluffy black plumes over her head. Her poses were full of grace,
and her little black-shod toes twinkled as they shot out and upward
with a rapidity and suddenness which were bewildering.

But there was no reason why every one should not dance.
Madame Ratignolle could not, so it was she who gaily consented to
play for the others. She played very well, keeping excellent waltz
time and infusing an expression into the strains which was indeed
inspiring. She was keeping up her music on account of the
children, she said; because she and her husband both considered it
a means of brightening the home and making it attractive.

Almost every one danced but the twins, who could not be
induced to separate during the brief period when one or the other
should be whirling around the room in the arms of a man. They
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