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"What shall it be about?" Lucia asked, stroking his hair. She was still trembling from the reaction of her adventure, and Beppi's warm little body snuggled close in her arms was comforting.
"Go on with the story about the soldier and the bad girl that teased him, and the good girl that was the fairy princess."
"Very well, but shut your eyes. Let me see," Lucia began, "the soldier went off to the war, and when he came back he was wounded and the good girl took care of him, and they decided to be married and live happily ever after. And the bad girl when she saw the poor soldier wounded was sorry she had teased him, and she never did it again. And because she was good all kinds of nice things happened to her. She found her fairy godfather, and he had a magic carpet, and first thing you know she was in the middle of a beautiful garden with her little--"
"Oh, bother, I knew that wasn't a real story," Beppi protested. "It's just about Roderigo and Maria and the Captain and you. And oh, Lucia, how silly you are, you called yourself the bad girl when really you're the goodest in the whole world."
"Am I, Beppino mio?" Lucia laughed. "I don't think so."
"Well, I say you are," Beppi replied, drowsily, "and the Captain thinks so too, so--" He dropped off to sleep.
"I wonder if he would say so if he had seen me to-night," Lucia mused, "I had to do it, it was the only way, but oh, dear, I do hope I don't ever hear any more wicked men again." She yawned and looked towards the window. The first gray light of dawn streaked the sky.
"I guess I'll stay in the garden with Beppi and Nana and Garibaldi, and wait for my fairy god-father's return," she said as she closed her eyes.
As if to echo her words a faint "naa," came up from the stable yard below. Garibaldi was agreeing with her mistress.