The Five Little Peppers book series covers the lives of the five children of Mamsie and the late Mister Pepper who are born into poverty in a rural "little brown house." The series begins with the Peppers in their native state and develops with their rescue by a wealthy gentleman who takes an interest in the family.
Mrs. Chatterton, standing by her toilet table, carefully examining her wealth of gray hair, is surprised in the very act of picking out an obnoxious white one by a noise in the further corner of the apartment. Dropping her fingers quickly and turning away from the glass, she exclaims, "How dare you come in without knocking?" "If you make a noise I'll kill you," declares the man standing in the shadow of a portiere and watching her underneath a slouched black hat. There is a slight click that causes her nerves to thrill. But Mrs. Chatterton's varied life has brought her nothing if not self-control. Coolly she answers, "If you want my money, say so." "Not exactly money, ma'am," says the man, "for I don't suppose you have much here. But I'll thank you to hand over that there box of diamonds." He extends the other hand with its dingy fingers toward a large ebony jewel-case on a corner of the table -- just as one of the Peppers bursts in!
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