One stormy afternoon, the middle-aged spinster Miss Todd is visited at home by her friend Miss Pinkerton. As they do most days, they pass the time gossiping, pining over lost loves, knitting, and drinking tea. A sudden knock at the back door interrupts them, and the young maid Laetitia excitedly reports that there is a man to see Miss Todd. They rush Miss Pinkerton out, and while Miss Todd is reluctant to see him when she hears that he is only a beggar, Laetitia convinces her--”But he’s so young and handsome...don’t send him away, it would be a sin!” They usher him in and both begin to fawn over the strapping young man immediately (and are even a little too eager to get him out of his rain-soaked clothes!). He introduces himself as Bob, a wanderer. The women get him comfortable, tending to his every need, and ultimately invite him to stay indefinitely, covering for him by telling any neighbors who ask that he is Miss Todd’s ill cousin.
While Miss Todd is out to market, she runs
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