Her father and mother shopped for a long time. The storekeeper took down bolts and bolts of beautiful calico patterned cloth. A big roll of cloth is called a bolt. He spread them out for her mother to touch and look at and talk about the price. Laura and Mary looked, but knew they must not touch. Every new colour and pattern was prettier than the last. There were so many of them! Laura did not know how her mother could ever choose.
Her mother chose two patterns of calico cloth to make shirts for her father and a piece of strong brown denim cloth to make him a shirt. Then she got some white cloth to make sheets and underwear. Mother made all their clothes.
Her father got enough calico patterned cloth to make her mother a new apron. (An apron is worn to protect one's clothes while cooking). Her mother said, "Oh, no, Charles, I don't need it."
But her father laughed and said she must pick it out, or he would get her the ugly red piece with the big yellow pattern. Her mother smiled and her cheeks turned pink. She picked out a pattern of rosebuds and leaves on a brown background.
Then her father got for himself a pair of galoshes (rain boots) and some tobacco to smoke in his pipe. Her mother got a pound of tea and a little paper package of store sugar to have in the house when company came. It was a pale brown sugar, not dark brown like the maple sugar her mother used for every day.
When all the shopping was done, the storekeeper gave Laura and Mary each a piece of candy. They were so astonished and so pleased that they just stood looking at their candies. Then Mary remembered and said, "Thank you."
Laura could not speak. Everybody was waiting and she could not make a sound. Her mother had to ask her, "What do you say, Laura?"
Then Laura opened her mouth and gulped and whispered, "Thank you."
After that they went out of the store. Both pieces of candy were white, flat, thin and heart-shaped. There was printing on them, in red letters. Her mother read it for them. They could not read. Mary's said:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.
Laura's said only:
Sweets to the sweet.
The pieces of candy were exactly the same size. Laura's printing was larger than Mary's.