When the doors opened, Dicey watched carefully for her
sister. Lots of children went to church with their parents, all of them dressed
up. The girls wore organdy dresses and party shoes and ribbons in their hair,
or hats. The boys wore real suits and ties. Cousin Eunice always walked out
slowly, surrounded by a group of women who could have been her sisters. They
dressed alike. They all wore those high-heeled shoes. They all had curled their
hair into sausages.
These women made a pet out of Maybeth. She would stand in
the middle and they would tell her how pretty she was, how lucky she was to
have naturally curly hair, and what a sweet, quiet girl she was. "You're
going to break some hearts for sure," they said, giggling.
Maybeth listened to this and smiled foolishly.
"An angel like you—nobody will be good enough for you.
She's a treasure, Eunice," they said.
"Don't I know it?" Cousin Eunice answered smugly.
"A doll, a perfect doll."
Dicey put her hands behind her back and clenched her fists,
waiting for Cousin Eunice to see her.
When Cousin Eunice called her, the women stepped back and
smiled primly at her. Maybeth put out her hand for Dicey to take. Her eyes were
wide as she looked at Dicey, wide and pleased with the attention. The silly
smile stayed. (1.12.5-12)
We're not really sure
that Cousin Eunice would make a very good nun. She's pretty silly and doesn't
seem to genuinely care much for others. She only likes Maybeth because she's
pretty, quiet, and obedient—just like she was. But she also clearly takes a lot
of pride in caring for this poor motherless child. You know what they say about
pride before a fall, right?