GOSSIP She took after her mother, so they said. Nits will be lice. She would be met, said the witnesses, ever so often, among the chickweed, secretly -- this little high-born, this little corn-cockle. Her ready laugh, they averred, too ready: her brain a walnut: her lips too free. Whereafter her hips soon followed. Her petticoats, they had noticed, were like clouds in the air: her broken legs, a disgrace. After which, given sufficient time, as more than one had noticed, the soles of her feet were alone visible just before she disappeared down the drain.