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Isabel Burnell, Kezia's oldest sister, is allowed to choose the first two girls who might be invited from their school to come and see their new doll's house. The Burnell girls are not allowed to talk to the Kelvey girls because the Kelveys are the daughters of a local washerwoman and no one knows who their father is. As the days pass, more and more of the girls get to go see the beautiful doll house, and it becomes the only topic of conversation. Lil and Else Kelvey always sit near by, listening and unnoticed, except by Kezia. Kezia even asks her mother if she can invite the Kelveys over to see the doll house, and the answer is, of course, no. Some of the other girls taunt Lil and Else at school, being cruel just because it seems to make them feel good. Finally, one day, Kezia's family is occupied inside with visitors when she spots the Kelveys walking home, and she tells them that they can come and see the doll house. Though Lil is clearly frightened because she knows that Kezia isn't supposed to talk to them, Else is quietly and sweetly insistent. Kezia treats them "kindly" even though she knows she isn't supposed to, even though no one else does. She clearly realizes that the treatment the Kelveys receive is cruel and unkind—even the teacher speaks differently to them than she does the other children—seeing, even, that her own family is behaving in an inappropriate way towards these children, and Kezia opposes it with her kindness and compassion.

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