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Old 01-11-2005, 06:52 PM
choie is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Like me it never sleeps.
Posts: 4,776
Well, in On the Banks of Plum Creek we learn what Laura and Mary spent one of those two pennies on. Not sure if it counts as a spoiler, but what the heck...

After their first day of school ever, Pa gives them a dime to go to the Olesons' store to buy a slate (aka a mini-chalkboard used as a writing tablet). Alas, they have nothing left over to buy some chalk, which costs a penny. Conscientious Laura & Mary don't want to ask Pa for even more money. So the kids privately decide that Mary will buy the piece of chalk with her Christmas penny, and from then on Mary will own half of Laura's penny.

The fate of the other penny is left for historians to ponder.

Other monetary references in the LHoP series:


- A meal in a railroad hotel costs $0.25 (On the Shores of Silver Lake)

- In hard times when cats are scarce (and mice are plentiful), a kitten costs $5 (Little Town on the Prairie)

- Also in LToP, Laura later earns $1.50 a week as a seamstress, with hours from 7AM - 6PM, and a half-hour for mealtime. Pa says of this workday, "That's fair. You get off an hour early but have to bring your own meal."

- For her first teaching stint, Laura earns $25 (+ bed/board) for two months' work. Later, as a more experienced teacher, she earns about $75 for teaching school for 3 months (These Happy Golden Years)

- In THGY, a parlour organ costs the Ingalls $100, $40 of which is Laura's. The family decides to get the organ as a homecoming gift to Mary, who's been away at college for the blind.)

Y'know, I probably should be embarrassed to have this info off the top of my head, but ... eh, screw it. Yes, I'm an adult and I read LHoP books once every couple of years!