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Valeska, the daughter of a poor cobbler, is occupied caring for her sick mother and keeping house. Nearly enough money has been saved to pay the taxes, when the medicine bottle becomes empty and Valeska borrows from the taxes to buy medicine, hoping to be able to repay it. In the small town in which they live is a man who is paying attention to Valeska, and favored by her, except at times when his drinking makes him a useless wretch. One day, while gathering firewood, Valeska is overtaken by a nobleman, and he offers her assistance in giving her a lift in the coach to her home. Time goes on, more money is needed for medicine and the tax money is again borrowed. When the medicine bottle is filled and wrapped in newspaper and taken home, Valeska discovers an announcement in the paper of the coming marriage auction, a custom still in existence. First of all, to raise more money, Valeska sells her beautiful hair to help her poor parents, then goes off to auction herself to become some ...

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