Coming Down to the Finish Line
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As planned, the 94 finalists in the Chicago Cinderella Contest were announced on February first. Each was assigned a time period for their five-minute audience with Hugo Prince and Bailey Wilkinson. They would be choosing ten items to add to the Chicago store, with a promise to expand throughout the entire Prince network of stores if they proved popular.

Allegra had signed up under the brand name AZ, so at first Mariella had no idea that Allegra had won a place in the finals even though the names of all the finalists had been publicized. But Leander Spinks had found Allegra working after hours on the prototype shoe she intended to bring with her as a prop for her presentation. And he had told Mariella.

Everyone in Chicago knew what day the final judging was taking place, so Mariella had...

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