Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Brother and Sister by Josephine Lawrence

Part 2 out of 2

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.2 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

know what Daddy would say if he ever thought you or Brother did
anything like that."

"We don't," Sister assured her earnestly. "We never bother Miss



Fourth of July, always a glorious holiday in the Morrison
household, came and was celebrated by a family picnic which gave
Brother and Sister something to talk about for days afterward.
Their sandbox, too, kept them busy and for a long time Jimmie
never had to warn them not to touch the gymnasium apparatus in the

Daddy Morrison and Dick and Ralph continued to go every day to the
city and Jimmie worked faithfully at his books, determined to
begin the fall school term without a condition. As captain of the
football team it was necessary for him to make a good showing in
his lessons as well as in athletics.

Louise and Grace perhaps enjoyed the vacation time more than any
other members of the family. They would be sophomores when they
returned to high school in September, and while they were willing
to study hard then, they meant to have all the fun they could
before they were bound down to books and lessons again.

"Where you going?" Sister asked one night, finding Louise prinking
before the hall mirror and Grace counting change from her mesh

"Out," answered Louise serenely, pulling her pretty hair more over
her ears.

"I know--to the movies!" guessed Brother. "Can't we go? Oh,
please, Louise--you said you'd take us sometime!"

"Oh, yes, Louise, can't we go?" teased Sister. "I never went to
the movies at night," she added pleadingly.

"You can't go," said Louise reasonably enough. "We didn't go when
we were little like you. Don't hang on me, please, Sister; it's
too hot."

"I think you're mean!" stormed Brother. "Mother, can't we go to
the movies?"

Mother Morrison, who had been upstairs to get her fan, was going
with Louise and Grace. She shook her head to Brother's question.

"My dearies, of course you can't go at night," she said firmly. "I
want you to be good children and go to bed when the clock strikes
eight. Ralph promised to come up and see you. Kiss Mother good-
night, Sister, and be a good girl."

Left alone, Brother and Sister sat down on the front stairs. Molly
was out and Daddy Morrison and Dick had gone to a lodge meeting.
Jimmie was studying up in his room and Ralph was out in the barn
putting some things away.

"There's that old clock!" said Brother crossly as the
Grandfather's clock on the stair landing boomed the hour.

Eight slow, deep strokes--eight o'clock.

Sister settled herself more firmly against the banister railings.

"I'm not going to bed," she announced flatly. "If everybody can go
to the movies 'cept me, I don't think it's fair, so there!"

Just how she expected to even things up by refusing to go to bed
Sister did not explain. Perhaps she didn't know. Anyway, Brother
said he wasn't going to bed either. Ralph came in at half-past
eight to find them both playing checkers on the living-room floor.

"Thought you went to bed at eight o'clock," said Ralph, surprised.
"Mother say you might stay up tonight?"

"No, she didn't," admitted Brother, "but she went to the movies
with Louise and Grace. Everybody is having fun and we're not."

Ralph didn't scold. He merely closed up the checkerboard and put
it away in the book-case drawer with the box of checkers. Then he
lifted Sister to his lap and put an arm around Brother.

"Poor chicks, you do feel abused; don't you?" he said comfortably.
"But I'll tell you something--you wouldn't like going to the
movies at night; you would go to sleep after a little while and
lose half the pictures. Now suppose I take you this Saturday
afternoon. How will that do?"

"Will you take us, Ralph?" cried Sister. "Down to the Majestic?"

This was the largest motion picture theatre in Ridgeway.

"I'll take you both to the Majestic next Saturday afternoon,"
promised Ralph, "if you will go to bed without any more fuss

Both children were delighted with the thought of an afternoon's
enjoyment with Ralph and they trotted up to bed with him as
pleasantly as though going to bed were a pleasure. Grownups will
tell you it is, but when you are five and six this is difficult to

Unfortunately Brother and Sister were doomed to another
disappointment. Before Saturday afternoon came, Ralph remembered
that he had promised to play tennis with a friend and he could not
break the engagement, because to do so would spoil the afternoon
for eight or ten people who counted on him for games.

"I'm just as sorry as I can be," Ralph told Brother and Sister
earnestly. "I don't see how I could forget I promised Fred Holmes
to play with him. If you want to wait another week for me, I'll
give you the money for ice-cream sodas."

Grandmother Hastings and Mother Morrison had gone to the city, the
girls had company, Molly was lying down with a headache--there
seemed to be no one to take the children to the matinee.

"I guess we'll have to go buy sodas," agreed Brother
disconsolately. "Only if I don't go to movies pretty soon, I'll--
I'll--I don't know what I'll do!"

"I know," said Sister, dimpling mischievously. "I'll tell you,

"You be good, Sister," warned Ralph, eyeing her a bit anxiously.
"I couldn't take a naughty little girl to the movies, you know."



Ralph knew that Sister could put queer ideas into Brother's head,
and he hoped that the fun of going downtown, and buying ice-cream
soda at the drug store, might cause Sister to forget whatever she
had in mind.

When he came home from his tennis game he found both children
playing in the sandbox, and as they were very good the rest of
that afternoon and evening and all day Sunday, Ralph decided that
Sister was not going to be naughty or get Brother to help her to
do anything she should not.

Monday evening Mother and Daddy Morrison went through the hedge
into Dr. Yarrow's house to visit the doctor and his wife. Brother
and Sister were told to run in and visit Grandmother Hastings
until eight o'clock, their bedtime.

"Can we take Brownie?" begged Sister. "Grandmother says he is the
nicest dog!"

So Brownie, who was now three times the size he had been when
Ralph brought him home in the basket, was allowed to go calling,

"Grandma," said Sister, when Grandmother Hastings had answered
their knock on her screen door, and had hugged and kissed them
both. "Grandma, couldn't we go to the movies?"

Now Grandmother Hastings was a darling grandmother who loved to do
whatever her grandchildren asked of her. It never entered her dear
head that Mother Morrison might not wish Brother and Sister to go
to the movies at night. She only thought how they would enjoy the
pictures, and although she disliked going out at night herself,
she said that she would take Brother and Sister.

"We can't go downtown to the Majestic," she said, "for that is too
far for me to walk. We'll have to go over to the nice little
theatre on Dollmer Avenue. If we go right away, we can be home

Sister lagged a little behind her grandmother and brother as they
started for the theatre. She was stuffing Brownie into her roomy
middy blouse. He was rather a large puppy to squeeze into such a
place, but Sister managed it somehow. Grandmother Hastings
supposed that the dog had been left on the porch.

The theatre was dark, for the pictures were being shown on the
screen when they reached it, and Grandmother Hastings had to feel
her way down the aisle, Brother and Sister clinging to her skirts.
The electric fans were going, but it was warm and close, and
Grandmother wished longingly for her own cool parlor. But Brother
and Sister thought everything about the movie theatre beautiful.

"Do you suppose Brownie likes it?" whispered Brother, who sat next
to Sister. Grandmother was on his other side.

"He feels kind of hot," admitted Sister, who could not have been
very comfortable with the heavy dog inside her blouse. "But I
think he likes it."

Brownie had his head stuck halfway out, and he probably wondered
where he was. It was so dark that there was little danger of
anyone discovering him. A dog in a motion-picture house is about
as popular, you know, as Mary's lamb was in school. That is, he
isn't popular at all.

Brownie might have gone to the movies and gone home again without
anyone ever having been the wiser, if there had not been a film
shown that night that no regular dog could look at and not bark.

"Oh, look at the big cat!" whispered Sister excitedly.

Surely enough, a large cat sat on the fence, and, as they watched,
a huge collie dog, with a beautiful plumy tail, came marching
around the corner.

He spied the cat and dashed for her. She began to run, on the
screen, of course. The audience in the movie house began to laugh,
for the dog in his first jump had upset a bucket of paint. The
people in the theatre were sure they were going to see a funny

But Brownie had seen the cat, too. He knew cats, and there were
many in his neighborhood he meant to chase as soon as he was old
enough to make them afraid of him. He scratched vigorously on
Sister's blouse and whined.

"Ki-yi!" he yelped, as though saying: "Ki-yi! I'll bet I could
catch that cat!"

Barking shrilly, he scrambled out from Sister's middy, shook
himself free of her arms, and tore down the aisle of the theatre,
intent on catching the fluffy cat.

"Ki-yi!" he continued to call joyously.

"Brownie! Here, Brownie!" called Sister frantically. "Brownie,
come back here!"

The theatre was in an uproar in a minute. Ladies began to shriek
that the dog was mad, and some of them stood upon the seats and
cried out. The men who tried to catch Brownie only made him bark
more, and the louder he barked the more the ladies shrieked.
Finally they stopped the picture and turned on the lights.

"Rhodes and Elizabeth Morrison!" said someone sternly. "What are
you doing here?"

There, across the aisle from Grandmother Hastings and Brother and
Sister, sat Daddy and Mother Morrison with Dr. and Mrs. Yarrow.
They had come to the movies, too!

"Is that dog Brownie?" asked Daddy Morrison, coming over to them.

Everyone had left his seat and the aisle was in confusion; people
talking and arguing and advising one another.

Sister nodded miserably. She felt very small and unhappy.

"Rhodes, go down and get Brownie at once!" commanded Daddy

When they were naughty, Brother and Sister were always called by
their "truly" names, you see.

"I'll go get him," gulped Sister. "I brought him--Roddy didn't
want me to."

Brownie came willingly enough to Sister and she gathered him up in
her arms. He may have wondered, in his doggie mind, what all the
fuss was about and what had become of the fluffy cat, but he was
getting used to having his fun abruptly ended.

"I didn't know you brought the dog, dear," said Grandmother
Hastings, breaking a grim silence as they walked home. "And did
you know Mother wasn't willing to have you go at night when you
asked me to take you?"

Poor little Sister had to confess that she had asked Grandmother
to take them because she knew that in no other way could they get
to the movies at night. Grandmother Hastings never scolded, but
her grandchildren hated to know that she was disappointed in them.

No one scolded Brother and Sister very much that night. They were
put to bed, and the next morning Daddy Morrison called them into
his "den" before he left for the office, and told them that for a
week they could not go out of their own yard.

"And I s'pose we can't go with Ralph Saturday," wailed Sister.



However, they were allowed to go with Ralph to the movies the next
Saturday. Ralph himself explained to Daddy Morrison that he had
promised to take them and then found he had a previous engagement.
He thought, and Daddy Morrison did, too, that having to stay in
the yard for a whole week was punishment enough even if one
exception was permitted.

So Brother and Sister went down to the "big" theatre with Ralph
the next Saturday afternoon, and then they had to stay in their
yard all day Sunday and all day Monday, and after that they might
again go where they pleased.

"Let's go see if Norman Crane's aunt sent him a birthday present,"
suggested Sister the first morning they were free to leave the

Norman Crane was a little friend who lived several blocks away,
and whose aunt in New York City sent him wonderful presents at
Christmas time and on his birthday. He had had a party a few days
before, and of course Brother and Sister could not go--all because
they would go to those unlucky movies!

Brother was willing to stop at Norman's house, but when they
reached there they found Norman had gone to the city with his
mother for a day's shopping.

"I smell tar," declared Brother, as they came down the steps and
turned into the street where Miss Putnam lived in the haunted
house--only it wasn't called that any longer. "Oh, look, Betty,
they're mending something."

There was a little group of children about a big pot of boiling
tar and workmen were mending the roofs of three or four houses
that were built exactly alike and were owned by the same man.
These houses were always repaired and painted at the same time
every year.

Nearest to the boiling pot--indeed, with his red head almost in
the hot steam--was the little boy Brother and Sister had noticed
walking on Miss Putnam's picket fence. A puddle of tar had
splashed over on the ground and the red-headed boy was stirring it
with a stick held between his bare toes.

"Now don't hang around here all day," said one of the workmen,
kindly enough. "Run away before you get burned. Hey, there, Red!
Do you want to blister your foot?"

The red-haired lad grinned mischievously.

"I'd hate to spoil my shoes," he jeered, "but you watch and I'll
kick over your old pot! I can, just as easy."

The other children drew nearer, half-believing the boy would tip
over the pot of boiling tar.

"Here," said another and younger workman, "if we give each of you
a little on a stick will you promise to go off and leave us in

There was an eager chorus of promises, and the good-natured young
roofer actually stuck a little ball of the soft tar on each stick
thrust at him and watched the small army of boys and girls march
up the street, smiling.

"That Mickey Gaffney thinks he's smart," said Nellie Yarrow, who
had found Brother and Sister in the crowd, as the red-headed boy
dashed past them, waving his stick of tar wildly and shouting like
an Indian.

"Do you know him?" asked Sister. "Doesn't he ever wear shoes?"

"I guess so--I don't know. I don't like him," replied Nellie

"I don't believe he has any shoes, not even for Sunday," Brother
said to himself. "His coat was all torn and his mother sewed his
pants up with another kind of cloth so that it shows. I wonder
where 'bouts he lives?"

He opened his mouth to ask Nellie, when Miss Putnam swooped down
to the fence as they were passing her house.

"Go way!" she called, leaving her weeding to wave a rake at them.
"Go 'long with you! Don't you drop any of that messy tar on my

"What lovely flowers!" whispered Sister as they obediently hurried

Indeed, Miss Putnam had made a beautiful garden and lawn of her
small yard, and she did all the work of taking care of it herself.

Sister and Brother carried their tar home with them and left it in
the sand heap. Jimmie had six boys playing in the gymnasium with
him and they all stayed to lunch. Molly and Mother Morrison were
used to having unexpected guests, and no matter how many there
were, in some mysterious manner plenty of good things to eat
appeared on the table,

"Can we come out and watch you?" asked Brother when the boys were
going back to the barn.

"We're going swimming," answered Jimmie.

"Can't we go swimming?" inquired Sister hopefully.

"You can NOT!" retorted Jimmie. "Why don't you take a nap, or--

"Come on out to the barn, Roddy," Sister urged Brother when Jimmie
and his friends had gone whistling on their way to the river.

"Now don't you be meddling with any of those things out there,"
warned Molly, clearing the table. "Your brother doesn't like you
to touch his exercises, you know."

Molly called all the apparatus the boys used "exercises."

"We're not going to touch 'em!" declared Sister. "We're only going
to look."

Jimmie seldom snapped his padlock, for lately the children had not
bothered the gymnasium in the barn. They found the door open this

"Bet you can't jump off that!" said Sister, pointing to a home-
made "horse" that Jimmie had ingeniously contrived.

(If you don't know the kind of "horse" they use in a gymnasium,
ask your big brother or sister.)

"Bet I can!" challenged Brother.

They took turns jumping until they were tired, and they went about
poking their little fingers and noses into whatever they could
find to examine. Sister's investigations ended sadly enough, for
she succeeded in pulling down a tray of butterflies that Jimmie
was mounting (he had thought the gymnasium a safe place to keep
them out of everyone's way), and now broken glass and crumbled
butterflies were scattered all over the floor.

"Now you've done it!" cried Brother. "Jimmie will be just as mad!"

They found an old broom and swept the broken glass under one of
the heavy floor pads. Then, very much subdued, they went into the
house and were so quiet for the rest of the afternoon and through
supper that Mother Morrison wondered if they were sick.

They were having dessert when the doorbell rang and Molly went to
the door. She came back in a moment, her eyes round with wonder
and looking rather frightened.

"It's Mr. Dougherty, sir," she said to Daddy Morrison. "He wants
to see you."

Mr. Dougherty was Ridgeway's one and only policeman.



At the mention of the policeman's name, Sister had given a gasp.
No one noticed her as Daddy Morrison pushed back his chair and
went into the hall.

"I wonder what he wants?" mused Mother Morrison, helping Ralph to

"Sister, you're spilling juice on the tablecloth," reproved Dick.
"Look out, there goes another spot."

Sister was trying to eat her berries, and also plan what to say
when the policeman should send for her. She was sure that he had
heard about the broken case of butterflies, for Jimmie, when
greatly provoked at her long ago, had threatened to tell Mr.
Dougherty of her next misdeed.

"I like Mr. Dougherty," announced Brother sweetly.

No broken butterflies lay heavy on HIS conscience.

Louise and Grace finished their dessert and were excused to go
upstairs. The others lingered at the table because Daddy Morrison
and Mr. Dougherty had gone into the living-room and they did not
wish to disturb them.

"Lelia," called Daddy Morrison presently, "will you come here for
a moment?"

Leila was Mother Morrison's name, and she rose and went across the
hall quickly.

There was a low murmur of talk, an exclamation from Mother
Morrison, and then the voice of Mr. Dougherty in the hall.

"Then I'm to tell the Chief that you'll drop in tonight?" he was
saying. "All right, sir, that'll be satisfactory, of course. I'm
not overly fond of this sort of work, but when a woman makes a
complaint, you know, we haven't much choice."

"I understand," Daddy Morrison's deep, pleasant voice answered.
"I'll get at the truth, and tell the Chief I'll be down at the
town hall before ten o'clock. Good-night, Dougherty."

"Good-night, sir," said Mr. Dougherty and the screen door slammed.

Daddy Morrison came back to the dining-room.

"Rhodes and Elizabeth, I want to speak to you," he said very
gravely. "Come up to my den."

Sister's small face went very white.

"I didn't mean to, honest I didn't, Jimmie!" she cried, hurling
herself on that astonished young man and clinging desperately to
his coat lapels. "I didn't know they were there till they fell

"What ails her?" Jimmie demanded, staring at his father. "What
fell over?"

"Your case of butterflies," Brother informed him sadly "We were
playing out in the barn and Betty reached up to open a window and
the pole knocked the box off."

"Well, I must say--" began Jimmie wrathfully. "I must say! If you
two don't learn to leave my things alone--"

"Save your lecture, Jimmie," advised his father quickly. "I didn't
know about the butterflies, but I want to ask the children about
something else. Come upstairs, now. You, too, Mother."

Brother and Sister followed Mother and Daddy Morrison upstairs,
puzzled to know what was to be said to them. If the butterflies
made so little difference to anyone--except Jimmie, who was
perfectly boiling, it was plain to see--what else was there to
scold them about? For that it was to be a scolding neither Brother
or Sister doubted--hadn't Daddy called them "Rhodes" and

"Now," said Daddy Morrison, when they were all in the little room
he called his den and he had closed the door, although it was a
warm night, "what were you doing this afternoon?"

"Playing in the barn," answered Brother. "It wasn't locked,

"And then you broke Jimmie's case of butterflies," said Daddy.
"What did you do then?"

"We swept the glass under a pad," said Sister, finding her voice.
"Did Jimmie tell Mr. Dougherty?"

"Jimmie didn't know, and he certainly would not tell the police,"
declared Daddy Morrison, smiling a little in spite of his evident
anxiety. "Miss Putnam, children, has made a complaint to the
police that you tracked fresh tar over her porch and sidewalk, and
she wants you to clean it off. That was why Mr. Dougherty came

"We won't either clean it off!" cried Brother angrily. "Serve her
right to clean it off herself; mean old thing!"

"Don't let me hear you talk like that again," said Daddy Morrison
sternly. "Did either of you have anything to do with putting tar
on her porch or walk?"

"No, sir," replied Brother more meekly.

"But did you PLAY with the tar?" asked Mother Morrison. "Mr.
Dougherty told us there were roofers mending the Gillson houses
today, and using hot tar."

"Yes, they gave us some," said Brother honestly enough. "Didn't
they, Betty? All the children had some, and we went by Miss
Putnam's house and she yelled at us."

"But we didn't stop," added Sister. "We went right on and came
home, didn't we, Roddy?"

"Yes," nodded Brother. "And that was before lunch, Daddy."

Daddy Morrison looked troubled.

"If you say you did not throw the tar, I believe you," he said
gravely. "You may get into mischief and do wrong things, but I am
sure you do not tell wrong stories. I don't see how Miss Putnam
can be positive enough to give your names to the police, but I am
going around to see her now and hear what she has to say. Then
I'll stop in at the town hall and see the chief of police."

The telephone rang just then, and he went downstairs. It was only
half-past seven, but Mother Morrison insisted that it was time for
them to get ready for bed.

"Your father doesn't want you to speak of the tar to any of your
playmates," she said as she brushed Sister's hair. "You must be
very careful and not say a word against Miss Putnam. People may
make mistakes easily, and we'll try to think as kindly of her as
we can. Poor old lady! She must be terribly tormented by the
children to dislike them so."

"I wish," wept Sister over her sandals as she unbuckled them, "I
wish I hadn't smashed Jimmie's butterflies. Now he's mad at me."

"Well, you know he has asked you not to play in the barn when he
isn't there to watch you," suggested Mother Morrison mildly.
"However, you can make it up with Jimmie tomorrow; he never holds
a grudge."

"Weed the onions for him," advised Brother wisely if sleepily. "He
hates weeding."

"Maybe I will," decided Sister. "Daddy said tonight he couldn't go
swimming again until he had worked in the garden."



Daddy Morrison went to see Miss Putnam after the children had gone
to bed. The old lady was very sure that Brother and Sister had
thrown the tar and she was so positive in her assertions that
finally he asked her how she could be so sure.

"Well, one of the neighbors told me," Miss Putnam said
reluctantly. "No, I don't know your children from any of the
others, but she does. All children look pretty much alike to me--
noisy, scuffling young ones! No, I couldn't tell you the
neighbor's name--I wouldn't want to get her into any trouble."

When Daddy Morrison went away, she showed him the tar on her porch
and sidewalk.

"Somebody ought to be made to clear it off," said Miss Putnam

The chief of police, at the town hall, was a little angry that a
complaint had been made merely on the word of a neighbor, who
might easily be mistaken about the children she had seen throwing
tar. However, as Brother and Sister said they had nothing to do
with it, and Miss Putnam refused to believe them, there was
nothing to do but let the complaint stand.

"Keep away from Miss Putnam's house and street," commanded Daddy
Morrison at the breakfast table the next morning. "Don't go past
her house except when it is absolutely necessary. We're not going
to have any more bickering over this matter. Your mother and I
believe you and that is all that is necessary. I shall be
seriously displeased if I find you are talking it over with
outsiders, especially other children."

Ralph and Dick had already taken their way to the station and now
Daddy Morrison hurried to get his train.

"Why doesn't he want us to talk about it?" asked Sister, puzzled.
"Couldn't I tell Nellie Yarrow?"

"I wouldn't," counseled Mother Morrison. "You see, dear, you can't
help feeling that Miss Putnam has been unfair and every time you
tell what she has done you will make someone else think she is
unfair, too. Your friends will take your part, of course, and
while you think Miss Putnam is decidedly 'mean,' she is acting
right, according to her own ideas. It is never best to talk much
about a quarrel of any kind."

Jimmie, who had been eating his breakfast in silence, rose and
looked toward his mother.

"I suppose I have to work in that old garden?" he said

"You know what your father said," replied Mother Morrison.

Jimmie did not like to weed, and the Morrison garden, when it came
his turn, was often sadly neglected. He and Ralph and Dick were
responsible for the care of the garden two weeks at a time during
the growing season.

"Well, maybe if I stick at it this morning, I can go swimming this
afternoon," muttered Jimmie. "Dad didn't say the whole thing had
to be weeded today, did he?"

"He wants the new heads of lettuce transplanted, and all the
onions weeded," answered Mother Morrison. "You know you were asked
to tend to those a week ago, Jimmie."

Jimmie flung himself out of the house in rather a bad temper. He
did not like to transplant lettuce and the onions must be weeded
by hand. Other vegetables could be handled with a hoe, or the
garden cultivator, but the eight long rows of new onions must be
carefully done down on one's hands and knees.

"Jimmie!" said a little voice at his elbow as he got the trowel
and the wheelbarrow from the toolhouse. "Jimmie?"

"Well, what do you want?" demanded Jimmie shortly.

"I'll--I'll help you," offered Sister timidly.

"You can't," said Jimmie. "Last time you crammed the lettuce
plants in so hard they died over night."

"But I'll bring the water for 'em, in the watering-pot, and I can
weed onions--I know how to do that," insisted Sister humbly.

"I won't need the watering-pot," said Jimmie more graciously.
"I'll use the hose on them all tonight. I wonder if you could weed
the onions?"

"Oh, yes!" Sister assured him eagerly. "You watch me, Jimmie."

She fell on her fat little knees, and began to pull the weeds from
a long row of onions.

The sun was hot and the row was very long. Before she reached the
middle of it, the perspiration was running down Sister's face, and
her hands were damp and grimy.

"Look here," Jimmie called to her anxiously, on his way back for
more lettuce plants, "don't you want to rest? And why don't you
wear a sunbonnet, or something?"

Sister stood up, straightening her aching little shoulders.

"Sunbonnets are hot," she explained carefully. "And I don't want
to rest, Jimmie. I'll go get a drink of water and then I'll weed
some more."

"Bring me a drink, too, will you?" Jimmie called after her.

When she brought it he forgot to say thank you because one of his
friends had ridden past on his bicycle and this reminded Jimmie
that he had meant to do something to his own wheel that morning.
So he drank the water Sister carried out to him without a word
because he was cross, and when we're cross we do not always
remember to be polite.

Sister went steadily at the weeding again, and after a while
Jimmie finished the lettuce, and began to weed an onion row

"You can stop if you want to now," he said to Sister presently.
"Don't you want to play? I can finish these."

"I'm not going to stop till they're all done," announced Sister.
"Molly says the only way to get anything finished is to use plenty
of per--perservance!"

Jimmie laughed and glanced at her curiously.

"I guess you mean PERSEVERANCE" he suggested, "Well, Sister, you
are certainly fine help. It begins to look as though I could go
swimming this afternoon after all."

Surely enough, when Mother Morrison called to them that lunch was
ready, they were weeding the last onion row.

"I can finish that in fifteen minutes," declared Jimmie gaily.
"You're a brick, Sister! When you want me to do something for you,
just mention it, will you?"

Sister beamed. She was hot and tired and she knew her face and
hands were streaked and dirty. Brother had spent the morning
playing with Nellie Yarrow and Ellis Carr, and Nellie's aunt had
taken them to the drug store for ice-cream soda. Yet Sister, far
from being sorry for her hot, busy morning in the garden, felt
very happy.

"Now you don't mind, do you?" she asked Jimmie anxiously.

"Mind what?" he said, putting the wheelbarrow away in the

"About the butterflies," explained Sister.

"I'd forgotten all about them," declared Jimmie, hugging her.



Brother and Sister were very fond of playing school. They
carefully saved all the old pencils and scraps of paper and half-
used blank books that Grace and Louise and Jimmie gave them, and
many mornings they spent on the porch "going to school."

Neither had ever been to school, and of course they were excited
at the prospect of starting in the fall. Brother had had
kindergarten lessons at home and he was ready for the first grade,
while Sister would have to make her start in the Ridgeway school

"I wish summer would hurry up and go," complained Brother one
August day. "Then we could really go to school."

"Well, don't wish that," advised Louise. "Goodness knows you'll be
tired of it soon enough! Sister, what are you dragging out here?"

"My blackboard," answered Sister, almost falling over the doorsill
as she pulled her blackboard--a gift from Grandmother Hastings--
out onto the porch.

"Come on, Grace, we'll go in," proposed Louise, hastily gathering
up her work. "If these children are going to play school there
won't be any place for us! We'll go up to my room."

"I thought maybe you would be the scholars," said Brother,
disappointed. "We never have enough scholars."

Louise was halfway up the stairs.

"You can play the dolls are scholars," she called back.

Mother Morrison had gone over to Grandmother Hastings to help her
make blackberry jam, and Louise and Grace had been left in charge
of the house.

"Let me be the teacher," begged Sister, when her blackboard was
arranged to her liking. "I know how, Roddy."

"Well, all right, you can be teacher first," agreed Brother. "But
after you play, then it's my turn."

Sister picked up a book and pointed to the blackboard.

"'Rithmetic class, go to the board," she commanded.

Both she and Brother knew a good deal about what went on in
classrooms, because they had listened to the older children

"How much is sixty-eight times ninety-two?" asked Teacher-Sister

Brother made several marks on the blackboard with the crayon.

"Nine hundred," he answered doubtfully.

"Correct," said the teacher kindly. "Now I'll hear the class in

"I wish we had more scholars," complained Brother. "It's no fun
with just one; I have to be everything."

"There's that little boy again--maybe he'd play," suggested
Sister, pointing to the red-haired, barefooted little boy who
stood staring on the walk that led up to the porch.

He could not see through the screens very clearly, but he had
heard the voices of the children and, stopping to listen, had
drawn nearer and nearer.

"That's Mickey Gaffney," whispered Brother. "Hello, Mickey," he
called more loudly. "Want to come play school with us?"

Mickey came up on the steps, and flattened his nose against the
screen door.

"I dunno," he said doubtfully. "How do you play?"

Sister pushed open the door for him, and Mickey rather shyly
looked about him.

"It's nice and shady in here," he said appreciatively. "You got a
blackboard, ain't you?"

"You should say 'have' a blackboard and 'ain't' is dreadful,"
corrected Sister, blissfully unaware that "dreadful" was not a
good word to use. "You can use the chalk if you'll be a scholar,

Mickey was anxious to draw on the blackboard and he consented to
play "just for a little."

As Brother had said, two scholars were ever so much better than
one and they had a beautiful time playing together. Mickey, in
spite of his ragged clothes, and bad grammar, knew how to play,
and he suggested several new things that Sister and Brother had
never done.

"I been to school," boasted Mickey.

The children were anxious to have him stay to lunch with them and
Louise, who had heard his voice and who came downstairs to see
him, also invited him to stay. But he was too shy, and shuffled
off just as Nellie Yarrow bounded up the front steps.

"Wasn't that Mickey Gaffney?" she asked curiously. "I shouldn't
think you'd want to play with him. His folks are awful poor, and,
besides, his father was arrested last year."

"Mickey isn't to blame for that," retorted Grace quickly. "Don't
be a snob, Nellie; Brother and Sister had a good time playing with
that little red-headed boy."

"But hardly any of the children play with him," persisted Nellie,
who of course went to the public school. "You see last term Mickey
was in my room, and he only came till about the middle of October
--maybe it was November. Anyway, soon as it got cold he stopped

"The teacher thought he was playing hooky, and she told Mr.
Alexander, the principal. And he found out that the reason Mickey
didn't come to school was 'cause his father didn't send him."

"Why didn't his father send him?" asked Sister.

"He wouldn't work, and Mickey didn't have any shoes to wear,"
explained Nellie. "Mr. Alexander got somebody to give Mickey a
pair of shoes, but he wouldn't pay any attention to his lessons,
and I know he wasn't promoted. I suppose he'll be in the first
grade again this year."

Brother and Sister thought a good deal about Mickey after Nellie
had gone home. They wondered if he wanted to go to school and
whether he wished the summer would hurry so the new term might

"He liked to play school, so I guess he likes to go, really,"
argued Sister. "Playing is different," said Brother wisely. "He
didn't have any shoes on this morning, did he?"

"No, that's so," Sister recalled. "And his clothes were all torn
and dirty; maybe he hasn't any new suit to wear the first day."

All the Morrison children had always started school in new suits
or dresses, and Mother Morrison had promised Brother a new sailor
suit and Sister a gingham frock when they started off in

"Miss Putnam would say he 'scuffled,'" giggled Sister, remembering
that was what Miss Putnam thought all children did with their

"I wonder who really did put the tar on her porch?" murmured
Brother. "She'll always think we did it, unless someone tells her
something else."



"Madam," declared Brother seriously, "your child
is very ill, I fear!"

He was the "doctor" and had been called to attend Muriel Elsie,
Sister's best and largest doll. The children had started this new
game one day.

"Oh, Doctor!" fluttered Sister, much worried. "Can't you give her

The doctor sat down on the window-seat and considered.

"You ate all the peppermints up," he told Muriel Elsie's "mother."
Then he went on: "And Louise hid the box of chocolates. No, I
don't believe I can give her any medicines."

"Yes, you can," urged the little mother, hurriedly. "Go to the
drug store; that's where Doctor Yarrow gets all his pills and

"Where--where is the drugstore?" stammered the doctor.

He was used to having Sister tell him. She usually planned their

"Why, it's--it's--" Sister looked about her desperately. Where
should she say the drugstore was? "I know," she cried. "Over to

Grandmother Hastings glanced up from her sewing in surprise as
Brother and Sister tumbled up the steps of the side porch where
she sat.

"Oh, Grandma!" and Sister fell over the Boston fern in her
eagerness to explain the play. "Grandma, Muriel Elsie is ever so
sick, and Roddy is the doctor; and we have to go to the drugstore
to get medicine for her. Have you any? You have, haven't you,

"Dear me," said Grandmother Hastings, adjusting her glasses.
"Muriel Elsie is very ill, is she? Well, now, what kind of
medicine do you think she needs?"

"Muriel Elsie likes medicine that tastes good," explained Sister.

"Well, I must put on my thinking-cap," said dear Grandmother
Hastings. "I didn't know I was keeping a 'drug store' till this
minute, you see."

The children were as quiet as two little mice, so that Grandmother
might think better.

"I know!" she cried in a moment. "I think I have the very thing!
Come on out in the kitchen with me."

They pattered after her and watched while she lifted down a large
pasteboard box from a cupboard. From this box she took several
tiny round boxes, such as druggists use for pills.

"I think Muriel Elsie needs two kinds of medicine," said
Grandmother gravely. "Now if you want to watch me put it up,
there's nothing to hinder you."

Grandmother Hastings could play "pretend" beautifully, as Brother
and Sister often said. Now she opened her shining white bread box
and took out a loaf of white bread and one of brown. She washed
her hands carefully at the sink, tied on a big white apron and
brought the sugar and cinnamon from the pantry.

"Oh, Grandma!" squeaked Brother in joyful excitement. "What are
you going to do?"

"Why, get some medicine ready for Muriel Elsie," answered his
grandmother, making believe to be surprised. "Didn't you want me

"Of course--don't mind him, Grandma," said Sister scornfully. "I'd
like to keep a drug store when I grow up."

Grandmother cut a slice of bread from the white loaf and buttered
it lightly. Then she sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar, broke
off a little piece and rolled that into several tiny round balls.
They looked for all the world like real pills.

Then she cut a slice of brown bread and rolled that into little
pills, too. She filled four of the small boxes.

"There!' she said, giving the boxes to Brother. "See that your
patient takes a white pill and a brown one every two minutes and
she will soon be well."

"Thank you very much, Grandma," said Brother, standing up to go.
"Don't you want us to eat the trimmings?"

Grandmother laughed and said yes, they might eat the crusts, and
she gave them each a slice of the brown bread spread with nice,
sweet butter, too.

Brother and Sister hurried home and on the way over they changed
to the Doctor and Muriel Elsie's worried mamma. They had been so
interested in watching Grandmother Hastings make the pills that
they had almost forgotten that they were playing.

They had left the patient in the porch swing--Sister said it was
important to keep her in the fresh air--but when they went to take
her up and give her a pill, she wasn't to be found.

"Perhaps Louise did something to her," decided Sister.

But Louise, questioned, declared she had not seen the doll.

"Is it Muriel Elsie you're looking for?" asked Molly, her head
tied up in a sweep cap and a broom on her shoulder as she prepared
to sweep the upstairs hall. "Why, I found her half an hour ago on
the porch floor, her face all cracked into little chips."

"Muriel Elsie all chipped?" repeated Sister in wonder. "Why, she's
my very best doll!"

"'Twas that imp of a Brownie did it," related Molly. "I was coming
out to sweep the porch off, and he raced on ahead and went to
jerking the cushions out of the hammock. First thing I knew there
was a crash, and the doll was smashed on the floor. I saved you
the pieces, Sister."

Brownie had a trick, the children knew, of snatching the sofa and
swing cushions and flinging them on the floor whenever he thought
anyone was ready to sleep. They had always considered this rather
a clever trick for a little dog, and Sister could not find it in
her heart to scold him even now.

"I suppose he didn't know Muriel Elsie was there," she said
sorrowfully. "I had a cushion over her so she couldn't take cold.
Where did you put her, Molly?"

Molly brought out the box with the unfortunate Muriel Elsie in it.
Only her pretty face was damaged and that was badly chipped.
Besides her whole head wobbled on her body.

Sister began to cry.

"Maybe Ralph can mend her," she sobbed. "My poor little Muriel
Elsie! And we were playing she was sick, too."

"Yes, I guess Ralph can mend her," said Brother bravely. "He can
mend lots of things. And you have all the pieces."

Sister took the box under her arm and went down to the gate to
wait for Ralph, who was expected home on an early train.

"Well, I s'pose we might as well eat the pills," suggested
Brother. "Muriel Elsie's certainly too sick for pills--she needs--
operating on!"

So they ate the pills while they were waiting for Ralph, and they
gave Brownie some, too. As Sister said he didn't mean to break the
doll and he probably felt the way she did when she found she had
knocked over Jimmie's case of butterflies.



The last pill had disappeared down little red lane, when Ralph was
seen to turn the corner.

"Well, Chicks, why so solemn?" he asked cheerfully. "Sister, have
you been crying?"

Sister held out the broken doll silently.

"Why, that's too bad!" exclaimed Ralph, sitting down on the step
beside his little sister. "What happened to Muriel Elsie?"

"Brownie jerked her out of the hammock and she fell on her head,"
Brother explained. "Can you mend her, Ralph?"

"I'm afraid not," said Ralph regretfully. "Mending faces is
ticklish work; I might manage an arm or leg, but not a FACE. I
tell you, Sister--you take Muriel Elsie down to the Exchange and
see if Miss Arline can't mend her. Leave her there, ask how much
it will cost and when she will be ready, and I'll give you the

"I'll go with you, Betty," Brother offered. "Let's go now,"

Molly tied the box up with paper and string and hand in hand
Brother and Sister started.

"Certainly I can mend the dollie," announced Miss Arline when they
reached her house and had shown her Muriel Elsie and explained the
accident. "I think I'll take her into the city with me tomorrow to
a doll's hospital. You come for her a week from today and she will
be ready for you. I can't tell how much it will cost, you tell
your brother, until I find out what the hospital will charge me."

On their way home, Brother and Sister met Mickey Gaffney. They had
not seen him since he played school with them, and the sight of
him at once suggested something to Brother.

"Say, Nellie Yarrow says you're going to be in the first grade at
school this term," he said to Mickey. "I'm going to be in first
grade, too. We'll be in the same room."

"Don't know as I'm going to school," declared Mickey perversely.
"I didn't go much last year."

"Wouldn't--wouldn't your 'father let you?" suggested Sister

Mickey flushed a little.

"Aw, it wasn't so much his fault, leastways he said he didn't care
if I went," he muttered, digging his bare foot into the gravel on
one side of the stone flagging. "After they had him arrested he
said I had to go."

"Didn't you want to go?" urged Brother, round-eyed. "I think it's
lots of fun to go to school."

"Guess you wouldn't think so if you didn't have some shoes and a
good coat," retorted Mickey. "I ain't going to school this year,
either, if I can't have things to wear. None of the boys go

"But Nellie says Mr. Alexander got some shoes for you to wear,"
said Brother quickly.

"How would you like to wear somebody else's shoes?" inquired
Mickey with scorn. "They belonged to Ted Scott and he was always
looking at my feet when I wore 'em. I want some shoes of my OWN!"

"Couldn't your father buy you just one pair?" Sister asked.

"No, he couldn't," Mickey answered desperately. "He doesn't like
to work, and we had to sell Ted Scott's shoes this summer for
fifty cents. When the old man does work it takes all he makes to
buy grub. My mother takes in washing to pay the rent."

Mickey told them this jerkily, as though against his will, and
kind-hearted little Brother thought perhaps they had asked too
many questions.

"Maybe you could earn money yourself," he said presently. "I'm
going to ask Daddy. You just wait, Mickey."

"I wouldn't mind earning SOME money," admitted Mickey cautiously.
"But it takes a LOT for new shoes. And they got to be new."

Brother and Sister hurried home, eager to see Daddy Morrison, and
ask his advice. They found him reading on the porch and waiting
for dinner.

"Oh, Daddy!" Sister rushed for him. "Daddy, how can Mickey Gaffney
earn enough money to buy a whole pair of new shoes?"

"A whole pair of shoes?" repeated Daddy, laughing. "Why, Daughter,
I suppose a way can be found, if he must have them. Who is this
Mickey Gaffney?"

Sister told about Mickey, and Brother helped her, and when they
had finished, Daddy Morrison knew all about Mickey and his school

"Being red-headed and Irish, I don't suppose he will let me GIVE
him the money," he mused. "Let's see, what can a chap that age do?
He must be seven or eight years old--I've seen him hanging around
the station, ready to carry suitcases. I wonder if he couldn't
help the boys with the garden?"

"I'll pay him if he can weed," grinned Jimmie, who had been
listening. "And Ralph was saying last week that he wasn't going to
have time to take his turn at garden work--he wants to go in on an
earlier train."

"All right, we'll tell Ralph that Mickey is open for an
engagement," said Daddy Morrison. "We'll start him in the garden
and then perhaps other odd jobs will turn up."

"Dinner is ready, folks," called Mother Morrison, and they all
went into the dining-room.

"I want Mickey to earn a whole lot of money," declared Sister that
night as they were getting ready for bed. "Pulling weeds is such
slow work. He'll have to pull an awful lot to work an hour."

After Mother had kissed them good-night and put out the light, a
big idea came to Sister.

"I know what we'll do!" she asserted, sitting up in bed. "Listen,
Roddy, Ellis Carr said his father said Miss Putnam worked too
hard. Well, why can't Mickey help her?"

"Maybe he can," murmured Brother sleepily. "Only she wont like
him, 'cause he's a boy."



Sister's first thought in the morning was Mickey and Miss Putnam.
"It's too bad he is a boy," she admitted, referring to Mickey,
"because Miss Putnam doesn't like children. But if Mickey was
grown up he wouldn't have to have shoes to wear to school, because
he wouldn't go to school."

"Sister, your reasoning is all right," Ralph praised her. "Perhaps
you will grow up to be a lawyer like your father and brothers."

"Oh, no," said Sister positively and sweetly. "When I grow up I'm
going to be a farmer."

After breakfast, she helped Brother clear the table and brush the
crumbs, and then she dragged him out to the porch steps to consult
with him.

"We have to go see Miss Putnam," she whispered. "About Mickey, you

Brother looked frightened.

"She won't let us in," he said in alarm. "She thinks we threw tar
on her porch. 'Sides, can't Mickey go see her?"

"No, we want to have it all fixed for him," explained Sister
patiently. "Mickey is scared of her, too, and maybe he wouldn't
go. But if she says yes, he can work for her, he'll go work 'cause
he wants the shoes. Come on, Roddy, I'm not afraid."

"Will you do the talking?" suggested Brother.

Sister promised to "do the talking," and without saying anything
to anyone in the house, the small boy and girl set out for the
"terrible" Miss Putnam's.

In her heart of hearts, Sister was very much afraid of the cross
old lady, and when they turned in at her gate she was almost ready
to run home. But she remembered Mickey and how sadly he needed the
new shoes, so she lifted the brass knocker on the white door and
waited as bravely as she could.

"Land sakes!" gasped Miss Putnam when she came to the door. "What
on earth do you want?"

This wasn't a very gracious welcome, and Sister stuttered a little
from nervousness as she said they wanted to speak to her.

"Come in then," said Miss Putnam shortly. "Mind you wipe your
feet, and don't scratch the rounds of the chairs with your heels."

She led them into a tiny sitting-room and Brother and Sister sat
down on two hard, straight chairs while Miss Putnam took the only

"Well?" she asked expectantly.

"We've come about Mickey Gaffney," said Sister hurriedly. "He
hasn't any shoes to wear to school and he wants to earn money to
buy 'em. He's going to work for us, some, but school starts in
about three weeks and we're afraid he won't have enough money."

"And couldn't he work for you?" chimed in Brother bravely,
determined not to let his sister have to do all the talking.

"Why, I do need a man to do odd jobs," said Miss Putnam quite
mildly. "Is he very strong?"

You see, she hadn't listened very carefully to Sister, or else she
didn't stop to think--no man wants shoes to wear to school.

"Yes'm, he's pretty strong," Sister assured her earnestly. "He's
eight years old and big for his age."

"Eight years old!" echoed Miss Putnam. "Why, that's a mere BABY!
What can such a child do to earn money?"

"Mickey can run errands and sweep and weed the garden," recited
Brother, gaining confidence since Miss Putnam neither shouted at
them nor chased them from her house. "He can dry dishes, too--he
says he does 'em for his mother."

Miss Putnam thought for a few moments.

"I'm going to need someone to do errands for me this winter when I
can't get around," she said slowly. "And I've about broke my back
in the garden this summer. But boys are noisy, careless creatures
--I don't know as I could stand a boy around me."

"Oh, Mickey is nice," Sister hastened to explain. "He's going to
grow up and support his mother. He won't make any more noise than
he can help."

Miss Putnam smiled grimly.

"I guess that's true," she said. "Well, tell your Mickey to come
round and see me, and if he doesn't charge too much, perhaps we
can suit each other."

Brother and Sister trotted home, well-pleased with the success of
their errand. It was something to have secured the promise of more
work for Mickey.

"There he is now!" exclaimed Brother, spying the flaming red head
of the Gaffney boy ahead of them. "Hey, Mickey!"

Mickey was on his way to the grocery store for soap, he informed

"Wait a minute," said Brother. "We want to tell you--Daddy says
you can help Jimmie and Ralph in our garden and they will pay you,
by the hour, Ralph says. And Miss Putnam says you can run errands
for her."

"Miss Putnam?" repeated Mickey, surprised. "Miss Putnam wouldn't
have a boy in her yard."

"Yes, she will," declared Sister. "She said so. And you can run
errands after school this winter when she can't get around--she
said so, didn't she, Roddy?"

Brother nodded.

"It would be kind of nice to have a job this winter, wouldn't it?"
said Mickey thoughtfully. "My mother would like that. Well, if
you're sure Miss Putnam won't come out with a broom when she sees
me, I'll go."

"No, she won't," Sister assured him. "I don't believe she's so
cross when you know her."

"'Cept about tar," said Brother sorrowfully.

Mickey looked at them, mystified.

"What about tar?" he asked. "Has Miss Putnam any?"



Brother told Mickey the tar incident in a few words.

"And you can't make her believe Betty and I didn't put it on her
porch," he concluded. "She's just 'termined we did it."

"And she sent the policeman to your house and all," mused Mickey.

His face was rather red and he looked at Brother and Sister
queerly. He opened his mouth as though to say something, then
apparently changed his mind.

"Well, we have to go home," declared Brother. "You'll go see Miss
Putnam, won't you, Mickey?"

"I suppose so," muttered Mickey. "So long!"

"Maybe he doesn't like it," said Sister as they went on toward
their house.

"Oh, yes he does," replied Brother confidently. "He'll go, you see
if he doesn't."

Mickey Gaffney did go see Miss Putnam, and something about him
made the old lady like him right away. She engaged him to do
errands for her an hour in the morning, and again in the
afternoon, and she paid him fifteen cents an hour. If he weeded in
the garden that was to be extra.

"Will you have enough for your shoes?" asked Sister anxiously one
morning, when Mickey came to do some weeding in the garden for

"My, yes, and I guess I can buy my little sister a pair," said
Mickey proudly.

"Have you a little sister?" demanded Brother and Sister together.
"How old is she?"

"Five," answered Mickey, getting down on his hands and knees and
going at the weeds in a business-like way. "She'll be five next

"Isn't that nice!" commented Sister. "I'm five years old, too."

Mickey avoided her eyes and was apparently too busy to talk much
to them, so by and by Brother and Sister ran off and left him to
his weeding.

If they had stayed, they might have seen Mickey throw down his
weeding-fork suddenly and march out of the garden.

"Don't believe that boy is going to stick to his work," said Molly
to Mother Morrison. "He's gone already."

But Mickey was hurrying along toward Miss Putnam's house and did
not care very much what anyone thought of him. He didn't think
kindly of himself at that moment.

"Why, Mickey!" Miss Putnam looked up at him in amazement as he
came around to the back porch where she was sweeping a rug.
"What's the matter, child, don't you feel well?"

"I feel all right," he said briefly. "Say, Miss Putnam, you know
that tar that was on your porch? I threw it!"

"You--you what?" gasped Miss Putnam. "You threw that hot tar all
over my clean porch and walk? Why, Mickey!"

"Yes'm," muttered Mickey miserably.

"But why?" insisted Miss Putnam. "And Mrs. Graham told me that the
Morrison boy and girl did it."

"Guess she thought she saw 'em--it was most dark," said Mickey.
"But it wasn't Roddy and Betty. I did it, and Nina, my little
sister, helped me."

"But why?" persisted Miss Putnam. "I never should have thought it
of you, Mickey, never."

Strange as it may seem, Miss Putnam really liked Mickey. He was so
willing and so cheerful and so quick that the old lady who had had
to do all the work of her small home so long that she had
forgotten how it felt to have younger hands helping her, began to
look forward to Mickey's coming every day.

And Mickey liked Miss Putnam. He found she was very fair about
time and reasonable about the amount of work she expected him to
accomplish. The fact that he was barefooted did not seem to bother
her and she treated him exactly as though his clothes were whole
instead of torn and poorly patched.

Now when she asked him why he had thrown the tar, it was hard for
him to tell the truth. But he did. When Mickey once made up his
mind to do a thing, he always went through with it.

"It was 'count of the barbwire," Mickey explained in a low voice.
"I didn't know you put it up, and I climbed the fence one night,
to scare you through the window, and I thought you'd run out and
chase me. And I tore my coat on the wire and scratched my face. So
after that I was always looking for a chance to get even."

"When I saw the tar, I came back after supper and made Nina carry
it for me while I slung it--we had a tin bucket. I'm awful sorry,
Miss Putnam; honest I am!"

"But--did you let me send a policeman to the Morrison's house?"
asked Miss Putnam uncertainly.

"I never knew about that till just before I came here to work,"
said Mickey earnestly. "And ever since I've felt mean as dirt, not
telling. Nina is just as old as Betty. It wasn't her fault--
Nina's, I mean; she does whatever I tell her to."

"Well, I'll go call on Mrs. Morrison this afternoon," said Miss
Putnam briskly. "And then I'll take down that wire. I don't need
it now anyway, for the children don't bother me since you're here.
I guess they're afraid you'd catch them if you should chase them,"
she smiled grimly.

"And I can go right on working?" suggested Mickey anxiously.

"Of course, child. Why not?" said Miss Putnam.

That settled Mickey's last worry. With a hurried "thank you," he
dashed away, out through the yard and up the street. He wanted to
find Brother and Sister and tell them what he had done.

"My goodness, I think you're ever so brave," said Sister when she
had heard his story. "I'd be scared to death to tell Miss Putnam
like that."

"Pooh, she's all right," answered Mickey. "I like her. And now I
have a lot of time to make up--most half an hour."

"School begins two weeks from today," announced Brother, watching
Mickey tackle an onion row. "You're sure you're going, Mickey?"

"Of course," said Mickey proudly. "I'll stop for you the first
morning just to prove it."

"And we'll go every day and never be late once, will we?" chimed
in Sister.

But whether they were able to keep this good resolution or not
remains to be seen. If you are interested to know you will have to
read the next book about them, called "BROTHER AND SISTER'S SCHOOL


Book of the day: