Part 4 out of 4
The table was laid for four, and at each place was a valentine.
Mrs. Spencer and Miss Hart took their seats, but, at first, the girls
were too bewildered to understand.
"It's your party, Marjorie," said Miss Hart, smiling. "Your father and
mother sent it all over,--everything, even the candles and flowers. All
we've done is to arrange it on the table. So you must sit at the head, as
So Midget took her place at the head of the table, with Delight opposite.
Each person had a parcel at their plate, daintily tied up in pink paper
and white ribbon, and sealed with little gold hearts.
Mrs. Spencer said they would not open these until after the feast, so
after they had looked a few moments longer on the pretty things all about
the table, Mary brought in the first course, and the party began.
First there was fruit, and this consisted of a slice of pineapple cut in
a heart shape, and surrounded on the plate by strawberries and candied
cherries. This dainty arrangement, on lace paper, was so pretty that
Delight said it was too bad to disturb it.
"It's too good not to be disturbed," said Marjorie, and as it was really
dinner time, and the girls were hungry, the lovely fruit course soon
"This isn't dinner," said Mrs. Spencer, "it's a party supper. Your party,
you know, Marjorie."
"Yes'm; I didn't see how Father could send me a party without people. But
he did his part, didn't he?"
"Yes, indeed; and we're doing ours. We've all the people that we can
have, and so we'll make the best of it."
"I think it's a lovely party," said Delight, "the best one I ever went
to. Oh, what are these?"
For Mary was just passing the most fascinating looking dish. It was
oyster croquettes, carefully moulded in heart shapes, accompanied by
French fried potatoes also cut into little hearts.
"Ellen cut these, I know she did," said Marjorie. "She's such a clever
cook, and she loves to make fancy things."
"Your mother is very fortunate with her servants," said Mrs. Spencer,
with a little sigh.
And then came lovely brown bread sandwiches, of course they were heart
shaped too, and Marjorie declared she'd have heart-disease if these
things kept on!
But they did keep on. Next came jellied chicken that had been moulded in
heart forms, and lettuce salad with red hearts cut from beets among the
crisp yellow leaves.
Then came dessert, and it was a bewildering array of heart ice creams,
and heart cakes, and heart bon-bons, and heart shaped forms of jelly.
"Only one of each, to-night," said Mrs. Spencer, smiling. "I don't want
two invalids for valentines, I can assure you."
So lots of the good things were left over for next day, and Marjorie
remarked that she thought the next day's feast was always about as much
fun as the party any way.
"Now for our presents," said Delight, as the last plates were removed,
and they sat round the table still feasting their eyes on the pretty
trinkets that decorated it.
So Mrs. Spencer opened her parcel first.
She found a silver photograph frame shaped like a heart. Of course, Mr.
Spencer had sent it, and the pretty card with it read:
"As at my verse I'm sure you'd sniff,
I simply send this little gift.
The Spencers seemed to think this a fine poem but Marjorie secretly
wondered if a grown-up man could think those words rhymed!
Miss Hart opened her box next, and found a heart-shaped filigree gold
brooch of great beauty. The Maynards had sent her this, not only as a
valentine, but as a token of gratitude for her kindness to Marjorie.
These verses were written on a fancy card:
"Hearts to Miss Hart
So I bring you a heart.
Your name is fine
For a Valentine.
Though this trinket small
Can't tell you all
'Twill give you a hint
That hearts are not flint;
And when this one of gold
Our good wishes has told,
May it brightly shine
As your valentine."
"It's just a darling!" exclaimed Miss Hart, looking at the welcome gift.
"Your parents are too good to me, Marjorie."
"I'm glad of it," said Midge, simply, "you're too good to me!"
She smiled at Miss Hart, and then she and Delight opened their boxes
Their gifts were just alike, and were pink and gold cups and saucers. The
china and decoration were exquisite, and both cup and saucer were heart
shaped. Not the most convenient shape to drink from, perhaps, but lovely
for a souvenir of Valentine's Day.
Then they took the boxes held out by the wax cupid, and admired the
tufted satin and the painted garlands.
"Let's take the candies out and put them in other boxes," said Delight,
"so there'll be no danger of getting a bit of chocolate on the satin."
This was a good idea, and then they took all the pretty ornaments into
the library and set them around on tables.
"It's like Christmas," said Delight, with a little sigh of happiness. "I
do love pretty things."
"Then you ought to be happy now," said Miss Hart, "for I never saw such
an array of favors."
And indeed the room looked like a valentine shop, with its flowers and
gifts and cupids and valentines, and the big heart standing in front of
Then Miss Hart spent the evening playing games with the children, and
after an enthusiastic telephone conversation with the people opposite,
Marjorie and Delight went upstairs, agreeing that nobody had ever had
such a lovely Valentine party.
A JINKS AUCTION
At last the day came when Marjorie was allowed to go home.
Doctor Mendel had had a most thorough fumigation and disinfection, and
all danger was over. The little boy was convalescent, and there was no
longer any reason why Midget or Mr. Spencer should be exiled from their
And so, liberated from her prison, Midget flew, across the street, and
into the arms of her waiting family.
"Mother first!" she cried, as they all crowded round, but so mixed up did
the Maynards become, that it was one grand jumble of welcoming hugs and
"Oh, I'm _so_ glad to be home again," Marjorie cried, as she looked about
the familiar living-room. "It seems as if I'd been away years."
"Seems so to me, too," said Kitty, who had greatly missed her sister.
"Mother, aren't we going to celebrate Mopsy's coming home?"
Now "celebration" in the Maynard household, always meant dress-up frocks,
and ice cream for dessert.
"Of course," said Mrs. Maynard, smiling; "fly upstairs, girlies, and get
into some pretty dresses, and then fly down again, for father's coming
So Midge and Kitty flew, and King scampered to his room also, and Mrs.
Maynard gave the baby over to Nurse Nannie for a clean frock, while she
herself telephoned for the ice cream. And to the order she added cakes
and candied fruits and other dainties, until it bade fair to be a
celebration feast indeed.
Marjorie, delighted to be in her own room once more, chattered rapidly,
as she and Kitty dressed, and tied ribbons, and hooked waists for each
"Delight is an awfully nice girl, Kitsie," she was saying. "I didn't like
her so much at first, but as we were together so much I grew to like her
"Is she as nice as Gladys?"
"In some ways she is. She's more fun than Glad about playing games. She
loves to play pretend, and Gladys wasn't much good at that. But, of
course, I'm more fond of Glad, she's my old friend. Delight is nice for a
Dressed in a white serge, with pipings and bows of scarlet velvet, her
cheeks glowing red with the joyous excitement of getting home, and her
eyes dancing with happiness, Marjorie flew downstairs just in time to
tumble into the arms of her father, who was entering the hall door.
"Why, bless my stars!" he exclaimed; "who in the world is this?"
"Your long-lost daughter!" said Midge, nestling in his big, comfortable
"No! Can it be? This great big girl! Why, how you've grown! And
yet,--yes, it is! my own Marjorie Mischief Mopsy Midget Maynard! Well, I
_am_ glad you're back where you belong!"
"So'm I! I tell you Father Maynard, it was awful hard to stay away so
"I know it, girlie, and I hope it won't happen again. But you know, 'into
each life some rain must fall.'"
"And I did have a good time, too," went on Midge. "Isn't it funny,
Father, how you can have a good time and a bad time both at once."
"Quite comic, I should say. Now, let me get my coat off, and then we'll
talk matters over."
Marjorie skipped into the living-room, and plumped herself down on the
sofa. Kitty and King sat close on either side, and Rosy Posy climbed into
her lap and lovingly patted her face.
The four made a pretty group, and as Mrs. Maynard came in and saw them,
"Well, I'm glad my quartette is whole again; it's been broken so long."
The dinner was a celebration for fair. Aside from the delicious things to
eat, everybody was so gay and glad over Marjorie's return, that all was
laughter and jollity.
"How different our two families are," said Midge, thoughtfully; "here we
are having such fun and frolic, and the Spencers are just having an
every-day, quiet dinner."
"Aren't they glad the sickness is all over?" asked Kitty.
"Yes, of course. But they never 'celebrate.' I guess they don't know how
very well. And Mrs. Spencer is very quiet. Much noise makes her head
"Mr. Spencer was awful quiet, too," said King. "He hardly ever laughed
all the time he was here. Except the night we wrote the valentines. Then
he laughed, cause we made him write poetry and he couldn't."
"Well, they're nice people," said Midge, "but awful different from us.
I'm glad I'm a Maynard!"
"I'm glad you are!" said her father.
The next day Mrs. Maynard announced her intention of going over to see
Mrs. Spencer, and thanking her for her care of Marjorie.
"But it does seem funny," said Midge, "to thank her for keeping me there,
when I couldn't possibly get away! But she was good to me, though really
she didn't pay very much attention to me. But I s'pose that was 'cause
she was so bothered about the little sick boy. But, Mother, do thank Miss
Hart, too. She was lovely; and she put herself out lots of times, to make
it pleasant for Delight and me. Give her plenty of thanks, will you,
"Yes, Midget; and what about Delight?"
"Oh, yes, thank her too. She was kind and pleasant,--only,--well, it
seems mean to say so,--but, Mother, she is a little selfish. I didn't
mind, really; only I don't think it's quite nice to be selfish to a
"Perhaps not, Mar; one; but neither is it nice to criticise your little
Marjorie flushed. "I didn't mean to, Mother," she said; "but I thought it
didn't count when I'm just talking to you."
"That's right, dearie; always say anything you choose to Mother, but
don't criticise Delight to anybody else."
"No, Mother, I won't," and Midge gave her mother one of her biggest
"bear-hugs" and then wandered off in search of Kitty.
"What are you doing, Kit?" she said, as she found her sister sitting on
the big hall settle, looking out of the window.
"Waiting for Dorothy. She's coming this afternoon, and we're going to
play paper dolls."
Marjorie must have looked a little disappointed, for Kitty said:
"Say, Mops, why don't you take Delight for your friend in Glad's place?
It's so nice to have a friend all your own."
"I know it is, Kit," and Midget sat down beside her sister, "but somehow
it seems sort of mean to put anybody in Gladys's place."
"Oh, pshaw! it doesn't either. And when Glad is so far away, too. She
doesn't even write to you, does she?"
"She sent me a valentine."
"Well, but when has she written?"
"Not for a long time. But that doesn't matter. She's my friend, and I'm
not going to put anybody else in her place."
Kitty grew exasperated at this foolishness, as it seemed to her, and
"Well, then don't put her in Glad's place. Keep her old place empty. But
take Delight as a sort of, what do you call it? Substitute friend, and
let her come over here to play, same as Dorothy comes to play with me."
"I'd like to do that," said Midge. "I'm awfully glad to have Delight with
me, and I know she likes me."
"Then go and telephone her now. Ask her to come over, and play."
"No, not now, 'cause mother is over there, and I'd rather wait till she
comes home. Let's all play together to-day."
"All right; here comes Dorothy now."
Dorothy Adams came in, very glad to see Midget again, whom she liked
almost as much as she did Kitty. She took off her things, and the girls
drifted into the living-room, where King sat reading.
He had a band of red ribbon round his head, in which were stuck a dozen
large turkey feathers, giving him a startling appearance.
"What's the feathers for?" asked Dorothy, looking at the boy in
"Why, you see, I'm reading one of Cooper's stories," King explained, "and
I can sort of feel the Indian part of it better if I wear some feathers."
"Come on and play," said Midget; "shall we play Indians?"
"No," said Kitty, promptly, "it's too rough and tumbly when we play it in
the house. Let's play a pretend game."
"Aren't we going to have the Jinks Club any more?" asked Dorothy. "We
haven't had it since the Fultons went away."
"Too few of us," said King; "we four, that's all."
"We might ask Delight to belong," said Marjorie, "she can cut up jinks
when she feels like it."
"All right, do;" said King, "let's have Flossy Flouncy; and I'll ask Flip
Henderson, he's heaps of fun. Then we'll have six, just like we had
"I don't like to put people in the Fultons' place," said Marjorie,
"Now, look here, Midge, that's silly!" said King. "We can't help it that
the Fultons moved away, but that's no reason we shouldn't have anybody to
play with. Let's telephone for our two new members right now, and begin
the club all over again."
After a little more argument Marjorie consented, and she telephoned for
Delight to come over, and then King telephoned for Frederick Henderson,
better known by the more euphonious name of Flip. Both accepted, and in
less than half an hour the Jinks Club was in full session. The new
members had been elected by the simple process of telling them that they
were members, and they gladly agreed to the rules and regulations of the
somewhat informal club.
"We just cut up jinks," exclaimed Marjorie, "but they have to be good
jinks, for bad jinks are mischief, and we try to keep out of that."
"It sounds lovely," said Delight; "I always wanted to belong to a club,
but I never have before. Can't we cut up a jink, now?"
"You must say 'cut up jinks,' Flossy Flouncy," said King, smiling at the
pretty, eager face. "You can't cut 'em by ones."
"Well, cut some, and show me how."
"I believe you think we cut 'em with scissors, like paper dolls," said
She was really very glad to have Delight with her again, for she had
become more attached than she realised to the little girl during their
"Show me," repeated Delight, with an air of willingness to learn.
"All right; let's have a good one. What shall it be, Mops?"
King looked at his sister with such evident faith in her power of
inventiveness, that the others all looked at her too. Marjorie looked
round the room.
"I'll tell you!" she cried, as a brilliant idea came to her, "we'll play
"Hooray!" cried King, grasping the plan at once. "Sell everything we can
"Yes," cried Mops. "Where is the auction room?"
"This end of the room is the auction room," King, indicating nearly half
of the long living-room. "Now, Flip and I are auctioneers and you ladies
are in reduced poverty, and have to bring your household goods to be
Delight and Kitty at once saw dramatic possibilities, and flew to dress
for their parts. An afghan for a shawl, and a tidy for a bonnet,
contented Kitty, but on Delight's head went a fluffy lamp mat, stuck
through with four or five of the turkey quills discarded from King's
Mops and Dorothy followed this lead, and soon four poverty-stricken
ladies, carrying household treasures, timidly entered the auction-room.
"What can I do for you, madam?" said King, as Delight showed him a bronze
"I have lost all my fortune, sir," responded Delight, sobbing in a way
that greatly pleased her hearers; "and I fear I must sacrifice my few
remaining relics of my better days."
"Ah, yes, madam. Sorry to hear of your ill luck. Just leave the
statuette, ma'am, we have an auction to-morrow or next week, and we'll
get what we can for it."
"It's a priceless work of art," said Delight, still loudly weeping, "and
I don't want less than five thousand dollars for it."
"Five thousand dollars, madam! A mere trifle for that gem! I'll get ten
thousand for you, at least!"
"Ten thousand will do nicely," said Delight, giggling at last at King's
Then Marjorie came bringing a large frilly sofa pillow.
"This is my last pillow," she said, in quavering tones. "I shall have to
sleep on a brickbat tonight; but I must have bread for my children to
eat. There are seven of them, and they haven't had a mouthful for two
"Oh, that's nothing!" responded Flip, airily. "Children ought not to be
fed oftener than every three weeks anyway. I hate over-fed children. It
makes them so cross."
"So it does," agreed Kitty. "But my children are never cross, 'cause I
feed them on honey. I've brought a bust of Dante to have sold by auction.
It's a big one, you see, and ought to bring a good price."
"Yes, it will, madame, I'm sure. Haven't you anything more to leave?"
"Yes, here's an umbrella, and a waste basket, and some books. They're all
valuable but I have so much treasures in my house, I don't need these."
"Hurry up," put in Dorothy, "and give me a chance. I've brought these
pictures," showing some small ones she had lifted from their nails in the
wall, "and also this fine inkstand. Look out and don't spill the ink Also
here's a vase of flowers, flowers and all. Look out and don't spill the
"You seem to bring spilly things, ma'am," said King, taking the goods
carefully. "But we'll sell them."
Each girl trudged back and forth a few times until most of the portable
things in the room were piled up on the table and sofa at the end where
the boys were, and then the auction was prepared.
The boys themselves had taken down many of the larger pictures from their
hooks, and the room looked, on the whole, as if a cyclone had struck it.
"They ought to be numbered," said Flip, stepping gingerly about among the
"Hold on a minute! I've got it!" shouted King, and rushed upstairs at top
He returned with a large calendar, two or three pairs of scissors and a
"Cut 'em out," he directed, giving each girl a page of the calendar.
The numbers were large, more than an inch square, and soon lots of them
were cut out. These, the boys pasted on all the goods for sale, making
them look like real auction goods.
"Won't it hurt the things?" asked Delight, who was not used to such
"'Course not! They'll wash right off. Now the auction will begin. Now,
you must be rich ladies, different ones, you know."
"Here you are!" cried King, who was auctioneer by common consent; "here
you are! number 24! a fine large statuette by one of the old masters.
What am I bid for this?"
"Fifty cents," said Dorothy.
"Fifty cents! Do you mean to insult me, madame! Why, some old masters
sell as high as fifty dollars, I can tell you! Who will bid higher?"
"One hundred dollars!" called out Delight, and the bronze statuette was
declared her property.
Then other goods were put up, and, in order to make the play progress
more quickly, two auctioneers were set to work, and King and Flip were
both calling their wares and the bids at once.
Naturally, the bidders grew very excited. A large picture was hotly
contested, Kitty bidding against Delight, while on the other block, the
big inkstand was being sold. Somehow the wire of the picture became
tangled round the auctioneer's foot, he stepped back and bumped into the
other auctioneer who lost his balance, and fell over, inkstand and all.
The heavy inkstand fell on the picture, breaking the glass, and soaking
the paper engraving with ink. Much of the ink, too, went on Flip, who
grabbed for it in a vain endeavor to save the situation.
The two boys laughingly straightened themselves out of their own mix up,
but their laughter ceased when they saw that real damage had been done.
"Oh, dear!" said Marjorie, "this is a bad jinks after all!"
"Never mind, Mopsy," said King, magnanimously, "it wasn't your fault. It
"No, it was mine," said Midge, "for I proposed playing auction. I might
have known we'd play it too hard."
"Never mind," said Kitty, "the company didn't have anything to do with
the trouble, and we mustn't make them feel bad."
"I did," said Dorothy, "I brought the inkstand to the auction. I ought to
have known better."
"Never mind who's to blame," said King, "let's straighten things out. The
game is over."
Good-naturedly, they all went to work, and soon had everything back in
its place. The broken and spoiled picture was stood behind the sofa, face
to the wall, to be confessed to mother later.
"Now we're all in shape again," said King, looking proudly about the
cleared up room. "Any nice little jinks to eat, Midgie?"
"I'll ask Sarah. She'll find something."
She did, and soon a large tray of cookies and lemonade refreshed the
members of the Jinks Club, after which the visiting members went home.
"I want to own up, Mother," said King, as Mrs. Maynard came into the
room, just before dinner time.
"Well, King, what have you been doing now?"
Mrs. Maynard's face expressed a humorous sort of resignation, for she was
accustomed to these confessions.
"Well, you see, Mothery, we had the Jinks Club here to-day."
King's voice was very wheedlesome, and he had his arm round his mother's
neck, for he well knew her affection for her only son often overcame her
duty of discipline.
"And the Jinksies cut up some awful piece of mischief,--is that it?"
"Yes, Mother; but it's a truly awful one this time, and I'm the one to
"No, you're not!" broke in Marjorie; "at least, not entirely. I proposed
"Well," said Mrs. Maynard, "before you quarrel for the honor of this
dreadful deed, suppose you tell me what it is."
For answer, King dragged the big picture out from behind the sofa, and
Mrs. Maynard's smile changed to a look of real dismay.
"Oh, King!" she said; "that's your father's favorite engraving!"
"Yes'm, I know it. That's the awfullest part of it. But, Mother, it was
"Ah, yes, but an accident that ought not to have happened. It was an
accident brought about by your own wrong-doing. What possessed you to
take that great picture down from the wall, and _why_ did you splash ink
So then all the children together told the whole story of the auction
"But it was lots of fun!" Marjorie wound up, with great enthusiasm.
"Delight is grand to play games with. She acts just like a grown-up lady.
And Flip Henderson is funny too."
"But Midget," said her mother, "I can't let you go on with this Jinks
Club of yours, if you're always going to spoil things."
"No, of course not. But, Mother, I don't think it will happen again. And
anyway, next time we're going to meet at Delight's."
"That doesn't help matters any, my child. I'd rather you'd spoil my
things than Mrs. Spencer's,--if spoiling must be done. Well, the case is
too serious for me. I'll leave the whole matter to your father,--I hear
him coming up the steps now."
Soon Mr. Maynard entered the room, and found his whole family grouped
round the ruined picture.
"Wowly--wow-wow!" he exclaimed. "Has there been an earthquake? For
nothing else could wreck my pet picture like that!"
"No, Father," said King; "it wasn't an earthquake. I did it,--mostly. We
were playing auction, and my foot got tangled up in the picture wire, and
the inkstand upset, and smashed the glass, and--and I'm awful sorry."
King was too big a boy to cry, but there was a lump in his throat, as he
saw his father's look of real regret at the loss of his valued picture.
"Tell me all about it, son. Was it mischief?"
"I'm afraid it was. But we took all the things in the room to play
auction with, and somehow I took that down from the wall without
thinking. And, of course, I didn't know it was going to get broken."
"No, King; but if you had stopped to think, you would have known that it
_might_ get broken?"
"Then it would have been wiser and kinder to leave it upon the wall, out
of harm's way?"
"Yes, Father; much better. I didn't think. Oh,--I know that's no excuse,
but that's,--well, it's the reason."
"And a very poor reason, my boy. The worthwhile man is the man who thinks
in time. Thinking afterward doesn't mend broken things,--or take out
inkstains. Of course, the broken glass is a mere trifle, that could have
been easily replaced. But the engraving itself is ruined by the ink."
"Couldn't it be restored?" asked King, hopefully. He was not quite
certain what "restored" meant, but he knew his father had had it done to
Mr. Maynard smiled. "No, King, a paper engraving cannot be restored. What
is that number pasted on it for?"
"We numbered all the things, so as to make it like a real auction," said
Mr. Maynard glanced round the room.
"You rascally children!" he cried; "if you haven't stuck papers on all
the vases and bric-a-brac in the room! And on this tree-calf Tennyson, as
I live! Oh, my little Maynards! Did anybody ever have such a brood as
Mr. Maynard dropped his head in his hands in apparent despair, but the
children caught the amused note in his voice, and the twinkle in his eye,
as he glanced at his wife.
"Well, here you are!" he said, as he raised his head again, "for a
punishment you must get all those numbers off without injury to the
things they're pasted on. This will mean much care and patience, for you
must not use water on books or anything that dampness will harm. Those
must be picked off in tiny bits with a sharp penknife."
"Oh, we'll do it, Father!" cried Marjorie, "and we'll be just as
"Indeed you must. You've done enough havoc already. As to the picture,
King, we'll say no more about it. You're too big a boy now to be
punished; so we'll look upon it as a matter between man and man. I know
you appreciate how deeply I regret the loss of that picture, and I well
know how sorry you feel about it yourself. The incident is closed."
Mr. Maynard held out his hand to his son, and as King grasped it he felt
that his father's manly attitude in the matter was a stronger reproof and
a more efficacious lesson to him than any definite punishment could be.
After dinner the three children went to work to remove the pasted
A few, which were on glass vases, or porcelain, or metal ornaments, could
be removed easily by soaking with a damp cloth; but most of them were on
plaster casts, or polished wood, or fine book bindings and required the
greatest care in handling.
When bed-time came the task was not half finished, and Marjorie's
shoulders were aching from close application to the work.
"Sorry for you, kiddies," said Mr. Maynard, as they started for bed, "but
if you dance, you must pay the piper. Perhaps a few more evenings will
finish the job, and then we'll forget all about it."
Mr. Maynard, though not harsh, was always firm, and the children well
knew they had the work to do, and must stick patiently at it till it was
"Good-night, Father," said King, "and thank you for your confidence in
me. I'll try to deserve it hereafter."
"Good-night, my boy. We all have to learn by experience, and when you
want my help, it's yours."
The straightforward glance that passed between father and son meant much
to both, and King went off to bed, feeling that, if not quite a grown
man, he was at least a child no longer in his father's estimation.
After the children had gone, Mr. Maynard picked out the most delicate or
valuable of the "auction" goods, and began himself to remove the pasted
"Partly to help the kiddies," he said to his wife, "and partly because I
know they'd spoil these things. It's all I can do to manage them
Next morning at breakfast Mrs. Maynard said; "Well, Midget, now you're at
home again, what about starting back to school?"
"Oh, Mother!" said Marjorie, looking disconsolate. And then, for she did
not want to be naughty about it, she added: "All right; I s'pose I must
go, so I will. But as to-day's Friday I can wait till Monday, can't I?"
Mrs. Maynard smiled. "Yes, I think you may till Monday, if you want to.
But are you sure you want to?"
"'Deed I _am_ sure!"
"And nothing would make you want to go to-day, instead of waiting till
"No, _ma'am_! no-_thing_!" and Midget actually pounded the table with her
knife-handle, so emphatic was she.
"You tell her, Fred," said Mrs. Maynard, smiling at her husband.
"Well, Madcap Mopsy," said her father, "try to bear up under this new
misfortune; your mother and I have planned a plan, and this is it. How
would you like it, instead of going to school any more,--I mean to Miss
Lawrence,--to go every day to lessons with Delight and Miss Hart?"
Marjorie sat still a minute, trying to take it in. It seemed too good to
Then dropping her knife and fork, she left her chair and flew round to
her father's place at table.
Seeing the whirlwind coming, Mr. Maynard pushed back his own chair just
in time to receive a good-sized burden of delighted humanity that threw
itself round his neck and squeezed him tight.
"Oh, Father, Father, Father! do you really mean it? Not go to school any
more at all! And have lessons every day with that lovely Miss Hart, and
my dear Delight? Oh, Father, you're _such_ a duck!"
"There, there, my child! Don't strangle me, or I'll take it all back!"
"You can't now! You've said it! Oh, I'm so glad! Can I start to-day?"
"Oho!" said Mrs. Maynard; "who was it that said _nothing_ could make her
want to go to-day instead of Monday?"
Marjorie giggled. "But who could have dreamed you meant this?" she cried,
leaving her father and flying to caress her mother. "Oh, Mumsie, won't it
be lovely! Oh, I am _so_ happy!"
"If not, you're a pretty good imitation of a happy little girl," said her
father; "and now if you'll return to your place and finish your
breakfast, we'll call it square."
"Square it is, then," said Marjorie, skipping back to her place; "Kit,
did you ever hear of anything so lovely!"
"Never," said Kitty, "for you. I'd rather go to school and be with the
"I didn't mind when Gladys was here, but I've hated it ever since I was
alone. But to study with Miss Hart,--oh, goody! Is she willing, Mother?"
"Of course, I've discussed it with her and with Mrs. Spencer. Indeed,
Mrs. Spencer proposed the plan herself, when I was over there yesterday.
She and Miss Hart think it will be good for Delight to have some one with
her. So, Midge, you must be a good girl, and not teach Delight all sorts
"Oh, yes, Mother, I'll be so good you won't know me. Can I start to-day?"
"Yes, if you're sure you want to."
"Want to? I just guess I do!" and Midget danced upstairs to dress for
The plan worked admirably. Miss Hart was not only a skilled teacher, but
a most tactful and clever woman, and as she really loved her two little
pupils, she taught them so pleasantly that they learned without drudgery.
As the clock hands neared nine every morning, there were no more long
drawn sighs from Marjorie, but smiles and cheery good-byes, as the little
girl gaily left the house and skipped across the street.
The daily association, too, brought her into closer friendship with
Delight, and the two girls became real chums. Their natures were so
different, that they reacted favorably on one another, and under Miss
Hart's gentle and wise guidance the two girls improved in every way.
It was one day in the very last part of February that Midge came home to
find a letter for her on the hall table.
"From Gladys," she cried and tore it open.
"Oh, dear!" she exclaimed, "I didn't think! Miss Hart told me never
to open a letter with my finger, but to wait till I could get a
letter-opener. Well, it's too late now, I'll remember next time."
She looked ruefully at the untidy edges of the envelope, but pulled the
letter out and began to read it.
"I'm coming to see you, that is, if you want me to. Father has to go
East, and he will leave me at your house while he goes to New York. I
will get there on Friday and stay four days. I will be glad to see you
Marjorie smiled at the stiff formal letter, which was the sort Gladys
always wrote, and then she went in search of her mother.
"Gladys is coming on Friday," she announced.
"That's very nice, my dear," said Mrs. Maynard; "you'll be so glad to see
her again, won't you?"
"Yes," said Midget, but she said it slowly, and with a troubled look in
"Well, what is it, dear? Tell Mother."
"I don't know exactly,--but somehow I'm not so awfully pleased to have
Gladys come. You see, she may not like Delight, and I want them to like
"Why do you want them to?"
"_Why_ do I? Mother, what a funny question! Why, I want them to like each
other because I like them both."
"But you don't seem anxious lest Delight won't like Gladys."
"Oh, of course she'll like her! Delight is so sweet and amiable, she'd
like anybody that I like. But Gladys is,--well,--touchy."
"Which do you care more for, dearie?"
"Mothery, that's just what bothers me I'm getting to like Delight better
and better. And that doesn't seem fair to Gladys, for she's my old
friend, and I wouldn't be unloyal to her for anything. So you see, I
don't know which I like best."
"Well, Marjorie, I'll tell you. In the first place, you mustn't take it
so seriously. Friendships among children are very apt to change when one
moves away and another comes. Now both these little girls are your good
friends, but it stands to reason that the one you're with every day
should be nearer and dearer than one who lives thousands of miles away.
So I want you to enjoy Delight's friendship, and consider her your
dearest friend, if you choose, without feeling that you are disloyal to
"Could I, Mother?"
"Certainly, dear. That is all quite right. Now, when Gladys comes, for a
few days, you must devote yourself especially to her, as she will be your
house-guest; and if she and Delight aren't entirely congenial, then you
must exclude Delight while Gladys is here. You may not like to do this,
and it may not be necessary, but if it is, then devote yourself to
Gladys' pleasure and preferences, because it is your duty. To be a good
hostess is an important lesson for any girl or woman to learn, and you
are not too young to begin."
"Shall I tell Delight I'm going to do this?"
"Not before Gladys comes. They may admire each other immensely; then
there will be no occasion to mention it. When is Gladys coming?"
"On Friday. That's only three days off."
"Then we must begin to plan a little for her pleasures. As she will only
be here four days, we can't do very much. Suppose we have a little party
Saturday afternoon, then she can meet all her Rockwell friends."
"Yes, that will be lovely. And I do hope she and Delight will like each
"Why of course they will, Midget. There's no reason why they shouldn't."
A VISIT FROM GLADYS
Gladys came Friday afternoon and Marjorie welcomed her with open arms,
truly happy to see her friend again.
"Tell me all about your new home, Glad," said Midge, as the two settled
themselves on either end of the sofa for a chat.
"Oh, it's just lovely, Mops. It's like summer all the time. And the
flowers are in bloom all about, and the birds sing in the trees, and
everybody wears white dresses and summer hats even in February."
"That _is_ lovely. And is your father getting better?"
"Yes, some better. He just _had_ to come to New York on some business,
but the doctor said he must not stay but a few days. So we have to start
back on Tuesday."
"It's a shame. I wish you could stay longer."
"So do I. But I'm glad to go back, too. I go to a lovely school there,
and I know the nicest girls and boys."
"Nicer than Rockwell children?"
"Oh, I don't know. Yes, I guess so. My most intimate friend is a lovely
girl. Her name is Florence Lawton. Isn't that a pretty name?"
"Why, Gladys Fulton! I'm your most intimate friend! Do you like her
better than me?"
Gladys' eyes opened wide.
"Midget Maynard," she said, "what do you mean? Of course you were my best
friend here, but when I'm out there don't you s'pose I've got to have
somebody else to play with and to tell secrets to?"
Somehow this idea made Midget's heart lighter. It justified her in taking
Delight as a chum in Gladys' place.
"Yes, of course," she responded. "Our letters don't seem to amount to
much, do they, Glad?"
"No, I'm no good at all at writing letters. Don't you have any chum in my
"Why, yes, I s'pose I do," said Marjorie, slowly, for it was just
beginning to dawn on her that Delight _had_ taken Gladys' place. "I'm
awfully good friends with Delight Spencer, who lives in the house you
used to live in."
"Delight! what a pretty name."
"Yes, and she's an awfully pretty girl. You'll see her while you're here,
Very soon the first strangeness of the reunion was over, and the two were
chatting away as gaily as if they had never been separated.
Then Delight came over. She had promised Marjorie she'd come over to see
Gladys, but she came rather unwillingly. The truth is, she felt a little
jealous of Marjorie's older friend, and was not prepared to like her.
Delight was dressed in some of her prettiest clothes, and the big black
velvet hat on her fair golden hair made a lovely picture.
Gladys thought she was beautiful, and welcomed her warmly, but Delight,
when introduced, seemed to shrink back into herself and sat stiffly on
the edge of a chair, holding her muff and saying nothing.
"Oh, Delight," cried Midget, "don't act like that. Take off your things,
and let's play."
"No, I can't stay but a few minutes," said Delight, primly.
She sat there, looking very uncomfortable, and though Midge and Gladys
tried to make her more chummy, they didn't succeed.
Finally, Delight rose to go, and as Gladys didn't care much for such a
spoil sport, she said nothing to detain her. Midget went to the door with
her, and as Delight went out she turned to Midge, with her eyes full of
tears, and said: "You like her better than you do me, so I'll go."
"Go on, then," said Marjorie, utterly exasperated by such foolishness, as
she considered it.
"What ails her?" said Gladys, as Marjorie returned.
"Why, I suppose it's because you're here. She never acted that way
before. You see, she's a spoiled child, and she always wants everything
her own way. It's awfully funny, Gladys, but I thought maybe you wouldn't
like her and here it's the other way about!"
"Oh, I like her, or at least I would if she'd let me. I think she's the
prettiest girl I ever saw. Don't you?"
"Yes, I do. And she's awfully nice, too, if she didn't have this tantrum
"Oh, well, she'll get over it," returned Gladys; "I shan't be here long,
The day after Gladys' arrival was the first Saturday in March.
First Saturdays were usually "Ourdays," when Mr. Maynard took a whole day
from his business and devoted it to the entertainment of his children.
It was King's turn to choose how the day should be spent, but, as a party
in honor of Gladys had been arranged for the afternoon, there was only
the morning to choose for.
They were all discussing the matter the night before, and King kindly
offered to give his turn to one of the girls, that they might choose
something to please Gladys.
"No, indeed," said Midget. "We like boys' fun as well as girls' fun; so
you choose ahead, King."
"All right, then. If you girls agree, I'd like to build a snow fort. This
is a jolly deep snow, the best we've had this winter, and likely the last
we'll have. Father's a jim dandy at snow games, and we could have an
out-of-door frolic in the morning, and then Glad's party in the house in
"Goody! I say yes to that," cried Midget.
"I too," said Gladys. "We don't have any snow in California, and I don't
know when I'll see any again."
"I'm satisfied," said Kitty, "can I ask Dorothy over?"
"Yes," said Mr. Maynard; "ask anybody you choose."
So next morning, soon after breakfast, the children put on all the
warmest wraps they could find, and in tam o'shanter caps, tippets,
mittens and leggings, started out for their Ourday fun.
The snow was more than a foot deep all over the great lawn, and Mr.
Maynard selected a fine place for a fort. He taught the boys,--for King
had asked Flip to come over,--how to cut and pack great blocks of solid
snow, and the girls he showed how to make balls and cones for decoration.
Once Midget caught sight of Delight peeping across at them from behind a
curtain. "I'm going over to ask her to come," she said; "I didn't ask her
before, because I thought she wouldn't come. But, I believe she will."
So Midge scampered across the street and rang the Spencer's door bell.
"Won't you come over?" she said, as soon as she saw Delight. "It's an
Ourday, and we're having such fun!"
"No, thank you," said Delight; "you don't need me when you have Gladys."
"Don't be silly!" said Midget. "What's the reason I can't play with you
both? Come on."
"Oh, I don't want to come," said Delight pettishly. "Go on back."
So Marjorie went back, alone, walking slowly, for she couldn't understand
But once again in the fun of the snow play, she forgot all about her
ill-natured little neighbor.
They built a grand fort, with a flag waving from its summit, and then
with soft snowballs for ammunition, they chose sides and had the merriest
kind of a battle. Afterward they built a snow man and a snow woman.
These were of heroic size, so big that Mr. Maynard had to climb a
step-ladder to put their heads in place.
The man, according to the time-honored tradition of all snow men, wore a
battered old high hat, and had a pipe in his mouth, while the old woman
wore a sun bonnet and checked apron.
They were comical figures, indeed, and when they were completed it was
time to go in to luncheon, and Dorothy and Flip scampered for their
"Now, gentlemen of the jury," said Mr. Maynard, at the lunch table, "as
we have still two good hours before it's time to array ourselves in
purple and fine linen for the party, suppose we continue our outdoor
sports and go for a sleigh ride? It's up to you, King."
"Fine!" agreed King. "If it suits the ladies of the castle."
"It do," said Kitty; "the ladies fair would fain go for a sleigh ride.
May I ask Dorothy?"
"Not this time, Kittums," said her father. "I've ordered a big double
sleigh, and we'll just fill it comfortably."
And so they did, with Mr. and Mrs. Maynard on the wide back seat and Rosy
Posy between, them; Midget, Gladys, and Kitty facing them, and King up on
the box with the driver.
A span of big powerful horses took them flying over the snow, and the
crisp, keen air made their cheeks rosy and their eyes bright.
It was a fine sleigh ride, and the jingling bells made a merry
accompaniment to the children's chatter and laughter.
"Ice cream, Kitty?" asked her father as they entered a small town, and
drew up before the funny little inn that was its principal hostelry--
"No, sir!" said Kitty, whose teeth were chattering, "it's too cold!"
"Well, I never expected to live long enough to hear Kitty say no to ice
cream!" exclaimed Mrs. Maynard in surprise.
"It's a cold day when that happens, isn't it Kit?" asked her father.
"Well, jump out then, and stamp your toes, and thaw your ears."
They all went into the little inn, and warmed themselves by the fire, and
had a drink of hot milk or hot soup, as they preferred, and then bundled
back into the sleigh for the homeward ride.
"I'm not cold now," said Kitty, cuddling into the fur robes.
The horses dashed back again over the snow, and soon after three o'clock
they were at home.
The party was at four, so there was ample time to get ready.
"What kind of a party is it to be father?" asked Midge. "Any special
"Special kind?" said Mr. Maynard; "I should say so! It's an animal party,
to be sure!"
"An animal party?" said Gladys, to Midge, as they went upstairs to dress;
"what does he mean?"
"I don't know. You never can tell what Father's going to do. Especially
on an Ourday. He always gets up lovely things for Ourdays."
"He's a jolly man," said Gladys; "I never saw anybody like him."
"Nor I either," agreed Midge; "I think he's just perfect."
The little girls all wore white dresses, each with a different colored
ribbon, and were all ready, and sitting in state, at ten minutes before
the hour appointed for the party.
"Isn't Delight coming, Mopsy?" asked Mrs. Maynard.
"No, mother; I just telephoned her, and she won't come. She's acting up
foolish about Glad, you know."
"Indeed it _is_ foolish," said Mrs. Maynard, looking annoyed; "I think
I'll run over there and see what I can do."
"Oh, do, Mother; you always make everything come out all right."
"But I don't know whether I can make a silly little girl come out all
right; however, I'll try."
Mrs. Maynard threw on some wraps and went over to the house across the
What arguments she used, or what she said to Delight, Marjorie never
knew, but she returned, after a time, bringing both Delight and Miss Hart
Delight made a beautiful picture in a filmy, lacy white frock, and a big
blue bow on her golden curls.
"Hello, Flossy Flouncy!" cried King, and this broke the ice, and made it
easier for Delight than a more formal greeting would have done.
"Hello, Old King Cole!" she responded, and then a number of other people
came, and a general hubbub of conversation ensued.
"This is an animal party," said Mr. Maynard, when all the guests had
arrived. Now where were the most animals ever gathered together?"
"In the circus!" cried one boy, and another said, "In the menagerie."
"Try again," said Mr. Maynard; "not right yet!"
"Hippodrome," shouted somebody, and "zoo!" cried somebody else, but to
each Mr. Maynard shook his head.
"Go farther back," he said; "what was the first collection of animals in
And then Delight thought what he meant, and cried out, "Noah's Ark!"
"Of course!" said Mr. Maynard. "That's the place I meant. Well, then,
here's an ark for each of you, and you can each play you're Noah."
He whisked a table cover off of a table by his side, and there was a
great pile of toy Noah's arks. King and Flip distributed them, until
everybody had one.
"Why, they're empty?" cried Midge, looking into hers.
"They won't be long," said her father. "Now, young people, scatter, and
fill your arks with animals. Pretend you're hunting in the jungle, or
whatever you like, but capture all the animals you can find for your
arks. There are hundreds in these two rooms and the halls."
"Hidden?" asked Kitty.
"Yes, hidden and in plain sight, both. But wait; there's a schedule."
Mr. Maynard unfolded a paper, and read:
"Elephants count five, tigers ten, lions fifteen, bears five, kangaroos
five, cats five; all two-legged animals or birds two, fishes one, camels
twenty-five, and zebras fifty. After your arks are filled, we'll count
them up according to schedule, and award prizes. Now, scoot!" They
scooted, and spent a merry half hour hunting the animals. They found them
in all sorts of places,--tucked in behind curtains, under sofa-pillows,
between books, and round among the bric-a-brac on mantels and tables.
They were the little wooden animals that belonged in the arks, and the
children were greatly amused when they discovered, also, the small, queer
little people that represent Noah and his family.
"I s'pose as these are two-legged animals they count as birds," said
"Yes," said Mr. Maynard, "all bipeds count alike."
As Marjorie made a dive for a tiger which she saw in the lower part of
the hall hatrack, somebody else dived for it at the very same moment.
It was Delight, and both girls sat suddenly down on the floor, laughing
at their bumped heads.
But when Delight saw that it was Midget, she stopped laughing and looked
sober, and even sour.
"Don't, Delight," said Marjorie, gently, and putting her arms round her
friend, she kissed her lovingly.
This melted Delight's foolish little heart, and she whispered, "Oh,
Midge, you do like me best, don't you?"
But Midge was in no mood for emotional demonstration down under the
hatrack, so she scrambled up, saying, "I shan't if you act as foolish as
you have done. You behave decently to Gladys and to me, and then see
With this Midge calmly walked away and collected more animals, while
Delight, rather stunned by this summary advice, jumped up and went after
At last the collecting was over and the children brought their arks to
Mr. Maynard. With Miss Hart to help him, it didn't take very long to
figure out the schedule value of each ark-full, and prizes were given to
those three whose score was highest.
Flip Henderson had first prize, and Delight had second, while the third
went to Harry Frost. Delight was greatly pleased, and Marjorie was glad,
too, for she thought it might make her more amiable.
But that wasn't the reason; the real reason was because Midge had kissed
her, and then had scolded her roundly. This combination of treatment
affected the strange little heart of Delight, and she began at once to be
nice and pleasant to Gladys and to everybody.
The next game was like Jackstraws, but it wasn't Jackstraws.
All the ark-fulls of animals were emptied out into a heap on the table,
and the children sat round. Each was given a teaspoon, and with this they
must remove as many animals as possible without moving any other than the
one touched. They might use either end of the teaspoon, but must not use
The animals counted as in the former schedule and as each was picked from
the pile it was given to Miss Hart, and she credited it to the player who
Of course, as in Jackstraws, if one made a mis-play it was the next
player's turn. This game was great fun, and they watched each other
breathlessly, though careful not to joggle anybody.
"Now, Flossy Flouncy," cried King, "it's your turn. In you go! Catch a
camel first thing!"
Delight was a little embarrassed at King's raillery, but she was bound
she wouldn't show it, and her slim little white fingers grasped the
She only took off a few, for the excitement of it made her nervous and
her hand shook. But she was glad she didn't win a prize in that game, for
nobody likes to win two prizes at the same party.
After that game they played several other animal games, some quiet and
some noisy, and then Mr. Maynard announced that they would play "Chessy
"What in the world is that?" said Gladys to King. "I never heard of it."
"Nor I," he responded; "probably Father made it up. Well, we'll soon
Mr. Maynard chose two captains, one being Gladys, as it was really her
party, and the other Flip Henderson.
These two captains were asked to stand opposite each other at the end of
the room, and to "choose sides."
"You must each," said Mr. Maynard, "choose the girls or boys who seem to
you most like Chessy Cats."
This advice was not very intelligible, but as it was Gladys' turn to
choose first, she chose King.
Then Flip chose Marjorie, as it seemed to him polite to take his hostess.
Then in a burst of good feeling Gladys chose Delight, and though she
wanted to refuse, she stifled her ill-nature and stood up next to King.
Then the choosing went on until all were taken, and the two long lines
stood on either side of the room.
"You see," said Mr. Maynard, "this is a contest of happiness. I want to
see which line of children represents the greater amount of merriment.
Will you all please smile?"
Every face broke into a grin, and Mr. Maynard looked at them
"You all seem happy," he said; "a fine lot of Chessy Cats. You know
Chessy Cats are remarkable for their wide grins. But as I have a prize
for the side that shows most grin, I have to be careful of my decision.
Miss Hart, if you will help me, I think we'll have to find out _exactly_
which row of Chessy Cats grins the widest."
Miss Hart, smiling like a Chessy Cat herself, came forward with a lot of
short strips of white paper in her hand. She gave half of these to Mr.
Maynard, and then the fun began.
They actually measured each child's grin, marking on the paper with a
pencil the exact length of each mouth from corner to corner as it was
stretched in a smile. Of course a fresh paper was used for each, and wide
indeed was the grin when the grinner realized the absurdity of having his
Then, of course, each tried to grin his very widest, for the success of
his line and the glory of his captain. Delight's little rosebud mouth
couldn't make a very wide grin, but she stretched it as wide as possible,
showing her pretty white teeth, and held it motionless while it was
It was astonishing how wide some of them could stretch their smiling
mouths, and how absurd they looked while standing stock still to be
measured. Their ridiculous grimaces caused shouts of laughter from the
Chessy Cats who were not being measured at the moment.
"Midget! she's the one that counts!" cried King. "She's got a smile like
an earthquake! Flossy Flouncy, here, she won't count half as much!"
Marjorie only laughed at King's comment, and spread her rosy lips in a
desperate effort to beat the record.
At last all were measured, and taking a pair of scissors, Miss Hart
clipped the ends off the papers where the mark was, and thus each paper
represented the exact width of a smile.
The papers of each side were then placed end to end, and the whole length
measured. The result was fifty-four inches of smile for Flip's side, and
fifty-two for Gladys'.
"Hooray, Mopsy!" cried King. "I knew your mouth was two inches bigger
"Oh, no, brother," rejoined Midge, "it's because your mouth is so tiny
you can't smile very well!"
But whatever the reason, there was a good two inches difference in the
aggregate, so Flip Henderson's side was the winner.
"As all the Chessy Cats grinned nobly, you must all have prizes," said
Mr. Maynard, and so to the winning side were given boxes of candy with a
funny figure of a grinning Chessy Cat on top. Both boxes and cats were
bright red, and gay little prizes they were.
"But as the other side were too sad and solemn to grin broadly, we'll
give them black cats," said Mr. Maynard, and all of Gladys' line received
prizes exactly like the others, except that the cats were black. Of
course, they were equally pretty and desirable, and were really souvenirs
of the party instead of prizes.
Then they all went to the dining-room for supper. Miss Hart played a
merry march on the piano, and King, escorting Gladys, went first,
Marjorie and Flip followed, and then all the children came, two by two.
To carry out the idea of an "animal party," the table had been cleverly
arranged to represent a farmyard. All the middle part of it was enclosed
by a little fence that ran along just inside the plates, and in the
enclosure were toy animals of all sorts. Downy yellow chickens, furry
cats, woolly sheep, and comical roosters stood about in gay array. Also
there were Teddy Bears, and possums and even lions and tigers, which
though not usually found in farmyards, seemed amicably disposed enough. A
delightful feast was eaten, and then, for dessert, Sarah brought in a
great platter of ice cream in forms of animals. And with these animals
crackers were served, and many merry jests were made as the children bit
off the heads of ferocious wild beasts, or stabbed the ice cream animals
with their spoons. As they left the table, each guest was invited to take
one animal from the "farmyard," to carry away.
Rosy Posy announced frankly, "Don't anybuddy take de Teddy Bear, 'cause
me wants it."
They all laughed, and needless to say, the bear was left for the baby,
whose turn came last.
Delight chose a little white kitten, with a blue ribbon round its neck,
and Gladys took a fierce-looking tiger.
Everybody agreed they had never attended a jollier party, and the smiles,
as they said good-bye, were indeed of the Chessy Cat variety.
"Ourday isn't over yet, Father," said Midge, after the last guest had
"Oho, I think it's time little Chessy Cats went to bed," said Mr.
"No, indeed! the party was from four to seven, and though they staid a
little later, it's only half-past seven now. And Ourday nights we always
stay up till half-past eight."
"My stars! a whole hour more of Chessy Cats! That's enough to make any
one grin. All right Midgety, what do you want me to do?"
"It's King's choose," said Marjorie; "it's his Ourday, you know."
So King chose "Twenty Questions," a game of which he never tired, and a
jolly hour they all spent in playing it.
Then bedtime was definitely announced, and it was a lot of rather tired
Chessy Cats who climbed the stairs, after many and repeated good-nights.
As Gladys' visit was to be such a short one Mrs. Maynard advised Midget
not to go to lessons during her stay.
Marjorie was a little disappointed at this, but she couldn't very well go
off and leave Gladys, and it would have been awkward to take her, so she
staid away herself. The two girls had good times, and both Mr. and Mrs.
Maynard planned many pleasant things for their enjoyment, but still
Marjorie was not altogether sorry when on Tuesday Gladys took her
"What's this fuss about Gladys and Delight?" asked Mr. Maynard, as they
all sat chatting Tuesday evening.
"Oh, Father, it's so silly!" said Marjorie; "I don't know what to make of
Delight. It isn't a bit Glad's fault. She was as sweet as pie; but
Delight was as sour as buttermilk."
"She's jealous, I suppose."
"Yes, I suppose that's it. But, you see, Father, she's a different girl
"Oh, I don't know exactly. But she's sort of a spoiled child, you know,
and whatever she has, she hates to have any one else touch it."
"Yes, even me. I like Delight an awful lot, but I like Gladys too."
"Of course you do. Now, Midget, listen to your old and wise Father.
Forget all this foolishness. Gladys is gone now, and Delight is your very
good friend, your best friend in Rockwell. Just keep on being friends
with her, and do all you can to be a good friend. Don't discuss Gladys
with her, don't discuss her actions, or her jealousy, or whatever
foolishness is in her pretty little noddle. You are both too young to
take these things seriously. But if you are a kind, loyal little friend
to her, she will soon learn to be the same to you."
"But, Father, she wants me all to herself. She doesn't like to have me be
friends with the other girls in Rockwell even."
"That you mustn't stand. Just go on in your own way. Be friendly with
whom you choose, but always be kind and considerate of Delight's
feelings. Of course, you two having your lessons alone together is
largely responsible for this state of things. School would be better for
you both in many ways. But you like the present arrangement, and Miss
Hart is a blessing to you both. I think she can help you in persuading
Delight to be a little less exacting."
"Yes, Father, she does; she understands the case, and she's always trying
to make Delight less selfish."
"And perhaps,--I hate to suggest it,--but _possibly_ Miss Mopsy Maynard
_might_ have some little tiny speck of a fault,--just a microscopic flaw
in her character--"
"Now, Father, don't tease! I know I have! I'm a bad, impulsive,
mischievous old thing, and I never think in time,--then the first thing I
know I've done something awful! Delight's not a bit like that."
"Oh, you needn't give yourself such a dreadful character. I know you
pretty well, and I'm quite pleased, on the whole, with my eldest
daughter. But I do want you to learn to be a little less heedless; you
know heedlessness is, after all, a sort of selfishness,--a disregard of
"I'm going to try, Father. I'll try real hard, and if I don't succeed,
I'll try, try again."
"That's my good little Mopsy. Now, skip to bed, and don't let these
serious matters keep you awake. Forget them, and dream of fairies and
princesses dressed in pearls and roses and all sorts of lovely things."
"And blue velvet robes trimmed with ermine?"
"Yes, and golden sceptres, and swanboats to ride in on lakes where pond
"And golden chariots, with milk white steeds, garlanded with flowers."
"Yes,--and that's about all; good-night."
"And enchanted carpets that carry you in a minute to India and Arabia."
"Yes, and upstairs to bed! Good-night."
"And knights in armor, with glittering spears--"
"Good-night, Marjorie Maynard!"
"Good-night, Father. And rose-gardens with fountains and singing birds--"
"Skip, you rascal! Scamper, fly, scoot! Good-night for the last time!"
"Good-night," called Marjorie, half way up-stairs, "good-night, Father
"Good-night, Midget, good-night."