“Which? The coat or the cheese or the pipe.”
“I don’t care about the cheese or the coat—”
“You needn’t be afraid about the pipe; I promised mother to-day that I would never smoke or drink or play cards.”
“That’s good,” said Marjorie, contentedly.
“And so she feels safe about me; safer than I feel about myself, I reckon. But it is good-bye this time. I’ll tell Helen what a little mouse and goose you are!”
“Hollis! Hollis!” shouted a gruff voice, impatiently.
“Aye, aye, sir,” Hollis returned. “But I must say good-bye to your mother and Linnet.”
Instead of giving him a last look she was giving her first look to her treasure. The first look was doubtful. It was not half as pretty as the pitcher. It was not very large and there were innumerable tiny cracks interlacing each other, there were little raised figures on the broad rim and a figure in the centre, the colors were buff and blue. But it was a treasure, twofold more a treasure than the yellow pitcher, for it was twice as old and had come from Holland. The yellow pitcher had only come from England. Miss Prudence would be satisfied that she had not hidden the pitcher to escape detection, and perhaps her friend might like this ancient plate a great deal better and be glad of what had befallen the pitcher. But suppose Miss Prudence did believe all this time that she had hidden the broken pieces and meant, never to tell! At that, she could not forbear squeezing her face into the pillow and dropping a few very sorrowful tears. Still she was glad, even with a little contradictory faint-heartedness, for Hollis would write to her and she would never lose him again. And she could do something for him, something hard.
Her mother, stepping in again, before the tears were dried upon her cheek, listened to the somewhat incoherent story of the naughty thing she had done and the splendid thing Hollis had done, and of how she had paid him with two promises.
Mrs. West examined the plate critically. “It’s old, there’s no sham about it. I’ve seen a few old things and I know. I shouldn’t wonder if he gave five dollars for it”
“Five dollars!” repeated Marjorie in affright “Oh, I hope not.”
“Well, perhaps not, but it is worth it and more, too, to Miss Prudence’s friend.”
“And I’ll keep my promises,” said Marjorie’s steadfast voice.
“H’m,” ejaculated her mother. “I rather think Hollis has the best of it.”
“That depends upon me,” said wise little Marjorie.
MARJORIE ASLEEP AND AWAKE.
“She was made for happy thoughts.”—Mary Howlet.