HOW DAB WORKED OUT ANOTHER OF HIS GREAT PLANS.
There was a sort of council at the breakfast-table of the Foster family that morning; and Ford and Annie found their side of it “voted down.”
That was not at all because they did not debate vigorously, and even “protest;” but the odds were too much against them.
“Annie, my dear,” said Mrs. Foster at last, in a gentle but decided way, “I’m sure your aunt Maria, if not your uncle, must feel hurt at your coming away so suddenly. If we invite Joe and Foster to visit us, it will make it all right.”
“Yes,” sharply exclaimed Mr. Foster: “we must have them come. They’ll behave themselves here. I’ll write to their father: you write to Maria.”
“They’re her own boys, you know,” added Mrs. Foster soothingly.
“Well, mother,” said Annie, “if it must be. But I’m sure they’ll make us all very uncomfortable if they come.”
“I can stand ’em for a week or so,” said Ford, with the air of a man who can do or bear more than most people. “I’ll get Dab Kinzer to help me entertain them.”
“Excellent,” said Mr. Foster; “and I hope they will be civil to him.”
“To Dabney?” asked Annie.
“Fuz and Joe civil to Dab Kinzer?” exclaimed Ford.
“Certainly: I hope so.”
“Father,” said Ford, “may I say just what I was thinking?”
“Speak it right out.”
“Well, I was thinking what a good time Fuz and Joe would be likely to have, trying to get ahead of Dab Kinzer.”
Annie looked at her brother, and nodded; and there was a bit of a twinkle in the eyes of the lawyer himself, but he only remarked,—
“Well, you must be neighborly. I don’t believe the Hart boys know much about the seashore.”
“Dab and Frank and I will try and educate them.”
Annie thought of the ink, and her box of spoiled cuffs and collars, while her brother was speaking. Could it be that Ford meant a good deal more than he was saying? At all events, she fully agreed with him on the Dab Kinzer question.
That was one “council;” and it was one of peace or war, probably a good deal as the Hart boys themselves might thereafter determine.
At the same hour, however, matters of even greater importance were coming to a decision around the well-filled breakfast-table in the Morris mansion. Ham had given a pretty full account of his visit to Grantley, including his dinner at Mrs. Myers’s, and all he had learned relating to the academy.
“It seems like spending a great deal of money,” began Mrs. Kinzer, when Ham at last paused for breath; but lid caught her up at once, with—
“I know you’ve been paying out a good deal, mother Kinzer, but Dab must go, if I pay”—
“You pay, indeed? For my boy? I’d like to see myself! Now I’ve found out what he is, I mean he shall have every advantage. If this Grantley’s the right place”—