“No, you can’t” echoed Agony soberly.
THEIR NATIVE WILDS
Miss Judy’s hat was more or less a barometer of the state of her emotions. Worn far back on her head with its brim turned up, it indicated that she was at peace with all the world and upon pleasure bent; tipped over one ear, it denoted intense preoccupation with business affairs; pulled low over her eyes, it was a sign of extreme vexation. This morning the hat was pulled so far down over her face that only the tip of her chin was visible. Katherine, stopping to help her run a canoe up on the bank after swimming hour, noticed the unnecessary vehemence of her movements, and asked mildly as to the cause.
Miss Judy replied with a single explosive exclamation of “Monty!”
“Monty!” Katherine echoed inquringly. “What’s that?”
“You’re right, it is a ’what’,” replied Miss Judy emphatically, “although it usually goes down in the catalog as a ‘who.’ It’s my cousin, Egmont Satter-white,” she continued in explanation. “He’s coming to pay us a visit at camp.”
“Yes,” said Katherine. “What is he like?”
“Like?” repeated Miss Judy derisively. “He’s like the cock who thought the sun didn’t get up until he crowed—so conceited; only he goes still farther. He doesn’t see what need there is for the sun at all while he is there to shed his light. He’s the only child of his adoring mother, and she’s cultivated him like a rare floral specimen; private tutors and all that sort of thing. Now he’s learned everything there is to know, and he’s ready to write a book. He regards his fellow creatures as quaint and curious specimens, ’rather diverting for one to observe, don’t you know,’ but not at all important. I suppose he’s going to put a chapter in his book about girls, because he wrote to father and announced that he was going to run up for a week or so and observe us in our native wilds—that was the delicate way he put it. He’ll probably set down everything he sees in a notebook and then go home and solemnly write his chapter, wise as Solomon.”
“What a bore!” sighed Katherine. “I hate to be stared at, and ‘observed’ for somebody else’s benefit.”
“Monty’s a pest!” Miss Judy exploded wrathfully. “I don’t see why father ever told him he could come. He’s under no obligations to him—we’re only third cousins, and Monty considers us far, far beneath him at best. But you know how father is—hospitality with a capital H. So we’re doomed to a visitation from Monty.”
“When is he coming?” asked Katherine, smiling at Miss Judy’s lugubrious tone.
“The day after tomorrow,” replied Miss Judy. “The Thursday afternoon boat has the honor of bringing him.”
“‘O better that her shattered hulk should sink beneath the wave,’ eh?” remarked Katherine sympathetically.
“Katherine,” said Miss Judy feelingly, “vous et moi we speak the same language, n’est-ce pas?”