Ann!—opening to a little child the door of that wondrous country of Once upon a Time! No mother had ever done it more sweetly, with more tender zeal, more loving understanding of the joys and necessities of Once upon a Time. Some once upon a time notions of Kate’s were quite overturned by that “once upon a time” voice of Ann’s. Then the once upon a time of the sandpile did not shut them out—they who had known another once upon a time? Did it perhaps love to take them in, knowing that upon the sands of this once upon a time the other could keep no foothold?
“Once upon a Time—Once upon a Time”—it kept singing itself in her ears. For her, too, it opened a door.
Having conquered the son, Katie that evening set vigorously about for the conquest of the father.
“The trouble is,” she turned it over in giving a few minutes to her own toilet for dinner, after having given many minutes to Ann’s, “that there’s simply no telling about Wayne. He is just the most provokingly uncertain man now living.”
And yet it was not a formidable looking man she found in the library a few minutes before the dinner hour. He was poring over some pictures of Panama in one of the weeklies, sufficiently deep in them to permit Katie to sit there for the moment pondering methods of attack. But instead of outlining her campaign she found herself concluding, what she had concluded many times before, that Wayne was very good-looking. “Not handsome, like Harry Prescott,” she granted, “but Wayne seems the product of something—the result of things to be desired. He hasn’t a new look.”
“Katherine is going to give us more trouble than Wayne ever will,” their mother had sighed after one of those escapades which made life more colorful than restful during Katie’s childhood. To which Major Jones replied that while Kate might give them more trouble, he thought it probable Wayne would give himself the more. Certain it had been from the first that if Wayne could help it no one would know what trouble he might be giving himself.
Old-fashioned folk who expected brothers and sisters to be alike had, on the surface at least, a sorry time with Wayneworth and Katherine Jones. Katie was sunny. Katie had a genius for play. She laughed and danced up and down the highways and the byways of life and she had such a joyous time about it that it had not yet occurred to any one to expect her to help pay the fiddler. Just watching Katie dance would seem pay enough for any reasonable fiddler. Katie laughed a great deal, and was smiling most of the time; she seemed always to have things in her thoughts to make smiles. Wayne laughed little and some of his smiles made one understand how the cat felt about having its fur rubbed the wrong way. Their friend Major Darrett once said: “When I meet Katie I have a fancy she has just come from a jolly dip in the ocean; that she lay on the sands