“Oh!" murmured the Winnebagos, quite impressed.
The big grandfather clock on the stairs chimed eleven and the Twins jumped up hastily. “We’ve got to go this minute!” exclaimed Agony. “Grandmother is not at home this morning and I left a kettleful of peas boiling on the stove. They’re probably burned to cinders by this time!”
Evidently the fate of the peas did not weigh very heavily on Agony’s conscience, for she made her adieux leisurely, and paused frequently to look about her admiringly.
This was the first time she had ever been inside of the historical old Carver House, although she had seen it many times from the outside. Uncle Jasper Carver had not been a man of sociable habits, and but few of the townspeople ever came to see him. Agony and Oh-Pshaw had only lived in Oakwood for the past four years, having been born in Philadelphia and spending their early school days there. At the death of their mother, four years before, they had come to live with their grandmother in Oakwood.
The Carver house, viewed from the outside, had been a source of much curiosity and speculation when the twins, in their rambles about Oakwood in the long warm summer evenings, would walk past and stop to admire the stately old mansion set in its old-fashioned garden, and many were the schemes they talked over for gaining admittance and seeing it on the inside.
And now, out of a clear sky, their beloved friends, the Winnebagos, were in full possession of the house of their dreams, and here they were, free to enter as often as they chose! Dreams certainly had a delightful way of coming true, if you only waited long enough!
IN THE MOONLIGHT
The Wing home was an old-fashioned mansion also, and though not nearly so old or so interesting as Carver House, being very modernly furnished, it still had that unmistakable atmosphere of a house that has sheltered one of the “first families” of a town for three generations. It was also of brick, and covered almost entirely by a creeping vine; its wide verandas were embowered in clematis and honeysuckle, its smooth, velvety lawn was shaded by giant elms.
Agony’s grandmother was a sprightly, up-to-date old lady, as witty and wide awake as her son, and she fairly amazed the girls by her knowledge of men and affairs and by her shrewd comments on present day happenings. And she was just as much interested in the affairs of the Winnebagos as she was in the affairs of state which interested Mr. Wing, laughed heartily at the tales of their adventures and pranks and declared to Nyoda that she envied her from the bottom of her heart because she was their Guardian.
Mr. Wing too took a lively interest in the girls and drew them out in conversation, listening respectfully to their remarks and often nodding approval of their ideas.