“Of course it isn’t, silly; it’s Loon Pond. I changed the signs while you rested, because I meant to come here, and I knew you wouldn’t, if you knew what you were doing!”
THE GYPSY CAMP
Bessie grew red with indignation for a moment, but before she spoke she was calm again.
“Don’t you think that’s a pretty mean trick, Dolly?” she said, gently. “It seems to me it’s a good deal like lying.”
“Why, Bessie King! Can’t you ever take a joke? I didn’t say a single, solitary thing that wasn’t so. I said the signs said this was the way to Little Bear Lake, and you never asked me if I’d changed them, did you?”
Bessie laughed helplessly.
“Oh, Dolly!” she said. “Of course I didn’t; why should I? Who would ever think of doing such a thing, except you? You don’t expect people to guess what you’re going to do next, do you?”
“I suppose not,” said Dolly, impenitently, her eyes still twinkling. “I do manage to surprise people pretty often. My aunt Mabel says that if I spent half as much time studying as I do thinking up new sorts of mischief I’d be at the top of every class I’m in at school.”
“She’s perfectly right. I thought at first you had a hard time with your aunt, Dolly, but I’m through being sorry for you. She needs all the sympathy anyone has got for having to try to look after you!”
“Oh, what’s the harm? We’re here now, and It isn’t so very dreadful, is it? Come on, let’s go over to the hotel.”
“Indeed we shan’t do anything of the sort, Dolly Ransom! We’ll turn around and go right straight back to Long Lake, that’s what we’ll do.”
“I guess not. You don’t think I’ve come this far and that I’m going to turn around without seeing what the place is like, do you?”
“Why, Dolly, you know we weren’t supposed to come here alone. I don’t think much of it; it isn’t half as pretty as Long Lake. What’s the use of wasting our time here, anyhow?”
“Why—why—because there are people here! I just love seeing people, Bessie, they’re so interesting, because they’re all so different, and you never know what they’re going to say or do. And there may be someone we know here, too.”
“There can’t be anyone I know, Dolly.”
“Oh, bother! Well, there may be someone I know, and that’s the same thing, isn’t it? Come on, be a sport, Bessie.”
“That’s what you said about going in the car with Mr. Holmes the other day, too.”
“Oh, but this isn’t a bit like that, Bessie.”
“It might get us into just as much mischief, Dolly. No, I’m not going over there. It’s silly, and it’s wrong.”
And this time Bessie stood firm. Despite Dolly’s pleading, which turned, presently, to angry threats, she refused absolutely to go any nearer the hotel, and Dolly was afraid to venture there alone, though there was very little she was afraid to do. In her inmost heart, of course, Dolly knew that Bessie was right, and that she had had no business to trick her chum into seeming to break her promise to Miss Eleanor.