“Oh, well,” she said, “I might have known that I couldn’t always make you do what you don’t want to do, Bessie. You’re not mad at me, are you?”
Bessie, pleased by this sign of surrender, returned the smile.
“I ought to be, but I’m not, Dolly,” she answered. “I think that is one of the reasons you keep on doing these things—but no one ever really does get angry with you, as they should. If someone you really cared for got properly angry at you just once for one of your little tricks, I think it would teach you not to do anything of the sort for a long time.”
“Oh, I don’t mean any harm, Bessie, and you know it, and when people really like you they don’t get angry unless they think you’re really trying to be mean. I say, Bessie, if you won’t go over to the hotel, will you walk just a little way over to the other side, and see what that funny looking place is where those big wagons are all spread out?”
Bessie followed Dolly’s pointing finger, and saw, on the side of Loon Pond opposite the hotel, several wagons, among which smoke was rising.
“It looks like a circus,” said Dolly.
“It isn’t, though. I know what they are,” said Bessie, promptly. “It’s a gypsy encampment. Do you mean you’ve never seen one, Dolly?”
“No; and oh dear, Bessie, I’ve always wanted to. Surely we could go a little nearer, couldn’t we? As long as we’re here?”
Bessie thought it over for a moment, and, as a matter of fact, really could see no harm in spending ten minutes or so in walking over toward the gypsy camp. She herself had seen a few gypsies near Hedgeville in her time, but in that part of the country those strange wanderers were not popular.
“All right,” she said. “But if I do that will you promise to start for home as soon as we’ve had a look at them, and never to play such a trick on me again?”
“I certainly will. Bessie, you’re a darling. And I’ll tell you something else; too; you were so nice about the way I changed those signs that I’m really sorry I did it. And I just thought it would be a good joke. Usually I’m glad when people get angry at my jokes, it shows they were good ones.”
Bessie smiled wisely to herself. Gradually she was learning that the way to rob Dolly’s jokes and teasing tricks of their sting, and the best way, at the same time, to cure Dolly herself of her fondness for them, was never to let the joker know that they had had the effect she planned.
Dolly, considerably relieved, as a matter of fact, when she found that Bessie was really not angry at her for the trick she had played with the sign post, chatted volubly as they turned to walk over toward the gypsy camp.
“I don’t see why they call this a pond and the one we’re on a lake,” she said. “This is ever so much bigger than Long Lake. Why, it must; be four or five miles long, don’t you think, Bessie?”
“Yes. I guess they call it a pond because it looks just like a big, overgrown ice pond. See, it’s round. I think Long Lake is ever so much prettier, don’t you, even though it’s smaller?”