“I should say so, Bessie. But most of those stores are just cheating you, because the stuff they sell isn’t home made at all. Everyone says mine is much better.”
Bessie grew serious.
“Why, Dolly,” she said, “I think it would be a fine idea to make candy to sell! I really believe I’d like to do that—”
“I bet you would make just lots and lots of money if you did,” said Dolly, taking hold of a new idea, as she always did, with enthusiasm. “And we could get one of the stores to sell it for us and keep some of the money for their trouble. Suppose we sold it for fifty cents a pound, the store would get twenty or twenty-five cents and we’d get the rest. And—”
“You’re not forgetting that it costs something to make, are you!” she asked. “You have to allow for what it costs before you begin to think of how you’re going to spend your profits. But I really do think it would work, Dolly. When we get back to town we’ll figure it all out, and see how much it would cost for butter and sugar and nuts and chocolate and all the things we’d need.”
“Yes, and if we used lots of things we’d get them cheaper, too, Bessie,” said Dolly, surprising Bessie by this exhibition of her business knowledge. “Oh, I think that would be fine. I’d just love to have money that I’d earned myself. Some of the other girls have been winning honor beads by earning money, but I never could think of any way that I could do it.”
Dolly was beginning to yawn, and Bessie herself felt sleepy. But when she proposed that they should go into the tent now Dolly protested.
“Oh, let’s stay outside, Bessie,” she said. “If we went in now we’d just wake ourselves up. We can sleep out here just as well as not. What’s the difference!”
And Bessie was so sleepy that she was glad to agree to that. In a few moments they were sound asleep, with no thought of the exciting episodes of the day and night to disturb them.
The fire was low when Bessie awoke with a start. At first everything seemed all right; she could hear nothing. But then, suddenly, she looked over to where Dolly had been lying. There was no sign of her chum! And, just as Bessie herself was about to cry out, she heard a muffled call, in Dolly’s tones, and then a loud crashing through the undergrowth near the camp, as someone or something made off swiftly through the woods! The gypsy had come back!
For a moment Bessie was too paralyzed with fear even to cry but. It was plain that the gypsy had carried poor Dolly away with him, and that, moreover, he had muffled her one cry for help. For a moment Bessie stood wondering what to do. To alarm the camp would be almost useless, she felt; the girls, waking up out of a sound sleep, could do nothing until they understood what had happened, and even then the chances were against their being able to help in any practical manner.