“I wonder where that nice boy that thrashed Jake Hoover is?” she asked Bessie, after they had been there for a while.
“Oh, that’s whom you’re looking for!” exclaimed Bessie, with a laugh. “Will Burns, you mean? That’s so, Dolly—he said he was coming here, didn’t he?”
“He certainly did. I’d like to see him again, Bessie. He wasn’t as stupid as most of country boys.”
“He was splendid,” said Bessie, warmly. “If it hadn’t been for him, I might not be here now, Dolly. Jake would have got me back into the other state—he was strong enough to make me go where he wanted. And if I’d been caught there, they’d have made me stay.”
“There he is now!” exclaimed Dolly, as a tall, sunburned boy appeared in the doorway. “I was beginning to be afraid he wasn’t coming at all.”
Will Burns, who was a cousin of Walter Stubbs, seemed to be well known to the young people of the neighborhood, though his home was near Jericho, some twenty miles away. He was greeted on all sides as he made his way through the Sunday School room, where the festival was being held, and it was some minutes before the girls from the farm saw that he was nearing them.
“Well—well, so you got home all right?” he said, smiling at Bessie. “I thought you wouldn’t have any more trouble, once you got on the train. I’m glad to see you again.”
And then Dolly’s vanity got a rude shock. For Will Burns began to devote himself at once, after he had greeted Dolly and been introduced to Zara and some of the other girls, to Bessie. Everyone in the room soon noticed this, and since most of the girls there had tried to make him pay attention to them, at one time or another, his evident fondness for Bessie caused a little sensation. Dolly, so surprised to find a boy she fancied willing to talk to anyone else that she didn’t know what to do, stood it as long as she could, and then went in search of Walter Stubbs, whom she had snubbed unmercifully all evening.
But Walter had at last plucked up courage enough to resent the way she treated him, and she found that he had bought two plates of ice-cream for Margery Burton and himself, and that they were sitting in a corner, eating their ice-cream, and talking away as merrily as if they had known one another all their lives!
Eleanor Mercer, who had come over to have an eye on the girls, saw the little comedy. She was sorry for Dolly, who was sensitive, but she knew that the lesson would be a wholesome one for the little flirt, who had been flattered so much by the boys in the city that she had come to believe that she could make any boy do just what she desired. So she said nothing, even when Dolly, without a single boy to keep her in countenance, was reduced to sitting with one or two other girls who were in the same predicament, since there were more girls there than boys.
Walter did not even come to get her to ride home with him. Instead, he found a place with Margery Burton, and Dolly had to climb into her wagon alone. There she found Bessie.