“Come in,” said a pleasant voice, and the bright-faced hostess arose from the foot of her bed and came forward with greeting, exactly as though they had been waiting for Flossy all the morning. “Would you like to rest? Come right in, we have plenty of room and the most lovely accommodations,” and a silvery laugh accompanied the words, while the little lady whisked a tin basin from a low stool, and dusting it rapidly with her handkerchief proffered her guest a seat, with as graceful an air as though the stool had been an easy-chair upholstered in velvet. The only other sitting-place, the low bed, was full, there being three ladies tucked about on it in various stages of restful work, for they had books and papers strewn about, and each held a pencil poised as if ready for action at a moment.
“I’m afraid I intrude,” Flossy said, sweetly; “but the truth is, I have lost my friends and my way, and I really am an object of pity, for I have been wandering up hill and down, till my strength is less than it was.”
“Poor child!” came sympathetically from the bed, spoken by the eldest of the ladies, while another rapidly improvised a fan out of the Sunday-School Times, and passed it to her.
Meantime Flossy looked about her in secret delight. Something about the air of the tent and the surroundings, and an indefinite something about every one of the ladies, told her as plainly as words could have done that she was among the workers; that she had unwittingly and gracefully slipped behind the scenes, and had been cordially admitted to one of the work-shops of Chautauqua; and there were so many things she wanted to know!
FLOSSY AT SCHOOL.
She hadn’t the least idea who they were, but, like an earnest little diplomatist, she set to work to find out.
“I started for the auditorium,” she said. “I wanted to hear Dr. Walden, but he has had time to make a long speech and get through since I first started. I think it must be nearly eleven.”
“No,” they said laughing, “it is only half past ten.” Her wanderings had not been so long as they seemed; but it was hardly worth while to try to hear anything from him now, she would not be at all likely to get a seat; and, besides, his time was nearly over. She would better wait and go down with them in time for Mrs. Miller.
“We were obliged to miss Dr. Walden,” the elder lady explained. “We disliked to very much; probably it was as instructive as anything we shall get; but we had work that had to be done, so we ran away.”
“Do you have to bring work to Chautauqua with you?” Flossy asked, with insinuating sweetness. “How very busy you must be! I would have tried to run away from my work for two weeks if I had been you.”
The bright little hostess laughed.
“Chautauqua makes work,” she said, “and somebody has to get ready for it. This lady beside me expects an overwhelming Sabbath class here, and much time has to be given to the lesson. We lesser mortals are ostensibly going to help her, but in reality we are going to look and see how she does it.”