“New York!” said Lola. “Why, I remember a little girl I saw once at the theatre, who danced so gracefully that I thought she must be a fairy. She seemed ever so much like Nancy, but she had—”
“Come here, Nancy,” called Jeanette, sharply, “Lola says she saw a girl once, at a theatre in New York, who danced and looked like you. What do you think of that?”
“Jeanette!” cried Nina, surprised that her sister should be so eager to tease Nancy, but Nancy did not seem annoyed.
She looked straight into Jeanette’s flashing eyes, as she said, quietly:
“Perhaps Lola did see me dance; I was in New York.”
“Oh, I didn’t say it was you who danced at the theatre. I said the little girl was like you, but I remember now her hair was yellow,” Lola said.
“I wore a wig of long yellow curls,” Nancy said, “and I had to dance whether I wished to or not; Uncle Steve made me. Oh, I was not happy there. I was never so happy as when I’ve been with dear Aunt Charlotte, and Dorothy. Let’s talk about something else.”
Jeanette felt a bit ashamed. Nina wished that her sister had not been so rude, and for a few moments neither could think of anything to say, but just at that moment Dorothy joined them, and soon they were talking as gaily as before.
Then Katie and Reginald came hurrying along the avenue, and a moment later Mollie Merton and Flossie Barnet, and soon they were all chattering like a flock of sparrows.
“Say! Just listen to me a minute,” shouted Reginald, “I’ve got something great to tell you, but I can’t until you’ll hark.”
“What is it? What is it?” cried the eager voices.
“It’s just this,” he said with much importance: “My mamma called on Aunt Charlotte yesterday, and while they were talking ’bout our school Aunt Charlotte said that the big girls would begin to study history this week, and my brother Bob says it’ll be all ‘bout cutting folks’ heads off. I guess it’ll scare girls to study that. ’Twould scare me, and I’m a boy!”
“Why, Reginald Dean!” cried Katie.
“My middle name’s Merton,” said the small boy, coolly.
“Well, Reginald Merton Dean, then,” Katie said, “and whatever your name is, you ought not to tell things like that!”
“Like what? Like learning ‘bout folks choppin’ off other folks’ heads? Well, I guess it’s so if my big brother says so,” Reginald replied.
The girls did not believe it, but they could not deny it. They knew that Reginald thought what he said was true, but they believed that, in some way, the facts had become twisted.
They were at the cottage door now, and as they entered Reginald whispered:
“You just see, Katie Dean! I tell you Bob knows!”
The early morning lessons were the same as usual, and the girls soon forgot what Reginald had said, and at recess there were so many games to be played that there was little time for talking.