That Reginald should have spelled the name “Phido” made them laugh, but Arabella was not contented with laughing; she fairly shouted.
“Well, I don’t care if you do laugh,” he said, his eyes blazing as he looked at her; “you spell photo, just p-h-o, and why can’t Fido be spelt P-h-i?”
When the room was again quiet Aunt Charlotte told Reginald and Arabella to remain for a few moments after school.
When the other pupils had gone, Aunt Charlotte turned toward the two who still kept their seats, and very gently she told Arabella how rude it was to laugh at another’s error, and how equally rude for Reginald to reply in so saucy a manner.
“A little girl should be a little lady,” she said, “and a small boy should surely be a little gentleman.”
Then Reginald spoke.
Looking straight into Arabella’s eyes, he said:
“I guess I’m a gentleman, so I’ll ’pol’gize; if I was just a boy I wouldn’t, though.” Arabella was fully equal to a reply.
“I’m as much a lady as you are a gentleman, so I’ll say I oughtn’t to have laughed, but I won’t say I’m sorry.”
It was late afternoon, and Flossie, on the piazza, waved her hand to her playmates as they ran down the walk to the gate.
They had played delightful games, they had talked of the fine party which they would soon enjoy, they had guessed and guessed what sort of party it was to be, and Dorothy, who knew all about it, had laughed merrily because their countless guesses were nowhere near right.
“I wish playmates didn’t ever have to go home,” said Flossie, as she ran into the house.
There was no one in the hall save the baby, who sat in her carriage. The maid had just brought her in from a long ride, and had left her for a moment while she chatted with the butler and the cook. Flossie loved the baby, and she ran to the carriage to kiss the sunny little face that smiled at her.
“Oh, you lovely, lovely baby,” she cried, “are you glad to see me?”
For answer the little one cooed sweetly, and snatched at Flossie’s curling hair.
“Mustn’t pull so hard, baby,” pleaded Flossie, and just at that moment the maid returned, and rescued Flossie’s ringlets from the little dimpled hands.
“You give her to me,” said Flossie.
“I’ll sit on this rug and hold her. Uncle Harry said I could take this baby any time I want to, and I want to now.”
The maid waited for no urging. Here was a chance for a few more moments of gossip. If Miss Flossie wished to take care of the baby, why not permit her to? Her Uncle Harry had given his permission, and as it was his baby, who could object?
For a few moments Flossie and the baby played upon the great hall rug. The bright-colored ball which Flossie had taken from her pocket was a pretty plaything, and the baby crowed with delight.