“But Bridget said they’d have to quantine,”—sobbed Flossie.
“Bridget was mistaken,” he said, “and besides, no one is harmed by being quarantined. I’ll tell you all about that at another time. You are about chilled through, and as you’re not very huge, I guess I’ll carry you both.”
There was no help for it, so Flossie laid her head upon his shoulder, the baby, sound asleep, still in her arms, and Uncle Harry strode across the lawn, up to the piazza, and into the hall, where a frightened group were talking.
They crowded around him to learn where he had found them, but he raised his hand to stop the eager questioning.
Flossie had been badly frightened, and he felt that she must not be excited.
Once in her own little room with her mother bending over her, she listened eagerly while Uncle Harry explained what the maids had meant, and she sighed happily when she at last realized that the baby was safe from harm, and that she would remain right under the roof of their beautiful home.
When on the following day the old doctor called to see the baby, he laughed heartily at the story of Flossie’s fear, and he declared that Flossie must have done a very fine thing for the baby. Its little pink cheeks were fair, and the tiny spots which had so frightened its young mother had been chased away, so the doctor said, by its long stay out in the evening air. “Then I did do something nice for that baby,” said Flossie, to which Uncle Harry responded:
“You were a brave little niece, Flossie,” and Flossie was happy.
* * * * *
When the postman called on the morning of the next day, he brought an invitation for the long-dreamed-of party.
Then the secret was out as to what kind of party it was to be.
A fancy dress party! A costume carnival!
Of course the first question that each little friend asked of the other was:
“What are you going to wear?”
“Why, our prettiest party dresses, of course,” said Mollie Merton.
Mollie, who was always very positive, was greatly surprised when Dorothy overtook them on the way to school, and explained that each little guest was expected to appear in a costume which should represent some well-known character in history or story.
“And mamma says we are not to tell each other what we’re going to be,” said Dorothy; “we’re to wear long dominoes over our frocks, and we’ll dance and play games, just peeping through eyeholes to see where we’re going.”
“And nobody’ll know who anybody is,” chimed in Nancy, “for Mrs. Dainty and Aunt Charlotte will receive, and Dorothy will walk up to greet them, so neither of us will even know who Dorothy is.”
“What fun!” cried Jeanette, and the little group laughed gaily. “Any boys besides me invited?” questioned Reginald.
“Yes, indeed, there are ever so many boys invited,” Dorothy said. “My cousins Russell and Arthur are coming, and three of papa’s nephews will be here. I’ve never met them, but they’re coming for a little visit of a few days, and I’m to have my party while they’re here.”