Without stopping to question, Arabella followed her up the three flights of stairs, and such an array of shawls as Patricia brought out!
“These sofa cushions I’ll throw downstairs, and we can pick them up afterwards,” she said.
Over the baluster she flung cushion after cushion, until Arabella’s curiosity forced her to question.
“What ever are you going to do with all those cushions?” she asked.
Patricia looked very wise.
“Oh, you’ll see,” she said, and when she had reached the lower hall she peeped out.
“Here it is!” she said.
“Why, that’s an old pung!” she said
“Well, who said it wasn’t?” Patricia replied sharply; “but it isn’t an old one now, because it has just been painted yellow. It’s our grocer’s, and the boy that drives it is going to let us ride in it this afternoon.” Arabella hesitated. She knew that Aunt Matilda did not wish her to be with Patricia at all, and she also felt that to ride in a yellow pung, lettered, “Fine Groceries, Butter, Cheese, and Eggs,” was surely not aristocratic, and yet, what fun it would be!
THE PUNG RIDE
The grocer’s boy had delivered all of his parcels except two large paper bags which he had pushed over near the dasher. Patricia began to bring out the cushions, and the boy tossed them in upon the straw which lay upon the floor of the pung. Then Patricia and Arabella climbed in, the boy cracked his whip, the horse sprang forward with a surprising jolt, then settled down to a comical amble.
How cold it was! Arabella had wondered at the number of shawls which Patricia had taken. Now she was very glad to wrap two around her, while Patricia wore the other two.
“G’lang!” shouted the boy, and again the horse gave an amazing hop which sent the pung forward with a lurch, and rolled the two girls over upon the straw. Patricia thought it a joke, but Arabella, never very good-tempered, was actually angry. “O dear!” she cried, “I think it’s just horrid to be shaken up so. Well, I don’t think you’re very nice to laugh about it, Patricia. I wouldn’t like to take any one out to a sleighride, and have ’em banged around,—oh, o-o!”
It was a “thank-you-ma’am” in the middle of the road that caused Arabella’s angry speech to end in a little shriek.
It was useless for Patricia to try to hide her merriment. She could not help laughing. She rarely felt sorry for any one’s discomfort, and really Arabella did look funny.
In the shake-up, her hat had been pushed over to one side of her head, but she did not know that, and her old-fashioned little face looked smaller than usual, because of the two heavy shawls which were crowded so high that she appeared to have no neck at all. Small as her face was, it could show a great deal of rage, and as she drew her shawls tighter around her, and glared at Patricia, she looked odd enough to make any one laugh.