“No’m,” said Arabella, “I haven’t been in her house any of the afternoon; I’ve been out-of-doors.”
Aunt Matilda threw up her hands in amazement, as if a number of hours in the open air ought to have actually killed Arabella, whereas, she really was alive, but exceedingly chilly.
Then the very thing happened which Arabella had told Patricia would happen.
Aunt Matilda had her old-fashioned notions regarding the care of children, and Arabella was sent to bed, packed in blankets, after having drank a pint bowl full of the worst-tasting herb tea which Aunt Matilda had ever brewed. She had thought that she might drink half of it, and then throw the rest away, but as if guessing her intention, Aunt Matilda stood close beside her to be sure that not a drop was wasted.
“It’s no use to make such an outrageous face, Arabella,” she remarked, “for the worse it tastes the more good it’s sure to do.”
“But I’d ’most rather have a cold than take that stuff,” wailed Arabella.
“That’s the time you don’t have your choice,” was the dry reply.
And indeed she did not, for besides taking the despised herb tea, she awoke the next morning with a heavy cold that kept her away from school for the whole of the next week.
AN UNEXPECTED TRIP
The next Saturday proved to be warm and sunny, and Mrs. Dainty had taken an early train for the city, intending to spend the day in shopping.
It had been necessary that Dorothy should go with her, because there was a new cloak to be “tried on.” Mrs. Dainty had wished to have Mrs. Grayson with her, but both had thought that Nancy would be lonely.
“If I were to spend the day in the stores, Nancy, I would take you with me, because you always enjoy shopping,” Aunt Charlotte said, “but I am to visit a friend who is ill, and that would be very dull for you, and if you go with Dorothy, you will think that the hours drag if you sit waiting while her cloak is being fitted.”
“Oh, but I shall not mind being at home this time,” Nancy said, cheerfully; “I shall play with Flossie and Mollie all the forenoon,—”
“And the maid will serve your lunch at my house at one,” Dorothy said.
“And I’ll ask them both to come over to the cottage to play with me this afternoon,” Nancy continued, “and before we’re done playing you’ll return.”
And the forenoon was quite as pleasant as she had thought it would be. She had gone over to Mollie’s, and found Flossie already there, and they had played tag and hide-and-seek just as if it had been a summer day. The sunlight was warm, the breeze soft and sweet, and every bit of snow had vanished. It was like springtime, and they played without ceasing until the hour for lunch.
“Well come over to the cottage together this afternoon,” called Mollie, as Nancy hurried away towards the stone house.