Aunt Charlotte was the only one who did not laugh, but the small boy was not at all vexed.
“You needn’t laugh,” he said to Katie, “for you’ve seen her makin’ pieces out of silk, an’ what’s the difference between makin’ pieces an’ peacemakin’?”
ARABELLA AT SCHOOL
When recess time came Mollie had forgotten to ask Nina if her cousin was to be a pupil, and it happened that neither of the others questioned her.
They were in the midst of a game of hide-and-seek, when Mollie, who, with Nina, was hiding behind a large rosebush, looked up just in time to see the garden gate open.
“Look!” she whispered.
“Why, that’s Arabella!” said Nina, “but why has she brought her Aunt Matilda with her?”
“I guess she didn’t,” whispered Mollie, “it’s likely her Aunt Matilda’s bringing her.”
Nina stifled a laugh, and they saw the two go along the walk, and enter the cottage.
Flossie, who had been “it,” ran quite around the house, and the others “ran in,” Reginald loudly shouting, “All in, all in!”
Flossie returned, laughing gaily to think that they had all got in free. Then they commenced to talk of the new pupil, and quite forgot their game.
The schoolroom windows were open, and Aunt Matilda’s shrill, piping voice could be plainly heard, but the children were not near enough to know what she was saying.
They saw her turn to go, and then, when she reached the door, she drew something from her bag, and placed it in Arabella’s hand.
“What do you s’pose she’s giving her?” whispered Nina.
“Peppermints!” said Mollie, but although she had whispered it, she felt that Dorothy had heard it, and knew that both she and Nina had been laughing at Arabella and her aunt. Mollie’s cheeks flushed, and she looked down at her shoes. She knew that Dorothy’s sweet eyes were looking at her, not angrily, but with a tender grieving.
Dorothy was full of fun, and ready for merriment at any time, but she saw nothing amusing in laughing at a playmate, or friend, and she had asked them all to be kind to Arabella.
Aunt Charlotte turned to the window, and set the little silver bell tinkling, and the pupils at once filed into the schoolroom.
They found Arabella Corryville sitting primly in her place. Her small, thin hands were clasped upon her desk, and she looked at the pupils as they filed in, peeping first over her glasses, and then through them, as if she were hunting for little faults which she really hoped to find.
Aunt Charlotte had told her that on this, her first day of school, she might listen to the recitations, and on the next day come with her lessons prepared, and then recite with the class.
She sat very still, only moving her round eyes to watch the pupils, and as she did not smile, one could not guess if she were pleased with the school or not.