“Patrick, I think I shall claim my prerogative.”
“Prerogative—as a grandmother. From time immemorial it has been the right of the grandmother to come to the rescue of the grandchildren.”
“But Patricia knows—”
“It is my chance, you see,”—Mrs. Cory had been told why Patricia had run away that first night,—“my chance to prove to Patricia that even if I don’t wear a cap and spectacles and all the paraphernalia of the good old-fashioned grandmother, at heart I really am one—just as soft-hearted and unreasonable as any one of them.”
“Patrick, didn’t your grandmother ever get you out of a tight place?”
The doctor looked thoughtfully out at the leaf-covered lawn; it was going to be a perfect fall day. “Yes,” he said, “she did, more than once—bless her—in the most reprehensible way.”
“The way of a grandmother the world over,” Mrs. Cory commented softly.
“And upon my word I don’t believe it did me any harm!” the doctor went through to the foot of the stairs. “O Pat!” he called.
Patricia came promptly, bravely blinking back the tears.
“You mustn’t lay it up against me, Pat,” the doctor said; “it’s all your grandmother’s doing. She simply insists on taking you to that circus today.”
“Daddy!” Patricia’s arms were about his neck instantly; “Daddy, I will try—ever ‘n’ ever so hard! You’ll see!”
The doctor laughed. “Wish I were going too, Pat. In my young days it was after the circus that one appreciated most the advantages of owning a grandmother.”
“Where is grandmother, Daddy?”
“In the office.”
Patricia flew to the office. “Oh,” she cried, her arms around her grandmother’s neck this time, “you’re the very grandmotheriest grandmother that ever could be!”
And then and there vanished forever from Patricia’s heart that picture of a placid, wrinkled little old lady, knitting quietly at one corner of the fireplace.
PATRICIA’S CHRISTMAS FAMILY
“There!” Patricia stepped back, with a sigh of satisfaction. “It’s all ready for the presents. Custard Kirby,” she bent to pat the small curly black dog, stretched lazily out on the hearth-rug, “on your honor, have you ever seen a prettier Christmas-tree? Good! There’s Daddy!”
Patricia ran to open the front door. “Come and admire, Daddy,” she urged.
Dr. Kirby went with her to the library; in the center of the broad square room stood the tree, its slender tip just escaping the ceiling.
“And I trimmed it nearly all myself!” Patricia explained, proudly. “Aunt Julia had to go out. Maybe you don’t think I’ve been busy to-day, Daddy! I don’t know but what it is a good thing that Christmas doesn’t come more than once a year.”