She pictured herself dressed in flowing robes of white and gold, with her hair in long plaits reaching to her knees, riding away beside the king through those very woods, with the sunlight gleaming through the trees and flashing on the water, and on her other hand would ride Dan in shining armour, a second Sir Galahad. She saw herself a woman, such a beautiful, graceful woman, with earnest eyes and gentle face. She saw a knight, oh! such a splendid, courtly knight, and he looked at her and looked again, and—
A little way up the hill she sat alone, her chin on her hand, gazing down at the sun-flecked river, the shining sand, the fairy-like trees, and saw it all as plainly as though it were then happening. She saw the graceful steeds, richly caparisoned, daintily picking their way through underwood and rocks. A stick cracked somewhere near. Could they be coming? She hardly dared look about her lest she should be disappointed.
TEA AT THE FARM.
“Kitty, are you coming, or are you not? It is very mean of you to keep us waiting all this time when you know how hungry we are!”
With a deep, regretful sigh and a little shake Kitty rose and made her way to the large flat rock by the water’s edge, on which the others had grouped themselves in more or less easy attitudes, with the food as a centrepiece. Betty had spread a sheet of white paper, and on it had arranged the pasties according to their length.
“You need not have waited for me,” said Kitty, annoyed at having her dreams so broken in upon. “We have each got our own, and can eat them when we like.”
“But we never do begin until we all begin together,” said Betty reproachfully, “It would seem dreadfully mean; besides, we want you to say which is my pasty and which Dan’s. The letter has been broken on one, and knocked right off another. I carried them ever and ever so carefully, so it can’t be my fault. Don’t you think this is meant for a ‘D,’ and that one”—holding out the largest—“without any letter at all, is mine?”
Dan felt so sure of getting his rights that he lay quite undisturbed, throwing bits of moss into the water, and left the others to settle the dispute.
“No, I don’t,” said Kitty, without the slightest hesitation. “Dan always has the largest, whether there is a letter on it or not, and you always have the smallest but one.”
Betty accepted the decision without dispute. She had really not expected any other, but she liked to assert herself now and then.
“I can’t see,” she said musingly, “why you should be expected to want less to eat if you are only ten than if you are twelve. It seems to me so silly. It isn’t your age that makes you hungry.”