She thanked Mr. Greatorex for his explanations and, again asking him not to mention the matter to any one at all, she put the sampler back in the drawer and locked it up.
“Sold my sampler yet, Elise?” Azalea asked, when next they met.
“Yes; I bought it in myself,” Elise replied. “I wanted it, so I bought it. I haven’t paid for it yet, for I want to know what you consider a fair price?”
Elise looked Azalea straight in the eyes, and was not surprised to note the rising colour in the cheeks of the Indian maiden.
“Why—why,” Azalea stammered, “you said it was worth hundreds of dollars—you said that yourself, Elise.”
“That was before I knew of your own handiwork on the sampler.”
“What do you mean?” cried Azalea, angrily.
“Just what I say. To the work on the sampler, you added a bit more,—or rather, you subtracted some!”
“What do you mean by subtracted some?”
“Now, Azalea, there’s no use in your acting like that! You know perfectly well you can’t fool me! If you really want to know what I mean, I’ll tell you. I mean that you picked out two stitches from the eight to make it look like a six. Didn’t you, now?”
“Oh, well, if you’ve discovered that, I may as well own up. Yes, I did.”
“And aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Don’t you think such a deception a wrong and contemptible thing to do?”
“Oh, pshaw, it was only for a joke. Can’t you take a joke, Elise?”
“It wasn’t only for a joke. You hoped you would make me think the sampler two hundred years older than it really is! And you thought that would make it much more valuable. Well, you overreached yourself! There were no samplers made—so far as is known—in 1636. So your trick wouldn’t fool anybody!”
“All right. There’s no harm done, that I can see. My little joke fizzled out,—that’s all.”
“No, that isn’t all. It has proved you are a deceitful girl! You don’t mind telling a falsehood!”
“I didn’t tell any!”
“Yes, you did! It’s an untruth to pretend something is what you know it isn’t! If I had sold that to some unsuspecting buyer, for a large price, you wouldn’t have said a word! You’d have let it go!”
“Of course; all’s fair at a Fair!”
“Oh, don’t try to be funny, Azalea; I’m really angry about this matter.”
“Huffy, eh? Well, get over it, then! I don’t care! Some people like me! Don’t they?”
The last question was asked of Raymond Gale, who came walking by.
“Sure; I do!” was the hearty reply. “Who doesn’t?”
“Elise,” and Azalea pouted at the girl.
“Fiddlesticks!” said Elise, gaily. “Never mind, Azalea, I’ll take your joke in good part.”
For Elise had suddenly decided that she didn’t want to spoil Patty’s Fair by having a quarrel with her guest. So, though a good deal perturbed by the sampler incident, she preferred to drop the subject.