“You’re a green ’un!” laughed Jared, looking after him; then whistling to the dog to follow, he went on his way.
“But this I say, he
which soweth sparingly shall reap also
sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also
—2 COR. ix. 6.
All the children, Gertrude excepted, were gathered on the front porch, Vi with the dead bird in her hands, when the carriage drove up with the returning travelers.
There was a glad chorus of welcome, and most of the young faces were bright and happy. Elsie’s troop had nothing but smiles, caresses and loving words for her, and tender, anxious inquiries about “Sister Elsie; if the tooth were out?” “if the dentist hurt her much?”
“It was hard to bear,” she said, “but the doctor was very kind, and tried not to hurt her. And, oh, mamma had made her such a lovely present, for being brave and willing to have her tooth out.” And she took a beautiful little gold watch and chain from her bosom, and held them up to their admiring gaze.
“Oh, I’m so glad, so glad! Dear mamma, how good of you!” cried Vi, without a touch of envy embracing first her sister, and then her mother.
Eddie and the two younger ones seemed equally pleased, and “sister Elsie” allowed each in turn to closely inspect, her treasure.
In the meantime, Mr. and Mrs. Ross had been busy bestowing caresses and small gifts upon their children, who received them with noisy glee mingled with some reproaches because they had been left at home.
“Come, come, no complaints,” said their father; “I think you have fared well;—a holiday, a picnic, and these pretty presents. Where’s Gertrude?”
“Sure enough, where is she?” asked Lucy, looking round from one to another.
“She’s mad because you did not take her along,” remarked Harry, “she says you didn’t keep your promise.”
“Dear me, I’d forgotten all about it!” exclaimed Mrs. Ross. “I should have taken her though, but there wasn’t time to get her up and dressed.”
“Gertrude! Gertrude!” called Mr. Ross, in tones of authority, “Gertrude, come here and show yourself.”
At that the child came slowly out from the hall—whence she had been watching the scene through the crack behind the door—looking red and angry.
“What’s the matter with you?” asked her father, with some displeasure in his tones.
“Nothing, I’m not crying.”
“Nor pouting either, I suppose? What’s it all about.”
“Mamma promised to take me along the next time she went to the city.”
“Perhaps she will the next time.”
“But this was the next time, because she promised it when she went before and took Kate.”
“Well, such promises are always conditional; she took no one this time (but me), and there was a good reason why.”