“Oh, Molly is so hard at work now it’s only once in a while that I see her. Her baby sister is ill, and Molly has no time for anything but helping around home. Her mother says that she intends to have her go back to school if she can spare her, but whatever do you suppose Molly meant?
“She said to me, ’Belinda, even if mother can spare me, I may not go to school. You can’t think how anxious I am to be at work at my lessons again, but I’m afraid I shan’t look fit and father’s had such a hard summer, the farm hasn’t paid for working it, he says, that I couldn’t ask him for anything for myself if I never had it.’
“And oh, I never thought, Randy, I promised Molly I would not tell what she said. I didn’t mean to. Whatever made me forget?”
“Never mind,” said Randy, an odd little smile showing the dimples at the corners of her mouth.
“I will not tell a single girl you may be very sure, but you and I who know it will be extra kind to Molly.”
“Indeed we will,” assented Belinda. “I’ll go over this afternoon and see if I can help her. The baby is a sweet little thing and she likes me, so perhaps I shall be some help. Oh, there’s Jemima calling at the bars, I guess ma wants me. My! I wonder if some of our company has arrived?
“Remember not to tell what I told you,” cried Belinda to Randy, who stood looking after her friend, as she ran across the pasture to join Jemima.
They turned to wave their hands to Randy, who responded, then, as they disappeared behind a clump of trees, she turned her eyes toward the sunny valley and with her hands loosely clasped seemed to be watching the shimmering sunlight on the winding river below.
She had long been standing thus when a gentle whinny made her turn to offer the caress for which old Snowfoot was hinting.
The horse laid a shaggy head against Randy’s shoulder and edged nearer as the girl patted her nose, then walking over to a large rock she stood close beside it and began to neigh, at the same time looking fixedly at Randy.
“Oh you cunning old thing,” said Randy with a laugh.
“You’re inviting me to ride, just as you always do, by walking up to that big flat rock so that I can mount. Well you old dear,” she continued as she stepped upon the rock and prepared to seat herself upon Snowfoot’s back,
“I’ve found out what to do with that precious gold piece, and I’m going to do it.”
Then without saddle or bridle, but with a firm grasp upon the shaggy mane she chirped to her steed and the horse pricking up her ears at the sound, bounded forward, and proud of her charge carried her across the pasture to the bars where little Prue stood waiting to meet her.
It was evident that the little sister had wonderful news to tell, for her brown eyes were very wide open and she could hardly wait for Randy to slip down from Snowfoot’s back before beginning to tell what so excited her.