“I should think ’twould seem threadbare,” said her father, with ill suppressed amusement.
“No, no!” cried Prue, “’tain’t freadbare, it’s fine, the finest in the book. Do read it, Randy, and then I’ll be willing to go to bed.”
So Randy began once more the story which had so charmed the little sister, and very patiently she read it, while Prue, who was really sleepy, made heroic efforts to keep her eyes open.
Often her lashes would lie for an instant upon her cheek, when immediately she would open her eyes very wide, and look furtively about to see if her drowsiness were detected.
“And they lived happily ever after,” read Randy.
“And they lived—happily—ever—after,” drawled Prue, as if in proof that she were indeed awake.
“Why Prue,” cried Randy, “you’re half asleep.”
“I’m not,” Prue answered, “I heard what you read. You said ’and they lived happy ever after.’ Now I’m wide awake, else how did I hear?”
After Prue was safely tucked in bed, Randy returned to the cheerful room below and unfolded her plan for spending her prize money.
Mrs. Weston put aside her sewing to listen, and Mr. Weston laying his paper across his knees, watched Randy keenly as she said,
“You see I’ve felt that I should like to do something with this prize which it would always give me pleasure to remember, and I know that if you both think best to let me do this, I shall always look back to it with happy thoughts.”
There was a pause when Randy had finished speaking, then Mrs. Weston, without a word, placed her hand upon Randy’s, as it lay upon the table and the Squire, taking off his glasses and affecting to see a bit of moisture upon them, took out his handkerchief and slowly wiping the lenses he said,
“As far as our letting ye, Randy, the money’s yer own ter do as ye please with, but fer my own opinion, ye well know I’ve always said ‘twas’ better ter give than receive.’ This time ye have both. Ye’ve known the joy of receiving the prize, and now ye plan ter use it ter make another happy. I’m proud of yer choice, and I guess yer mother thinks as I do. I’m well able now ter give ye all ye need, and if winning and giving yer prize makes ye twice glad, why what more could we ask?”
“I’m so glad you like my plan,” said Randy, with sparkling eyes. “Molly is such a nice girl, and the way I’m going to send the gift, she will never guess where it came from, I waited until Prue was asleep to tell you about it.
“She never could keep the secret, and a secret it must be, for Molly is proud and shy and must only think that some one has sent her a nice gift.”
“That’s right, Randy,” said Mrs. Weston, “but do ye think it can be managed so that Molly won’t dream where it came from?”
“Oh, yes,” Randy answered, “I shall get Jotham to help me, and he will be sure to do my errand just as I direct.”