Those doings were proving both numerous and delightful. Mr. Shaw, as an honorary member, had invited the club to a fishing party, which had been an immense success. The doctor had followed it by a moonlight drive along the lake and across on the old sail ferry to the New York side, keeping strictly within that ten-mile-from-home limit, though covering considerably more than ten miles in the coming and going.
There had been picnics of every description, to all the points of interest and charm in and about the village; an old-time supper at the Wards’, at which the club members had appeared in old-fashioned costumes; a strawberry supper on the church lawn, to which all the church were invited, and which went off rather better than some of the sociables had in times past.
As the Winton Weekly News declared proudly, it was the gayest summer the village had known in years. Mr. Paul Shaw’s theory about developing home resources was proving a sound one in this instance at least.
Hilary had long since forgotten that she had ever been an invalid, had indeed, sometimes, to be reminded of that fact. She had quite discarded the little “company” fiction, except now and then, by way of a joke. “Who’d want to be company?” she protested. “I’d rather be one of the family these days.”
“That’s all very well,” Patience retorted, “when you’re getting all the good of being both. You’ve got the company room.” Patience had not found her summer quite as cloudless as some of her elders; being an honorary member had not meant all of the fun in her case. She wished very much that it were possible to grow up in a single night, thus wiping out forever that drawback of being “a little girl.”
Still, on the whole, she managed to get a fair share of the fun going on and quite agreed with the editor of the Weekly News, going so far as to tell him so when she met him down street. She had a very kindly feeling in her heart for the pleasant spoken little editor; had he not given her her full honors every time she had had the joy of being “among those present”?
There had been three of those checks from Uncle Paul; it was wonderful how far each had been made to go. It was possible nowadays to send for a new book, when the reviews were more than especially tempting. There had also been a tea-table added to the other attractions of the side porch, not an expensive affair, but the little Japanese cups and saucers were both pretty and delicate, as was the rest of the service; while Miranda’s cream cookies and sponge cakes were, as Shirley declared, good enough to be framed. Even the minister appeared now and then of an afternoon, during tea hour, and the young people, gathered on the porch, began to find him a very pleasant addition to their little company, he and they getting acquainted, as they had never gotten acquainted before.