“I think,” said the child joyfully, as they pushed off, “when the winds and waves notice us having so much fun, they’ll let the pond alone, don’t you?”
“If they have any hearts at all,” responded Mr. Evringham, bending to the oars.
“Oh, grandpa, you can tell stories like any thing!” exclaimed Jewel admiringly.
“It has been said before,” rejoined the broker modestly.
* * * * *
When outdoor gayeties had to be dispensed with one day, on account of a thorough downpour of rain, the last story in Jewel’s book was called for.
The little circle gathered in the big living-room; there was no question now as to whether Mr. Evringham should be present.
“It is Hobson’s choice this time,” said Mrs. Evringham, “so we’ll all choose the story, won’t we?”
“Let Anna Belle have the turn, though,” replied Jewel. “She chose the first one and she must have the last, because she doesn’t have so much fun as the rest of us.” She hugged the doll and kissed her cheeks comfortingly. It was too true that often of late Anna Belle did not accompany all the excursions, but she went to bed with Jewel every night, and it was seldom that the child was too sleepy to take her into full confidence concerning the events of the day; and Anna Belle, being of a sedentary turn and given to day dreams, was apparently quite as well pleased.
Now Mr. Evringham settled in a big easy-chair; the reader took a small one by the window, and Jewel sat on the rug before the fire, holding Anna Belle.
“Now we’re off,” said Mr. Evringham.
“Go to sleep if you like, father,” remarked the author, smiling, and then she began to read the story entitled
There was a little buzz of interest in Miss Joslyn’s room in the public school, one day in February, over the arrival of a new scholar. Only a very little buzz, because the new-comer was a plain little girl as to face and dress, with big, wondering eyes, and a high-necked and long-sleeved gingham apron.
“Take this seat, Alma,” said Miss Joslyn; and the little girl obeyed, while Ada Singer, the scholar directly behind her, nudged her friend, Lucy Berry, and mimicked the stranger’s surprised way of looking around the room.
The first day in a new school is an ordeal to most children, but Alma felt no fear or strangeness, and gazed about her, well pleased with her novel surroundings, and her innocent pleasure was a source of great amusement to Ada.
“Isn’t she queer-looking?” she asked of Lucy, as at noon they perched on the window-sill in the dressing-room, where they always ate their lunch together.
“Yes, she has such big eyes,” assented Lucy. “Who is she?”
“Why, her mother has just come to work in my father’s factory. Her father is dead, or in prison, or something.”