“It is very cold,” said the little old man as we started.
“Yes,” said one of the passengers; “but we shall not be long going.”
After a short pause, he again spoke:
“It is certainly very cold. I am truly afraid I shall freeze before we get there.”
“O, no! not so very cold,” said I, drawing my fur cap tightly over my ears.
“I was never so cold in my life!” growled the little man. “My ears are freezing, now.”
“Sorry I can’t help you,” I said, with a feeling of true sympathy; “but we have not much further to go.”
Presently he growled again:
“I know I shall freeze, anyhow. Can I take your muffler?”
I spared my muffler. But, pretty soon, I heard from him again:
“The top of my head is very cold, and I shall have a fearful headache.”
We soon reached the hotel and entered the office, where a warm fire welcomed us. The little old man undid the muffler and handed it to me. He then removed his hat, and I discovered that it was of straw, and, also, that he was very bald.
My pity for the man was all gone in a moment. It could not be that he had no other hat, for he was dressed well enough to own twenty hats. I never found out what his reason was for wearing such a hat in the winter.
I fell to moralizing presently; but I will not here write down my reflections. Suffice it to say that every day in the year I meet children, and grown people too, for that matter, who are “wearing straw hats in the winter,” and suffering various dreadful things in consequence thereof. The very next time you get into trouble, before you grumble and fret, see if it is not because you are wearing a straw hat in winter.
She stood looking down upon her neat plaid dress with a very dissatisfied face.
“Mamma,” she said, “why can’t I wear pretty clothes every day like Irene Clarke? She always has puffs and ruffles, and her aprons are trimmed so nice.”
Mamma finished buttoning the tippet and tied down the snug little hat.
“Puffs and ruffles and dainty aprons are nice,” she replied gently. “Mamma likes pretty things as well as Lou, but always in their place, dearie.”
But mamma’s words did not help. Little Lou went out with the same dissatisfied face.
“They say mammas know best,” she spoke. “It’s funny, though. Irene’s mamma knows a different best from mine—O, there she is!” and Lou hurried to meet the little city girl whose puffs and ruffles had made her plaid frock seem so mean.
It chanced that Irene wore a fresh suit, one that Lou had never seen. Delightedly she spied the dainty robe.
“Ain’t that sweet!” she exclaimed, and feasted her eyes till, suddenly looking down at Irene’s gaiters, she caught a glimpse of a curious field-bug trotting along on the ground. My little lady forgot the ruffles, forgot everything but her desire for a closer view.