“’Specially since we have to go around by the Smithy,” he added, “and patch up our brittle friend, here.”
So they made the little laugh secure in the basket, and went on toward the Smithy. It kept them all amused by the happy, ridiculous little sounds it made, giggling and scuttling and fluttering about in the basket. Even the Brown Teddy-Bear smiled once or twice.
Toward sundown they reached the Smithy, and Schlorge had soon turned his anvil into an operating table, on which they laid the uncomplaining little sufferer. The Snimmy’s wife said there were plenty of onions at home in the sugar-bowl, and Schlorge offered to send a Gunkus after them; but the Kewpie would not hear of it, so Schlorge mended him quite quickly and neatly without an anaesthetic at all. He declared himself able to walk, at once, but they persuaded him to let the Gunki carry him to the gate on the stretcher. And so they all escorted Sara and her dolls back to the dimple-holder in state.
The Snoodle was awake, and howling lonesomely; but he was soon frisking happily about their feet. The Plynck flew at once to her branch and looked into the pool, and there sat her Echo.
“Have a pleasant day?” the latter asked, inscrutably.
But the Plynck was so puzzled that she said nothing at all. However, when she was leaving the Garden, Sara heard her say to the Teacup, as she slipped on an iris-colored kimono and shook down her back plumes,
“I think I won’t break any rules tomorrow. I think I’ll just rest.”
The next morning Sara took with her only the Kewpie and the Baby. The Japanese doll was perfectly willing either to go or stay; he was not at all temperamental, and anything suited him. She could tell from the Billiken’s smile that he didn’t mind staying in the least; and the Brown Teddy-Bear looked tired. He couldn’t talk, of course, on the everyday-side of the ivory doors; but with the new insight she had acquired into his character, Sara felt sure his expression meant, “I think I’d rather just sit in the corner. At my age a little excitement goes a long way.” As for the Kewpie, Sara was determined to take him, as a reward for the distinguished fortitude he had shown the day before; and the Baby, on the other hand, had behaved so badly that she felt uneasy about leaving him. If he should act that way again—for instance, when Lucy disturbed him in dusting the room—why, Lucy might spank him! So the Kewpie was rewarded for being good, and the Baby was rewarded for being bad, and Sara slipped through the ivory doors with both of them tucked under one arm.
Almost immediately a Gunkus in livery stepped up and handed her a note from Avrillia. He made a low bow, holding his shoe in his right hand over his heart.
It was written on a rose-leaf, of course, and it had a delightful faint odor, not only of roses, but of isthagaria. Sara opened it, and read,