“You’re next, Reddy,” said Chuck.
“Am not; Herbie’s younger than I am,” protested Reddy.
“I’ll take the rabbit,” laughed Herbie. “I like chocolate and vanilla best.”
Reddy now chose a pink and white wind mill, Chuck a pony.
“Don’t I wish it was real,” he said.
“Well, the turtle looks like it might taste pretty good,” said Fat, and then it was Linn’s turn.
“It doesn’t seem fair for you to be last, Toad, when you ought to have come after Reddy,” remarked Linn.
“Oh, well, it’s my party, so I have to be last,” was the answer.
“Well,” agreed Linn, “if that’s so I’ll have the ship.”
“Oh, good,” cried Toad, “that leaves the engine for me and I wanted it more than anything else.”
“This turtle makes better ice cream than he would soup,” grinned Fat as he took another spoonfull.
“I’m eating my rabbit’s ears first,” chirped Herbie.
“Well, I’m eating the smoke from my engine, first,” Toad chimed in.
“Here’s the cake, you’ll have to cut it, Toad,” Linn informed him, “for it’s bad luck to let any one else cut a birthday cake for you.”
It was covered with white icing and ablaze with candles.
“Now watch the candles go out,” and Toad gave a great puff. “All over,” he declared, laughing, “now I’ll cut the cake.”
“There is a piece of silver in it, Thomas,” said his mother, “and the one who gets it will be the lucky one in life, and a thimble for the one who is going to be a bachelor.”
At this the boys urged Toad to hurry and when the cake had been cut and passed around each boy looked his piece over carefully.
“Hurrah, I’ve got the money,” shouted Hopie, holding up a bright dime so all could see.
“And I’ve got the thimble,” wailed Chuck. “Now I’ll have to sew on all my own buttons.”
“Hopie’s lucky all right; he won the money in the flour, too,” observed Herbie.
It was now growing late so the boys, much against their will, found their hats and bade good-night to Father and Mother Brown.
“We’ve had a fine time, Toad,” said Fat, “hope you have another birthday next year.”
“I’m very sorry to have to do it,” announced Linn, grasping Toad and turning him over his knee, “but you must have nine spanks and one for good luck.”
“Why didn’t we think of it before?” agreed the others, helping to hold Toad until each one had his turn.
“Well, I ought to be good for a year, now,” laughed Toad, after he managed to get away. “Wait ’till it’s your turn, Linn, won’t I give you some good ones?”
“Good-night,” responded Linn, “we’ve had a dandy time.”
“You bet we have,” echoed all the others.
“Good-bye, good-bye,” called Chuck and Toad, standing in the doorway as the boys disappeared in the darkness.