“To those who obey my commands, good luck; to those who disobey, ill fortune,” she cried, shaking her stick in the air, and in another moment she had quickly hobbled from the room.
Chuck now turned on the lights and Linn exclaimed:
“Where on earth did she ever come from?”
“Why, witches come out of the air,” explained Toad. “They travel on a broomstick.”
“Let’s see what she wrote on the papers,” proposed Hopie Smith.
“Yes,” agreed Reddy, “she told me to hold it over the candle light,” at which Chuck came forward with a candle that he placed on the center table, holding his slip of paper over the flame. The other boys eagerly gathered about to watch.
Soon the paper got hot and letters began to appear.
“Look, there’s an ‘a’ and two ‘e’s,’ and—and,” cried Chuck, “it’s quite plain now. I can read it.”
“Go on,” shouted Reddy, “let’s hear it.”
“If your head will rule your heart,
From a cent you’ll never part;
So tell your heart to rule your head,
And all will mourn you when you’re dead.”
“That means if you’re stingy no one will care when you’re gone,” explained Linn, at which Chuck laughed with the others.
Herbie now held his over the light, and as the letters appeared, he read:
“Don’t always be in too great haste,
It often means a dreadful waste;
Await your turn and take with ease,
The piece you want with fingers greased.”
“That’s you and the molasses candy,” laughed Reddy, adding, “Here’s mine:
“Your hair may be of brilliant hue,
But this should never bother you;
For when the winter winds blow most,
Your head will be as warm as toast.”
“That’s great,” cried Reddy as all the boys laughed.
Fat now held his slip over the flame, and, as the words appeared read slowly:
“If you should eat a pound of lemons every other day,
You’d grow as lean as any pole, for so I’ve heard folks say;
But if, upon the other hand, you keep on eating pie,
You’ll grow so big and round and tall, you’ll almost reach the sky.”
“You’d better be careful, Fat, and buy a barrel of lemons,” suggested Toad.
“I’ll order a wagon-load,” grinned Fat.
Hopie now held his paper near the candle, and in a moment read:
“If you’re the lad, to find the coin
That’s hidden in the flour,
You, the highest will enjoy,
Of health, and wealth and power.”
Toad’s turn now came and upon his paper was written:
“You’re very fond of teasing all the girls,
And pulling off the ribbons from their curls;
But mark my words, these tricks you’ll surely rue,
For when you’re grown, a few they’ll play on you.”