Harold gave her a brotherly hug, for he really was glad Dulcie had come to this decision, for he had found her new accomplishment a little trying at times.
“But I haven’t told you my news yet,” he said. “I’ve been playing with the Grahams all the afternoon, and Mrs. Graham came out just now and has invited us to go there to tea and have a good game afterwards, and Tom told me there was to be a Christmas-tree. So come along and let’s tell nurse, for it’s time to get ready.”
O, what a good time the children had that evening, and how they did laugh and play! Dulcie was amongst the merriest there, and when she and Harold went home that night, laden with toys from the Christmas-tree, she said: “Wasn’t I a silly girl to sit and cry and be miserable this afternoon, when I might have been so happy?”
L. L. Weedon.
The Elder Tree
There was a fascinating little stream just at the other side of the low wall that bounded the garden, and this stream had more attractions for Sydney than anything else about the holiday home.
It was not for its cool murmuring sound that Sydney liked it, nor for its crystal clearness—though he must have felt the charm of all this during those hot August days. He had found a beautiful place where he could put a water-wheel, and he was as busy as he could be planning and making one. He had his little box of tools with him, and it was easy to get pieces of wood; and for the rest Sydney’s cleverness in “making things” was well known to his sisters and brother, and held in great reverence by them. They never “meddled,” and so were graciously allowed to come and admire.
“O, bother!” exclaimed Sydney, “here’s this little plague! You can’t come here, Walter,” he called out. “Go back to the garden and play there.”
But little Walter had already climbed over the loose stones and was running towards the stream.
Sydney jumped up from the ground and went to meet him.
“Did you hear, Walter?” said he; “go back and play. I don’t want you here.”
“O, please, Sydney,” said a pleading voice, as a pair of childish blue eyes were lifted up to the face of the elder boy, “I do want to see the water-mill! I won’t touch it—I promise.”
“You won’t get the chance,” said Sydney roughly. “Just you go back when you’re told. You’ve got Madge and Johnny to play with.”
“But Madge doesn’t make water-wheels, and I’m tired of her play, and Johnny is indoors. Do let me watch you, Sydney!”
But all Sydney’s answer was to take the little boy by the shoulders and march him back to the wall. He felt very angry.
“Now, look here, Walter,” he said, “in that elder-bush there lives a ghost that comes out sometimes. I think you’d better keep away from it, for you’re the sort of chap that would be caught.”