Miss Mary had seen the Judge’s grand-daughter at church the day before, and had been much impressed, and now when Judy asked sweetly if Anne could go, she gave immediate consent.
“Of course she may,” she said. “Anne, you are dismissed.”
But her eyes did not meet Anne’s eyes as she said it, for Miss Mary’s head was better, and she was beginning to wonder if she should not have investigated before she condemned Anne so harshly.
Twenty-four heads turned towards the window as Anne and Judy climbed into the fascinating trap with the fawn cloth cushions, and twenty-four pairs of lungs breathed sighs of envy, as Judy picked up the reins, and the two little girls drove away together in the sunshine.
No one ever knew how Judy managed to get the Judge’s consent, but on Wednesday, when the children on their way home from school called at the post-office for the mail, they found small square envelopes addressed to themselves, and each envelope contained a card, and on the card was written an invitation to every child to be present at a lawn party to be given at Judge Jameson’s on the following Saturday, from one until five o’clock.
But this was not all. For during the evening, rumors, started by the wily Launcelot, leaked out, that never in the history of Fairfax had there been such a party as the one to be given by Judge Jameson in honor of his grand-daughter, Judith, and her friend, Anne Batcheller.
“For it is as much Anne’s party as Judy’s,” Launcelot stated, as one having authority.
After the first jubilation, however, the young people looked at each other with blank faces.
“It is the same afternoon as the school entertainment,” wailed Amelia Morrison.
“An’ we’ve got to speak our pieces,” said little Jimmie Jones.
But Nannie May cut the Gordian knot with her usual impetuosity.
“I am going to Judy’s party,” she declared, “and I am going to get mother to write a note to Miss Mary.”
Many were the notes that went to Miss Mary that day. All sorts of excuses were given by the ambitious mothers, who would not have had their offspring miss the opportunity of seeing the inside of the most exclusive house in Fairfax for all the school entertainments in the world!
And Miss Mary!
She had invited the school board and a half-dozen pedagogues from neighboring districts. She had trained the children until they were letter perfect. She had drilled them in their physical exercises until they moved like machines, and now at the eleventh hour they were fluttering away from her like a flock of unruly birds, and she recognized at once that Judy had championed Anne’s cause, and that in her she had an adversary to be feared.
In vain she expostulated with the mothers.
“Saturday isn’t a regular school-day, you know, Miss Mary,” said Mrs. Morrison, sitting down ponderously to argue the question with the teacher, “and of course the Judge couldn’t know that it would interfere with your plans.”