“She is a dear child,” she said.
And she washed her face and combed her hair, and put on her best white dress and her new summer hat with the roses in it, and went out looking young and pretty and with her headache forgotten.
And when she arrived at the Judge’s she was escorted to a seat of honor in the front row, with the Judge on one side, and the little grandmother on the other, and with the astonished children smiling welcomes to her as she went up the aisle.
THE PRINCESS AND THE LILY MAID
As the children arrived they were shown at once into the great dining-room, where at one end a stage had been erected and a curtain hung, from behind which came the sounds of hammering and subdued directions, given in Launcelot’s voice.
“Amelia Morrison and Nannie May are in it,” explained Tommy who had yearned for an important part, but Judy had declared against him.
“You shouldn’t have been asked at all,” she said, witheringly, “if it hadn’t been that Anne begged that you might. You acted dreadfully the other day. Anne wouldn’t have been punished if you had spoken right out, Tommy, and had said that it was your fault.”
“Aw—yes, she would, too,” stammered Tommy.
“I never could stand a coward,” was Judy’s fling, and at that Tommy subsided.
Behind the scenes Anne, in an entrancing trailing gown of pale blue with pearls wound in her long fair braids was trying to get Jimmie Jones to shut his eyes without opening his mouth.
“But I always sleep with my mouth open,” persisted Jimmie, who, in spite of his yellow curls and his page’s costume of green satire was at heart just plain boy.
“Well, you shouldn’t,” scolded Anne, as she tripped over her train. “You will simply spoil the picture. Just see how nice Judy and Amelia and Nannie look.”
On the couch lay Judy all in soft, shining, satiny white, her dark hair spreading over the pillow, and one hand under her cheek; and at each end, Nannie and Amelia, in rose color and in violet, blissfully happy, and, though their eyes were closed, wide awake to the charms of the situation.
“Now—ready,” whispered Anne, as Dr. Grennell’s fine voice rolled out the last lines of the “Prologue.” “Now—” and the curtain went up on “The Sleeping Princess.”
Jimmie’s mouth flew open and Amelia smiled, but little cared the gaping audience for such trifles. Breathless they stared as one scene followed another. Launcelot was a Prince that set all the little girls’ hearts a-flutter, as he knelt beside the couch, with a great bunch of dewy roses in his arms, which, in the next picture, lay all scattered over Judy, when she waked and gazed at him dreamily. Jimmie came out strongly at this point, with a prodigious yawn that almost broke him in two, and was so expressive of great weariness that little Bobbie Green, his bosom friend, was carried away by the realism of it, and asked in awe, “Did he really sleep a hundred years?” and was not quite brought back to earth by Tommy Tolliver’s exclamation, “Why you saw him awake this morning, Bobbie, didn’t you?”