“Isn’t it lovely here,” said Judy, dropping her great golden bunch with a sigh as she sat down on the bench under the lilac bush. “It’s so cool.”
“What a lot of goldenrod,” said the Judge. “Aren’t you tired?”
“A little,” said Judy, as she took off her hat.
“Launcelot couldn’t go,” Anne started to explain, when Terry, who had been investigating the hedge, barked.
“What’s the matter with him?” asked Judy, as the small dog growled in what might be called a perfunctory fashion, for he was so good natured that he was in a chronic state of being at peace with the world.
She went to the gate and looked over.
“Why, it’s a cow,” she cried, “a beautiful little brown-eyed cow.”
Terry barked again, and then a voice outside the hedge said: “Yes, and I’ve just bought her.”
“Launcelot,” screamed both of the girls, delightedly, and opened the gate wide.
JUDY PLAYS LADY BOUNTIFUL
“Down, Terry,” commanded the Captain, as the little dog went for the mild-eyed cow, but the mild-eyed cow seemed perfectly able to take care of herself, and as she lowered her horns, Terry retired discreetly to a safe place between the Captain’s knees, where he wagged an ingratiating tail.
Launcelot and the cow stood framed in the rose-covered gateway.
“Yes, I’ve bought a cow,” explained the big boy, who was dusty but cheerful, “and we are going to have our own butter and milk, and if there is any over, I’ll sell it.”
“You have my order now,” said the Judge, handsomely.
“Thank you, sir,” said Launcelot, and Anne cried:
“Oh, Launcelot, make it in little pats stamped with a violet, and label it, ‘From the Violet Farm.’”
“That’s not a bad idea,” commended the Captain, “novelties like that take, and if the butter is good, you may get a market for more than you can make.”
“Then I will get another cow and enlarge my hothouse, and between the butter and the violets I guess I can bring up my college fund,” and Launcelot looked so hopeful that they all smiled in sympathy.
“Where did you get her?” asked Judy, as she patted the pretty creature on the head.
“I bought her a mile or so out in the country, and I tell you I hated to take her after I had paid the money.”
“Why?” asked Anne.
“Oh, they were so poor, and the cow was the only thing they had. There is a widow, named McSwiggins, with six children, and I guess they have had a pretty hard time, and now their taxes are due and the interest and two of them have had the typhoid fever, and are just skin and bone, and they had to sell the cow, and they cried, and I felt like a thief when I carried her off.”
“Oh, poor things,” cried Judy, when Launcelot finished his breathless recital, “poor things.”