“Your guardian fairy,
Then all the little McSwiggins stared, and the littlest McSwiggins—except the baby, asked, “Was it really a fairy, mother?” and Mrs. McSwiggins wiped her eyes and sobbed, “I reckon it was, honey,” but Mary McSwiggins with her eyes shining as they had never shone before in her sad little life said softly to her mother, “I’ll bet it was them girls and that Bart boy. I’ll bet it was—”
“What girls?” asked Mrs. McSwiggins.
“Them girls down at the Judge’s in the big house. They wears white dresses, and one’s got yaller hair and the other’s got brown, and I was behin’ the fence yustiddy when they was pickin’ flowers, and that’s how I foun’ out they names—the dark one’s Judy, and the light one’s Anne—and the boy’s named Launcelot. And that’s how they got that fairy name—you look here,” and she held up the note to her mother, “‘Ju—ann—lot’—it’s jes’ them names strung together.”
“Well, now,” said Mrs. McSwiggins, “if that ain’ bright, honey. But I don’t know’s we ought to take all them things.”
“Sweetheart ain’t goin’ away from yer no more,” said Mary, firmly, “and they’d feel mighty bad if we didn’t take the other things.”
“Well, mebbe they would,” said Mrs. McSwiggins, “and anyhow they’s saved us from the po’house, and that’s a fact, Mary, and don’ you forgit it when you say yo’ prayers.”
Far down the road the Mysterious Four gloated over their success.
“Wasn’t it fun?” gasped Anne.
“Here’s to the fairy Juannlot,” cried Launcelot.
“May she never cease to do good,” cried Judy, beaming on her fellow conspirators.
But Perkins merely nodded approval. For had not all the good ladies of the house of Jameson played the role of Lady Bountiful, and was not Judy thus proving herself worthy of their name and fame?
THE SUMMER ENDS
In the softened light of the candles, the big mirrors reflected that night four misty groups of happy people.
A blur of pink down at one end, was Anne in rosy organdie, playing games with Tommy and Amelia and Nannie; a little fire flickered in the open grate, for the evening was cool, and one side of it sat the little grandmother and her old friend, the Judge, and on the other Dr. Grennell and Captain Jameson, engaged in an animated discussion; while in the window-seat, Judy and Launcelot gazed out upon the old garden.
“I shall miss it awfully,” said Judy, with a little sigh.
Launcelot turned on her a startled glance.
“Why?” he asked, “where are you going?”
“Away to school,” said Judy, “didn’t Anne tell you?”
“Oh, I say—oh, I say, you’re not, really?” Launcelot’s voice had a queer break in it, that made Judy say quickly:
“We are coming back for Christmas.”