“Perhaps to-night, dearie——”
Scott impatiently detached the schoolroom globe from its brass axis: “I’m sorry, too,” he said; “but I’m tired of lessons. Now, Mrs. Farren, watch me! I’m going to kick a goal from the field. Here, you hold it, Geraldine; Mrs. Farren, you had better try to block it and cheer for Yale!”
Geraldine seized the globe, threw herself flat on the floor, and, head on one side, wriggled, carefully considering the angle. Then, tipping the globe, she adjusted it daintily for her brother to kick.
“A little higher, please; look out there, Mrs. Farren!” said Scott calmly; “Harvard is going to score this time. Now, Geraldine!”
Thump! came the kick, but Mrs. Farren had fled, and the big globe struck the nursery door and bounced back minus half of South America.
For ten minutes the upper floors echoed with the racket. Geraldine fiercely disputed her brother’s right to kick every time; then, as usual, when she got what she wanted, gave up to Scott and let him monopolise the kicking until, satiated, he went back to the black-board, having obliterated several continents from the face of the globe.
“You might at least be polite enough to hold it for me to kick,” said his sister. “What a pig you are, Scott.”
“Don’t bother me; I’m drawing Howker. You can’t kick straight, anyway——”
“Yes, I can!”
Scott, intent on his drawing, muttered:
“I wish there was another boy in this house; I might have a little fun to-day if there was anybody to play with.”
There ensued a silence; then he heard his sister’s light little feet flying along the hallway toward their bedrooms, but went on calmly with his drawing, using some effective coloured crayon on Howker’s nose. Presently he became conscious that Geraldine had re-entered the room.
“What are you going to do to-day?” he asked, preoccupied.
Geraldine, dressed in her brother’s clothes, was kneeling on one knee and hastily strapping on a single roller-skate.
“I’ll show you,” she said, rising and shaking the dark curls out of her eyes. “Come on, Scott, I’m going to misbehave all day. Look at me! I’ve brought you the boy you wanted to play with.”
Her brother turned, considered her with patronising toleration, then shrugged his shoulders.
“You look like one, but you’re no good,” he said.
“I can be just as bad as any boy!” she insisted. “I’ll do whatever you do; I’ll do worse, I tell you. Dare me to do something!”
“You don’t dare skate backward into the red drawing-room! There’s too much bric-a-brac.”
She turned like a flash and was off, hopping and clattering down-stairs on her single skate, and a moment later she whirled into the red drawing-room backward and upset a Sang-de-boeuf jar, reducing the maid to horrified tears and the jar to powder.
Howker strove in vain to defend his dining-room when Scott appeared on one skate; but the breakfast-room and pantry were forcibly turned into rinks; the twins swept through the halls, met and defeated their nurses, Margaret and Betty, tumbled down into the lower regions, from there descended to the basement, and whizzed cheerily through the kitchen, waving two skateless legs.