The stranger was a large man with kindly eyes and a cheery smile, as pleasant as Raggedy Ann’s.
He took Marcella upon his knee and ran his fingers through her curls as he talked to Daddy and Mamma, so, of course, Raggedy Ann liked him from the beginning. “I have two little girls,” he told Marcella. “Their names are Virginia and Doris, and one time when we were at the sea-shore they were playing in the sand and they covered up Freddy, Doris’ boy-doll in the sand. They were playing that Freddy was in bathing and that he wanted to be covered with the clean white sand, just as the other bathers did. And when they had covered Freddy they took their little pails and shovels and went farther down the beach to play and forgot all about Freddy.
“Now when it came time for us to go home, Virginia and Doris remembered Freddy and ran down to get him, but the tide had come in and Freddy was ’way out under the water and they could not find him. Virginia and Doris were very sad and they talked of Freddy all the way home.”
“It was too bad they forgot Freddy,” said Marcella.
“Yes, indeed it was!” the new friend replied as he took Raggedy Ann up and made her dance on Marcella’s knee. “But it turned out all right after all, for do you know what happened to Freddy?”
“No, what did happen to him?” Marcella asked.
“Well, first of all, when Freddy was covered with the sand, he enjoyed it immensely. And he did not mind it so much when the tide came up over him, for he felt Virginia and Doris would return and get him.
“But presently Freddy felt the sand above him move as if someone was digging him out. Soon his head was uncovered and he could look right up through the pretty green water, and what do you think was happening? The Tide Fairies were uncovering Freddy!
“When he was completely uncovered, the Tide Fairies swam with Freddy ’way out to the Undertow Fairies. The Undertow Fairies took Freddy and swam with him ’way out to the Roller Fairies. The Roller Fairies carried Freddy up to the surface and tossed him up to the Spray Fairies who carried him to the Wind Fairies.”
“And the Wind Fairies?” Marcella asked breathlessly.
“The Wind Fairies carried Freddy right to our garden and there Virginia and Doris found him, none the worse for his wonderful adventure!”
“Freddy must have enjoyed it and your little girls must have been very glad to get Freddy back again!” said Marcella. “Raggedy Ann went up in the air on the tail of a kite one day and fell and was lost, so now I am very careful with her!”
“Would you let me take Raggedy Ann for a few days?” asked the new friend.
Marcella was silent. She liked the stranger friend, but she did not wish to lose Raggedy Ann.
“I will promise to take very good care of her and return her to you in a week. Will you let her go with me, Marcella?”