“I hardly think it would do. I am afraid it could not be arranged,” she doubtfully replied.
“Indeed it could, and very easily. I have a lovely idea!” said Katherine, eagerly. “Let her take the Calla Lily—no one has chosen that because the flowers are too stiff to trim a dress gracefully. But Dorothy’s chair could be transformed into a chariot of lilies, and I am sure they could be so arranged about her that she would look like a fairy in the midst of them. If you are willing I will talk it over with the girls. We will manage everything, so that she will not be wearied with any of the preparations, and I will take charge of her while she is on the stage. I know that she would have a beautiful time.”
“Oh, mamma, if I only might!” breathed Dorothy, rapturously, and carried away by the attractive prospect.
“Well, we will talk it over with papa; if he consents I will not say no, and certainly Miss Minturn’s suggestion is very alluring,” replied her mother, as she bestowed a grateful smile on Katherine.
Prof. Seabrook could see no objection to the plan, and as everybody was always glad to contribute to the enjoyment of the sick girl, the idea was eagerly adopted, and Miss Dorothy was at once chosen to be the central figure in the tableau.
It proved to be a most effective one, with the bevy of gorgeously garlanded maidens artistically grouped around their lily queen, who entered heartily into the spirit of the scene.
The child’s chair had indeed been transformed! No one would have recognized it, covered as it was with a wealth of pure white blossoms and dark-green leaves, for it looked more like the throne of a fairy than like anything so ordinary and unpretentious. Mrs. Seabrook, who possessed exquisite taste, had so massed the blossoms around her and daintily perched an inverted one on her head that the effect was exceedingly beautiful and picturesque. Katherine, who had chosen to be “Lady Poppea,” made a brilliant foil, on one side, with her garlands and basket of vivid scarlet poppies; while another junior, bedecked with fuchsias, stood on the opposite side and held an umbrella, made of and fringed with the same flowers, protectingly over her; and with a score or more others forming a variegated background, the scene was brilliant and gorgeous beyond description.
The applause was tumultuous; for, aside from the exceeding beauty of the picture, every heart in the audience was touched by the happy little face looking out at them from the midst of her devoted subjects, and the curtain was raised and lowered several times before they could be satisfied.
Then the proud and happy juniors hastily divested themselves of their gay trappings and hurried away to join their friends and trip to inspiring music in the main hall below; thus Katherine was left with Dorothy alone on the stage.
“Wasn’t it perfectly lovely, Miss Minturn?” exclaimed the girl in a rapturous tone and with shining eyes. “I never saw you look so pretty, and I never had such a happy time in all my life. I only wish I could have seen the whole of it.”