All of these things Uncle Steve arranged with the utmost care and taste, and Marjorie soon learned how to do it for herself. Some things, such as letters or thin cards, must be pasted in; heavier cards or postcards were best arranged by cutting slits for the corners and tucking them in; while more bulky objects, such as pebbles, a tiny china doll or a wee little Teddy Bear, must be very carefully tied to the page by narrow ribbons put through slits from the back.
Marjorie was so impetuous and hasty in her work that it was difficult for her to learn to do it patiently and carefully. Her first efforts tore the pages and were far from being well done. But, as she saw the contrast between her own untidy work and Uncle Steve’s neat and careful effects, she tried very hard to improve, and as the book went on her pages grew every day better and more careful.
At the top of each page Uncle Steve would write the date or the place in dainty, graceful letters; and often he would write a name or a little joke under the separate souvenirs, until, as time went on, the book became one of Marjorie’s most valued and valuable possessions.
THE FRONT STAIRS
Marjorie had been at Grandma Sherwood’s about weeks, and as a general thing she had been a pretty good little girl. She had tried to obey her mother’s orders, and though it was not easy to keep her troublesome curls always just as they ought to be and her ribbon always in place, yet she had accomplished this fairly well, and Grandma said that she really deserved credit for it.
But to obey Grandma implicitly was harder still. Not that Marjorie ever meant to disobey or ever did it wilfully, but she was very apt to forget and, too, it seemed to be natural for her to get into mischief. And as it was always some new sort of mischief, which no one could have thought of forbidding, and as she was always so sorry for it afterward, there was more or less repentance and forgiveness going on all the time.
But, on the whole, she was improving, and Uncle Steve sometimes said that he believed she would live to grow up without tumbling off of something and breaking her neck, after all.
Grandma Sherwood found it far easier to forgive Marjorie’s unintentional mischief than her forgetting of explicit commands.
One command in particular had caused trouble all summer. There were two front doors to Grandma’s house and two halls. One of these halls opened into the great drawing-room on one side and a smaller reception room on the other, where callers were received. The stairs in this hall were of polished wood and were kept in a state of immaculate, mirror-like shininess by Jane, who took great pride in this especial piece of work.
The other front door opened into a hall less pretentious. This hall was between the drawingroom and the family library, and the stairs here were covered with thick, soft carpet.