“Jiminy Christmas!” cried Hoopsy Topsy, quite upsetting Dibbs as she made a rush for the pie. And then Plumpy, the baby, wiggled his fat little self across the floor and joined the crowd about the pie, and aided by the Elegant Ella, in a few moments there wasn’t any pie at all.
“Just look at them,” said Mrs. Dunn, placidly; “you’d think they didn’t have no manners! But they’re that fond of pie, you wouldn’t believe! They don’t never get none, you know, and so it’s a novelty.”
“We’d like it if we had it every day,” announced Hoopsy Topsy, with her mouth full.
“Pie ev’y day!” agreed Dibbs, as he contentedly munched his piece. The whole scene made a great impression on the two visitors, but they were affected quite differently. Marjorie felt a strong inclination to get away as soon as she could, for, though she felt very sorry for the poor people and was glad to give them things, yet the situation was not at all attractive, and having done her errand, she was quite ready to go.
Not so Molly. That active and energetic young person was dismayed at the untidiness and discomfort all about, and felt a strong desire at least to alleviate it.
“Mrs. Dunn,” she said, “of course with your injured hand and foot you can’t sweep. Mayn’t I just take a broom and brush up a little? You’d be so much more comfortable.”
“Land sakes, child, ‘taint fer you to be sweepin’ our house! Ella here, she can sweep; and Hoopsy Topsy’s a good fist at it.”
“I shall tidy up the room to-morrow,” said Ella, with an air of haughty apology, “but to-day I have a hat to trim and I can’t be bothered with household matters.”
“Ella’s just great on trimmin’ hats,” observed her mother, “and Mis’ Green, she giv’ her her last year’s straw; and Ella, she’ll trim it up so Mis’ Green herself couldn’t recognize it!”
Marjorie didn’t doubt this in the least, and as Molly’s suggestion had put an idea into her own head, she began to look upon an acquaintance with the Dunns as a new sort of entertainment.
“Mrs. Dunn,” Marjorie said, “please let Molly and me fix up this room a little bit. Now, I’ll tell you what: you and the children take these baskets of things out into the kitchen and put them away, or eat them, or do what you please. And then you all stay out there until we tell you you may come back. Ella can trim her hat if she chooses, and Hoopsy Topsy can take care of the children, and you can go on with your reading which we interrupted.”
“Now, ain’t you kind,” said Mrs. Dunn; “I do declare that would be jest lovely! I ain’t had a good rest like that in I don’t know when! Hoopsy Topsy, you and Ella’ll have to shove me out in this here chair. I can hobble some, but I can’t walk.”
With the children’s assistance, Mrs. Dunn was transferred to the other room, her children followed, and Midge and Molly were left to their own devices.