Marjorie was so sorry not to have wares to offer her would-be customers that she ran up to her room several times, gathering up books, pictures, or toys that she thought she could by any possibility spare. She would fly with them down to the porch, mark them at exorbitant prices, and in a few moments they would be sold to the amiable and generous buyers.
It was an unusual experience for a fancy fair, as often there are many unsold wares left to be auctioned off or sold at reduced rates.
When it was all over and the last guests had departed, swinging their lanterns, Marjorie, very tired but very happy, displayed a well-filled cash-box.
“How much do you suppose?” she cried gayly to Uncle Steve.
“Fifty dollars,” guessed that jovial gentleman.
“Nonsense,” cried Marjorie, “you know there’s more than that! But I rather think you’ll be surprised when I tell you that there’s a little over two hundred dollars!”
“Fine!” exclaimed Uncle Steve. “That will keep the Elegant Ella in fans and sashes for some time!”
“Indeed, it won’t be used for that,” declared Marjorie. “We’re going to give it to Grandma and let her use it for the Dunns just as she thinks best. Little girls can have a fair and earn the money, but it takes older people to manage the rest of it.”
“That’s true enough, Midge,” said Grandma, “but you certainly shall have a share in the pleasure of bestowing it upon our poor neighbors.”
“Mopsy,” said Uncle Steve one morning, “I understand that next week Thursday has the honor of being your birthday.”
“Yes, Uncle Steve, and I’ll be twelve years old.”
“My gracious goodness! What an old lady you are getting to be! Well, now for such an occasion as that we must celebrate in some way. So I’m going to give you a choice of pleasures. Would you rather have a party, a picnic, or a present?”
Marjorie considered. She well knew that a present which would balance against a party or a picnic would be a fine present, indeed. And so, after a moment’s thought, she replied:
“I’ll take the present, thank you, Uncle Steve; for somehow I feel sure we’ll have picnics this summer, as we always do; and I don’t care much about a party, because I know so few children around here.”
“All right, then, Midget; a present it shall be, but with this stipulation: you must promise not to go down into the south orchard from now until next Thursday.”
“Why not?” asked Mopsy, her eyes wide open with astonishment.
“Principally, because I tell you not to, and I want you to obey me; but I don’t mind explaining that it is because I shall be there, at least part of the time, making your present; and as I want it to be a surprise, you mustn’t come peeping around.”
“All right, Uncle Steve, I won’t; but why do you make it down there? Why not make it up here at the house?”