But when, last of all, the can of ice cream was presented, the joy of the Dunn children found vociferous expression. Hoopsy Topsy turned somersaults to show her delight, while Dibbs yelled for very glee. Carefully putting down her parasol, and laying it aside, the Elegant Ella sauntered over to where the family were gathered round the wonderful can. “Don’t be in such haste,” she said, reprovingly, to the boisterous children, “sit down quietly, and I will arrange that the ice cream shall be served properly.”
This was too much for the amused observers in the carriage, and, picking up the reins, Uncle Steve, with a hasty good-by, drove away.
The girls leaned out of the carriage to get a last glimpse of the Elegant Ella, and saw her still trying to quell the noisy impatience of the smaller children, but apparently with little success.
“Now our duty’s done, and well done,” said Uncle Steve, gayly; “and now we’ll go for our justly-earned reward. You chickadees may each select your favorite flavor of ice cream and then we’ll get a goodly portion of each, with a fair share thrown in for Grandma and myself.”
The result was a very large-sized wooden tub, which they managed to stow away in the carriage somehow, and then they drove rapidly homeward that they might enjoy their little feast in Marjorie’s porch.
THE OLD WELL
During August the weather became excessively hot. Grandma Sherwood managed to keep the house cool by careful adjustment of awnings, blinds, and screens, but out-of-doors it was stifling.
Midge and Molly did not mind the heat much, and played out of doors all day, but Stella wilted under the sun’s direct rays, and usually her mother kept her indoors until the late afternoon.
But one day the intense heat became almost too much even for the other two little girls. They had been romping in the barn, and finally sat down in the hay, very red-faced and warm.
“What can we do,” said Molly, “to get cooler?”
“Let’s go down by the river,” said Marjorie; “it must be cooler by the water.”
“Not a bit of it. The sun’s too bright down there. Let’s walk in the woods.”
“The woods are so hot; there isn’t a bit of breeze in there.”
In sheer idleness of spirit the girls got up and wandered aimlessly about. Going down through the garden and across the chicken-yard, they paused a moment by the old well to get a drink.
As they turned the windlass and drew up a full bucket of water, while the empty one went down, Molly was seized with an inspiration.
“Mopsy Midget!” she exclaimed. “I’ll tell you the very thing! Let’s go down the well, and get cooled off!”
“How can we?” said Marjorie, who was quite ready to go, but couldn’t see her way clear as to the means of transportation.
“Why, as easy as anything! You go down in one bucket, and I’ll go down in the other.”