As they passed swiftly, ’Lias looked out at them and waved his little hand flutteringly. His other hand was tightly clasped in Mr. Pond’s big one. He was smiling at them all. His eyes looked dazed and radiant. He turned his head as the buggy flashed by to call out, in a shrill, exulting little shout, “Good-bye! Good-bye! I’m going to live with ...” They could hear no more. He was gone, only his little hand still waving at them over the back of the buggy seat.
Betsy drew a long, long breath. She found that Ralph was looking at her. For a moment she couldn’t think what made him look so different. Then she saw that he was smiling. She had never seen him smile before. He smiled at her as though he were sure she would understand, and never said a word. Betsy looked forward again and saw the gleaming buggy vanishing over the hill in front of them. She smiled back at Ralph silently.
Not a thing had happened the way she had planned; no, not a single thing! But it seemed to her she had never been so happy in her life.
BETSY HAS A BIRTHDAY
Betsy’s birthday was the ninth day of September, and the Necronsett Valley Fair is always held from the eighth to the twelfth. So it was decided that Betsy should celebrate her birthday by going up to Woodford, where the Fair was held. The Putneys weren’t going that year, but the people on the next farm, the Wendells, said they could make room in their surrey for the two little girls; for, of course, Molly was going, too. In fact, she said the Fair was held partly to celebrate her being six years old. This would happen on the seventeenth of October. Molly insisted that that was plenty close enough to the ninth of September to be celebrated then. This made Betsy feel like laughing out, but observing that the Putneys only looked at each other with the faintest possible quirk in the corners of their serious mouths, she understood that they were afraid that Molly’s feelings might be hurt if they laughed out loud. So Betsy tried to curve her young lips to the same kind and secret mirth.
And, I can’t tell you why, this effort not to hurt Molly’s feelings made her have a perfect spasm of love for Molly. She threw herself on her and gave her a great hug that tipped them both over on the couch on top of Shep, who stopped snoring with his great gurgling snort, wriggled out from under them, and stood with laughing eyes and wagging tail, looking at them as they rolled and giggled among the pillows.
“What dress are you going to wear to the Fair, Betsy?” asked Cousin Ann. “And we must decide about Molly’s, too.”
This stopped their rough-and-tumble fun in short order, and they applied themselves to the serious question of a toilet.