Freddie Firefly shuddered.
“Anyway, you’re better off than Mrs. Ladybug is,” somebody piped up.
“Why, what’s happened to her?” Freddie Firefly inquired.
“Haven’t you heard?” several of his cousins cried.
“No! no!” he shouted.
“Her house caught fire to-night, while she was away from home,” they explained.
“I thought I smelled smoke as I was coming back from the railroad,” Freddie observed. And then a sad picture came into his mind.
“And Mrs. Lady bug’s children—” he began breathlessly.
“Oh! The neighbors saved them,” his favorite cousin said. “They’re only slightly scorched. But their ma’s house is ruined.”
Then, to everybody’s great surprise, Freddie Firefly began to dance up and down and sing with joy.
“Oh, I’m so glad! Oh, I’m so glad!” he chanted over and over again.
His relations could scarcely believe that he was quite himself.
“His fright on the railroad must have injured his mind,” they said to one another. “Or perhaps the train ran over his head when he didn’t know it.” They could think of no other reason for Freddie’s queer actions. Always before he had seemed too kind-hearted to rejoice over another person’s ill luck.
“What do you mean?” three hundred voices shouted. “Why are you glad?”
“I’m glad I tried to stop the train,” Freddie Firefly answered, “because now Mrs. Ladybug can’t say that I set her house on fire. She knows that I was working on the railroad to-night. And nobody can be in two places at the same time.”