A VISIT TO MRS. ROCKWOOD'S.
" WHAT can be the matter with grandfather Milly ? " exclaimed Daisy one evening, after Dick had been at his new place about a month.
"Why?" asked Dick, who had just come in from work.
" Because, night before last he left his violin here all night, and he was off all day yesterday and never missed it ; and he seemed real surprised and confused when I told him it had been in our room all day. And now, to-day, he has gone off again, and here is his bow on the lounge just where he left it last evening. What do you think of that? "
"Perhaps he is going to give up street playing, and is trying to find some other kind of work," replied Dick.
" O, I wish he would, Dick! That must be what it is. I noticed last evening, when he came in, how his eyes twinkled, as though he had lots to tell, but wouldn't. Ha, ha! we know his secret now, don't we, Dick? And he thinks we are all in the dark. Let's not say a word till he tells us all about it, then we will surprise him by letting him know that we knew it before."
" That we will, Daisy," replied Dick. good-naturedly, as he drew from his pocket a book of travels. For since he had all his evenings to himself, he had gratified his love of reading; and, as soon as the lamp was lighted, he would seat himself by the table and peruse some book that he had taken out of his Sunday-school library, often reading aloud to his sister when he came across anything that he thought would please her ; for Daisy's knowledge of reading was very limited, as she had attended the village school but a short time before she came to Boston ; so reading was no pleasure to her, because she could not master the big words. But she was determined that it should not be long before she could read as well as Dick, and an hour at least every day was passed puzzling over an old Third Class Reader that she had in her possession.
Ella's knowledge of reading was even less than her own; and, as Daisy wanted to teach her everything that she knew herself, she passed the hour with her; and together they studied the coverless school-book.
Daisy was a good teacher, and Ella an apt pupil, not only in learning to read, but in learning to keep house; for her rooms could now match Daisy's in neatness, and she hoped, if Jack continued as he had begun, to be soon able to have them looking as well every other way.
Already she had some flourishing plants in her window that Daisy had slipped and rooted for her from her own collection, which had increased wonderfully since her visit to Mrs. Rockwood, about which I must tell you.
After Dick had been at his new place about a week, Mrs. Rockwood sent her carriage, as she had promised to do, for Daisy to spend the afternoon and evening with her and her children.
It was a pleasant day, and Daisy would have enjoyed the ride very much, if Mrs. Rockwood's two daughters, Mabel and Lucy, whom she had never seen before, had not been in the carriage with her. But there they were, in gay silk dresses and jaunty little hats, and their light curls fell over the prettiest velvet sacks she had ever seen.
O, how she wished she was back again in her own rooms, where those girls could not see how she was dressed. True, she had on her best sack, and the hood that grandpa Milly had given her for a Christmas present, and a pretty spotted delame dress that Dick had bought her, and of which she had been very proud, because it fitted her so neatly. But how mean it looked so near the gay-colored silks beside her. Sitting as far back into the carriage as possible, as though she would be out of sight, she drew her dress closely around her, and answered the two girls, who were disposed to be chatty, in monosyllables, and somehow felt very miserable.
But it was not in Daisy's disposition to feel miserable long. She had a good deal of commonsense in her little head, and soon these thoughts were passing through it.
" Why should I care if these girls are dressed better than I am? They ought to be. They have a rich father to take care of them, who can afford to buy them beautiful dresses, while I have only poor brother Dick to take care of me, who has to work very hard to buy me as good as I have. I have been very wicked and ungrateful, but I thought that they might laugh at me when they saw that I do not look as well as they ; they would have laughed, more likely, had I been dressed as they are, when they know I am a poor girl."
After these thoughts, Daisy's answers were longer, and a smile came with them. And, when the carriage stopped before the residence of Mr. Rockwood, the three girls were chatting merrily together.
" Come," said Mabel, after the coachman had assisted the girls to alight. " We will take you first to our rooms, where we have so many things to show you." And Daisy followed them into the house, through halls, and up wide stairways, till they came to some rooms that were fitted up expressly for the use of the two sisters. Very beautiful they were, but Daisy soon forgot them, looking at the many curiosities the girls showed her, that their uncle Charles, who had just returned from abroad, had brought them.
There were two beautiful work-boxes, all furnished, that came from England. Some queerly-carved ivory card-cases, that came from China. Pictures, stones from Mount Vesuvius, and pieces of the pyramids of Egypt. And about each a long story was told ; so that nearly all the afternoon had passed away, when Mabel proposed that they should next visit the conservatory. And as their mother had expressed a wish to go with them, to choose some plants to present to Daisy, they went in search of her, and found her in the drawing-room.
'" Here is Daisy Travers, mother. We have been showing her the curiosities that uncle Charles brought us."
" I am glad that you came," said Mrs. Rockwood, taking Daisy's hand, " and hope you are having a good time."
" Thank you, ma'am, I am," said Daisy, blushing rosy red, and hardly knowing what to say.
" We came for you to go to the conservatory with us, mamma," said Lucy.
" Well, run along, little girls, and I will follow," replied Mrs. Rockwood, good-naturedly ; and after requesting a servant to get a basket, and go with it to the conservatory, she followed after the three girls.
" O, how beautiful it is here ! " exclaimed Daisy, as she entered the conservatory, and inhaled the perfume of the many plants that were blossoming around her. Never, in all her life, had she seen such beautiful flowers before. Mrs. Willis, who lived near her old home, had a garden to be proud of. It was well laid out and cultivated; and Daisy used to think, when she walked through it, that nowhere in the world could there be a handsomer one; but how would that one look by the side of this " garden in a house," as she called it?
Her thoughts were turned in another direction, however, when she saw Mrs. Rockwood directing the servant to pack some beautiful blossoming plants in the basket. She knew they were for her, and her heart bounded with joy.
Sometime longer they remained there admiring the plants; then they returned to the drawing-room, where Mr. Rockwood and Dick awaited them.
" O, Dick," cried Daisy, as she ran to his side, " I have had such a splendid time."
Dick replied not; he was evidently afraid to speak before the two gayly-dressed girls, who were eyeing him so closely.
"Have you been to see the flowers, Daisy?" asked Mr. Rockwood, smiling down upon her.
" Yes, sir," she replied.
"And we have shown her all the things uncle Charley brought us," said Mabel.
" Well, have n't you something to show Dick, here ? Where is that portfolio of engravings ? He and Daisy can be looking over them till tea-time, and after tea I shall depend upon you two girls to make them have as pleasant a time as possible."
" All right, papa," replied Mabel, as she tripped away in quest of the engravings.
It does not take children long to become acquainted ; so before the pictures had all been looked at and admired, all four of the children were chatting away as though they had known. each other all their lives.
Mabel and Lucy had to hear from Dick's lips the story of his life that had been told to them by their parents ; and, undoubtedly, the sisters made of Dick a hero, and of Daisy a heroine.
A pleasant evening passed, in which many games were played and puzzles solved; and it was after nine o'clock when Mr. Rockwood announced that the carriage was waiting to take Dick and his sister home. After many invitations to " come again," and after the " good-nights " had been spoken, they entered the carriage, in which a servant had just placed the basket of plants.
The drive home seemed a long one to Daisy, who was so anxious to reach it that she might tell grandfather Milly about the splendid time she had had, and show him her beautiful plants.
Then she thought of Ella and Jack, and wondered if they would be surprised when she told them she had been visiting girls who dress in silks and velvets, and have servants to wait upon them.
" Poor Ella ! " thought she to herself. " How she would have enjoyed being with me. I am afraid she will feel bad if I tell her everything, because she never had such a good time in her life." And then and there Daisy resolved that only a part would she tell her. Most of the good things she would leave out, so that Ella might not " feel so bad."
But when she reached home, and grandfather Milly, Jack, and Ella, all came into her room, to hear about her visit, and after she had told all that she had intended to tell, she could not resist the temptation to tell more and more ; till everything had been told that had transpired since she left the house that afternoon.
Ella looked on, and listened ; but not in sorrow because she had not been in her place, or with her. Daisy had had a good time; that was enough for her to know. Daisy, whom she considered an angel, who had taken her from a miserable life in the streets, and placed her in a comfortable home, that seemed a paradise to her; whose brother had changed her brother from a rough, care-for-nothing, idle boot-black, to a kind, loving, ambitions boy, -- she had a good time ; and Ella enjoyed her thoughts quite as much as Daisy had enjoyed her visit.
NEWS FROM WILLOWVALE.
ONE day, while on his way home from work, Dick was not a little surprised to hear his name spoken, and to receive a hearty slap upon his shoulder. Turning, he saw by his side the smiling face of Will Redcliff, who had been, the summer before last, his near neighbor and dear friend, in the little village of Willowvale.
" Dick Travers, by all that 's wonderful ! " exclaimed Will, shaking Dick's hand until it felt numb. " What are you doing in the city alone, and do you know your way 'round ? "
" I don't get lost very often," replied Dick, laughing, and well pleased to meet his old friend.
"Very often? What do you mean by that? Are you in the city often ? "
" I am not often out of it, nowadays."
" You don't mean to say that you live here?"
" Why did n't you let me know it ? "
"Why have n't you been to see me?"
" You would have seen me long ago, if I had not lost the card you gave me with your address on it. I could not remember the name of the street. There were sad times in Willowvale after you left."
" Yes, I know it. I was there this last summer, on a visit to my cousin, and I heard all about it. Poor fellow, you had a hard time of it ; and everybody in Willowvale thinks that you and your sister are dead. Whom do you live with now, and what has become of Daisy ? "
" We both live at number eight H---- Street. Can't you come home with me, and spend the evening? I have so much to tell you, and so much to ask about Willowvale, and everybody in it."
"Yes, I think I can. But -- bless me! I forgot. There are seven actors, and a crowd down that street, waiting for me to come back. I only ran out to see if I could hunt up the boy who promised to act the unfortunate Dutchman in the tragedy. What number did you say you lived?"
" Number eight H---- Street."
" You will see me there this evening." So saying, the light-hearted lad darted down the street, to be in time to take his part in the play he had nearly forgotten in his surprise at meeting Dick Travers.
Dick smiled to see his friend as eager for a play as he was a year ago, in the old barn in Willowvale. But the smile soon disappeared, for he thought of the sad changes since that time.
He said nothing to his sister, when he reached home, about his meeting Redcliff; for he wanted to surprise her the more in the evening.
Daisy had scarcely cleared away the dishes, after their evening meal, when there was a ring at the door-bell, then a quick step in the entry. Dick sprang to the door, and ushered in the stranger before Daisy's wondering eyes ; and her astonishment at seeing him caused both the boys to laugh merrily.
At Will's earnest request, Dick told all that had happened to him since the morning he and his sister ran away from Willowvale, to escape going to the poor-house. His story was often interrupted by questions and exclamations from his listener.
" Now, Will," said he, after he had told all, "now tell me all about Willowvale. Who is living in the old house?"
" The man who took possession of it after you left, has let it to two families, and there are now eleven children in it, much to the disgust of my Aunt White, who is annoyed almost to death by them, and she daily regrets the loss of the ' Travers children.' Ha ha ! "
"What do they do?"
" I could not begin to tell you half. In the first place, I think my cousins Maud and Eva are to blame for their actions ; for as soon as they came, they, Maud and Eva, began to lord it over them; put on their high, aristocratic airs, you. know, and snubbed them so unmercifully because they were poor, they succeeded in making the whole eleven of them enemies."
"How do they show their enmity? "
"By trying to convince Maud and Eva, in a rough way, that this is a free country, and that all are equal in it."
"Why in a rough way?"
" Because they are rough about it," replied Will, laughing. " One day they took Maud prisoner, and locked her up in the old barn, then danced a war-dance around her, in the true Indian style,--yelling, and frightening her almost to death."
" Did n't Maud's mother do anything about it?"
"Yes. She made the old gardener give the largest boy a good thrashing; but the next day she went to the village, and the whole eleven of them entered the garden, in double file, and trampled down all the choice flowers, -- the little three-year-older in his big brother's boots, that he might accomplish as much as the others."
" O, what a shame ! " exclaimed Daisy, thinking of all the beautiful flowers crushed and trampled to the ground.
" Yes, it was a shame. But I should n't think you would blame them much, for you were used pretty roughly at times by Maud and Eva. What did they call you ? "
" Buttercup Shanty," replied Daisy, laughing to think how angry she used to get at the name. " But towards the last we were good friends. Dick saved all their lives, you know, when their pony ran away."
" You have n't told us anything about Alex. I should think he could silence the whole eleven."
" Not he, he is not at all the boy he was. Either he's afraid to attack so many of them, or his disposition has changed, one of the two, and . most likely the first. But where is that friend you told me about ? -- grandfather Milly you called him. I want to hear some music. By what you said, he must be a wonderful player."
" He is a wonderful player, and a wonderful man too. Just the best and dearest old grandfather in the world. You will say so when you see him," replied Daisy.
" Well, call him out ! Applaud him ! Bring him before the foot-lights! " urged Will, with a mischievous smile.
" Run, and see if he is in his room, Daisy, and ask him if he will come and play for us," said Dick.
Daisy left the room, and ran up the narrow stairs with a light step. Pausing before a door at the head of the stairs, she rapped gently. No answer. She rapped again; still no answer. Opening the door gently, she peered into the room. What a picture! There, sitting by the window, was grandfather Milly, the silvery moonlight streaming over him, making the aged face as white as marble, and giving the silvery hair a greater lustre. Upon his knees rested his old friend the violin, and a smile was on his face which was turned towards the moonlight.
" Grandpa ! Grandpa Milly ! " said Daisy, going to him, and placing her hand upon his shoulder.
"' Is that you, little Daisy?" said the old man, turning with a slight start.
" Yes, grandpa. What were you thinking about, that you didn't hear me knock? Something good, I know, for you were smiling here all alone by yourself."
" I was thinking about something good."
" What? "
" I was thinking about little Daisy."
" Now, grandpa, what nonsense; were you thinking about me ? and what were you thinking about me ? "
"Ha! ha! I wouldn't tell you now for the world. Some day, soon, you will know though, I hope ; and until then you must n't ask questions. Did you come up for me ? "
" Yes ; we want you to come down-stairs into our room. We have got company, -- a boy whom we used to know in Willowvale; and he wants to hear you play."
" O, he does, does he? I know what you want ; you want to show me off to your company, as you have shown all the rest of your furniture, don't you?"
" Of course ; and I have saved you for the last, because you are the best. Is n't that what you wanted me to say ? "
" Dear, dear, as though I cared what you said ; but I will go, -- just this once, remember." And he followed Daisy from the room just in time to meet Jack Turner on the landing.
" Good-evening, Jack."
" Good-evening, Mr. Milly. Are you going in Dick's room to play ? "
" Yes ; want to come too?" asked the old man, smiling.
" May I?"
" What's to hinder?"
" And I'll ask Ella to come too," said Daisy. opening a door at the end of the passage.
"Ella, don't you want to come down into our room ? Grandfather Milly is going to play for us."
Ella sprang up from beside the table, where she was sitting, tying a blue ribbon round the neck of a pretty white kitten, which had been left on the doorsteps by some one, and taken in by her.
" There, Whisker, you can have a nap on the chair all by yourself while I am gone," said Ella, placing pussy upon the chair, and stroking down her soft coat; then following Daisy down-stairs.
Jack and Ella were both a little disconcerted at seeing a strange boy with Dick, but they could not very well turn back, after having shown themselves, and they both decided in their own minds that they would not have a pleasant time on account of the stranger.
After Dick had introduced Redcliff to them all, grandpa Milly put the young folks at their ease, by asking what lie should play.
"Let it be 'Home, sweet home,' to-night," said Dick, " for I have just heard from my old home."
" How many of you know the song ? " said the old man, looking at the youthful faces turned expectantly towards him.
" We all know that song, of course," replied Daisy. " Everybody knows it."
"How many of you know its origin?" asked grandfather Milly.
The children looked into each other's faces, but made no reply.
" I will tell you," continued the old man, after waiting some time for an answer. " The author's name was John Howard Payne; and, though in his song he has most beautifully defined the word ' home ' as the heart feels its meaning, he never had a home. Boy and man, he was a poor outcast, wandering through the great European cities, often compelled to beg his bread. It is said of him that one night a beautiful dream came to him. He thought that he was in a home of his own ; in a thatched cottage, with green fields around, and woods beyond ; and, as he says in the song, ' the birds came at his call.' When he awoke, he was so inspired by the dream, that then and there he went to work and wrote the song, that has since thrilled so many hearts.
" Often, afterwards, while wandering about the streets, hungry and without a cent in his pockets, people would pass him, hurrying to their pleasant homes, singing his song. How sad it must have made him feel to hear them repeating ' There 's no place like home,' and to know there were many homes around him, full of sunshine and happiness, but none into which he could enter." All the young faces were full of sympathy for the unfortunate author of "Home, sweet home," when grandfather Milly paused.
"What made him so unfortunate, sir?" asked Redcliff, the first to speak.
"Who can tell. It might have been want of energy, it might have been fate. Whatever it was, there are many like him in the world to-night; and though they may not be capable of writing such a song, are fully as sensitive to what it expresses. Now we will try to do it credit." And grandfather Milly raised his violin to his shoulder.
Of course Redcliff was the only one that was surprised at the sweet music that followed. He sat straight up in his chair, with a hand on each knee, looking, with wide open eyes, first at the old man's face, then at the fingers flying so nimbly over the strings, then at the bow performing its graceful evolutions, then at the old man's face again.
He had expected to hear some good music, by what Dick had said, but nothing like this.
After that piece was ended, another was called for, and many more would have followed, had not one of the violin strings snapped, which put an end to the music for that evening, as it was too late to purchase a new one.
" How provoking ! " said Dick. " Now what can we do, to enjoy ourselves the rest of the evening ? "
" Have a game of forfeits," proposed Jack.
"Have a tableau," said Will.
" Let some one tell a story," chimed in Daisy.
" If some one could only tell a good one," said Dick. " Grandpa Milly, you began by telling one, why can't you tell us another?"
" I tell a story? I never told such a thing in my life."
" You told us one, just now," said Ella.
" That was n't a story, it was the truth," replied the old man, merrily.
" O, but you know what we mean, grandpa, and you must tell us one," said Daisy, going to him, and taking away his violin.
"Well, if you 'll tell me what to say, I'll say it," he replied, soberly, stroking his beard.
" All that you have got to do, grandpa," said Daisy, coming back from putting the violin on the table, "is to think of something and talk about it till you can't think of another word to say."
" Indeed! " said the old man. " Won't you tell me what I am to exhaust my language about? "
" You tell him, Dick," said Daisy, turning to her brother.
" 0, anything will do for a subject. Just the first thing you happen to think of."
"I can think of nothing but a story just at present, so I will tell you, --
THE IDIOT'S MISTAKE.
There was once a poor widow with one son, and they lived together in a miserable hut on the edge of a great forest.
Unfortunately for her, her boy was foolish ; and many times a day she shed bitter tears on his account. For was it not hard enough to be poor, without being burdened with a son that could never be a help to her in her old age ?
Every day she would hear the glad voices of her neighbor's boys, as they passed her door, on their way to the forest, and would run to the window to watch them.
" O, why could not Antony have been like one of them? " she would cry. " Then he could work, and some day I might hope to leave this miserable hovel for a fine painted house, with a barn, and many chickens and bonny cows, and a horse that I might ride pleasant days. But now I must stay here till I die, working hard for the few crusts that will keep me and poor Antony from starving." And the old woman would sit down on the ground floor, and cry aloud.
One day Antony was in the hut while she was crying, playing with his pet cat Bon ; and he said, " What are you crying for, mother?" then to the cat, "We never cry, do we, Bon? We had rather scratch and bite and growl, or scamper through the woods on pleasant days. Ha! ha! we never cry, do we, Bon ? "
" Poor boy! If you only knew how unfortunate you are, your tears would flow faster than mine," replied the old woman, clasping her hands over her knees, and rocking back and forth on the hard ground.
" What is unfortunate, mother? "
" May you never know ! may you never know ! " wailed the old woman.
" We don't want to know, do we, Bon, if it makes us like her? We will go far into the woods, Bon, where nothing cries." And the cat sprang from his arms, and bounded through the open doorway, as though she had understood what he said.
" Antony, when you come back, will you bring a few sticks of wood, that I may make a fire to roast the squirrel I caught ? "
" No, mother; there will be no room in my arms for wood when I come back. Bon will be in them, for she will be tired."
" 0, Antony, do you care more for Bon than you do for me ? "
" Yes, for Bon. never cries. Nothing cries but you. I have watched the birds and the trees and the waters, and they all laugh and sing."
" I will try not to cry, Antony, if you will come by the road, and, with this penny, buy a penny's worth of tea in the store, at the village. It will be a very little bundle, and you can put it in your pocket. Then I can go into the forest, and gather some sticks."
" I will, if Bon says yes. Shall I, Bon ? " The cat approached him, and rubbed herself against his leg.
" Yes it is, mother. Give me the penny."
"Have you forgotten what you are to do with it ?"
" If I forget, Bon will tell me." And, with a shout, the boy darted into the forest.
He had been in the woods two hours, when he came to a cool spring, where he drank a refreshing draught, and seated himself on a stone, while his pet quenched her thirst.
Putting his hand in his pocket for some berries that he had gathered, he drew out the penny ; but his poor brain could not remember how it came to be there.
" Come here, Bon," said he. " You have drank enough. Come and tell me how this came in my pocket."
Bon looked at it, but did not approach.
" Don't tell me that you don't know! You know everything. Look at it again, and think; or I will ask the birds."
While he was talking, some horsemen came winding through the woods. They were the king and his followers, and at the sight of them the cat was frightened and sprang into his arms.
" Ah! the king, Bon! Does it belong to him ? " said he, eagerly; and Bon purred loudly.
" You are right, Bon, as you. always are. The king loves pennies, and now I remember, mother gave me this to give to him. What should I do without you, Bon? Come and we will give it to him." And, taking Bon in his arms, he ran towards the horsemen.
Antony had seen others pay homage to the king ; and, mimicking their actions perfectly, he gave him the penny, saying, --
" This is for you, from my mother. It is all she had to give."
" What does this mean? " said the king to his followers, in astonishment.
" I think, sire, it proves how much your subjects love you," replied one, looking very wise.
" Question the boy."
"Who is your mother?" asked the king, of Antony.
" She is a poor woman, who lives in a hut near the edge of the forest."
"Have you a father?"
" No, my king."
" Did I not tell you so, sire ? That poor woman, I have no doubt, took her last penny to give to her beloved king," said the king's follower.
" It must be so," replied the king, thoughtfully. Then, drawing forth a purse full of gold, he gave it to Antony, saying, --
" Give this to your mother, and tell her it 's a present from her king, for her loyalty, and for having so fine a son as you appear to be." Then touching his horse with the spurs, he rode on.
Antony was pleased with the handsome purse, and the bright, shining gold pieces within it, and undoubtedly would have forgotten that it was for his mother, had he not come suddenly upon her as she was gathering sticks in the forest.
" See, mother. See ! This is for you from the king! " he cried eagerly, holding it towards her.
The poor old woman was so astonished she could not speak, and she would have fallen, had she not clung to the tree at her side.
" From the king! for me! " she gasped at last.
" Yes ; for having such a son as I am! " replied Antony, proudly.
Then the widow thought that it had been given to her through pity, and she took it thankfully.
There were enough gold pieces in it to buy the pretty painted house, with the barn, the hens, the cows, and the horse; and there Antony has forgotten that his mother ever cried, for her face is bright with happiness and contentment, as she flits about her new home performing her daily tasks.
Antony never remains long in the woods with Bon now, for he is very fond of feeding the chickens and the beasts, and will talk to them by the hour, with Bon perched upon his shoulder, looking very solemn and wise.
" That was a splendid story, grandpa," said Daisy, after he had ceased speaking.
" If we had known before that you could tell stories, the violin would have had less to do," said Dick.
" I will write that story in dialogue when I get home, and have it for a play," said Will Redcliff, with much satisfaction.
"What will you do for a cat, that will be as wise as Bon?" asked Daisy, laughing.
"Bon wasn't any wiser than any cat, only Antony thought so ; and I know a boy that can act Antony to perfection."
" Won't you send me a complimentary ticket ? " asked grandfather Milly, good-naturedly.
" Certainly, if you will come," was the reply.
" I shall certainly be there. Where do you have your theatres ? "
" O, in a different place every time."
"Why can't we have it here, for that play?" asked Daisy, and her question brought many more like it; until it was decided, that as soon as Will wrote it out in dialogue, it should be acted in that room, and all were to take part in it.
Will was to be the Idiot; Daisy, his mother; grandfather Milly, the King; and Dick and Jack his followers. As there was no part that Ella could take, she agreed to be the only spectator.
Thus it was arranged, and thus it was acted a week from that night ; but the most of it had to be imagined, for there was no hut, no forest, and no spring.
Chairs and tables served in place of trees, among which Daisy, dressed in rags, went to gather sticks. A pan of water on the floor served for a spring, but Bon, Ella's pet kitten, would not drink from it; so, Will's words, " Come, Bon, you have drank enough," seemed out of place, but they were not criticised by the audience.
All in all, the play was a success, for they enjoyed it, which was all they wanted to do ; and grandfather Milly's laugh rang out as clear and as often as the children's. In thought and action he was a boy again. But his long, silvery hair, and his poor old wrinkled face, formed a strange contrast to the fresh and blooming forms around him.
For some time nothing eventful occurred in the home of our four young house-keepers. Spring brought many changes for them, an account of which will be found in volume four, entitled " Grandfather Milly's Luck, or Dick and Daisy's Reward."
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