A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT
FOURTH of July, always a glorious holiday in the Morrison household, came and
was celebrated by a family picnic which gave Brother and Sister something to talk about for days afterward. Their sandbox, too, kept them busy and for a long time Jimmie never had to warn them not to touch the gymnasium apparatus in the barn.
Daddy Morrison and Dick and Ralph continued to go every day to the city and Jimmie worked faithfully at his books, determined to begin the fall school term without a condition. As captain of the football team it was necessary for him to make a good showing in his lessons as well as in athletics.
Louise and Grace perhaps enjoyed the vacation time more than any other members of the family. They would be sophomores when they returned to high school in September, and while they were willing to study hard then, they meant to have all the fun they could before they were bound down to books and lessons again.
"Where you going?" Sister asked one night, finding Louise prinking before the hall mirror and Grace counting change from her mesh bag.
"Out," answered Louise serenely, pulling her pretty hair more over her ears.
"I know—to the movies!" guessed Brother. *'Can't we go? Oh, please, Louise—you said you'd take us sometime!"
"Oh, yes, Louise, can't we go?" teased Sister. "I never went to the movies at night," she added pleadingly.
"You can't go," said Louise reasonably enough. "We didn't go when we were little like you. Don't hang on me, please, Sister; it's too hot."
"I think you're mean!" stormed Brother. "Mother, can't we go to the movies?"
Mother Morrison, who had been upstairs to get her fan, was going with Louise and Grace. She shook her head to Brother's question.
"My dearies, of course you can't go at night," she said firmly. "I want you to be good children and go to bed when the clock strikes eight. Ralph promised to come up and see you. Kiss Mother good-night, Sister, and be a good girl."
Left alone, Brother and Sister sat down on the front stairs. Molly was out and Daddy Morrison and Dick had gone to a lodge meeting. Jimmie was studying up in his room and Ralph was out in the barn putting some things away.
"There's that old clock!" said Brother crossly as the Grandfather's clock on the stair landing boomed the hour. Eight slow, deep strokes—eight o'clock. Sister settled herself more firmly against the banister railings.
"I'm not going to bed," she announced flatly. "If everybody can go to the movies 'cept me, I don't think it's fair, so there!"
Just how she expected to even things up by refusing to go to bed Sister did not explain. Perhaps she didn't know. Anyway, Brother said he wasn't going to bed either. Ralph came in at half-past eight to find them both playing checkers on the living-room floor.
"Thought you went to bed at eight o'clock," said Ralph, surprised. "Mother say you might stay up tonight?"
"No, she didn't," admitted Brother, "but she went to the movies with Louise and Grace. Everybody is having fun and we're not."
Ralph didn't scold. He merely closed up the checkerboard and put it away in the bookcase drawer with the box of checkers. Then he lifted Sister to his lap and put an arm around Brother.
"Poor chicks, you do feel abused; don't you?" he said comfortably. "But I'll tell you something—you wouldn't like going to the movies at night; you would go to sleep after a little while and lose half the pictures. Now suppose I take you this Saturday afternoon. How will that do?"
"Will you take us, Ralph?" cried Sister. "Down to the Majestic?"
This was the largest motion picture theatre in Ridgeway.
"I'll take you both to the Majestic next Saturday afternoon," promised Ralph, "if you will go to bed without any more fuss tonight."
Both children were delighted with the thought of an afternoon's enjoyment with Ralph and they trotted up to bed with him as pleasantly as though going to bed were a pleasure. Grown- ups will tell you it is, but when you are five and six this is difficult to believe.
Unfortunately Brother and Sister were doomed to another disappointment. Before Saturday afternoon came, Ralph remembered that he had promised to play tennis with a friend and he could not break the engagement, because to do so would spoil the afternoon for eight or ten people who counted on him for games.
"I'm just as sorry as I can be," Ralph told Brother and Sister earnestly. "I don't see how I could forget I promised Fred Holmes to play with him. If you want to wait another week for me, I'll give you the money for ice-cream sodas."
Grandmother Hastings and Mother Morrison had gone to the city, the girls had company, Molly was lying down with a headache—there seemed to be no one to take the children to the matinee.
"I guess we'll have to go buy sodas," agreed Brother disconsolately. "Only if I don't go to movies pretty soon, I'll—I'll—I don't know what I'll do!"
"I know," said Sister, dimpling mischievously. "I'll tell you, Roddy."
"You be good, Sister," warned Ralph, eyeing her a bit anxiously. "I couldn't take a naughty little girl to the movies, you know."
On to chapter 14
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