Carolyn Wells.

Dick and Dolly





Then, Dollys sewing hour being over, the twins scampered for the attic.

Its horrid, said Dick, to be shut up in this stuffy old place on a day like this; but lets get all the fun we can out of it.

Lets, agreed Dolly, and as a starter they rambled through the old, unused rooms, and looked at the old pictures and discarded furniture stored there.

Awful poky! said Dick as they sat down on a haircloth sofa, and stared at each other.

Yes, said Dolly, with a scowl. I think Aunt Nine is a horrid

Dont talk that way, Doll, said Dick, remembering his conversation with the old lady; just forget it, forget outdoors and flowers and everything, and lets play something nice.

What can we play? asked Dolly, disconsolately.

I dunno; but isnt it funny why we cant think of something? If it was a rainy day and we couldnt go outdoors, wed have lots of fun in the house.

Well, lets play its raining then.

This was a distinct suggestion, and Dick caught it at once.

Wow! he cried, looking out of the window; what a storm! Its just pouring!

So it is! said Dolly, gleefully; we couldnt go out to-day even with umbrellas! Do you spose itll clear by to-morrow?

Yes, I guess so. But it wont stop all day to-day.

No, I dont believe it will. So well play up here to-day.

Then the twins went into the big lumber room, where all sorts of old things were stored away.

Whats that big boxy thing, face to the wall? asked Dolly, looking at a plain black walnut affair, about as high as herself.

Dunno; lets turn it around.

Dick pulled the thing out from the wall, which was quite easy, as it rolled on casters, and it proved to be entirely open on the other side.

It was about four feet high, and about three feet wide, and though something like a small wardrobe, it was divided into six equal compartments, each of which was lined with wallpaper.

Why, Dick! cried Dolly, its a playhouse! A dolls house, you know. I believe it was Aunt Abbies when she was a little girl. Do you spose theres any furniture for it?

Must be; somewheres. Isnt it gay? See the windows, they have real glass in em. This must be the kitchen with oilcloth on the floor.

Yes; and the other floors are all bare. I spose the carpets are put away somewhere, with the furniture. Lets hunt them.

The twins were not long in discovering three or four good-sized boxes tied together, which proved to contain the furniture of the dolls house.

Oh, what fun! cried Dolly, as they took out little beds and tables and chairs. But we cant put these in place till we find the carpets. Oh, here comes Aunt Rachel. Auntie, was this your babyhouse when you were a little girl?

Yes, said Aunt Rachel, coming toward the twins. I meant to fix it up for you some day, Dolly, but perhaps youll like to fix it yourselves just as well.

Yes, we will, Auntie! cried Dolly, tumbling into her aunts arms for a few caresses before they looked for the carpets.

Who made the house, Auntie? said Dick, snuggling into her other arm, and patting her cheek.

Why, a carpenter, I suppose.

Father had it made for me when I was ten years old, and your father was a toddling baby. He used to creep up to it, and pull out the things that he could reach.

Did he look like us? asked Dolly.

He looked like Dick. You both have eyes like his, but his hair was in dark ringlets all over his head, like Dicks is. Now, lets find the carpets, and fix up the house. Wouldnt you rather have it down in the playroom?

Oh, yes, said Dick. Its pretty hot and dry up here. The playroom is lovely and airy, most like outdoors. He gave a little sigh, and Aunt Rachel remembered that the children were undergoing punishment.

Her eyes twinkled a little, as she said:

Aunt Nine didnt make any other stipulation, except that you were to stay in the house all day, did she?

Nom, said Dick. And, Auntie Rachel, were awful sorry we spoiled the clean clothes.

Yes, terrible sorry, added Dolly, while they both fondled their aunt half-unconsciously.

You can be the sorriest pair of twins I ever saw, after your mischief is accomplished, said Miss Rachel. Why doesnt your sorriness begin beforehand, Id like to know?

Well, you see, said Dolly, we dont think

Thats just it, you never think. Now, Im going to teach you to think, somehow; I dont know how yet, but well manage to make you thinkers somehow.

After Aunt Nine goes away, suggested Dick.

Yes, agreed Aunt Rachel, after Aunt Nine goes away.

CHAPTER XVI
THE PLAYHOUSE

Then they all went down to dinner, the twins holding hands with each other, round Aunt Rachels ample waist. As she had an arm round each of their necks, locomotion down the stairways was difficult, but they all accomplished it somehow, and made a triumphal entry at the dining-room door.

Aunt Penninah was already in her chair, and looked up sharply, as if expecting to see a doleful pair of twins.

But the laughing faces proved that, if not enjoying their punishment, the children were, at least, making the best of it, and Aunt Nine sniffed a little, as she asked:

What have you been doing all morning?

Oh, having the beautifullest time! exclaimed Dolly. We found an old dolls house, that used to be Auntie Rachels when she was a little girl.

And my father played with it, too, said Dick, proudly.

Oh, Rachel, said Miss Abbie, with a disappointed look, we meant to keep that for their Christmas!

It doesnt matter, said her sister, serenely; they may as well have it now. Hannah, tell Michael to bring it down to the playroom while were at dinner.

Hannah obeyed, and the twins could scarcely eat their dinner for anticipation of the fun to come.

Your punishment doesnt seem very hard to bear, said Aunt Nine, looking quizzically at the children.

Oh, yes it is, Auntie, said Dick. Wed ever so much rather run out of doors in this sunshiny day, and save the playhouse for a rainy day. Truly, we feel the punishment very much.

It somehow seemed to Dicks queer little brain that it was rude to defraud Aunt Penninah of her rights. She had evidently expected them to repine at being kept indoors, and though they hadnt exactly done that, she was entitled to know that they really were feeling the punishment. And it was quite true. Both he and Dolly would have gladly postponed the playhouse fun, to scamper out for a run in the garden. Aunt Nine nodded a sort of approval.

Youre an honest little chap, Dick, she said; Im beginning to like you.

Dont you like Dolly, too? asked Dick, with the air of one merely seeking information.

Yes, I like you both. If youd be a little more thoughtful, and

Oh, were going to learn to think, said Dolly. Auntie Rachel is going to teach us.

I wish her joy of her task, said Aunt Penninah, but her eyes twinkled just a little mite, and the twins began to think she was really not such an ogress as she had seemed at first.

After dinner they all went up to the playroom, and found the playhouse well placed, in a corner between two windows.

Oh, cried Dolly in rapture, as she saw the boxes full of furniture, and the bundles of carpet.

The carpets smelled of camphor as Aunt Rachel unrolled them, for they had been carefully put away from the moths, and proved to be in perfect condition.

The aunties all looked a bit sober, as the small squares were unfolded, for their thoughts flew back nearly forty years, when Rachel and Abbie had been little girls, and Penninah Dana had been a beautiful young woman.

But no such memories saddened the twins hearts, and they capered about in glee, shaking out the carpets, and holding them up for inspection.

This is the parlour one! cried Dolly, as a light velvety square appeared.

She tucked it into place, and it exactly fitted the parlour floor.

Two bedroom carpets were there; a library and a dining-room, and the kitchen already had oilcloth on it.

Then came the furniture, and both twins fairly squealed with delight over the funny little things, as they took them from the boxes and put them in place in the rooms of the playhouse.

The dining-room furniture was all of iron.

That stove, said Miss Rachel, holding a black iron stove of the shape known as cylinder, father brought me when I was getting well after the measles. You can build a real fire in it, he said, its a real little stove.

And did you? asked Dick.

Yes; several times. Theres a tiny tin pipe that goes out through this hole in the wall of the house. See?

The twins saw, but there was so much to see, little time could be spent on any one thing. The parlour furniture was of satin brocade, of deep red colour, which was unfaded, and quite as good as new.

I helped make those chairs, said Aunt Nine. I cut and basted, while your mother sewed them, Rachel.

Theyre beautifully made, said Miss Rachel. Dolly, if you want some more, you can make them in your sewing-hour.

Ill make you some, said Aunt Penninah. If you can find some pretty bits of stuff, Abbie, Ill make a few to-day.

Oh, do, Aunt Nine, cried Dolly. These chairs are all right, but it would be so lovely to have some new ones of our very own!

Im going to make some little wooden chairs and tables, said Dick. I can cut them out with my jigsaw, and glue them together.

Do, said Aunt Abbie, and well make satin cushions for them, and tie them on with little ribbons.

The furnishing of the house went on, and it would be hard to say which were more interested, the twins or the older people.

When they came up to the bedrooms, they found the tiny sheets and pillowcases yellow with age.

Will you make us some new ones, Aunt Rachel? asked Dolly.

Yes; or Delia can bleach these for you. Theyre as good as ever, except their colour.

Then the aunties discovered that the porti?res for the parlour were faded, and the lace curtains had turned irretrievably brown, so off went Aunt Abbie to get some bits of stuff at once, to make new ones.

And very soon the three aunties were busily engaged in cutting and sewing all sorts of pretty things for the house.

The best bedstead was of the sort that requires dimity curtains and valance to make it complete.

Aunt Penninah offered to fit this bed out entirely, and her deft needle flew in and out of the muslins Aunt Abbie brought, until she had made the little bed the most charming affair imaginable.

In addition to the curtains, she hemmed tiny sheets; she made a dear blanket, of a morsel of white flannel bound with ribbon; and lovely pillowcases, with hemstitched ends.

Then, to Dollys breathless delight, she made a little silk comfortable, with a layer of cotton-wool in it, and tacked at intervals with microscopic bows of blue ribbon.

Of course this work of the aunties took all the afternoon, and indeed, it wasnt finished that day.

But the interest in the house grew more and more absorbing as the days went by, and though the children loved out of doors best, they often devoted a few hours of the pleasantest days to Dana Cottage, as they called it. When it was nearly finished, as to furnishing, they began to prepare a family of dolls to occupy it. Aunt Nine offered to present the entire family, and afterward assist in making their clothing.

So one fine afternoon Miss Penninah and the twins drove to town to select the dolls. It was great fun, and yet it was a responsibility, too. Dick was quite as much interested as Dolly, for somehow, the house offered so much boyish work, and play, that it didnt seem like playing with dolls.

Besides the twins always did the same things, and Dolly would have lost her own interest in the playhouse if Dick hadnt shared it.

So, after much consultation, they chose a father and a mother doll, an aunt doll, two small children dolls, and a baby doll. A nurse and two other servants were added, and then they declared they had enough.

Enough? I should think so! said Aunt Nine, who began to see endless doll-dressing ahead of her. But her eyes twinkled; and then she let the twins select from the shop several bits of dolls furniture that were not in vogue when the playhouse was originally furnished.

Laden with their treasures they all went home, and that very evening the aunties began on the dolls wardrobes.

Is this your idea of disciplining the children, Aunt Nine? said Miss Rachel, as they sewed, after Dick and Dolly had gone to bed.

Miss Penninah Dana looked a little confused, but she answered straightforwardly:

I think you were nearer right than I, Rachel. The twins are not what we used to call good children. I mean the meek, mild, priggish little persons that children were taught to be when I was young. Dick and Dolly are so full of life and spirits that they do wrong things from sheer thoughtlessness and gaiety of heart. But they are never wilfully mischievous, and never deceitful about it afterward. They do need firm guidance, but they do not need to be taught the difference between right and wrong, for they already know it. They are true Danas.

When Miss Penninah announced that last fact, she felt that she had given the last word of praise to the twins, and indeed, the other two aunts thought so too.

So clannish were they, and so proud of their fine old family, that they greatly preferred Dick and Dolly to be true Danas than to possess many other admirable traits. And so, the three stitched away, quite agreed, at last, on the management of the children, and hoping they would grow up to manhood and womanhood, with the inherited traits of dignity, honour, and refinement that characterised their family.

Meanwhile the true Danas upstairs were sleeping soundly, and only awoke when the sun peeped in at their windows and winked and blinked right into their eyes.

And when, later, they danced down to breakfast, there in a row on the sofa sat a smiling and well-dressed family, all ready to take up their abode in Dana Cottage.

Dolly went into ecstasies over the mother doll, who wore a trailing house dress of light blue satin trimmed with lace. The aunt, too, was resplendent in crimson velvet, and the children were in the daintiest of white or light frocks.

The father-doll had been difficult to dress, but though a professional tailor might have taken exception to the cut, the aunties had made his neat suit fit him very well indeed.

Dick was interested in the new family, and admired them duly, but he was already thinking of how he could build a yard around the house itself, and he confided his plans to Dolly.

Well fence off a space all round the house, he said. Ill make a little picket fence with splints. Its just as e-easy! Then well get green velvet carpet for the grass.

Oh, carpet isnt a bit like grass, objected Dolly. Its so thick and dusty. Lets have real dirt, or sand.

I think sand is messy.

Yes, so do I. Oh, I tell you what, Dick! Lets cut green tissue paper into fine fringe, and put it round where we want grass, paste it to something, you know, like we made fairies wings, only green.

Yes, thats the ticket! exclaimed Dick. Then well make little paths of, of brown paper, I guess, pasted down.

Yes; take a big sheet of pasteboard first, and then stick everything on it.

Yes, thats what I mean. Then bits of evergreen for trees, and perhaps real flowers, growing in little bits of pots.

Oh, it will be lovely! Dick, youre splendid to think of it all!

The twins joined hands and jumped up and down, as was their custom when greatly pleased with each other. Then the aunties came in, and they all went to breakfast.

The children told their plan for the yard around the house, and the ladies agreed that it would be lovely.

Ill help you to make a pond, Dickie, said Aunt Penninah, like one I had when I was a little girl. That dates farther back than Aunt Rachels childhood.

How do you make a pond? asked Dick, not much interested in comparative dates of past Danas.

We must get a piece of mirror, without a frame, you know, and put it in the middle of your grass plot, and then put pretty stones or shells round the edge of the mirror, and it looks just like water.

And little tin ducks on it, shouted Dick, like a real pond! Oh, Auntie, that will be tip-top!

And Ill make you a pond on the other side of your house, put in Aunt Abbie, of real water. In a big flat pan, you know; and little sprigs of fern all round the edge.

All right; well have both, declared Dick. I dont know whichll be nicest, theyre both so splendid. And Ill make a little boat to sail on the water. I can whittle it out of a stick.

And Ill make a sail for it. said Aunt Abbie, and well rig up a sail-boat.

Such interest did the aunts take in the cottage yard, it was almost as if they were children too, and Dick and Dolly became more and more enraptured with the wonderful things they made.

Aunt Abbie fashioned a little hammock with her crochet needle and some green and white cord. When she put fringe along its edges, and suspended it from two evergreen trees in the yard, Dolly thought she had never seen anything so cunning. Two little dolls were put into it, and the nurse doll was set to swing them until they fell asleep. Michael, who was greatly pleased with the whole affair, fashioned a tiny arbour just like their own in their playground outside. It was made of tiny twigs, and when the gardener brought it in, as his offering to the general gaiety, it was accepted with hilarious thanks. Very small green vines were twisted about it, and tiny blossoms of forget-me-not or lilies-of-the-valley were entwined. But the little flowerets faded so soon that Aunt Abbie made some diminutive roses of pink tissue paper, which would stay fresh all summer.

Many plans were made for future additional beauties, and the little estate grew rapidly to an elaborate country place, when Michael declared that he should build a barn for it. This announcement was heralded with delight, and for many days, Michael spent all his spare time in the tool-house, Dick and Dolly bobbing about him, and helping or hindering as best they could.

The barn, when done, was a grand affair indeed. Not of very elaborate architecture, but provided with stables, carriage house, feed bins, and even a chicken coop.

Again Aunt Nine took the twins to town on a shopping expedition, and this time they returned with all the four-legged and two-legged toys necessary to complete the barns use and beauty. Also there were carriages for the dolls to drive in, and sleighs, too, for in doll land the lack of snow makes no difference in the sleighing season.

Aunt Penninahs visit of a week lengthened out to a fortnight, but not until the last tiny carriage robe was finished, and the last hat and cape made for the smallest doll, did Aunt Nine make her farewells to Dana Dene.

And, then, she went away, promising to return for another visit as soon as possible, and insisting on a promise that the twins should some day visit her in her own home.

CHAPTER XVII
THE FATE OF DANA COTTAGE

Pinkie was enraptured at her first sight of Dana Cottage. She sat down in front of it and gazed in silence, seemingly unable to take it all in at once.

Well, she said at last, its a lovely home for dolls, but wouldnt it be a fine place for fairies?

Dolly laughed, for she hadnt the firm belief in fairies that Pinkie had. Dolls were good enough for her, and as Pinkie loved dolls too, they spent many happy hours with the playhouse.

Sometimes Dick and Jack played with them, and sometimes the boys went off on their own sports, while the girls were absorbed in the dolls house.

One afternoon the boys were busily engaged in making and flying kites, and the girls, up in the playroom, were having lots of fun with Dana Cottage, but paused in their play frequently, to run and look out of the window to see how the kites were flying.

I dont believe theyll ever make them go, said Pinkie, as she and Dolly leaned out of the playroom window. The kites are too big.

Then theyll have to trim em off, or make smaller ones, said Dolly, philosophically. I dont see any fun in kite-flying anyway, just because they most never do fly.

Wouldnt it be funny, said Pinkie, if you could fly a kite, way way up in the air, and then pull it down again, and find a whole lot of fairies perched on it?

Yes; that would be fine. But fairies dont live up in the air.

No; they live in the woods, hidden by the ferns and leaves. I wish I could ever see them.

Well, you cant, cause they only come out at night. You cant go to the woods at night, can you?

I will, when Im grown up. Course, mother wont let me now, but when Im big, the first thing Im going to do is to go to the woods, and camp out all night, and watch for fairies.

All right; Ill go with you. Well surely see them then.

Yes, indeed, we will. Oh, I wish we could go now!

Well, we cant. Aunt Rachel wouldnt let me, and I know your mother wouldnt let you. Come on, those kites will never fly; lets go on with the party.





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