Dick and Dollyñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
“Well, who’ll we invite?”
“That’s ’cordin’ how big the party is. If Auntie Rachel ’grees, let’s have a big party, ’bout a dozen, you know. And if she thinks bestest, we’ll only have Pinkie and Jack.”
“But what’ll make it Eliza’s party?”
“Why, we’ll ask each child to bring a doll or something, so’s to be comp’ny for her.”
“Boys can’t bring dolls.”
“I know; I’m thinking. Well, the boys can bring Teddy bears, or rocking horses or anything that isn’t alive, and that part of it’ll be ’Liza’s party, and the people part will be ours.”
“Sounds good enough. Where’ll we have it?”
“Here, of course; in the playground. We’ll fix it all up partified, and have Japanese lanterns and everything.”
“We can’t have ’em lighted. It’ll have to be a daytime party.”
“I don’t know. Maybe auntie will let us have it ‘four to seven.’ We can light the lanterns by six. It’s ’most dark then.”
“All right. Let’s go ask her now, ’fore we plan any further. It’d be horrid to get it all fixed up and then have her say ‘No.’”
The twins clasped hands and ran toward the house. Dolly’s golden tangle of curls bobbed up and down in the breeze, and Dick’s dark ringlets clustered tighter on his brow, as his face flushed with the exercise, but they ran evenly and swiftly together, keeping perfect step as they flew over the ground.
Bang! In at the library door they went, and tumbled upon Aunt Rachel, who sat in her usual chair, placidly holding her hands.
“Oh, Auntie, may we – ” gasped Dick, and, “Oh, Auntie, the loveliest plan!” panted Dolly, when they suddenly realised their aunt was not alone.
A lady was calling, a lady very much dressed up and formal-looking, who eyed the children with some severity and much curiosity.
But Dick and Dolly had not proved dull pupils in the matter of etiquette as taught in Heatherton households. By no means. As quickly as a soldier stands “at attention,” they stood up straight, advanced decorously to the lady, and Dolly made her most careful courtesy, while Dick bowed correctly.
“How do you do, Mrs. Witherbee?” they said, in decorous tones, and though they were flushed and warm from their run, and just the least mite out of breath, they reflected no discredit on their aunts by boisterous or informal behaviour.
Aunt Rachel and Aunt Abbie sat proudly watching them, silently grateful for the twins’ exhibition of good manners, for Heatherton matrons were critical of other people’s children, and Mrs. Witherbee was one of the most particular of all.
“You may go,” said Aunt Rachel to the twins, after they had been duly questioned by the visitor, and with proper ceremonies of farewell, the twins noiselessly left the room.
“Well, I ’spect we behaved all right that time,” said Dick, as they strolled back to the garden.
“Yes, I promised Aunt Rachel I’d ’member my manners carefuller ’n ever. She does love to have us be polite.”
“I know it; and it isn’t much trouble, after you get used to it.”
It seemed as if Mrs.
Witherbee never would finish her call, but it was really only about ten minutes later, when the twins saw her carriage drive away. Again they raced to the house, this time to find the aunties alone and expecting them.
“Well, what’s it all about?” said Miss Abbie, after both ladies had been treated to a fine demonstration of regard and esteem.
“Why, we want to have a party,” began Dick.
“For Lady Eliza,” broke in Dolly; “she’s never had a party, and she’d just love one. How many do you think we’d better ask?”
“A party! For Eliza!” said Aunt Rachel, helplessly. “What do you mean?”
“Yes, a party. Girls and boys, you know, and Teddy Bears, and dolls, and everybody bring something.”
“Bring something! to eat?” exclaimed Aunt Abbie, in dismay, for it sounded like a general picnic.
“Oh, no, not to eat!” explained Dolly; “but to be company for Eliza, ’cause it’s her party. And if you say so, we’ll only have Pinkie and Jack, but we’d like to have more.”
“Tell us about it more slowly,” suggested Aunt Abbie; “and don’t both talk at once.”
“You tell, Dick,” said Dolly. “You can talk slower ’n I can.”
“Well,” said Dick, “we thought it would be fun to have a party of about a dozen boys and girls, but have it for Lady Eliza’s party, – just for fun, you know.”
“And what’s this about bears?”
“Yes; have each boy and girl bring a doll or a bear, or a hobby horse or a Jack-in-the-box, or anything like that, so it will be Eliza’s party too.”
“Oh, I begin to see,” said Aunt Rachel. “I like the party idea; I’ve been thinking you children might have a little party. But the Eliza part of it is crazy.”
“Oh, no, it isn’t, Auntie,” said Dolly, who was patting her aunt on both cheeks as she talked. “You see, all the boys and girls love Lady Eliza ’most as much as we do. And they’d be glad to have it be her party, too.”
“Well, we’ll have to talk it over, and see about it,” said Miss Rachel; “but now it’s time for you to run and get ready for tea.”
“All right, Auntie. But do decide soon, for Eliza is so impatient to know.”
“Tell her she’ll have to wait, Dolly. But I’ll let her know by to-morrow, if that will do.”
“Yes, Auntie, that will do, I’m sure;” and with a final pat and a kiss, Dolly skipped away.
THE BIG CHIEF
After further discussion, and some coaxing on the part of the twins, Miss Rachel decided that the party, though of course for Dick and Dolly, might be nominally for Lady Eliza. And so they made up an invitation like this, and Miss Abbie wrote them in her neat hand:
Miss Dolly Dana
Master Dick Dana
Lady Eliza Dusenbury
request the pleasure of
Miss Phyllis Middleton’s company
on Thursday afternoon
from four to seven o’clock
at Dana Dene
You are invited to bring a friend whose
company will be congenial to
the Lady Eliza
“Aren’t they the greatest ever!” exclaimed Dick, dancing about the table where Aunt Abbie was writing the notes.
“I doubt if those who are invited will know what that last clause means,” said Aunt Abbie.
“Oh, yes, they will, for we’ll tell them,” said Dolly. “Of course we’ll see them all between now and the party. There’s a whole week, you know. I’ll tell every one to bring a doll or something for Eliza’s part of the party. And she must have a new dress, auntie.”
“Yes; something gay and festive, of course. What would you like?”
“Pink tarlatan,” said Dolly, promptly. “With lots of ruffles, and a lace bertha, and a pink sash, and let her wear my pink coral beads. Oh, Auntie! won’t she look just sweet!”
“And flowers in her hair,” chimed in Dick; “and a big, big bouquet, in her hand. Whew! She’ll be a stunner!”
As tarlatan was an inexpensive material, and easy to make up, Aunt Abbie humoured Dolly’s whim, and Lady Eliza had a beautiful new frock for the occasion.
Dolly herself picked out just the right shade of watermelon pink, and she helped a little, too, gathering flounces, and running up breadths, but Aunt Abbie made most of the pretty gown, and it didn’t take very long either.
It was to be worn over one of Aunt Abbie’s own lace-trimmed petticoats, and two whole days before the party, Eliza was dressed and set away in the guest room to await the hour.
“I believe I’ll send an invitation to Aunt Nine,” said Dolly, as they were making out the list of those who were to be invited. “I don’t s’pose she could come, but I think it would be nice to ask her, don’t you, Aunt Rachel?”
“Why, yes, dear; send one, if you like. Though, as you say, of course she won’t come, yet I think she’ll appreciate your thought of her.”
So one invitation was sent to Miss Penninah Dana, and twelve more were sent to boys and girls in Heatherton.
Every one of the dozen accepted, and after conversation on the subject with Dick and Dolly, they quite understood about the extra guests they were to bring.
But they were very secret about them.
“I won’t tell you,” said Jack Fuller, giggling, “but I’m going to bring the funniest person you ever saw! Oh, I know Lady Eliza will be pleased!”
And Pinkie declared that her guest would be the “belle of the ball.”
All these secrets greatly whetted the twins’ curiosity, and they could think of nothing but the coming party. A few days before the event they received a letter from Aunt Penninah, expressing her regret that she could not be with them. In it was also a letter addressed to Lady Eliza Dusenbury. Chuckling with glee, the twins tore it open and read:
“Lady Eliza Dusenbury:
“Most charming and beautiful lady, I salute you. To your party I come, and there with you at Dana Dene will I ever after remain. As your friend and protector I will stand ever by your side. Unless, however, you should attack me with a carving knife (as is sometimes your playful habit), in which case, I will run away and never return. Expect me on Thursday, by express. Your true friend,
“Oh,” cried Dick, “it’s an Indian doll! Saskatchewan is an Indian name, you know. Won’t it be fun?”
“Yes,” cried his twin. “And do you suppose Aunt Nine dressed it herself, in wigwam and feathers?”
“Ho, ho! Dolly. You mean wampum, not wigwam!”
“Well, it’s all the same; I don’t care. Oh, I wish Saskatchewan would come. I’m crazy to see him!”
“So’m I. Do you s’pose the box’ll come addressed to Lady Eliza Dusenbury, Dana Dene?”
“No, I guess it’ll be addressed to Aunt Rachel, or maybe to us. What does Dene mean, auntie?”
“Yes, Dana Dene, you know?”
“Why, Dana Dene is the name of our place, you know. Not only the house, but the whole estate.”
“Yes’m; I know it. But what does Dene mean? Just as a word?”
“Oh, well, it doesn’t mean anything nowadays, just as a word. But in old times, long ago, it meant den or cave.”
“Well, this house isn’t a cave.”
“No,” said Miss Rachel, laughing. “We’re not cave-dwellers. But long ago, there was another house where this stands now. You know, this estate has been in our family for many generations.”
“And was the other house a cave?” asked Dick, with vague visions of primitive ancestors floating through his mind.
“No, of course not! The name cave came from the fact that there was a deep den or cave somewhere on the place.”
“Where is it?”
“I don’t know, Dicky. It may be only tradition, or there may have been a real cave, now filled up or covered over. I suppose it is in the woodland part, if it’s anywhere.”
“But it must be somewhere, Aunt Rachel,” persisted Dick. “If they, my great-grand-fathers, I mean, named the place Dana Dene because of a big den, the den must be here yet.”
“Well, perhaps it is, child, but it hasn’t been seen or heard of for many years, anyway. You may hunt for it, if you like, but I doubt if you’ll find it.”
“Come on Dollums,” cried Dick, jumping up. “Let’s go and look for it. It would be lots of fun if we could find it in time for the party!”
“Indeed it would not!” returned their aunt. “Find it if you want to, but don’t play in it on the day of the party. I’d like you to keep yourselves tidy on that occasion, and not go burrowing in caves. But I’ve no idea you’ll find it. For, a cave that hasn’t been used for over a hundred years, is likely to be filled up with earth and leaves. It has, probably, entirely disappeared.”
“Well, we’ll have the fun of hunting,” said Dick, and away went the twins on their new quest.
Michael and Pat were first interviewed.
“Did you ever see a cave or a den anywhere about the place?” they inquired.
“Cave, is it?” said Michael. “Faith an’ I didn’t. Whativer are yez up to now?”
“Oh, think!” cried Dick, impatiently. “Didn’t you see one, Pat, when you were mowing the grass, or anything like that? Digging, you know.”
“I did not. There’s no cave around these diggin’s, unless so be it’s in the woods. There may be a dozen caves in thim six acres of woodland.”
The twins were disappointed. It seemed a forlorn hope to try to investigate six acres of doubtful territory.
“But do yez go and look,” said Michael. “It’s jist what ye need to use up yer extry energy. Yer so cockylorum about yer party, that ye need a scape valve fer yer overflowin’ sperrits. Go, now, an’ hunt yer cave.”
“Come on, Dolly,” said Dick. “We can’t do anything for the party, there’s nothing for us to do. So we may as well go to the woods.”
“All right. I’d just as lieve go, and if the cave is there, I should think we’d see it.”
“Av coorse ye will,” said Michael, grinning. “First, ye’ll see a signboard, wid a finger pointien’ ‘This way to the Big Cave,’ thin ye go right along to the entrance.”
“An’ pay yer quarter to the gateman, an’ walk in,” supplemented Pat.
The twins never minded the good-natured chaff of these two Irishmen, and they only laughed, as hand in hand they trotted away.
They had been often to the wood, but heretofore they had noticed only the trees and the stones and the low-growing vegetation. Now they carefully examined the formation of the ground, and any suspicious-looking hollow or mound.
“Maybe it was a smuggler’s cave,” said Dick, “and in it perhaps are lots of things they smuggled and hid away.”
“Yes, I s’pect so,” said Dolly, who was of an amiable nature, and quite willing to agree with Dick’s opinions, whenever she had no knowledge to the contrary.
“Or maybe it’s a fairy cave,” she added. “That would be more likely, ’cause I think these are awful fairyish woods.”
“Why do you? You’ve never seen a fairy in ’em.”
“No, but I ’most have. I’ve seen lots of places where they come out and dance at night. Pinkie shows ’em to me.”
“Pooh, she doesn’t know for sure.”
“No, not for sure. Nobody does. But she says most prob’ly that’s where they dance. Do fairies ever live in caves, Dick?”
“Not ’zactly fairies. But dwarfs do, and gnomes and things like that?”
“Yes, I guess so. And brownies, – real brownies, I mean; not the picture-book kind. Hello, Doll, here’s a place that looks cavy!”
Dick paused before a rough mass of soil and stones and mossy overgrowth, that did seem to bear some resemblance to the blocked-up mouth of a cave.
But it was just as much like a mere natural formation of ground, and after digging and poking around with sticks, the children concluded it was not a cave, after all.
“Oh, pshaw, we’ll never find a real cave, Dick; let’s go home. I’m getting hungry.”
“So’m I. We can come back and hunt some other time. Aunt Rachel wouldn’t let us play in it on party day, anyway.”
So back they went, and no one seemed surprised that they hadn’t discovered a long-forgotten cave, perhaps full of hidden treasure.
The day before the party, Aunt Rachel and Aunt Abbie drove to town to order the feast from the caterer’s.
The twins accompanied them, for the selection of the goodies was to be partly left to their choice.
The caterer’s was a fascinating place, and Dick and Dolly exercised great care and discretion in choosing the prettiest forms for the ices, and the loveliest kinds of little fancy cakes, and the gayest sort of snapping crackers.
The sandwiches and lemonade would be made at home, but all the rest of the feast must be ordered, and Dick and Dolly were overwhelmed with delight, as the aunties kept on adding bonbons, fruits, nuts, and all sorts of delectable things to the long list.
“We never had such lovely parties at Auntie Helen’s,” said Dick, reminiscently, as they drove home.
“We never had a real party there, anyway,” rejoined Dilly; “just only little play-teas of an afternoon. This is different.”
“Yes,” said Miss Rachel, complacently, “this is a real party. It will be one of the prettiest children’s parties ever given in Heatherton. That is, if your foolish Eliza performance doesn’t spoil it.”
“Oh, that won’t spoil it, auntie,” said Dolly, confidently; “that will only make it nicer.”
“Sure!” said Dick. “Just a boys’ and girls’ party wouldn’t be near so much fun. Why, Auntie, Bob Hollister says he’s going to bring his Punch and Judy, and Lucy Hollister has an awful big rag doll she’s going to bring.”
“I think it will be funny,” said Aunt Abbie. “But you must leave all those creatures out in the playground when you come in to supper.”
“Yes’m, we will,” agreed the twins.
The very morning of the party day an immense box came by express.
“Shure, it’s a big sofy, like your aunts has in the droring-room,” said Michael, as he and Pat helped the expressman to take it from the wagon.
“No, it’s Saskatchewan!” shrieked Dick and Dolly, as they danced round the box in glee. “Open it, Michael; oh, do hurry up!”
“Arrah, now, wait till I can get me sledgehammer,” and Michael went to the tool-house for his strongest tools.
But after some diligent prying and hammering, the box was opened, and buried in a nest of old newspaper and excelsior, was “Big Chief Saskatchewan,” as a card tied to his wrist announced.
And if you please, instead of an Indian doll, he was a big wooden Indian, of the kind that stands out in front of cigar stores. The children screamed with glee, and even Michael and Pat exclaimed in admiration as the heavy figure was finally set upright on his own wheeled pedestal.
“Where do you suppose she ever got it?” said Aunt Rachel, as the two aunts came out to view the new arrival.
“I don’t know, I’m sure,” said Miss Abbie, “but he does make a fine companion for Lady Eliza.”
Saskatchewan, though a trifle weather-worn, was not marred or broken, and the bundle of cigars had been cut away from his hand, and instead, he held an Indian basket. But this was removable, and the twins saw at once that they could put anything into his outstretched hand, from a tomahawk to a pipe of peace. His blanket wrapped round him was painted gorgeous red and yellow, and high-standing feathers surmounted his noble brow. His expression was ferocious, but that was Indian nature, and Dick and Dolly were so delighted with their new toy, that they embraced him with the same vigorous affection they often showed their aunts. Then, clasping hands with the aunties, the four danced round Saskatchewan and bade him welcome to Dana Dene.
The Indian was too heavy to be moved around much though he could be dragged, owing to the casters on the pedestal. But Aunt Rachel said she thought he’d better be placed in the playground as a permanent inhabitant thereof. For wind and weather would not hurt him, as it would the more delicate Lady Eliza.
So Michael and Pat trundled the chief off to the playground, followed by the admiring family.
He was given a choice position in a pleasant corner, and the twins said they would build a bower over him some day.
“But we must make it big enough for two,” said Dolly, “so Lady Eliza can stand beside him to receive their guests.”
“All right,” agreed Dick. “But I wish we could have it for this afternoon. They’d look lovely under a bower.”
“So ye shall, thin,” said Michael. “Me an’ Pat, we’ll fix ye up a timporary bower, that’ll gladden the eyes of ye, – that we will.”
So, the two kind-hearted men, anxious to please the children, hastily erected a “bower” by making an arch of two-foot width “chicken-wire.” This, when decorated with vines and flowers, was as pretty a bower as one would wish to see, and Saskatchewan was placed beneath it, or rather the bower was built over the Indian, where he stood awaiting the Lady Eliza.
A GAY PARTY
After dinner, the final preparations for the party were made.
The day was perfect, bright with sunshine, and not too warm.
Lady Eliza was taken out to the playground and introduced to her new companion.
Her large blue eyes showed no especial emotion as she was placed beside him, under the bower, nor did Saskatchewan seem at all embarrassed by the presence of the lovely lady.
Eliza, in her ruffled pink tarlatan, and wreath of pink blossoms, was a charming creature indeed, and she held gracefully a massive bouquet, tied with pink ribbons, while her cavalier, held his Indian basket, which had also been filled with flowers.
So entrancing were the pair, that Dick and Dolly could scarcely leave them, to go and get on their own party raiment.
The playground, of course, had been specially adorned for the occasion.
Japanese lanterns hung from the trees, and rugs were laid here and there, extra seats were provided, and everything was decked with flowers and made gay with flags and bunting.
Truly, the Dana ladies knew how to arrange a gala occasion, and this bade fair to be a fine one.
The twins at last scampered back to the house to dress, and Dolly was beautifully arrayed in a new white frock of fine muslin and a broad Roman sash.
Her curls were tied up with a Roman ribbon to match, and white stockings and white slippers completed her costume.
Dick, too, had a new summer suit, and the twins promised the aunties not to roll on the grass or do anything naughty or ridiculous.
“I know you mean to do just right,” said Aunt Rachel, as she kissed the two beaming little faces, “but you know, you ‘don’t think,’ and then you cut up some absurd dido, that makes a lot of trouble.”
The twins vowed they would think, and they would not “cut up didoes,” and then they danced away to receive their guests, for it was nearly four o’clock. Pinkie came first, of course.
She brought her biggest wax doll, which she had dressed up as a fairy. The doll had a spangled white tulle frock on, and gauzy wings, and a gilt paper crown, sparkling with diamond-dust. She carried a long gilt wand, and was really a beautiful fairy.ñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
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