xt77h41jhn3f https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt77h41jhn3f/data/mets.xml Leonard, Mary Finley, 1862- 1898  books b92-253-31804823 English T.Y. Crowell, : New York ; Boston : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Story of the big front door  / by Mary F. Leonard. text Story of the big front door  / by Mary F. Leonard. 1898 2002 true xt77h41jhn3f section xt77h41jhn3f 

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            THE STORY








        COPYRIGHT, 1898,



              C ONTENTS.

CHAPTER                                       PAGR
    1. THE OUTLAWS  . . . . . . . . . . .        1

    II. IN TIHE STAR CHIA-MBER.. . . . . . .    12

    I1I. THE LADY OF TIME BROWtN IZotsE. . . .  20

    IV. DORA .  . . . .  . . .  . . . .  . . .  31

    V. UNCLE WILLIAM . . . . . . . . . . .     51

    VI. THE MAGIC 1)OOR . . . . . . . . . .      ... )

  VII. IKEY'S ACCIDENT. . . . . . . . .    .   1;5

  VIIIl Tim- M1.KS.........           . .. .. 4

  IX. A RIVAL CLUB  . . . . . . . . . . .     84

  X. GOOD NEIGIIBORS  . . . . . . . . . .     93

  XI. PLANS  .  . . .  . . .  . . . .  . . .  103

  XII. CEDAR AND HOLLY . . . . . . . . . . 112

  XII[. THE HARP MAN'S BENEFIT . . . . . . . 127

  XIV. CLOUDS  . . .  . . .  . . .  . . .  . . 140

  XV. DoRA'S BRIGIIT IDEA . . . . . . . . . 15C

  XVI. SILVER KEYS . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

XVII. A PRISONER  . . . . . . . . . . . . 172


XIX. AUNT SUREY'S STORY . . . . . . . .      190



iv                 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER                                      PAGE
XXI. WORK AND PLAY    . . . . . . . . . . 206


XXIII. JIM  ...  . .  .   ...  .  . . .    .  230

XXIV. A DISAPPOINTMIENT. . . . . . . . . . 238

XXV. AUNT ZtLIF   . . . . . . . . . . . . 246






               CHAPTER 1.

               THE OUTLAWS.
        "Come listen to me, ye gallants so free,
           All ye who love mirth for to hear;
         And I will tell you of a bold outlaw
           Who lived in Nottinghamshire."
                                  Old Ballad.
  IKEY FORD was the first to make the discovery,
and he lost no time in carrying the news to the
  Great was their consternation
  "Moving into the Brown house      Nonsense,
Ikey, you are making it up! " Carl exclaimed.
  " What shall we do about the banquet for King
Richard  " cried Bess, sitting down on the door-
step despairingly.
  ",And my racket is over there, and your grand-
ma's fur rug, Ikey Ford! " wailed Louise, shaking



her finger at the bringer of evil tidings.  He
assented meekly, adding, "and Sallie's clothes-
  A stranger might have been puzzled to guess
what sort of calamity had befallen the little group
in the doorway of the pleasant, hospitable-looking
house among the niaple trees, that warm August
morning. Something serious certainly, for Louise's
dimples had disappeared, Bess was almost tearful,
and the boys, though they affected to take it more
lightly, were plainly depressed.
  "' Let's go over to Ikey's anid look through the
feiice," suggested Carl, and, as there seemed
nothing else to do, the others agreed.
  They filed solemnly down the walk and across
the street, - Bess with a roll of green cambric
under her arm, - and nobody uttered a word till
a secluded spot behind Mrs. Ford's syringa bushes
was reached, where, through an opening in the
division fence, they could look out unobserved
upol   the adjoining house.
  " The side windows are open! " Louise announced
in a tragic whisper.
  "I)id n't I tell you so  " replied Ikey with
mournful triumph.
  It v.as a small house wvith a pointed roof, and it
stood in the midst of an old-fashioned garden,
where for years and years lilacs and snowballs,
peonies and roses, pinks and sweet-williami, and
dozens of other flowers, had bloomed happily in




their season, without any trouble to anybody. In
the background sunflowers and hollyhocks grew,
and on either side of the front gate two stout little
cedars stood like sentinels oii guard. The street
upon wvhichi this gate opened wats wide and shady,
and the bustle and din of the city lhad not yet
invaded its quiet.
  Though in reality a red house grown somewhat
rusty, it wVas called the " Brown house," because
as far back as any one in the neighborhood could
remember it had been occupied l)y an old lady of
that name. For years before she died she was bed-
ridden, and to the children there was something
mysterious about this person who was never
seen, but on whose account they were cautioned
not to 1)e noisy at their play.  After her death
the house was left closed an(l unoccupied, but
hardly more silent than before. Ali air of mystery
still hung about the place; the children when they
passed peeped in at the flowers alone in their
glory, and spoke softly as though even yet their
owner might be disturbed.
  This was in the early spring; as the summer
wore oni this garden grew more and more irresist-
ible. Other playgrounds lost their charmn to the
eyes that looked in at the long wvaving grass and
the pleasant shady places under the apple trees.
  " Let's play Robin Hood," Bess proposed one
morning as they sat in a row on the fence.
  Carl and Louise received the idea with enthusi-




asm, and Ikey listened in silent admiration as the
details of the fascinating game were unfolded.
  The Hazeltine children had from their babyhood
been in the habit of making plays of their favorite
stories, but it seemed to Ikey immensely clever;
so while the others argued over who should take
this part and who that, he joyfully accepted what-
ever was offered him.
  He did not fare so badly either, for being plump
and rosy he was allowed to personate the jolly
Friar Tuck. Robin Hood fell naturally to Carl as
the oldest and the leader, Bess became Little John,
Louise appeared by turns as Allan-a-Dale and the
sheriff of Nottingham, and little Helen was occa-
sionally pressed into service as Maid Marian. Whlo
first thought of turning the deserted garden into
Sherwood forest no one could ever remember, but as
they sat on the fence that morning with the waving
sea of grass below them, somebody began

              "One for the money,
                Two for the show,..."

andl away they all went. Some minutes later, Mrs.
Ford, glancing from her window, wondered what
had become of the children.
  So the fun began and continued through the long
summer days, when grown people stayed indoors and
wondered what the children found to do out in the
heat from morning till night. But in that distant
corner of the garden, where, under the shelter of




a crooked apple tree, the forest rovers had their
trysting place, the weather was never too warm.
The unoccupied house became transformed into
Nottingham castle, and was never approached with-
out delicious thrills of terror.  Excitement ran
high on the day when Robin was released from the
jail - otherwise a small rustic arbor - by his trusty
  There was simply no end to the fun, and the
secrecy with which it was carried on helped to
deepen the interest. The climax was reached
when preparations were begun for iCing Richard's
  As usual, it originated with Bess, when she heard
that a favorite cousin, a boy about Carl's age, was
coming to visit them for a few days.
  " Aleck will make a very good King Richard,"
said Louise, when the matter was under discus-
sion, "and we can pretend that he is just back
from the Holy Land."
  It was decided that this must be a real feast, not
merely an occasion of pepper grass and cookies, so
their combined funds were carefully laid out at the
corner confectionery. Many articles supposed to
be necessary to the comfort of the royal guest were
smuggled into the garden, and everything was in
readiness for his arrival on the next day, when Ikey
made his startling discovery.
  It had never occurred to them that some one
might come to live in the Brown house; they were




quite overwhelmed by it, and for more than an
hour they sat under the syringa bushes peeping
through at their lost domain. No one had much
to say. Bess was gazing sadly at her roll of
cambric which was to have done duty as suits of
Lincoln green for the foresters, and Ikey was
thinking of the fur rug and the clothes-pins, when
Carl proposed a raid for the recovery of their pos-
sessions. "The girls can wait on the fence and
take the things as we bring them," he said.
  This promised a little excitement, so on the very
spot from which they had made their first entrance
into Sherwood forest, Bess and Louise waited
while the boys dropped down and disappeared
behind the bushes. In a few minutes they came
rushing back empty handed, to report that not a
trace of anything was to be found, and that a man
with a scythe was at work on the other side of the
garden cutting down the grass.

  It was very quiet in the neighborhood that after-
noon. There were no children to be seen anywhere,
and on the broad piazza of the house where the
Hazeltines lived the chairs and settees, with here
and there a gay cushion, appeared to be having a
good time all to themselves, gathered in sociable
groups.  The clematis and honeysuckle swung
softly in the breeze, making graceful shadows, and
the maple trees stretched out long arms and touched




each other gently now and then. At the back of
the house on the kitchen steps sat Aunt Sukey, a
person of dignity and authority. Her hands were
folded over her white apron and her eyes rested
with satisfaction on the rows of peach preserves
that represented her morning's work.
  " Mammy," as the children called her, was a
family institution, and could not be spared, though
her last nursling was fast outgrowing her.
  No preserves tasted like Sukey's, and no one
could, on occasion, make such rolls.
  "Yes," she remarked, continuing her conversa-
tion with Mandy, the cook, who was stepping around
inside, "they's misehevious of course, but I can
remember when Mr. Frank and Mr. William was a
heap worse."
  " Law, Aunt Sukey, I would n't want to see
'em if they was any worse than that Ikey Ford!
It looks like the children has been up to twice as
many pranks since he come," replied Mandy.
  " He don't take after his pa, then; Mr. Isaac was
as nice, quiet-mannered a boy as you ever see,
when he used to go with Mr. Frank. But pshaw!
all that triflin' is soon over. Look at Miss Zelie:
seems like it warn't no time since she was climbin'
fences and tearin' her clothes, till I 'd get clean dis-
couraged tryin' to keep her nice. Oh! they's fine
children, I don't care what you say; and Louise
is the flock of the flower. She is like Miss Zglie,
with her dark eyes and shinin' hair."




  "Miss Z6lie herself sets more store by Carl than
any of the rest," sai(1 Mandy, coming to the door.
  "That 's cause he favors his mna's family and has
a look like his uncle Carl. You know Miss Z61ie
married Miss Elinor's brother. He used to come
here for his holidays when she was a little girl no
bigger 'In Bess, - that was after Mr. Frank mar-
ried Miss Elinor, -and they was always great
friends. It looks like it's mighty strange that Miss
Elinor and Mr. Carl should be taken, and o0(l Sukey
  There was silence for a minute; then as Sukey
wiped her eyes she continued, "I 've nursed 'em
all from Mr. William down, and I knowvs old mas-
ter's grandchildren is bound to turn out right."
  It was almost sunset vhen Aunt Z6ie - tall and
fair, like Bess's favorite heroines - cane and stood
in the front door, wondering where the children
were. She was not left long in do(ll)t, for hardly
had she settled herself to enjoy the pleasant air
when there was a sudden rush from somewhere
and she was surrounded by a laughing, breathless
little company. The outlaws of the morning were
scarcely to be recognized.  Little John and the
sheriff of Nottingham were attired in the freshest
of white dresses, with pink bows on their Gretchen
braids, while Rol)in and the Friar wvere disguised
as a pair of brighlt-face(l modern boys, anid with
theinI was little Helen, a dignified person of eight,
who carried a doll in her arms.




  ";Auntie, did you know that somebody is coming
to live in the Brown house " Louise asked, as
they drew their chairs as close as possible to hers.
At this time in the day she was their own special
property, though there were people who complained
that they always monopolized her.
  " Yes, your father heard that a relative of old
Mrs. Brown's was going to take the house, but that
is all I know," she answered.
  " Carl and Ikey saw a cross-looking woman with
a feather duster. I do hope there wvil be some
nice childlren," said Bess.
   "All boys," Carl added briefly.
   Bo3ys  No, indeed ! Girls are much nicer,
are n't they, Ikey  " and Louise looked at him mis-
chievogusly over her shoulder.
  Ikey's shyness or his politeness, perhaps both,
would not allow him to reply.
  "They are both nice when they are nice," said
Aunt ZMlie. " Being a girl myself, of course I like
girls, and so does this individual," patting the head
against her shoulder.
  - Oh, I like some girls! " Carl conceded graciously.
  " I wish there would be a little girl for me to
play with," remarked Helen plaintively, for it was
the trial of her life that she was considered too little
to be made a companion of by the other children
except on special occasions.
  " It is a fortunate thing that the house is to be
occupied," said Aunt Z6lie, "1 for Mr. Jackson, the




agent, told Frank that it looked as if some one had
been camping out in the garden. The grass was
trampled down and I don't know what damage
  If she had not happened to be looking across the
street she would have seen some guilty faces. Bess
grew red, Louise opened her mouth and shut it
again without saying anything, Carl drummed on
the back of his chair with an air of extreme in-
difference which Ikey tried to copy, and Helen
looked from one to the other with very big eyes.
  The Fords' tea bell, rung at the front door for
Ikey's benefit, relieved the strain. Then presently
Louise saw her father and baby Carie coming up
the street, and the Brown house was not mentioned
  As Aunt Z6lie was on her way upstairs that
night she was waylaid in the dimly lighted hall
by three ghostly figures.
  " What are you doing out of bed " she
  "Oh, auntie, we want to tell you something! It
is about the Brown house. We have been play-
ing Robin Hood in the garden."
  "It was a lovely place, and we didn't do any
harm, really."
  Aunt ZMhie listened with just a little bit of a
smile till she had heard the whole story. It had
been great fun, there could be no doubt of that.
  " Was it wrong " asked Bess anxiously.



                THE OUTLA WS.                11

  "We did not hurt anything, not one bit," Carl
  "Why did you keep it such a secret"
  "That was part of the fun; but I wish we had
told you," said Louise.
  " Yes, it is nicer to have you know things;" and
Bess sighed, relieved now that confession was
  " It is too late to discuss it to-night, but I want
you to think about it and decide for yourselves
whether or not it was right."
  "Did you know it before we told you" Carl
asked suddenly.
  "I only guessed it to-day," she replied, smiling.



                CHAPTER II.

  THERE never lived a more genial, kindly man
than old Judge Hazeltine, and the house he
planllne(l and built reflected, as perfectly as a
house could, the character of its owner.
  "The front door looks like the Judge," people
used to say, laughing as they sail it, for he was
portly and the door was wide. But they meant
more than just that, for there were few, even among
the unimaginative, who did not feel drawn to that
door. Hospitality shone from every panel, the big
fanlight was like a genial sun, and the resemblance
to his cheery face and cordial manner was not alto-
gether fanciful.
  Of the inside of the house perhaps it is enough
to say at present that it kept the promise of the
  After the judge's death the ol home fell to the
share of the younger of his two sons, for the
William  Hazeltines had already built their fine
mansion out on Dean avenue, where Aunt Marcia
found things more suited to her fastidious taste
than on the quiet street which had ceased to be




  On the other hand, her brother-in-law declared
that he much preferred his large garden and home-
like neighborhood to the elegant monotony of her
surroundings. The children agreed with their
father, and so perhaps, for the matter of that, did
Uncle William.
  At the top of the house there was a long low
room, with five windows looking east, west, and
south, which was known as the star chamber.
This name had originated with Uncle William in
the days when lie and his brother Frank played
and studied there, as Carl and his sisters did now.
On rainy days when the garden wvas out of the
question the children were most likely to be found
  It wals a pleasant place and well suited for any
sort of indoor game. Except for a rug or two the
floor was bare, and the furniture consisted of an old
claw-footed sofa on which at least six people could
sit comfortably at one time, a wardrobe, some book-
shelves, and a hammock swung across one corner.
There may have been a chair or two, but the
wide window-sills made pleasanter resting-places.
Here in the summer time you looked out into the
soft greenness of the maple trees, getting glimpses
of the quiet street, but when the branches were
bare a fine outlook was to be hdd all over the neigh-
borhood, and you saw how big houses and little
houses stood sociably side by side, while an old
gray church kept guard at one corner. Here Bess




an(d Louise romanced over an imaginary family
known as "The Carletons," or played dolls with
Helen, and here C('arl arranged his stamp allbuIn
an(l made signals to Ikey across the street. Some-
times their father aid uncle woul(I drop in and( pre-
ten(l they were boys once more. Then what delight
it was to listen to their stories of boyish pranks !
  Atunt ZWlie was their most frequent visitor. The
days when she kept her dolls and "dressing-tup
things " in th e ol(1 wardrobe, which was now put to
the same use by her little nieces, were not so very
far back in the past, and many of her story books
were still to be found on the shelves among later
  Going up to the star chamber on the morning
after the excitement over the Brown house, she
walked in upon an indignation meeting.
    Just when we wante(l to play Crokonole
  " It is too mean ! "
  " She might let him come, it spoils all our fun!
  This is what she heard, an(l she asked in surprise,
"Wlhat in the world is the matter  "
  There was silence for a minute, during which the
rain made a great pattering outsi(le ; then little
Helen, who was serenely busy with her paper dolls,
replied, " Ikey's grandma won't let him come over,
'cause lhe took her fur rug and Sallie's clothes-
  i' What did he want with the clothes-pins and
rug "



  "XWe wanted them to play with, Aunt Z4lie.
You can do a great many things with clothes-pins,"
Bess explained.
  " Aleck was to have been King Richard - the rug
was for him at the banquet; and now he has n't
come and we can't do anything," said Louise mourn-
  Aunt Z61ie sat down on the sofa and folded her
hands in her lap.
  " I should like to know how many of over things
have been carried over to the Brown house gar-
den," she said.
  " We took some of the straw cushions and two
or three cups that Mandy said we might play with,"
replied Bess, watching her aunt's face anxiously.
There vwas another silence, during which Carl
became absorbed in a book and Louise gave her
attention to Helen's dolls. Then Aunt Z6lie spoke:
  " The more I think of this the more uncomforta-
ble I feel about it."
  "I can't see why," came from Carl.
  "Because it seems to me such a lawless proceed-
ing. Do you know that there are people who say
that no children were ever so lawless as American
children to-day"
  "That is poetry, auntie; you made a beautiful
rhyme," laughed Louise. But her aunt refused to
  "It is not poetry, but sad fact, I 'm afraid. You
may not have done much actual harm, but you



have shown no respect for other people's property.
You went into the Brown house garden without
leave, and you encouraged Ikey to carry off his
grandmother's things without permission. I have
trusted you all summer - I thought I could; but
this makes me afraid 'hat you ought to have some-
one with more experience to watch over you. You
know when I came back to you two years ago I
promised to stay so long as I could be a help to
you, but -"
  " Oh, Aunt ZWie! You do help us - don't go
away !" cried Bess, clasping her around the waist;
Louise seized one of her hands tightly in both her
own, and Carl looked out of the window with a
flushed face.
  " That is not fair, Aunt ZWlie," was all he said.
  He could never forget - nor could Bess - how
she had come to them in their loneliness, and taken
the motherless little flock into her arms, comforting
them and wrapping them all about with her love
and sympathy. How could they ever do without
  " You are n't going away, are you " Helen
asked, leaving her dolls and coming to her side.
  "' I hope not, for I can't think what I should do
without my children," she answered. And then
they all snuggled around her on the old sofa and
talked things over. It was astonishing what a
difference it made -trying to look at the matter
from all sides. Even Mrs. Ford's indignation did




not seem so very unreasonable when you stopped
to think howv inconvenient it was to be without
clothes-pins on Monday morning.
  "' I know it does not seem exactly right as you
put it, Aunt ZWlie," Carl acknowledged, "1 but it
was such fun, we couldn't have had so good a
time anywhere else."
  " Suppose you found the Arnold children play-
ing in our garden some day, would you think that
because they had found that they could n't have so
good a time anywhere else, it was all right "
  "' Why, auntie, those Arnold boys are not nice at
all; we could n't have them in our garden," cried
  " No one was living in the Brown house - it is
differeqt," Carl began.
  "I know what she means," said Bess. "Just
because it is fun isn't a good excuse."
  " That is it," answered her aunt. "1 I believe in
fun if only you do not put it first, above thought
for the feelings or property of others. I am sure
you did not mean to do wrong, but it would not
do for me to let you go on being thoughtless,
would it"
  " Mrs. Ford is n't a bit like you, Aunt Zelie; she
was dreadfully mad at Ikey, and said he must stay
in his room all day," remarked Louise.
  " I am sorry for Mrs. Ford. I rather think I
should be dreadfully mad too, if I were in her
place. She is an old lady and is used to having




her household affairs move on smoothly, and one
day she finds her servants upset and some of her
property missing, all because - certain naughty
children cared more for a little fun than for her
  Aunt Z6Iie spoke gravely, and her audience
looked very much subdued.
  In the course of the day Joanna, one of the
maids, was sent over to the Brown house to
inquire about the things left by the children in
the garden. She returned with the missing arti-
cles, which had been carried into the house by the
man who cut the grass.
  "1 Did you see anybody, Jo Are there any
children " were the questions she met with. But
she had only seen a middle-aged woman who was
cleaning the hall, and had learned nothing about
the new occupants.
  "It is very stupid of Joanna," said Carl as he
rolled up the rug and the clothes-pins and marched
over to apologize to Mrs. Ford for their share of
the mischief. He did this so meekly and with
such evident sincerity that the old lady was greatly
mollified, and sent him up to tell Ikey he might
consider himself released from the day's confine-
ment in his room.
  For the rest of the week the children were
models of propriety. No one would have dreamed
that they had been outlaws so short a time before.
  From the star chamber windows Robin and his




merry men looked down on the transformation
which was taking place in their old domain.
  The long grass was cut down, and with it those
patches of pepper grass that had seasoned many a
feast. The bushes and vines were trimmed, the
walk was reddened, the shutters were thrown open.
Every day added something to the change, yet,
besides the servants, no one had been seen about
the house.
  Who could their new neighbors be      The
subject was discussed morning, noon, and night,
till their father said he would have to tell them
the story of the man who made a fortune minding
his own business. Uncle William, who was there
at the time, said that probably the man was too
stupid to enjoy his fortune after he made it, and
lie pretended to be willing to go over and inquire
at the door, if Louise would go with him.
  " At least we know there can't be any children,"
said Bess, " for they could n't stay in the house all
the time."
  " Please tell us the story about the man, Father,"
asked little Helen, and couldn't understand why
they all laughed.




               CHAPTER III.

  BANG! went the door, and away they rushed,
like a small tornado, across the porch, down the
walk and over the street.
  They seemed to be running away from Helen,
for a second after they had vanished behind Mrs.
Ford's oleanders she came around the house.
  Indignant tears were in her eyes; it was hard not
to be wanted, to be thought too little to play with.
Bess and Louise had. such good times with the
boys, and she had nothing in the world to do this
afternoon. To be sure they had been very gracious
all morning, and had even allowed her to listen to
a thrilling chapter in the history of the Carletons,
but this was too good to last.
  At lunch certain signs passed back and forth
across the table arousing her curiosity, and after-
wards when she found them laughing on the stairs
and begged to know what they were going to do,
Carl had replied provokingly, "1 What do you
suppose" and now they had run away with Ikey
somewhere. The house was very quiet; Carie was
taking her nap, Aunt ZVlie dressing to go out.
Helen sat down on the top step of the porch and




wiped her eyes, saying to herself, " They are just
as mean as anything, but I don't care -I'll have
a good time too. I think I '11 ask Aunt Zdlie to let
me go with her."
  It happened that as the runaways reached the
gate Aunt Marcia's coupe turned the corner, and
her horrified eyes beheld their flight. When she
stepped from her carriage her lips were firmly
closed in a manner which indicated that they
would be opened presently for somebody's benefit.
She was so absorbed that she almost fell over the
woebegone little figure on the step.
  "You have been crying -what is the matter"
she demanded.
  " Oh, Aunt Marcia, I did n't see you - please ex-
cuse men," said Helen, whose politeness rarely failed
her, rising and putting away her handkerchief. Mrs.
Hazeltine saw pretty clearly how matters stood.
  " Never mind, my dear," she said; "' perhaps you
would like to take a drive with me. I am going out
to Cousin John's."
  Helen was her favorite among the children, be-
cause she was quiet and demure, and did not tear
and soil her clothes as Bess and Louise did. Helen
on her part looked up to Aunt Marcia with deep
admiration, and meant to be just like her when she
was grown. So she ran off very happily to have
her dress changed, while Mrs. Hazeltine waylaid
Aunt Z4lie as she came downstairs ready for a



  "l Dear me! the chil(dren have been in mischief,"
was this lady's inward exclamation, for she knew
the signs of disapproval, and felt like running
away, as she used to do when a childl, from Sister
Marcia's lectures.
  She only sat down on the bottom step, however,
and waite(d.
  "How do you do, Z4lie   I see you are going
out and I shall not detain you for more than a
minute. Little Helen is conmig, to drive with
  She seated herself in a judicial attitude on one
of the high-backed hall chairs.
  ,,I do not wish to interfere," she continued,
"but I should like to inquire if you know where
the children are this afternoon  "
  " I have a general idea," Aunt ZWlie replied,
slowly putting on her glove and reflecting that it
would take more than her sister's powers to be
able to say at any given moment exactly where
they were.
  "I thought you did not know. They are run-
ning through the streets, Louise without her hat.
It may do for boys, but for little girls I think it
disgracef ul."
  " I told them they might go to the Fords'; they
do not play in the street. You must have seen
them when they were on their way there, and I do
not object to their running."
  Mrs. Hazeltine shook her head. " How can you



think it proper for Bess and Louise to race with
the boys in that fashion You seem to be con-
scientious, yet you (1o not restrain them in the
  "I I own I do not know how to make a difference
between girls and boys. Why are they born into
the same families if they are not meant to play to-
gether  And if they are to be strong and healthy
they must be out of doors. I am sorry to seem to
set my judgment up against yours, but -"
  - You are stubborn, ZMie, like all the Hazeltines.
I believe in fresh air as much as you do, but I
should send Bess and Louise to walk with Joanna.
HIowvever, I see it is of no use to talk to you. I
should never mention the subject at all if I did
not feel a deep interest in the children." Mrs.
Ilazeltine rose. - Here comes Helen," she said, "' so
I'll not detain you any longer," and taking her
little niece by the hand she sailed away.
  Meanwhile the culprits were taking breath on
the grass in the Fords' back yard, Ikey hospitably
treating his guests to apples and salt.
  "I suppose," Bess began, taking a bite of her
apple, " that it is rather mean to run away from
Helen, but we have been very good to her to-day,
have n't we, Louise "
  " Yes, we have; and the more you do for her the
more she thinks you ought to do."
  " She can't expect to go everywhere we go,"
said Carl decidedly.



  The business on hand this afternoon was noth-
ing more or less than the erection of a telephone
which had been constructed by the boys out of
fruit cans and pieces of old kid gloves. The main
difficulty lay in getting their line across the street,
for it was to communicate between Ikey's room
and the star chambler.   An attempt had been
made once before, but the result was such a niorti-
fyiiug failure that their energy and interest flagged
for a while.
  The trees caused most of the trouble.  Their
line first caught in one of these at such a distance
from the pavement that while they were absorbed
in getting it off a gentleman who happened to be
passing had his hat suddenly removed. This acci-
dent convulsed everyl)ody but Bess, who in great
embarrassment tried to explain that it wvals not in-
tended for a practical joke. Finally it was caught
and broken by the angry driver of a lilarket wagon.
Carl, who disliked to give anything up, had ever
since been trying to think of a plan.
  " There must be some way," he said as lie lay on
his back looking up at the sky.