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Title: Mary Jane in New England
Author: Judson, Clara Ingram
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mary Jane in New England" ***

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[Illustration: "Can we ride on them?" asked Mary Jane, breathless with
excitement. (_Frontispiece_, Page 42)]



                             *MARY JANE IN
                              NEW ENGLAND*


                                   BY

                         *CLARA INGRAM JUDSON*

                               AUTHOR OF
           "MARY JANE—HER BOOK," "MARY JANE—HER VISIT," "MARY
             JANE’S KINDERGARTEN," "MARY JANE DOWN SOUTH,"
                        "MARY JANE’S CITY HOME."



                            _ILLUSTRATED BY
                             THELMA GOOCH_



                            GROSSET & DUNLAP
                          PUBLISHERS NEW YORK



                            Copyright, 1921
                                   by
                         GROSSET & DUNLAP, INC.

                        Mary Jane In New England
                         _All Rights Reserved_



               _Printed in the United States of America_



                             To my brother,
                         DWIGHT HAROLD INGRAM,
                       with happy memories of his
                           commencement week



                               *CONTENTS*

Plans for the Journey
A Day of Wetness
First Glimpses of Boston
An Unexpected Visit at Wellesley
Class Day Fun—and Troubles
Winning the Game
The Adventure by the Lagoon
Commencement in the Stadium
Fun on the Beach
A Day in Plymouth
Visiting Cousin Louise
The Willow Tree Cottage
Lost!  One Mary Jane
Tea on the Terrace
The Last Day in Boston—and Home



                        *LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS*

"Can we ride on them?" asked Mary Jane breathless with excitement . . .
. . . _Frontispiece_

She sighed with relief as the offending shoe came off

"You almost touched it!" exclaimed Mary Jane

"My dear child!  Where were you?  We’ve hunted and hunted!"



                       *MARY JANE IN NEW ENGLAND*


                        *PLANS FOR THE JOURNEY*


"Then are we really going?" asked Mary Jane eagerly.

"To Boston and Harvard and Uncle Hal’s Class Day and everything?" added
Alice.

Mr. and Mrs. Merrill looked at each other and then at the long letter in
Mrs. Merrill’s hand.

"I do believe we are," said Mrs. Merrill thoughtfully.

"That’s right!" approved Mr. Merrill heartily.  "You’ll never regret it.
I am sure the girls are old enough to remember the interesting sights
they will see and they may never have another chance to go to Harvard
Class Day and all the ’doings’ Hal writes about."

"And then," added Mrs. Merrill, "I always promised brother Hal I’d come
when he graduated.  One doesn’t have a ’baby brother’ graduate from
Harvard every summer.  Though I would like it better if you could go
too."

"Sure you can’t, Dad"?  asked Alice, wistfully.

"Certain sure," replied her father.  "With all the changes in the office
just now I wouldn’t think it wise to leave my work for men who are
already loaded up.  And then, too," he added when he noticed how
disappointed the two girls looked, "remember we’ll need somebody here to
see about the new house—don’t you forget that!"

"Of course we travel easily," said Mrs. Merrill, "and Hal promises to
look after us so well."

"And makes good by sending that list," said Mr. Merrill.  "I never saw
the like of the way he has everything lined up for you—you couldn’t get
lost if you wanted to!"

Alice and Mary Jane Merrill, who with their father and mother had moved
from the small town where they had always lived, to the big city of
Chicago only a few months before, were having a most interesting time.
Not only had they seen city sights, played in the parks and done good
work in school; in addition they had made a number of fine friends and,
partly through some of these friends, had discovered that they could
have an even happier time if Mary Jane had some place to dig, and garden
and play out of doors.  Girls who live in flats can’t very well have
gardens—at least at Mary Jane’s flat one couldn’t.  So the Merrills had
started exploring and had quite suddenly bought a small piece of land on
the edge of one of the outlying suburbs and there they planned to build
a little "shack" where they could go every summer and play at being
farmers.  Such drawing of plans and studying of seed catalogues there
never was—the girls found it wonderful fun.

Then, as though going to the country and making a garden was not enough
to keep one little girl’s head busy, there had come a letter from Mrs.
Merrill’s brother reminding her of a promise made long ago that she
would come to his graduation from Harvard.  At first it seemed as though
such a trip wouldn’t be possible.  There was the house in the country to
see to—and though it was to be only an unfinished cottage there were a
thousand and one details about its building and furnishing that needed
attention—the girls were in school and they had planned no summer
dresses suitable to the gaieties of commencement week at Cambridge.

But a day or two of careful thinking and planning made Mrs. Merrill
decide that they would go.  Last year’s "best" dresses had been let down
and were very pretty; new ginghams for traveling surely would not be
hard to make or buy and she loved making the dainty organdy dresses each
girl would need for Class Day. The trip wouldn’t take long and soon they
would be back to attend to the new country home which would hardly have
time to miss them.

Alice reached for the list Mr. Merrill had referred to and read what
Uncle Hal had written out for them.

"Arrive in Boston Monday morning; Class Day, Tuesday; Baseball,
Wednesday (tickets for you all) Commencement, Thursday and if the
weather is fine you can all go, for it will be in the Stadium; Friday,
sightseeing and anything you want to do."  And below was a notation
telling them he had had rooms engaged for weeks ahead at the
Westminister Hotel, which was a very wise and thoughtful provision for
their comfort, as Boston hotels are always more than crowded
commencement week.

"It sounds like a lot of fun, Mother," she said happily.

"And are we going to sleep on the train and have hashed brown potatoes
in the diner and live at a place by the ocean just like when we went to
Florida?" asked Mary Jane.

"It won’t be just like in Florida," explained Mr. Merrill, "because
Boston is a big city like Chicago, and big cities have different sorts
of hotels from any you have been in.  But I’ll venture to say you will
have a good time.  And if you stick to Uncle Hal’s program you won’t
have much time for either napping or being homesick!"

"Dear me!" cried Mrs. Merrill suddenly glancing at the clock, "I don’t
know why we are sitting here all day dreaming!  We ought to be making
out lists and deciding what to take and do and everything.  We’re going
to be busy people these next two weeks, let me tell you that."

Alice dashed to the desk for pencils and pads.

"Let’s make out a list of what we have to do for the new house," said
Mrs. Merrill, "and what we have to take and what I have to make or buy.
And I can tell you this much," she added a few minutes later when the
lists were well under way, "if I’m to do all those things before we go,
you two people will have to do a lot of helping."

"Oh, we’d love that!" exclaimed Mary Jane eagerly, "I’d get breakfasts
and Alice can wash all the dishes and—"

"What’s all this?" demanded Alice as she looked up from the list she was
finishing, "_I_’ll get breakfasts, and _you_ can wash dishes and—"

"Let’s both do ’em both," corrected Mary Jane, "but I _can_ make toast
and cook eggs; I just _know_ I can, mother dear, and I want to help a
lot."

"I know you do, dear," said Mrs. Merrill, as she drew the little girl
toward her, "and you’re going to in just every way you can and will."

So it was decided that the two girls should do every bit of the
housework they possibly could and let Mrs. Merrill have lots of time
free for sewing and shopping and tending to the new house.

How those two weeks did fly!  It really seemed no time at all since the
four Merrills were sitting there deciding that they could go to Boston,
till the last day had arrived and Mary Jane was having a dress up "try
on" of her new organdy dress to be sure it was exactly right before it
was packed.  How they had all worked!  Mary Jane had cooked—toast on the
electric toaster and coffee in the kitchen and eggs boiled just as
father liked them.  And she had taken her turn with Alice at washing
dishes and drying dishes and making beds and cleaning the bathroom (Mary
Jane liked that the best of anything except cooking eggs with her own
three-minute-glass to tell when they were done) and dusting and
marketing and pulling out bastings—they had done all those things and
more and Mrs. Merrill declared that never, never in the world, could she
have finished so much work in two weeks’ time if she hadn’t had two fine
assistants.

"Come here, dear," said Mrs. Merrill as Mary Jane danced off to look in
the mirror, "I’ll have to tack that bolero—there.  Now let’s tie the
sash and try on the new shoes and be sure everything is just right."

But Mary Jane could hardly stand still.  It was so thrilling to try on
her first organdy dress—long pink ribbons, a white hat with pink
streamers just like Alice’s yellow ones and white stockings and brand
new pumps, yes, truly, pumps like big folks.  She could hardly wait to
get everything on, she was so anxious to see herself.

Just as the last bow was adjusted, the bell rang three short taps,
father’s ring, and Mary Jane, looking all the world like a fairy dropped
onto the stairs by some magic mistake, dashed down to greet him.

"Everything fits and it’s all just right and don’t I look nice and we’re
waiting for you to bring the trunk up from the basement and Alice has
made apple dumplings—green apple dumplings for dinner so you’d better
hurry," she finished, breathlessly.

"For that I will," laughed Mr. Merrill, "my! but you do look grown up,
pussy!" he added as he looked her over carefully.  "Shoes fit all right?
Everything has to be just so for Class Day you know, young lady, for
folks want to be comfortable as well as beautiful when they go to all
day ’doings.’"

"She thinks everything is all right," explained Mrs. Merrill.  "You look
pleased about something.  Is there anything new?"

"Maybe so," said Mr. Merrill so mysteriously that Mary Jane stopped in
the hall to listen.  "Think you could get off Saturday evening instead
of Sunday morning as you had planned?"

Mrs. Merrill thought a second.  "Yes, I guess we could," she decided,
"it wouldn’t make a lot of difference either way.  But I thought you had
our reservations?"

"Changed them," said Mr. Merrill.  "How would you like me to go along as
far as Niagara and spend Sunday with you there and then you folks go on
east Sunday night?"

"Really, Daddah?" called Mary Jane happily, "then you could eat in the
diner with us and sleep and everything!"

"Wouldn’t Uncle Hal be flattered," teased Mr. Merrill, "if he knew that
you talked more about the diner than you do about Class Day!"

"Oh, I like Class Day too," declared Mary Jane fingering her new sash,
"but I’m glad we have to eat on the train to get there."

"For my part I’m glad to eat now," said Mr. Merrill as he sniffed the
aroma of Alice’s dumplings, "I know I could eat three, so you’d better
hurry off with that finery, Mary Jane, if you want your share."

Just twenty-four hours later, the four Merrills boarded the train for
Boston.  Much to Mary Jane’s interest, the conductor didn’t call "all
aboard!" and there wasn’t a bit of excitement at the station.  The great
train dashed into the residence station where they had decided to board
it, hesitated only long enough for the porter to assist the Merrills and
their bags onto car 201 and off they went—through the factories and
suburbs the girls had seen when they came to Chicago for the first time.

Mary Jane pressed close to the window and was eagerly watching the sight
of busy city life she could see on the streets as they flashed by, when
a white-coated man walked through the car calling "Second call for
dinner!  Second call for dinner!"

"Why we missed the first call!" exclaimed Mary Jane in distress.

"Cheer up, pussy," said her father, "that doesn’t happen often."

"Well, we won’t miss anything more," announced Mary Jane positively,
"’cause I washed my hands the last thing and my gloves kept ’em clean."

It didn’t take long to tuck gloves into coat pockets, put hats in a safe
place and walk to the diner.  And here Mary Jane had a dinner such as
she loved, with hashed brown potatoes, and salad and ice cream—to say
nothing of meat and bread and butter and a big glass of milk in a creamy
white tumbler.

"Now tell us what Niagara Falls is going to look like," suggested Alice
when they were back in their own car.

"Oh, I couldn’t do that," said Mrs. Merrill, "you’ll have to wait till
morning.  As soon as the porter makes up your berth, you can go to sleep
and then, when you wake up, you can see it all for yourself—water—rivers
of water! The most water you ever saw!  That’s what it is."

Mary Jane thought of that sentence the next morning when she wakened.
She was alone in the lower berth—evidently mother was out and
dressed—and she couldn’t hear a thing but water.  Water dashing against
the window, water dripping in through the tiny screen at her feet, water
sounding on the roof of the car till she couldn’t hear another thing.

"Why, we’ve stopped right in the Falls," she cried to herself, as she
whirled around to look out of the window, "and it’s like she said,
water, water—everything’s water!"



                           *A DAY OF WETNESS*


"Alice!  Alice!  Wake up!"

Mary Jane reached her hand behind the curtain into Alice’s berth just
ahead and pounded briskly on the cushioned sides.

"Alice!  Hurry and wake up ’cause we’re stopped and we’re right in the
middle of Niagara Falls and it’s a-falling down!"

Alice stirred drowsily and then, as she realized what her sister was
saying, she sat up straight with a start of amazement.

"Why, Mary Jane Merrill, what are you saying?" she asked.  "The train
doesn’t stop at the Falls—it doesn’t even go close enough for us to see
them from the train.  I asked Daddah last evening before I went to
sleep."

"Well," said Mary Jane, not in the least disturbed by her sister’s
doubt, "you just raise your window curtain and look out."

Alice did as she was told and for a minute she was inclined to believe
Mary Jane must be right.  Water, water, water was all she could see.
Water in the air; water dashing against the window; water running off
the roof of the car in great streams; grayness and wetness everywhere.

"Looking at the landscape, ladies?" asked Mr. Merrill as he poked his
head through the curtains and saw Alice’s amazement.

"Morning, Daddah!" whispered Mary Jane as she clambered over from her
own berth, "it _is_ the Falls, isn’t it?  I told Alice we were right in
’em."

"You’ve reason enough to think so," laughed Mr. Merrill, "but as a
matter of fact, you’re not quite right.  The ’Falls’ which you see is
rain—common everyday rain."

"I’d never call _that_ common everyday rain," said Alice as an extra
hard beating of rain actually made her afraid the window pane wouldn’t
be enough to keep the water out of the car, "we never have rain like
that at home."

"They don’t have it like that often, anywhere," said Mrs. Merrill
arriving from the dressing room, "and I hate to invite more gloom, but
do you happen to recall that this party decided they wouldn’t ’bother’
with umbrellas?"

"What ever’ll we do?" exclaimed Mary Jane with a gasp of horror.

"Swim, like as not," said Mr. Merrill comfortingly.  "We might as well,
because it’s Sunday you know and no store open to buy umbrellas."

"Isn’t it _lovely_!" sighed Mary Jane in a voice of perfect content.

"_Lovely!_" exclaimed Mrs. Merrill.

"_How_ lovely?" asked Alice.

"And she thinks it’s ’lovely’!" mimicked Mr. Merrill.

"Well, it is," insisted Mary Jane.  "When things look perfectly awful
and you’re sure they’re all wrong, then we always think of something to
do different and we have a beautiful time—we always do."

As though to prove her right, at that very minute the porter came along
the aisle to Mr. Merrill and said, "There’s a taxi man outside at the
steps, sir, and he says if you want a cab sir, he can back right up to
the steps and the ladies won’t even get damp."

"Well, if there is any man living who thinks people won’t get ’damp’
this morning," said Mr. Merrill laughingly, "I’ll engage him on the
spot.  As a matter of fact though, porter," he added, "the ladies aren’t
ready yet.  Could your man come back in half an hour?"

"He means us when he says ’the ladies,’" whispered Mary Jane joyfully,
"’cause mother’s all dressed and ready to go."

"Don’t you feel sort of _grand_?" Alice whispered back.

The porter, who of course hadn’t heard these asides, promised to have
the driver there in thirty minutes, and Alice and Mary began to dress in
a rush.  You see, the car of folks who were going to get off at Niagara
had been dropped from the eastern train and put on a siding so there was
no hurry about getting off. That was nice too, for it was much easier to
dress when the train was standing still than when it was dashing along
through the country.

In less than twenty-five minutes, all the "ladies" of Mr. Merrill’s
party were dressed and combed and ready to go and, promptly on time, the
porter announced the waiting taxi.  By that time the rain had abated a
trifle though it was still coming down very hard.

"He has backed his car close up to the steps," said the porter, "so the
ladies needn’t get a bit of wet.  Can’t I lift the little girl out, sir?
And here’s an umbrella, sir," he added as he unfurled a huge cotton
umbrella at the vestibule door.

Seeing them coming, the driver opened the taxi door and Mrs. Merrill
slipped in safe and dry.  Then Mr. Merrill helped Alice the same way and
the porter set Mary Jane beside them.

"Well, so far so well," said Mr. Merrill as he stepped in after them and
the car started off. "That was a clever plan.  Now if we only don’t get
drenched getting into the hotel, we can at least get breakfast, no
matter what the weather."

At the hotel they found a wide porte cochère so they were safe and dry
there.

"You’re going to like this," said Mrs. Merrill, as she looked around the
lobby.  "There are lots of little shops over there and you girls can
look at the souvenir things even if it rains too much for you to see the
Falls!"

"But breakfast first, please," suggested Mr. Merrill, "and you can eat
all you like for we don’t have to hurry to go anywhere."

Breakfast was served in a charming "sun parlor"—which of course was gray
and dark because of the rain and mist but was beautiful anyway with the
dainty furnishings and gay cretons.  The windows that in clear weather
looked out on the rushing river a bit above the Falls, showed nothing
interesting now.  But perhaps that was just as well, for folks don’t
care much about sightseeing before eating—at least Mary Jane didn’t.

A delicious breakfast of fruit and chops and French fried potatoes kept
the party so busy that it was with surprise they noticed, three-quarters
of an hour later, that the rain had cleared away and that rifts of
sunshine were coming through the clouds.

"Why it isn’t raining!" exclaimed Mary Jane, "come on, let’s hurry up
and see everything."

A walk of five minutes and they found themselves standing on a great
rock at the edge of the Falls.  It was a good thing that Mrs. Merrill
was close by Mary Jane, for there was something so vast and powerful and
terrifying about the mad rush of those roaring, tumbling waters that
even the iron bars around the edge of the rock couldn’t quite make a
little girl feel safe—it needed the hold of a person’s warm hand to make
one feel comfortable enough to stand there and watch.

For five minutes or more the four Merrills stood there looking.  There
wasn’t any use trying to talk—the roar of the falling water make words
seem fairy whispers that could not be heard by human beings.  Mary Jane
thought of a number of things she wanted to ask about—the boat, riding
so close up to the foot of the Falls; the great bridge over the river so
near by, how had men built it there?  And the hotel across the Falls,
could they go there?  But it was not till they had turned away from the
rocky observation point and were walking through the park again that she
tried to talk.

"That boat down there," replied Mr. Merrill, "is called ’The Maid of the
Mist.’  Folks who like to do queer things think it’s great fun to ride
up close to the foot of the Falls, but we had enough water this morning
to last us a while, didn’t we?  We’ll take the Falls from the top this
trip!"

As though to play a joke on him, at that very minute there was a patter
on the trees overhead and pell-mell—down dashed a thousand raindrops.
Great, round drops that pounded right through the trees and seemed to
shout, "there’s more to come, more to come, more to come!"

There was no use staying under a tree and there’s no telling what would
have happened to hats bought for Boston if Alice hadn’t happened to spy
a bandstand close by.  A hasty dash for its shelter and they were
safe—at least for a while.

"If it ever stops again," suggested Mrs. Merrill, "let’s go over there
and take the trolley that runs across the bridge Mary Jane was asking
about, and ride down the gorge."

And of course it did stop in a few minutes and they hurried over and
boarded a car.  That was the most interesting trolley ride Mary Jane had
ever taken or even dreamed of taking. Across the wonderful suspension
bridge, along the very tip edge of the high bluff on the Canadian side
of the river the car made its way—so close sometimes that Mary Jane held
her breath lest it tumble over.  Then, several miles down the river,
they crossed another bridge and came up the American side.  This wasn’t
so exciting as the banks were not nearly as high, but it was even more
interesting, for from her seat in the car Mary Jane could see the rapids
where the water dashed over the great jutting rocks and the whirlpool
that was so fascinating to watch.

"Oh, let’s get out here and wait a while," she cried as the car stopped
at a tiny station.  "I want to watch that water a-whirling around."

"Good idea, dear," said Mrs. Merrill, and she signaled the conductor
that they wished to get off.  But as though to make sport of them, the
rain clouds which had appeared to be blowing away, opened up again and a
shower of rain fell on the car roof.

"No sightseeing for us to-day," laughed Mr. Merrill, "except under
cover.  I think we’ll keep under a roof while we have one handy!"

So they stayed on the car and rode on into the city.  But there was a
lot to see even from a trolley car and Mary Jane thought she never could
forget all the wonderful and curious sights of that trip.

They got off at their hotel and the girls spent a happy two hours
looking at the curios in the shop windows and then they had luncheon.

Again the sun tried to come out and the party took a carriage to drive
to Goat Island.  But just as sure as they attempted to get out of the
carriage to have a close view of some sight the driver pointed out to
them—just that surely would the pattering drops descend and drive them
scurrying to shelter.

At five o’clock they drove to the train that was to take them to Buffalo
where father was to put them on the train for Boston.

"I know one thing I’ll never forget about Niagara," said Mary Jane as
the train pulled out of the station, "and that is that Niagara Falls is
awfully wet!"

"And next time we start on a trip," added Mrs. Merrill, "we’ll carry
umbrellas instead of packing them."

Mr. Merrill waited and had dinner in the Buffalo station with them and
then saw them off for Boston before his train for Chicago pulled in.

"Have a good time," he called as their train pulled away, "and remember,
I shall want to hear everything about Harvard and Class Day and Boston."

Mary Jane promised to see and remember every single thing, then she
turned back to their section which the porter was already making up for
the night.

"You don’t have to do a thing for me Mother," she said happily.  "’Cause
I know how to put my shoes in the hammock and take off my hair ribbon
and roll it up and everything. And I’m going right straight to sleep so
I can wake up early, early in the morning."

"That’s a good idea," agreed Mrs. Merrill, "for early, early in the
morning we shall be getting into Boston and Uncle Hal will be there to
meet us."



                       *FIRST GLIMPSES OF BOSTON*


"Like to be brushed?"

Mary Jane turned from the window to see the porter standing by her,
brush in hand ready to make her tidy for getting off the train. She
looked questioningly at her mother and Mrs. Merrill replied, "Yes, dear,
let him brush you off so you will be spick and span when we meet Hal."

So Mary Jane followed the porter down to the end of the aisle where he
brushed and brushed till there wasn’t a speck of dust on that pretty
Peter Thompson suit.  Alice and Mrs. Merrill had their turns next, then
the porter took their hand baggage down toward the door.

"Do we get there now, Mother?" asked Mary Jane, "right away quick now?"

"We certainly do," answered Mrs. Merrill, "we’re there this minute.
Come girlies."

As the train came to a stop, Mary Jane looked out of the window in the
narrow hallway by the dressing room—she wanted to be sure to get a
glimpse of the wonderful Boston she had heard so much about.  And at the
very first glance, she spied Uncle Hal’s smiling face close up outside
of her very window.  Alice saw him too and they waved and tried to speak
and he grinned and motioned to the car door.  In a twinkle they were off
the train, Uncle Hal had picked up their bags, and they were walking up
the stairs to the street.

Of course everybody talked at once, folks always do when they are met at
the train, but through it all Mary Jane got the idea that they were
walking to the hotel because it was so very, very near, and that Uncle
Hal had time to visit with them a while before he went back to college
for some last duties before Class Day.

Alice and Uncle Hal walked on ahead talking a blue streak about teams
and baseball and all sorts of things that Mary Jane, for her part,
didn’t find particularly interesting.  She was glad to be walking with
her mother so she could look and ask all she liked.  Five minutes walk
and they were in a broad "square" framed on every side by fine looking
buildings.

"That’s the library I’ve told you so much about," said Mrs. Merrill
nodding her head toward the left, "and this, I think," looking ahead to
the right, "is our hotel."

She was right for just then Alice and Uncle Hal turned into the hotel
and in a very few minutes they were all seated in the room Hal had
engaged for them so many weeks before.

"There now, he’s gone and I can look around," said Mary Jane as the door
closed behind the boy who had carried up their bags. She slipped down
from the big chair where she had primly settled herself and began
exploring. One big bed, one little bed, lots of drawers in dressers and
cupboards, a lovely white bathroom and, over in the corner of the room
overlooking the Square, a desk and several easy chairs pulled together
just right for visiting.

"How in the world did you know just exactly the kind of a room I’d
like?" asked Mary Jane when she had finished her first tour of
exploring.

"Well," said Uncle Hal, much pleased to think she liked it all, "I can’t
say that I really knew, but I did try pretty hard to guess."

"Now as soon as the trunk comes," continued Mary Jane, "let’s unpack it
and show him our new dresses.  We’ve new shoes too," she added proudly,
"for Class Day you know."

"Fine!" replied her uncle, "I know I’m going to be proud as a peacock of
my family when I introduce them around to-morrow.  But I’ll tell you,
Mary Jane," he added persuasively, "I know how slow those expressmen are
commencement week and you don’t.  Suppose we keep the dress for a
surprise to me to-morrow and go for a walk now while I have some time."

"I’d like that," agreed Mary Jane, "only what’ll they do if the trunk
comes while we are walking?"

"They put it in your room all ready for you," said Uncle Hal.

"Then I’m going walking with you," announced Mary Jane.

"And I’m going too," said Alice, "I just can’t hardly wait till I see
everything."

"And I’m going too," laughed Mrs. Merrill, as she put her hat back on,
"because I don’t want to miss anything either."

"Aren’t we missing something anyway?" asked Alice as they walked from
the room.

Mrs. Merrill and Hal looked back into the room.

"No-o," she answered, "I guess not.  What did you think we were
leaving?"

"I didn’t think we were leaving anything," said Alice half laughing,
half embarrassed, "but—"

"Oh, I know," announced Mary Jane laughingly, "I’m missing it too.  It’s
breakfast."

"You don’t mean to say—" exclaimed Uncle Hal.  "That’s certainly one on
me!  You see, I’m so little used to having my family come to see me, and
so very glad to see them when they get here, that I actually forgot
breakfast. We’ll have to get an extra good one to make up for it."

And an extra good one it certainly was; for Mary Jane had strawberries
and cream and toast and fish and hashed brown potatoes and a cup of
delicious hot cocoa with whipped cream. While they ate, Mary Jane told
Uncle Hal more about her Class Day frock.

"It’s white, and pink ribbons—lovely long crispy ribbons," she told him,
"and new shoes, _pumps_ just like grown-up ladies."  Of course Uncle Hal
was much impressed as Mary Jane had hoped he would be, but neither he
nor Mary Jane herself would ever in the world have guessed the trouble
those pretty new pumps were going to make before another day was over!

Breakfast finished, they went for their walk, going through the Square
and down as far as the Commons.  The city looked fresh and clean, after
a rain the night before and the flowers in the Commons nodded their
fresh blooms and looked as though they had grown on purpose to make Mary
Jane think Boston was beautiful.

"Now then," said Uncle Hal, looking at his watch, "I’ve just time for a
surprise and then I’ll have to leave you."

"Couldn’t we go along to Harvard with you?" asked Alice.

"Yes, you could," replied Uncle Hal, "want to?"

"’Deed I do," answered Alice heartily, "I don’t want to miss anything."

"Then with me you go, for even if I can’t stay with you long, you can
have the ride out and back.  But now for the surprise."

He guided them across a bridge and down a sheltered path to a tiny lake
and there riding on the water were several great white swans. No, they
weren’t swans either.  They were much too big for real swans and there
were seats on a platform right behind.  Boats—that’s what they were of
course.  Boats in the shape of swans!

"Can we ride on them?" asked Mary Jane breathless with excitement,
"really ride on them—people can?"

"To be sure people can," laughed Uncle Hal, "and we’re going to this
very minute."

He bought four tickets while Mary Jane and Alice climbed into the
nearest seats and then he and Mrs. Merrill sat just behind them.

"Where’s the engineer?" asked Mary Jane.

"Coming," replied Uncle with a chuckle, "there he is, now."

Mary Jane watched an elderly man step aboard the boat and take his place
on a queer-looking seat between the wings of the "swan" and much to her
surprise he didn’t start any engine: instead he began pedaling as if he
was riding a bicycle.  The swan boat moved away from the pier and, as
the man pedaled, they rode with a slow and stately motion out into the
little lake.

It was a queer way to ride, being bicycled around a lake in a boat built
to look like a swan but Mary Jane loved it.  They moved slowly—just like
a swan in a fairy tale—and it didn’t take Mary Jane a minute to forget
all about Boston and the Commons and to fancy that she was a princess in
a fairy tale and that the kind swan was drawing her in a magic boat
through her country to visit her subjects.  She didn’t see the flower
beds by the side of the tiny lagoon; she didn’t see the children playing
on the beach; she didn’t hear the talk Mrs. Merrill and Uncle Hal were
enjoying; she didn’t even talk to Alice sitting right by her side.  Mary
Jane saw only the magic of the fairy tale that was in her mind and
enjoyed the thrill of being a princess.

With a slight bump the swan boat touched the dock and Uncle Hal took her
hand to help her off.

"Oh, do we have to get off?" she exclaimed in dismay, "we’ve only just
begun to ride!"

"Like it so well?" asked Uncle Hal, "then you shall have a ride every
day while you are here.  I remember when I was a little kid and came to
visit Boston, I liked them a lot.  That’s why I brought you here first
thing this morning. But I guess we’ll have to go now if you’re going out
to Cambridge with me."

Very reluctantly Mary Jane stepped off the boat and with a promise to
herself that she would ride again every single time she possibly could,
she trudged along behind the others.

A short walk brought them to the entrance of the subway.  Of course Mary
Jane hadn’t an idea what a subway was, for there wasn’t any such thing
in any city she had ever lived in or visited, but she gathered from what
Uncle Hal said that it must be something that took them out to
Cambridge.  But such a funny something as it was she never would have
imagined!

They went down some stairs, through a turnstile and onto a platform.
Before Mary Jane’s eyes were used to the queer, half-darkness of the
platform, and her nose to the funny, dank smell, there was a rumble and
a roar and along came a car.  They were crowded aboard and again there
was a rumble and roar and away they dashed—past red lights and green
lights, past platforms and more platforms till in no time at all (or so
it seemed to Mary Jane) they were up on a street, dashing across a long
bridge, down again in the ground and Uncle Hal saying, "Time to get off!
We’re at Cambridge!"

They hurried off and up the stairs to the fresh air.

"That’s better than the old, slow, surface car," said Uncle Hal as they
crossed the street.

"Then the surface car must have been pretty bad," said Mary Jane
positively, "’cause this one smells _awful_ and hurries so fast you
can’t see anything!"

"You’re right about those two things," laughed Uncle Hal, "and I suggest
that you take a surface car to go back because then you can see all the
sights you want to on the way. But of course, Mary Jane, you wanted to
ride in a subway once."

"Maybe I did," said Mary Jane, "but I think the swan boats are lots the
nicest."

Mrs. Merrill decided that they wouldn’t go into the Yard at this time;
Hal would be busy and couldn’t show them around, and she much preferred
that Alice and Mary Jane should get their first impressions of the
wonderful university when they could see it right.  So Uncle Hal put
them on a surface car for Boston and with a promise to dine with them in
their hotel, bade them good-by.

"I just don’t see why anybody would ever ride in a cellar when they
might be riding on a bridge over a lovely river," said Mary Jane as she
looked at the Charles gleaming in the warm June sunshine.

"They must be in an awful hurry to get somewhere or those things would
never be built," added Alice.

"Well, you know," laughed Mrs. Merrill, "we’re in a hurry sometimes
ourselves!  We’re not always ladies of leisure as we are to-day. And you
see, it’s a long ride back to Boston. What shall we do when we get
there, girls?" she added.

"Get lunch," answered Alice promptly.

"Lunch!" exclaimed Mrs. Merrill, teasingly, "after all that breakfast?"

"Breakfast!" said Mary Jane, teasing back, "did we have breakfast?"

"All right then, ladies," said Mrs. Merrill, "we’ll have lunch.  And
then how would you like to take an automobile ride that Hal told me
about?  It doesn’t last much over an hour and we can see the old part of
Boston, the historic part and also the foreign district your father was
telling you about the other day."

"That would be fine, Mother," said Alice eagerly, "don’t let’s stop
_long_ for lunch.  Let’s just eat something and go—I love to see old
places.  Remember St. Augustine, Mother?"

"Indeed I do, dear," answered Mrs. Merrill. "Here we are at Copley
Square.  I have a feeling we had better go to our room first—there might
be a message or something.  Then we’ll get lunch and take the ride."

It was a good thing Mrs. Merrill thought to go to the hotel and inquire
for a message, for there was one for them—one that changed all their
plans for the afternoon.



                   *AN UNEXPECTED VISIT AT WELLESLEY*


Mrs. Merrill turned from the hotel desk and looked in a puzzled way at
the slip of yellow paper she held in her hand.

"What _do_ you suppose this means?" she said as she came up to where the
two girls were sitting in big chairs waiting for her.  "It says, ’Phone
Cambridge 2811 at once.’  Somebody telephoned five minutes ago, the
clerk said, and was very anxious to reach me.  Now whatever can have
happened?  Hal didn’t know we were coming back here, so it couldn’t be
he and we don’t know another soul.  However," she added briskly, "I
needn’t be so silly as to stand here wondering when I might go to the
’phone and find out all about it.  You stay right here, girlies, and
I’ll ’phone from the booth over there and we’ll solve the mystery."

Mary Jane and Alice could hardly wait, they were so curious and
impatient to find out what had happened.  They could see Mrs. Merrill
talking but she was too far away for them to make out whether she was
pleased or distressed by the conversation.  In two or three minutes
though, she left the booth and came towards them and the girls could
tell by the way she was smiling that something very nice and agreeable
had happened.

"We’re to be up at the station in thirty minutes," she announced, "the
station where we came in this morning, and Uncle Hal will meet us and
take us out to see Wellesley—what do you think of that?"

"But, Mother," exclaimed Alice, "I thought he had a lot of work to do?"

"He still has," said Mrs. Merrill, "but just after we left him he got a
message from one of his friends at Wellesley telling him that the Tree
Day dance was to be given this afternoon at the Garden Party, and that
when it was first shown it was so very wonderful, we surely must see
it."

"And so he told her we were here?" said Alice.

"He didn’t have to, she already knew that," said Mrs. Merrill, "and her
invitation included us.  So just on a chance that we might come to the
hotel, he called up and left the message for us.  We won’t have time to
change or anything, but I guess we look all right in traveling clothes.
Let’s hurry now, so’s not to miss the train."

"But where’s lunch?" asked Mary Jane in dismay, "I am hungry, truly I
am."

"Of course you are, dear," said Mrs. Merrill reassuringly, "and we’ll
get a bite.  Hal said there was a nice little place right on the way to
the station and if we go quickly, we’ll have time for a sandwich and a
glass of milk.  Then if that isn’t enough, perhaps we can get something
later.  In fact," and she smiled mysteriously, "I think I wouldn’t worry
a bit about starving if I were you."

After that Mary Jane didn’t bother about being hungry—she was too busy
wondering what was going to happen.  They got a sandwich, a luscious big
chicken sandwich with white meat sticking out all around the edges, and
a glass of milk, a great big glass of milk, and that was all there was
time for.  Even so they barely got down the stairs in time for their
train.

The ride out to Wellesley was great fun, for Uncle Hal told them stories
all the way—stories of jolly times he had had going over this same route
and of fun at Wellesley.

"When I grow up," announced Alice as they got off at the station, "I’m
coming to Wellesley and I’m going to know some folks at Harvard and
everything just like you’ve been telling us about."

"And I’m coming here too," said Mary Jane, "I wouldn’t go to any place
but Wellesley ’cause it’s the very nicest."

"A lot you know about it," teased Uncle Hal, "now why is Wellesley the
nicest—can you tell that?"

"’Cause it’s near to Harvard," said Mary Jane, and of course if she had
thought all day, she couldn’t have thought up an answer that would
better please her Harvard uncle.

"We’ll hop onto this trolley and ride to the entrance to save time,"
said Uncle Hal as he hailed a passing car.  They rode a very little way,
really not a nickel’s worth Mary Jane said, and found themselves at the
college entrance.

Of the next hour and a half Mary Jane didn’t have a very clear
understanding.  There was so much to see that a person just couldn’t see
and remember it all; and so many folks talking that one couldn’t hear
everything.  But she remembered what she could and saved it up to ask
her mother about afterward.  There were the old-fashioned red brick
buildings on the quadrangle and the stately Tower Court where Hal’s
friend, Miss Elliott, lived, and the beautiful campus with its lovely
old trees that cast an inviting shade over the lawns.

"I’m going to study hard and come here to college," said Alice, after
they had completed their trip around the grounds, "I think it would be
just _wonderful_ to live here for four years! And just think, Mother,"
she added, "in five years I’ll be coming here!"  She looked dreamily
over the beautiful place and tried to imagine herself one of the girls
in gay sport clothes walking under those very trees.

"I’m coming here too," said Mary Jane, "and I’ll be here before so very
long, won’t I, Mother dear?"

"Before we know it, at the rate you girls are now growing," laughed Mrs.
Merrill, "and just think of the fun _I’m_ going to have coming here to
’settle my daughters’ when they begin college."

Miss Elliott found them excellent seats where they could watch the
dancing, and Mary Jane enjoyed sitting and looking at everything quite
as much as being shown around.  She thought the dancing wonderful and
held her breath with the joy of it as the dancers came gayly down the
shaded hill, across the open green and back up the hill again when the
dance was over.

"I’ll have to learn a lot if I’m going to come here and do all that,"
she whispered to her mother when the dancers were out of sight behind
the greenery that made the background.

"No doubt about that, dear," said Mrs. Merrill, "but just think how much
you are learning all the time!  By the time you are grown-up as those
girls are, you’ll be sure to know a lot."

"Has Uncle Hal said anything about tea or anything?" whispered Alice as
the groups of people broke up and she guessed that the program was over.

As though they suspected what the girls might be thinking of, Miss
Elliott and Hal came up at that minute and Uncle Hal said, "I’ve just
been telling Dorothy that we’ll take our quarter of a cup of tea and
half a wafer that we could get over there, some other time, and she’s
agreed to let me take you all to the Inn for real tea. Want to go or
doesn’t food appeal to you?"

"Um-m," said Alice, trying hard to be really grown-up like Miss Elliott,
"I think I could eat a little if you insist."

"Here’s the insisting then," laughed Uncle Hal, and tucking her arm into
his, he started off, passed the administration building and down
Freshman Row.

Miss Elliott walked with Mrs. Merrill and Mary Jane and pointed out the
various houses as they passed them.

"This is where you want to stay your freshman year," she said as they
passed a three-story frame building on their left, "lots of nice girls
go there and you’ll have great larks.  But you’ll have to put her
application in early if you want her to get in there, Mrs. Merrill," she
advised, "because it’s one of the most popular houses."

"I think I’ll put in application for both girls as soon as I can attend
to it," said Mrs. Merrill, "for what I have seen of the college in even
this one little glimpse, has made me feel that Alice and Mary Jane must
go here.  I can’t imagine a more charming place to spend four years than
right here."

Hal and Alice had turned in to a building on the other side of the
street so Mary Jane hurried her mother and Miss Elliott that they might
catch up.

"He engaged a table by ’phone before he came out," said Miss Elliott,
"so we know they’ll be looking for us."

"And then they’ll have plenty to eat even though there are lots of
folks, won’t they?" said Mary Jane, much comforted.

Uncle Hal showed them to the table by the window where they could eat
and at the same time see everything that might be going on either inside
or out.

Mary Jane was a bit curious as to what Uncle Hal might offer her to
eat—especially as he didn’t ask her what she wanted.  But evidently he
knew what was good, for when the tray arrived a few minutes later it was
piled up with good things.

"I thought you didn’t have time to overeat this noon so you might like a
hearty tea," he explained as Mrs. Merrill looked with a bit of dismay at
the loaded tray.  "If you don’t want any, sister," he added, "I know
some people who can eat more than their share—and I didn’t have any
lunch myself!"

There were sandwiches—olive sandwiches and lettuce and chicken, all so
dainty and pretty that Mary Jane thought she could eat twenty by herself
she was that hungry!  And tea in dainty gold-rimmed cups, and fudge cake
with icing as thick as the cake—almost—and cunning little cakes and
candies in paper cases.

Mary Jane watched to see how Miss Elliot fixed her tea and then she took
cloves too, just as Miss Elliott did—though it did make a funny taste.
Still when one is visiting college one does as college folks do—cream
and sugar is all right for home use, but isn’t grown-up enough when one
is "at college."

After tea, Miss Elliott walked down to the station with them and told
them good-by.  Mary Jane was sorry that they weren’t to see her again
but Miss Elliott explained that she would be far too busy with her own
college affairs to come to the parties at Harvard.

"What are you thinking about so solemnly?" asked Uncle Hal as they were
riding back to Boston, "you haven’t said a word for five minutes!"

"I’m thinking ’bout my new shoes," said Mary Jane.  "All the girls at
Wellesley had white shoes and I’ve got white shoes—in the trunk.  I’m
going to wear them to-morrow and you’re going to be surprised, you are,
Uncle Hal."

"I believe it," laughed Uncle Hal, "I’ll wager I’ll be proud of my
family."

"You won’t be, if your family doesn’t get back to its room and unpack
its trunk pretty soon," said Mrs. Merrill.

"No," she added later, when they got off the train and he started toward
their hotel, "you aren’t to go a step of the way with us.  It’s right
there in plain sight and we couldn’t get lost if we tried.  Now hurry
back to Cambridge and do your work and don’t you dare come to the hotel
before seven."

"And we’ll unpack and press our dresses and get everything ready for
Class Day, won’t we Mother?" said Mary Jane, "I think that’ll be as much
fun as seeing things."



                      *CLASS DAY FUN—AND TROUBLES*


"They _must_ be all right," said Alice, as the girls were about through
dressing for Class Day the next morning.  "You know you tried them on
three or four times, the day we bought them, and shoes don’t change."

Mary Jane walked up and down the room twice, looking all the while at
her left shoe. "Well," very doubtfully, "maybe they are all right now,
only they don’t _feel_ all right—they don’t a bit."

Mrs. Merrill sat down in the nearest chair and looked at Mary Jane in
consternation.

"You don’t mean to say that now when we are every bit ready to go to
Class Day, and there isn’t time to hunt up a store, that you think your
shoes are wrong!  Why, Mary Jane, you know you tried them on and tried
them on and were sure they were a perfect fit."

"I know it," said Mary Jane, "and they were all right, only now there’s
something sticks into my heel every time I take a step."

"Give it to me dear," replied Mrs. Merrill, "and I’ll press open the
heels more.  Maybe they are just a bit stiff.  And then I’ll put your
black pumps in my bag so if these hurt you, you can change."

"But, _Mother_!" exclaimed Mary Jane, "folks don’t wear black shoes to
Class Day, not with new organdy dresses and a pink sash!"

"To be sure they don’t," agreed Mrs. Merrill, "but black pumps would be
vastly better than blistered heels, so we’ll take them along to be sure.
Are we ready now?" she added and as nobody objected she locked the door
and they set out for Cambridge and Class Day.

The first thing on their arrival at Harvard was to see Uncle Hal’s room.
It was on the first floor in Matthews and was so attractive that Mary
Jane thought she would like to stay here all day and just look at
things.  Off the main room, which was both a living room and study, were
two tiny bedrooms, one Uncle Hal’s and the other his roommate’s.  Mary
Jane was fascinated by those tiny rooms.

"It’s just as I’d like a house," she said to her uncle, "a great big
room with banners and pictures and lots of things to look at and a tiny
little room all my own to keep house in."

"Do you cook your breakfast there?" asked Alice as she spied a chafing
dish in a corner.

"Heavens!  No!" laughed Hal, "what do you think we come to Harvard for?
To practice cooking?  No, that’s only for fudge or something—just on
state occasions."

"Well, isn’t this a state occasion?" asked Alice.

"Um-m, well, yes it is," admitted Hal, as he saw he had cornered
himself, "but I’m afraid there isn’t time for fudge-making.  See, there
is the band already and it’s almost time to go over to the hall for the
exercises."

Mary Jane was quite willing to give up fudge for a band and she stood at
the window watching the yard.  It was a picture to make any little
girl—or big girl either—look long.  The yard was gayly decorated with
lanterns and streamers, and chairs set about invited folks to be
comfortable while they visited or listened to the band.  The walks and
open spaces were thronged with well-dressed people all eager and happy
and having a beautiful time.  The frequent sight of a student in cap and
gown, or, less often, in the red garb of marshal, made Mary Jane feel as
though it was all a great play, and she was thrilled to think that
she—Mary Jane—only six years old and living way off in Chicago—was there
seeing it all.  There were lots of men and lots of women but she hadn’t
yet seen a single girl as young as herself.

"I must remember every bit of it so’s to tell it to Daddah," she said to
herself, as a group of students and alumni went by singing, "I must
remember it all."

But of course a person couldn’t remember it _all_—for something was
happening every minute! The exercises in Sander’s Theatre for which,
thanks to Uncle Hal’s many friends, they all had seats; lunch at the
"Dickey," one of Uncle Hal’s clubs, and the procession to the Stadium.
Much to Mary Jane’s amazement, this procession was led by _old_ men—men
as old as her grandfather.

"Why, do they go to Harvard, Mother?" she asked as the old men marched
by.

"Not now, dear," answered Mrs. Merrill, "they went there years ago—oh,
long ago."

"Then what are they in Uncle Hal’s Class Day for?" asked Mary Jane.

"They’ve come back for their re-union," explained Mrs. Merrill.  "They
come back in three years and ten years and twenty-five years I think it
is—you must ask Uncle Hal to be sure, and their class has a regular
get-together party.  Then of course they come other times, whenever they
can."

"They look as though they liked to come back," observed Mary Jane.

"They surely do," agreed Mrs. Merrill.

"I think that’s fine," decided Mary Jane, "I should think it would be
fun to march and shout and everything like that, after you’d been a
grown-up man and had to behave so much."

At the tag-end of the procession, the onlookers fell in line and hurried
over to the Stadium where the exercises were held.  Mary Jane was
thrilled by the sight of the great cement building, open to the blue sky
and thronged with happy-looking people.

"I like it, Mother," she whispered as they found their seats, "I like it
a lot, ’cause everything’s so pretty and it makes you feel so good."

After the exercises were over the crowd scattered to the various club
houses for tea.  Uncle Hal took his party first to the D.U. house where
they met some of his friends, and had lobster salad and sandwiches and
cake and ice cream and tea.

"Better not eat too much," he advised as he saw Mary Jane reach for a
third sandwich.

"Haven’t they made enough?" asked Mary Jane.

"Look at the piles on the table," laughed Uncle Hal, "no, I guess they
have enough, but you’ve just begun.  You see, we have to make the rounds
of several houses and you have to eat something at every place."

"Don’t you worry about us," observed Alice, consolingly, "we can always
eat at every place, and every time."

"All right then, go ahead, ladies," laughed Uncle Hal.  "Bill, pass the
food to my starving family!"  And Alice and Mary Jane, both had second
helpings all around.

But by the time they had eaten lobster salad and tea and sandwiches and
ice cream and cakes at D.U., and tea and lobster salad and sandwiches
and ice cream and cakes at the "Dickey," and lobster salad and
sandwiches and tea and ice cream and cakes at the "Crimson" house, Mary
Jane began to suspect that Uncle Hal’s advice about going light at first
wasn’t so bad after all.

"Do they have the same things because that’s all they know how to cook
or because they think that’s all we like to eat?" asked Mary Jane when
she saw her plate filled with the fifth—or was it the sixth, she had
lost count—helping of salad.

"You can’t prove it by me," laughed Uncle Hal, "I guess it’s all just
the proper thing to have on Class Day.  Don’t you like it?"

"Oh, yes," replied Mary Jane, politely, "and I _used_ to like it a
_lot_."

"Maybe you’re not really hungry any more," said Uncle Hal with a teasing
twinkle in his eye, "if you can stand it not to eat for a while suppose
we dance."

He brought up one of his friends, Lawrence Echart, to talk to Mary Jane
and danced off with Alice.

"Have you a little sister about my size?" asked Mary of the college man
she was left with.

"No, I haven’t," he replied.

"I thought not," said Mary Jane.

"Now what made you think that?" asked Hal’s friend with real curiosity.

"’Cause you talk to me like I was a real grown-up lady," explained Mary
Jane.  "When they’ve got a little sister like me they just bow when
Uncle Hal brings ’em up and they say ’what grade are you in in school?’
and then before I can answer they start talking to somebody else.  But
when they haven’t any little sister, they talk to me like I was a real
grown-up lady—well, anyway, as though I was as big as Alice."

"That’s funny," laughed Mr. Echart, "what would you say if I asked you
to dance with me—like a real lady?"

"I’d say thank you, yes I will," replied Mary Jane demurely, and much to
her partner’s surprise she danced off every bit as well as he could.

Now usually Mary Jane loved to dance; she and Alice often danced
together and both enjoyed it and did it well.  And to-day should have
been perfect for the music was good and the floors excellent.  But they
hadn’t taken a dozen steps before sharp twinges of pain shot through her
left heel and she felt as though she couldn’t stand it another minute.

"Tired?" asked Mr. Echart, as he noticed that something was wrong.
"Anything you’d rather do than dance?"

"Yes," replied Mary Jane with a sudden burst of feeling, "I’d rather
take off my shoe!  Do they have any place where folks take off their
shoes on Class Day?"

"Well," said her partner, "I can’t say that they prepare for it as a
regular part of the program, but it might be done."

"Then let’s do it right away," said Mary Jane miserably.

She hobbled down the stairs after her partner and into a small office on
the left.  There was a great table in the center of the room, and pulled
up to it was a huge, comfortable chair.

"How will that do?" asked Mr. Echart.

"Any chair would _do_," answered Mary Jane, "but that one is lovely!"

"Well, you sit down there, young lady," he added, "and I’ll take off
that shoe."

"Oh, that feels good," she sighed with relief as the offending shoe came
off and she settled back in comfort in the great chair.

[Illustration: She sighed with relief as the offending shoe came off.]

"Where did it hurt?" asked Mr. Echart.

"Right there," said Mary Jane, pointing to the back of the heel.

"That’s easy," said Mr. Echart, "it’s just too stiff and likely as not
has made a blister.  You just wait till I put in a pad of soft tissue
paper and you’ll see how much better it will feel."

At that minute the music stopped and Alice and Uncle Hal appeared at the
door of the room.

"You don’t mean to say," demanded Hal, "that you are letting my niece
sit in the president’s chair—the sacred chair of the president of the
Crimson?"

"You didn’t think you were going to keep it yourself, did you?" laughed
Lawrence, "I must say Mary Jane looks every bit as well in it as you
did!"

"But what are you doing?" asked Hal.

"Going into the boot and shoe business—repairing department," announced
Lawrence. "And if I don’t get the job I want on the Boston _Transcript_,
I’m going to open a shop of my own.  How’s that feel, now?" he added as
he slipped the shoe back on.

Mary Jane set her foot gingerly onto the floor.  Then, as it didn’t
hurt, she pressed, harder and harder.

"It’s all right," she said with great relief, "my, but you know a lot
and I’m so much obliged!"

"You’re entirely welcome," said Mr. Echart smilingly, "we do find a
college education useful sometimes," he added teasingly, "even if it’s
only for stuffing copy paper into young ladies’ shoes.  Now where do we
go from here?"

"Back to the yard for the music and lights," said Hal, and back to the
yard they all went and found themselves chairs where they could hear the
singing and watch the beautiful picture made by the throngs of people,
the gay lights and the gleaming fountain.



                           *WINNING THE GAME*


How Class Day ended and how she got into her own room in the hotel, Mary
Jane never in the world could have told you.  She had a hazy
recollection of singing, and lights, and crowds of people passing and
re-passing; of more singing, and more lights, flashing through water and
of people stopping to talk to her mother and Uncle Hal and their
friends; of Mr. Echart inquiring about her shoe, and of Uncle Hal
slipping on the black pumps that he must have gone to his room to get,
and putting the white ones in his pocket. And then, later, of being
picked up and carried to a taxi and of dozing comfortably against her
mother during a long ride.  But more than that she didn’t know.

And now the sun was shining and her mother was standing at the side of
the bed, dressed and ready to go and asking if Mary Jane was ever going
to wake up.

"Is it all over?" asked Mary Jane sleepily, "Class Day and everything
all over?"

"Class Day is over," replied Mrs. Merrill, "but everything isn’t.  Don’t
you remember that to-day is the game, the baseball game between Harvard
and Yale?"

"Oh, yes," said Mary Jane sitting up in bed and wide awake at once,
"it’s the game Harvard wins and we see ’em do it."

"You certainly are loyal enough to suit even your Uncle Hal!" exclaimed
Mrs. Merrill laughingly.  "He never will forget how you told everyone
within hearing that you were going to Harvard when you grew up."

"Did I really, Mother?" cried Mary Jane in dismay, "when?"  She forgot
all about being sleepy and sat straight up in bed.

"Yes, my dear, you did," replied Mrs. Merrill. "When Hal was trying to
wake you up enough to get you into the taxi you said you didn’t want to
leave Harvard and that you were going to be president of the Crimson
like Uncle Hal.  And then, when he told you that you were too young, you
announced that you were coming when you grew up."

"Well, anyway, Mother," interrupted Alice anxious to comfort her sister,
"we _are_ coming to Wellesley, you know, that’s all settled and
Wellesley is _almost_ Harvard."

"Don’t you worry!" laughed Mrs. Merrill, "Uncle Hal wasn’t bothered.  He
was so proud to have you like it all and so pleased the way you met all
his friends, that he liked to have you want to come—you just ask him
to-day and you’ll see.

"Now," she continued briskly, "I know you’re sleepy, but you hurry up
and jump into the tub.  I have the water ready, and then when you’re
through, you’ll find a lovely surprise."

"Do I know, Mother?" asked Alice.

"No," replied Mrs. Merrill, "and you never in the world could guess, so
don’t try.  While Mary Jane tubs, I’ll brush and braid your hair and by
that time the surprise will be coming and you’ll be ready for it.  And
don’t hurry _too_ fast, Mary Jane," she added, "you want to scrub as
well as tub, you know."

It was a good thing she gave that warning, for even with a warning Mary
Jane hurried so furiously fast that there was no time wasted over
details.  But she felt fresh and clean anyway and was wide awake and
glowing from her rub.

"Now where’s the surprise?" she asked.

"Slip into the bathroom again both of you—scoot!" and at that minute
there was a loud knock on the door.

"Now whatever do you suppose—" wondered Alice as she heard her mother
open the door of the room and talk to someone.

They had not long to wait—fortunately.  A couple of minutes and Mrs.
Merrill opened the bathroom door and—what do you suppose they saw?

Drawn up near the windows that overlooked Copley Square was a cunning
little table and on the table was—you never would guess—breakfast for
three!  Strawberries and cream and cereal and milk and eggs and toast
and hashed brown potatoes—the hot things all on silver dishes and
covered with big silver covers to keep them nice and hot while the fruit
and cereal were being eaten.

"Mother!" exclaimed Mary Jane, and then she stopped for she couldn’t
think of anything to say.

"How’d you ever think of it?" asked Alice.

"I didn’t," answered Mrs. Merrill, and the girls saw that she was as
pleased as they were with the idea.  "Hal thought of it.  When he
brought us up last night he suggested that maybe we’d be tired this
morning and that we shouldn’t hurry.  He said he’d order it as he went
away and that I should ring when we were ready and they’d bring it up."

"And you did, and _they_ did," added Mary Jane, not very intelligently
to be sure, but they all knew what she meant.

"How did he know what to order?" asked Alice as she took the first
luscious bit of strawberry.

"I guess he just ordered what he saw you liked yesterday, which was a
very good way to do," said Mrs. Merrill.  "Now while we eat, let’s plan
what to do to-day."

"When is the game?" asked Alice.

"Not till afternoon," replied Mrs. Merrill. "I thought maybe this
morning would be a good time to take that ride through Boston that we
didn’t get on Monday—that won’t tire us, and anyway, we’ll just be
sitting at the game, it won’t be a lot of walking like yesterday."

"And I won’t wear white shoes, will I?" asked Mary Jane with a pang of
recollection.

"You poor child!" cried Mrs. Merrill, "as soon as we get through
breakfast I must see about those shoes and your foot!  I can’t see why
they should have given so much trouble when they seemed all right."

"I guess they’re all right now," said Mary Jane, "but when are we going
to ride on the swan boats?  Uncle Hal said I could ride every day and we
didn’t even go there yesterday!"

"I thought we had enough to do yesterday as it was," laughed Mrs.
Merrill.  "Let’s see, we might go there at the end of our ride.  We are
having such a late breakfast too that we won’t want much lunch—would
that be all right?"

Breakfast over, Alice finished dressing while Mary Jane had her hair
brushed and the big ribbon tied on; then she finished dressing while her
mother and Alice got out hats and tidied the room ready to go.  Mary
Jane would have loved to linger all morning at the window, for the comfy
chairs felt so good and there was always something interesting to watch
in the Square below.  But when one goes to Boston, they don’t seem to
expect to sit in chairs at windows; they seem to hurry around and see
something every minute—Mary Jane had discovered that.

They went nearly halfway around the Square, leaving Mary Jane’s shoes at
a little basement shop they were referred to on the way, and then they
got into a great blue automobile that took folks around the city.  Mary
Jane tried to remember everything they saw, for she could tell that when
she grew up big like Alice and was in eighth grade as Alice was, she too
would want to know all about the historical sights they were seeing.
Alice seemed to know all about the Old South Church, the Boston Navy
Yard, the first court house and the funny, narrow winding streets.  For
her part, Mary Jane liked the Navy Yard best, for there they got out of
the car and saw many sorts of government boats. Also they had the fun of
going all over the old ship _Constitution_—a famous boat of long ago.
Mary Jane thought the funny little cannon they used in those days looked
very queer compared with the great big guns they could see on the boats
in use now—they looked like toy cannon ready for a boy’s Fourth of July!

Back in the big auto again they drove through the tenement district, and
there Mary Jane held her breath many a time for the streets were so
_very_ narrow, the buildings so high and close, and the ragged, hungry
looking children ran across the streets in a reckless way that
frightened Mary Jane nearly to death.  She was glad when they left that
part of the city and drove to see Bunker Hill Monument.

It seemed a very small monument to make such a fuss about, but Mrs.
Merrill explained that monuments are important not for their size but
for what they celebrate.

"It does seem too bad, though," said Mary Jane thoughtfully as they
turned away to go back to the car, "that the battle of Bunker Hill
couldn’t have been where those poor children want to play!  Here’s a
lovely park and there, why, there isn’t anything but a narrow street!
When I grow up, I’m going to have a park for everybody—that’s the way
things ought to be."

Mrs. Merrill had the driver let them out at the entrance to the Commons
instead of Copley Square, and they walked over to the lagoon to take the
ride in the swan boats.

"I think this is the nicest thing to do!" exclaimed Mary Jane happily as
the boat slowly paddled away from the tiny dock.  "I feel so grand and
story-book-y!"

"Do you suppose we could ever come here and just ride and ride and
ride?" she added, "I’d just love to ride all day!"

"Let me see," said Mrs. Merrill thoughtfully, "I’m afraid we couldn’t
ride all day, dear, but we might come again after the game this
afternoon and get two or three rides.  You know a friend of Uncle Hal’s
is going to take us on a drive to-morrow and there’s something planned
for every single day."

"Well, then," said Mary Jane, "let’s come whenever we can—and oh, I do
just love it, I do!"

After a hurried bit of primping at their room the Merrills took the
subway to Cambridge where they met Uncle Hal and went to the game.
Crowds of gayly-dressed people were all hurrying the same way, bands
were playing and colors flying, and Mary Jane got so thrilled that for a
while she forgot all about the swan boats.  Hal had not been able to get
seats all together—one rarely could, he explained; so it was decided
that Alice, who was looking (and feeling) very grown-up with her striped
sport skirt, blue smock and white sport hat, should sit a few rows away
with Lawrence Echart, while Hal and Mrs. Merrill and Mary Jane should
sit together.

Alice’s seat was halfway down in the middle of the stand and the others
were up on the very top row.  At first Mary Jane was very frightened;
she couldn’t stand up, she couldn’t look around, for right there behind
her was the end of the grandstand and the long, long way down to the
ground—straight down.  But gradually she got more used to it and she
peeked around just a wee, tiny bit.

And there, right in the next row, was a boy about her own age shouting
for—Yale!

"Why!" exclaimed Mary Jane in amazement, "he wants Yale to beat!"

"Some people do!" laughed Hal, much amused.

"But _Yale_!" exclaimed Mary Jane, "why—why—I thought _everybody_ went
to Harvard!"

The folks around her couldn’t help but hear and they couldn’t help being
amused at her frankness.  One kindly-looking gentleman just in front
turned around and said, "Yes, my dear, folks _do_ go to Yale—I did it
myself."  And everyone laughed.

Usually Mary Jane was very quiet, but the bands and flying colors and
crowds of people must have excited her, for she suddenly forgot all
about the long distance to the ground—just behind; she grabbed her
mother’s hand and climbed up on the bench; she waved her crimson banner
high over her head and shouted at the top of her small voice, "I’m for
Harvard! I want Harvard to win!"

And sure enough, Harvard did.



                     *THE ADVENTURE BY THE LAGOON*


"Do you think you two girls will be all right here while Hal and I sit
over there and visit awhile?" asked Mrs. Merrill.

It was the late afternoon of the game and the Merrills, with Hal, had
driven in to Boston with some friends of Hal’s and now were sitting in
the Commons trying to keep the promise to Mary Jane to let her ride all
she wished in the swan boats.

It seemed a hopeless promise to keep though, for no sooner had they
taken one ride than Mary Jane was ready for another, and another and
another.  Finally Mrs. Merrill suggested that as she and Hal had many
things to talk about, they might sit at the side of the lagoon and let
the two girls ride by themselves; Alice was old enough to make such a
plan perfectly safe and anyway there was no danger, for Mary Jane was
big enough to look after herself on the boat.

"Surely!" said Alice replying to her mother’s question, "you sit right
over there and we’ll be safe as safe can be."

"And if we run out of money for rides," added practical Mary Jane,
"we’ll come and tell you."

"I’ll save you the trouble," said Uncle Hal, "I’ll buy a bunch of
tickets that you never can use up!"  And much to Mary Jane’s delight, he
went over to the window where the tickets were sold and bought fifty
cents’ worth—ten whole rides—five for each girl.

"Thank you ever so much, Uncle Hal," said Mary Jane gratefully, "and if
you change your mind and want to ride, I’ll let you have one of my
tickets," she promised as he handed her five all for herself.

"Yes," added Alice, "and if mother wants to ride again, I’ll let her
have one of mine."

"Thanks awfully, ladies," said Hal laughing, "but I think sister and I
will enjoy the talking every bit as much as you enjoy the riding, so
everybody will be happy."

Mary Jane thought she never, never, never had had such a blissful time!
The sun, halfway down in the west, was just warm enough; a soft June
breeze blew the lagoon into tiny ripples and made the air cool and
comfortable after the warm day; flowers blooming on the bank filled the
air with dainty fragrance and, best of all, there were those magic
boats—and five tickets all her own.  She and Alice picked out the front
seat in the boat they thought the prettiest and there they sat.  They
didn’t even trouble to get off when one ride was over; they simply sat
still while the two or three other passengers stepped off at the dock
and two or three other passengers stepped on, and then off the boat went
again on its slow, stately journey around the little lake.

But at the end of the third ride they noticed some talking at the side
of the dock furtherest away from where Mrs. Merrill and Hal were
sitting, and Alice stood up to see what was the matter.

"Look at that child!" exclaimed Alice. "Look, Mary Jane, at what she’s
doing!  She’s trying to make her doll sit on the edge of the dock, and
anybody would know a doll couldn’t do that!"

Evidently everyone around there except the little lady herself was of
the same opinion as Alice, for the other children were trying to tell
her that the doll couldn’t sit there; that she would fall in surely,
surely, if such a thing was attempted.

"And it’s such a pretty doll too," worried Mary Jane.  "Come on, Alice,
let’s get off and tell her not to do it.  Maybe she’ll mind us ’cause
she doesn’t know us."

But they were too late.  Just as they stepped off the swan boat ready to
hurry over to the end of the dock where the children were, the little
lady succeeded in getting the doll set stiff and straight at the very
edge of the dock.  For a breathless instant the doll sat there.  Then,
so quickly nobody could reach out a hand or do a thing, the
prettily-dressed doll tumbled over on its face—splash!—into the lagoon.

For an instant the children all stood motionless in amazement.  Then the
little mother began to cry, "My dolly’s drowned!  My dolly’s drowned!  I
didn’t want my dolly to drown!"

"Then what did you sit her on the edge of the dock for?" demanded an
older boy who had tried with the others to tell her that the doll might
fall in.

"’Cause I wanted her to sit there!" retorted the girl, "that’s why!"
Then with a sudden recollection of her loss, the impudence left her and
she sat down on the dock and began to cry.

"Let’s call for help," suggested Mary Jane, and she looked around to see
just where her mother and uncle were sitting.

"Call nothing!" exclaimed the big boy, "do you want to get us all run
in?  Ain’t you got no sense?"

Mary Jane looked at him in amazement. What was "run in" and why not call
for help when a beautiful doll was drowned?

Alice, too, was surprised at the boy’s attitude but being his own age
she wasn’t backward about asking for an explanation.

"Why not call for help?" she demanded. "How are you going to get the
doll out?"

"Don’t you worry about that," he said tartly, and then, more politely,
he explained, "the park cop told us not to stay close by the water, and
here she went and let her doll fall in and if we holler he’ll hear sure
as shooting and come and order us on.  You just stop crying now," he
said to the little mother who, frightened by his order to keep still was
crying softly to herself, "we’ll get her out for you—you just wait!"

"Is she your sister?" asked Alice.

"Sister—nothing!" replied the boy, "think my sister would have such a
fine doll?  That’s my sister," he added, jerking his thumb toward a
ragged little girl on the edge of the group, "my sister ain’t got no
doll—but she ain’t a cry baby either!" he added.

Alice looked interestedly at the child thus pointed out.  She was a
bright, pretty looking little girl with oh, such a poor dress—and no
doll?  Why she was just Mary Jane’s age—but this was no time to stand
looking at other folks, and she turned to the water to see what could be
done.

Mary Jane, in the meantime, had crept up to the edge of the dock and was
peering down into the clear water.

"There it is," she said, pointing, "see?  It’s right down there!  Now,
don’t you cry, we’re going to get it out in a jiffy.  I wish I had a
long stick to poke with."

"You don’t need a stick," said the big boy, peering over beside her.
"See how shallow it is?  And a stick would just stir up mud and get its
clothes all dirty."

"I could pretty nearly reach it without a stick," suggested Mary Jane as
she sat on the pier and reached down into the water.

"That’s an idea," exclaimed the boy, "that’s just what I’m going to do."
He proceeded to lie down flat on the narrow dock and stretch his hands
down into the water.

"You almost touched it!" exclaimed Mary Jane excitedly, "just reach a
little more—"

[Illustration: "You almost touched it!" exclaimed Mary Jane.]

"But I can’t reach any more!" said the boy, "see?"  And he looked up for
a suggestion. "Oh, I’ll tell you what!" he added, "I’ll reach over
farther and you hold my feet so I won’t fall in.  Then I’ll reach down
with one hand and I’ll bet I get it."

He wormed himself closer to the edge of the dock and while Alice held
tightly to his shoes, he reached down, down, down into the water.

"He’s got it," reported Mary Jane, who was watching, "he’s touched it
and he’s got it—look!"

Sure enough.  The boy wiggled back a bit from the very edge and lifted
the dripping doll out of the water.

"Oh, my dolly!  My dolly!" cried the little mother, "but she’s all wet!"

"What did you expect after such a soaking?" chuckled the boy, "but
water’ll dry.  My coat’s wet but it’ll dry in this warm air."  He took
off his coat and spread it out in the sun on the dock.

"And that’s what you must do to your doll," said Mary Jane.  She loved
nothing so much as mothering folks—children, dolls—it didn’t matter
which just so they needed something done for them.  "Here, let me help
you and we’ll have her fixed in a jiffy."

She sat down on the dock, with the little mother beside her, and began
to undress the soaked dolly.  "Now we’ll take off her dress—so.  And
then her petticoat—so.  And we’ll spread ’em all out in the sun—so."

"Why don’t you spread ’em on a bush?" asked the boy practically, "that’s
what I do when I go swimming."

"Here, I’ll do it," said his sister, and the shy little brown-eyed girl
forgot all about herself and being afraid of strangers in her eagerness
to touch the doll’s pretty wet clothes.

"Then you do it," agreed Mary Jane.  Very carefully she took off
stockings, shoes, underclothes, every stitch the doll had on and the
little Italian girl spread the things on the bushes in the sunshine.

"You ought to spread the doll too," said Alice, "she’s so wet the
clothes get wet as soon as you put them back on."

"I’ll tell you," suggested Mary Jane jumping up hurriedly, "let’s get
mother and Uncle Hal to hold it in the sun while we take a ride on the
swan boat."

"Y’haf ta have money to ride those boats," replied the boy, "and we
ain’t got none."

"You don’t have to have money if you have tickets," answered Mary Jane,
"and I’ve got plenty of those—see?"  And proudly she displayed the
tickets she had put in her pocket when she began undressing the doll.
"Come on, lets!"

Holding the undressed doll in her hands, she ran around the lagoon to
where her mother was sitting.  "Mother!" she exclaimed suddenly, "will
you please hold this doll in the sun so it’ll dry while I take these
folks for a ride?"

"What in the world?" exclaimed Mrs. Merrill in amazement as she saw the
strange children, the dripping doll and her own excited little girl.

"She drowned," explained Mary Jane, pointing to the doll, "and he
rescued her," pointing to the boy, "and we’re all going to take a ride."

Hal looked at the children and suspected that they were to be Mary
Jane’s guests—with the exception of the little girl who owned the doll
they were ragged and poor looking, so he asked, "Have enough tickets,
Mary Jane?"

"Just enough," replied Mary Jane, "with Alice’s and mine together."

"Then we’ll hold the doll and watch you ride," said Mrs. Merrill.

The children scampered over to the dock and got aboard a boat.  The
little Italian girl sat with Alice and Mary Jane and the others took the
back seat.

"Oh!" exclaimed the child rapturously, as the boat slowly moved away
from the shore, "ain’t it just like a fairy story?"

"You like stories too!" cried Mary Jane delightedly, "so do I and I feel
just like a princess.  I do every time I ride on ’em."

"I never rode on one before," said the stranger, "but I feel like a
princess now, I do."

"Never rode on a swan boat, never had a doll," the thought kept running
through Mary Jane’s head during the rest of the ride and while they were
getting off and going back to her mother, "never had a doll—"  How funny
that would seem!

The rescued doll was not dry yet, of course, but Uncle Hal had procured
a paper to wrap it in, so that it could be carried home safely.

"We’ll get the clothes and wrap them up too," said Alice, and Mary Jane,
and the mother of the doll ran and brought the clothes from the bush at
the other side of the lagoon, and Alice wrapped them carefully so
nothing could be lost out on the way home.

While she was doing that, Mary Jane whispered to her mother, "Won’t you
please find out the name of that little girl with the brown eyes, and
the boy, Mother dear, and where they live, and I’ll tell you why when we
get home to the hotel?"

Mrs. Merrill pulled out her tiny notebook and tactfully asking the boy
for his name and address, wrote them down in the book.  Then they all
said a good-by to their new friends, for it was now high time they were
getting back to dress for dinner.

"Mother dear," said Mary Jane as she skipped along beside her mother
five minutes later, "that little girl never had a doll and she never
went on the boats before though she lives right here in Boston.  And as
soon as we get home I want to send her a doll, all dressed in pretty
clothes and everything—may I please?"

"Indeed yes, dear," answered Mrs. Merrill, much pleased with the idea.
"We’ll do it just as soon as we get home, and you and Alice may make the
clothes and have it a really gift of your own."

When, an hour or more after dinner that evening, Mary Jane snuggled down
in her bed for a long night’s sleep, she said to Alice, "Didn’t we have
fun to-day?  Winning the game and going boat riding and rescuing the
doll and everything?  Now I wonder what’ll happen to-morrow?"



                     *COMMENCEMENT IN THE STADIUM*


The first thing Mary Jane did when she wakened the next morning was to
run and look out of the window.  All their plans for the day depended
upon the weather.  Year after year the Harvard commencement had been
held in Sanders Theatre, one of the rooms in Memorial Hall, and as the
graduating class was always so large and the theatre so small in
comparison, it was impossible for each student to have more than one
ticket—and of course that meant that Mary Jane was not to go.  But this
year, partly through the influence of her own Uncle Hal, it had been
decided to hold the exercises in the Stadium—if the weather permitted.
And that meant that Mary Jane could go; in fact, she had the ticket all
ready, the ticket marked so plainly "not good in case of rain."

A glance at the sky showed her she was not to be disappointed.  It was
clear and blue and the few dainty white clouds scattered about looked as
unlike rain clouds as could be.  It was a perfect June day.

"Goody!" she exclaimed, as she ran back to take a peep at the precious
ticket.  Not many little girls of six ever went to a Harvard
commencement, and Mary Jane guessed that she was very fortunate.

Mrs. Merrill suggested that as both girls had had a good night’s sleep,
they dress and take a bit of a walk before breakfast, stopping on the
way for Mary Jane’s shoes which were to be ready.  So Mary Jane slipped
on a dark gingham dress after her bath, and they started out. There was
only time for a short walk as they were tempted into the library and
lingered to enjoy the pictures.  Mary Jane knew the story of the Holy
Grail, as every girl should, and she and Alice both enjoyed looking at
the lovely paintings.

"Let’s come again!" exclaimed Alice as her mother reminded them that
they simply must not stay any longer now, as Uncle Hal would be waiting.

"Oh, I just love it here!" whispered Mary Jane as they walked down the
broad marble staircase.  "Doesn’t it make you feel like a princess in
your own castle?  I can just see my subjects walking behind holding up
my train and thinking how grand and lovely I look."

"Seems to me a good many things make you feel ’like a princess,’" said
Mrs. Merrill smilingly, "the swan boats and now the marble stairs of the
library."

"Well, I guess Boston must be a princess-y sort of a place," replied
Mary Jane, "’cause I never felt that way in Chicago.  I like Boston. I
like Chicago too," she added loyally, "but Boston is more princess-y
feeling."

They crossed the Square and hurried up to their room to dress.  The
girls were to wear the dainty little organdies they had worn on Class
Day.  Mrs. Merrill had had them pressed and when the girls stepped into
the room there they were on the beds—as fresh and crisp as new. And now
that the new shoes were fixed with a soft pad of leather at the heel to
keep them from slipping up and down and making a blister, there was
nothing likely to mar the day.

It didn’t take long to dress as everything was laid out ready, and soon
the three Merrills were in the subway, dashing out to meet Uncle Hal at
Harvard Square.  There wasn’t much time for visiting; and anyway, Mary
Jane didn’t feel much like visiting just "common-like" with a
queer-looking uncle who wore a long black dress and had a funny pointed
cap on his head. Her mother explained that it was a "gown" not a dress,
and that all the students who graduated that day and all the men of the
university wore them.  Mary Jane had, of course, seen a good many of
them on Class Day but she couldn’t get used to her own Uncle Hal having
such a funny gown.

They all went over toward the Stadium together, and as they stepped upon
the bridge across the Charles River, Uncle Hal picked her up and set her
on his shoulder while Mrs. Merrill took a picture of them.

"There now," said Hal as he set her down again, "if anybody ever doubts
that you came to my commencement they can just look at that! There’s the
Charles River in it and the Stadium in the background and you and I in
front—if we didn’t break the camera."

In the row in front of them, in the Stadium, sat Hal’s friends, Mr. and
Mrs. Humphrey. Alice and Mary Jane had never met them before, though
Mrs. Merrill had known them some time.

"I’m so sorry you’ve been here all these days and we’ve been away,"
exclaimed Mrs. Humphrey, as the Merrills were seated.  "We just got in
this morning.  I’m wondering if you and these nice girls wouldn’t like
to go for a drive this afternoon?  Have you been down on the south
shore?  Toward Nantasket?"

"We haven’t done a thing but Harvard!" laughed Mrs. Merrill, "because
Hal wanted us to go to all the exercises and parties.  We’ve had a
marvelous time, but aside from one short ride, we haven’t tried to see
anything of Boston—I thought that would keep till the job of graduating
my brother was over," she added.

"That’s just the way I knew you would feel," answered Mrs. Humphrey,
"because I know how Hal’s been counting all winter on your seeing
everything.  But now that it’s so soon over you’ll have time for a ride
with us.  You’re not going to the boat races are you?"

"No," said Mrs. Merrill, "I thought that would be almost too much of a
crowd for the girls, so we’ve planned to go to Plymouth to-morrow while
Hal and some friends go to the boat race, and then I want to stop over
night with a dear cousin in Marshfield."

The talk was interrupted just then by the arrival of the first of the
long procession of men entering the Stadium.  Mary Jane could hardly sit
still she was so thrilled by the sight of the long line of marching
men—all in black gowns relieved here and there by the capes of scarlet
or blue or purple some wore.  And the bands playing and the crowds of
people all interestedly watching—of course she couldn’t understand it
all, but she loved seeing it—it seemed like a scene from an old time
pageant.

But by the time the exercises were over Mary Jane was tired enough from
sitting on the hard stone seat and from watching and trying to
understand.  So the idea of lunch at some place in Cambridge without
waiting to go back to Boston, sounded very welcome.

"We’ll go where Uncle Hal goes sometimes," suggested Mrs. Merrill.  "I
know the very place on the way back to the Square.  You may have a
sandwich and some ice cream and anything else they have, that you’d
like."

"And is it all over?" asked Mary Jane as she ran along beside her
mother, glad of the chance to hurry a bit and limber up the muscles
stiffened by long sitting.

"All over, I think, honey," replied Mrs. Merrill. "All over for us
anyway, as we’re not going to the races.  And won’t we love that ride
this afternoon?  Hal will be busy packing up, and we’ll get just that
extra bit of fun thrown in."

Mary Jane found just what she wanted for lunch and was much refreshed,
so, leaving a note in Hal’s room in order that he would know their
plans, they took the subway back to their hotel to change and make ready
for the drive. White organdy dresses were not the most suitable frocks
for an all-afternoon motor trip.

Promptly at two o’clock Mrs. Humphrey arrived in a beautiful limousine.
Mary Jane, who wasn’t used to a car of her own, had puzzled considerably
as to what sort of a car Mrs. Humphrey might have, and had insisted that
she wanted to wear a grown-up-lady veil so as not to muss her hair.

"You won’t need a veil, dear," Mrs. Merrill had said, positively,
"little girls don’t need veils when their hair is short, no matter what
kind of a car they ride in."

"But I saw a picture that had a little girl with a veil and a lady with
a veil," said Mary Jane, "and I want to wear the big pink one, I do."

"Suppose you take it instead of wearing it," suggested Mrs. Merrill.
"Then you’ll have it if you need it, and you won’t be bothered taking it
off if you don’t need it."

So Mary Jane went out to the car carrying a long floating veil of pink
chiffon, and from her grand manner it was plain to see that again she
felt "just like a princess."

Mrs. Merrill sat with Mrs. Humphrey in the big back seat and Alice and
Mary Jane sat on the chairs just in front of them.

Mary Jane was much thrilled by the dignified looks of the middle-aged
chauffeur and when Mrs. Humphrey said, "We’re ready now, Higgins, drive
down the south shore the way we like best, you know the route?" she
couldn’t keep her enthusiasm to herself.

"I think Higgins is an awfully nice name," she confided to Mrs.
Humphrey.  "I read a book, that is, mother read it to me, and it had a
Higgins in it and I liked him a lot.  I always thought I’d like to talk
to a Higgins.

"Does yours talk again?" she added as she saw no sign of conversation in
the straight shoulder before her.

Mrs. Humphrey’s lip twitched.  How explain to eager little Mary Jane
that Higgins was so dignified everyone had to be careful of his
feelings?  Higgins was the most dignified of all the story-book
Higginses ever invented!  So she merely said, "I think he’s rather busy
driving just now, and we want to have a careful driver, don’t we dear?"
And then, in an effort to change the subject she added, "Isn’t that a
lovely garden?"

But Mary Jane wasn’t that easily diverted and Higgins was very much on
her mind—as Mrs. Humphrey was to discover later.



                           *FUN ON THE BEACH*


The drive down the south shore was very beautiful; the girls both
enjoyed the glimpses they saw of Quincy, Hingham and Neponset—the quaint
old-fashioned houses, so different from anything they had ever seen
before, the lovely gardens and the view of the bay and various inlets
that they caught from time to time.  The road was good and the powerful
car dashed along under the wide spreading trees that edged the roads.
The girls were much refreshed by this sort of entertainment.

But Mary Jane was disappointed by one thing—it wasn’t really windy
enough to _need_ a veil. And she did want to wear one.  As they neared
the ocean though, they felt a stronger breeze, a breeze that came
gustily through the open windows of the limousine, and she felt
justified in using the veil she had carried over her arm. It wasn’t
particularly easy to adjust a veil two yards long while they were
driving so rapidly, and Alice had to help her sister, for Mary Jane
insisted in putting it entirely over her hat and tying it under her
chin.

Mrs. Merrill and Mrs. Humphrey were busy talking and didn’t notice what
Mary Jane was doing till the veil was almost fixed.  Then Mrs. Humphrey
noticed it, and was all regret for coming this route.

"My dear!" she exclaimed to Mrs. Merrill, "I didn’t know your little
girl was so delicate! We should never have come this way!  We could just
as well have driven west and then she wouldn’t have felt this awful wind
from the ocean!  Why, it’s just too bad!  We’ll have Higgins turn around
at once!  I should have asked you, only your little girl _looked_ so
strong and I thought she and her sister might like to go in bathing at
the beach.  Such a dear little thing to watch and put the veil on
herself at the first breath!  My nephew’s children are so careless—they
never _will_ wrap up as—"

There seemed no hope of the good lady ever stopping, so Mrs. Merrill
interrupted to say, "Don’t be a bit concerned, Mrs. Humphrey, Mary Jane
is not delicate—in fact she is very strong and vigorous.  But she did
want to wear a veil and pretend to be grown-up, and she has taken
advantage of the first breeze to think she must put it on."

Mary Jane was panic-stricken.  She wasn’t sick; she’d love to go
swimming in the ocean, and the very thought of leaving that pretty beach
they were just approaching and turning west made her sorry.  What _had_
she done by putting on her veil?

"Don’t you worry ’bout me," she said to Mrs. Humphrey, "I’m never sick.
But I like to wear a veil—a big lady veil.  Don’t you like to, too? But
I like to go swimming too, I do."

"Very well then," said Mrs. Humphrey, smilingly, "you shall go swimming.
I guess I don’t understand little girls very well.  But I know they
always like to come to the beach and they like to eat—oh, ’most
anything."

"Then you know them pretty well after all," said Alice laughing.

"But they can’t eat before they swim," said Mary Jane, "little girls
can’t."

"To be sure," agreed Mrs. Humphrey as the car came to a stop on the
shining sand, "but if they go in the water at once—they won’t have to
wait long to eat, will they?"

As the girls climbed out of the car they decided that Mrs. Humphrey knew
considerable about girls even if she didn’t happen to understand Mary
Jane’s notions about wanting to dress up like grown folks.

At the right hand end of the long beach was a private clubhouse where
Mr. Humphrey had a membership, and there Mrs. Humphrey took Alice and
Mary Jane to fit them out with bathing suits.

"I wish someone we knew was here to go in with you," said she worriedly,
as they walked toward the beach after the girls had dressed. "Of course
Higgins is bringing lap rugs down close to the water and your mother and
I will sit right there near.  But you could have more fun with the big
waves, if someone could take you out."

They threaded their way through the crowds of folks on the sand to the
spot where Mrs. Humphrey thought the cleanest, nicest sand was found,
and there—just as though he had been there all afternoon—was Uncle Hal
and three of his friends!

"I thought you were going to pack!" exclaimed Mrs. Merrill in amazement.

"So I was," laughed Hal, "but why pack when I could go in swimming?"

"But how did you happen to come here?" asked Alice.

"I didn’t ’happen,’" Hal assured her.  "Art came over and said you were
coming down here, and as it turned off so hot, wouldn’t I like a swim,
and I would—so here we are.  Want some good company?"

"’Deed we do!" Mary Jane assured him, and much relieved, Mrs. Merrill
and Mrs. Humphrey sat down on the rugs to continue their visit while the
two girls, with the four college men for escorts, raced down into the
water.

Mary Jane supposed she would have had fun on the beach, wading by the
edge of the big waves even if Uncle Hal had not come.  But it wouldn’t
have been fun such as she and Alice had with him there.  The great waves
rolled in and broke in a crest of foam near the shore and then spread in
a frill of bubbles over the golden sand.  Uncle Hal picked her up in his
arms and walked with her way out into the water; then, holding her high,
let her feel the "break" of the waves close to her face.  She shouted
with glee and splashed her hands in the crest of foam—never had she had
such fun!

Then, taking her out deeper, where the waves did not break but rolled
along in a great swell, he held her tightly by her bathing suit and
under her chin and let her swim.  It was fun to feel the water rolling,
to let herself go as Uncle Hal told her to, and to breathe slowly and
comfortably and work her hands and feet, feeling all the while the
security of her uncle’s strong arm.

"Let’s do it some more!" she cried, as he took her in to shore.

"Pretty soon," he replied, "but you stay on the sand awhile now with
Alice while I swim out to the raft to warm up.  Then you shall have
another swim—two, if you want them."

Back on the sand with Alice, Mary Jane found it nearly as much fun to
dig and hunt shells as it was to swim.  There seemed to be no pretty
shells as there were on the beaches in Florida; perhaps because the
crowds of people kept them picked over; perhaps because up further north
there were not such pretty shells to be washed up.  But there were
plenty to build a wall with even if all were not beautiful and perfect.
She and Alice collected several handfuls and then set about building a
city with a wall around it.  Other children playing near saw the plan
and helped too, and in a few minutes a dozen little folks were working
under Alice’s direction, building streets, parks, houses, churches and
the outer wall.  It was great fun and as they worked the time sped by,
one hour, two, and the girls would have guessed it wasn’t more than ten
minutes.

They were used to playing on the sandy beach of Lake Michigan and even
Alice, who knew all about it, didn’t think about the ocean’s tides. And
as all the children were in their bathing suits they didn’t notice an
occasional bit of wetness.  So it was with amazement they saw a great
wave roll up near and actually into their precious city!

"Why, what’s the matter with the ocean?" exclaimed Mary Jane in dismay,
"it’s coming into our city, and it mustn’t!"

"Matter with the ocean!" cried Alice, much disgusted with her
thoughtlessness.  "It’s the tide.  Don’t you remember in Florida how it
went up and down the beach each day, Mary Jane?  We should have
remembered and set our city further from the edge of the water."

As they talked, a second great wave broke in a frill of bubbles and down
went the two nearest churches, three parks and a dozen houses.

"Regular earthquake-tidal wave effect," said one of Uncle Hal’s friends
who came up to the group just then.  "Well, we were just going to take
you into the water again anyway, so why worry?"

"Oh, goody!" cried Mary Jane happily, "we can build another city
sometime, but we can’t go in swimming with you and Uncle Hal—not very
often we can’t."

By the time the girls had had another good swim and had enjoyed the
breakers till the boys were tired, Mrs. Merrill decided that it was time
to come in.  The sun was getting lower and lower, and already the breeze
was blowing cooler.

"Dash up to the clubhouse quickly, girlies," said Mrs. Humphrey, "you
know where I showed you to go.  And then when you come back dressed
we’ll find something to eat."

But the girls took longer dressing than might have been expected—maybe
they talked too much about the good time they were having—and when they
reached the beach it was time the party was starting back for Boston,
past time in fact, if Mrs. Humphrey was to keep an important dinner
engagement.  So there was no time for regular tea as Mrs. Humphrey had
planned.

"But we can stop and get ice cream cones and crackerjack to eat on the
way," she said. "Don’t little girls like cones and crackerjack?"

"They certainly do," laughed Alice, "at least these little girls do."

"Then take this," said Mrs. Humphrey, handing her a five-dollar bill,
"and get all you want, dear.  This looks like a good place."  They were
back in the car of course, and Higgins had driven along the thoroughfare
by the ocean—a street lined with shops.

Alice looked at the money with a feeling of dismay.  How many should she
get?  One cone apiece and one box of crackerjack or maybe two?  And how
about the change?  Five dollars seemed like a lot of money to carry into
a crowd such as thronged the boardwalk by which the car had stopped.

Seeing her hesitation, Mrs. Humphrey said, "Would you rather I got it,
dear?" and Alice replied so promptly, "oh, _will_ you, Mrs. Humphrey?"
that the lady had no doubt, but Alice would enjoy herself more if she
didn’t have to make the purchase.

So Mrs. Humphrey got out of the car and hurried to the shop.  It is
hardly likely that she had made such a purchase before—certainly not
often, for when she got into the shop she scarcely knew what to buy, or
how much the girls could eat.  Of course they would be hungry—she bought
four boxes of crackerjack and five cones; that amount simply because
that seemed to be all she could carry, and went back to the car.

"Can you help me?" she asked as she found herself too loaded down to
step comfortably into her car.  Mary Jane was on that side and she
reached out and took the boxes of crackerjack while Mrs. Merrill took
the cones.

"Where’s Higgins’s crackerjack?" asked Mary Jane making a hasty count.

"What did you say, dear?" asked Mrs. Humphrey who thought her ears must
have deceived her, "Higgins’ what?"

"Higgins’s crackerjack," repeated Mary Jane, "you’ve got a cone for
everybody and only four boxes of crackerjack.  Doesn’t Higgins like
crackerjack?"

"I really—why—"  Mrs. Humphrey was so amazed that for the minute she
couldn’t think of anything to say.  _Higgins_ and crackerjack!

"Never mind," said Mary Jane, thinking to comfort her hostess, "there’s
plenty of ice cream and he can have half of my crackerjack—I’d be glad
to divide it."

Before either Mrs. Merrill or Mrs. Humphrey could interfere, Mary Jane
had slipped from her chair and was hospitably passing the cones to the
dignified chauffeur.  Never did a man look more insulted!  He, Higgins,
to eat an ice cream cone while on duty and in his best uniform!  Perish
the thought!  But a glance at Mary Jane’s kindly smile changed his
answer and instead of frowning no without a word as he meant to, he
smiled and said, "Thank you kindly, miss, but I must give all my
attention to the wheel."

"Well, don’t worry," said Mary Jane, "I’ll eat it then."  And she did.



                          *A DAY IN PLYMOUTH*


When Mary Jane stepped off the train in the little town of Plymouth the
next morning, she expected to see the famous Plymouth Rock the very
first thing.  Instead, she saw a modern station with its line of autos,
surreys and wagons drawn up along the side and a parkway stretching away
toward the hill.

"Where do they keep the rock?" she asked her mother.

"Goodness only knows!" laughed Mrs. Merrill. "Don’t expect me to know
_everything_, honey.  But I do know they have it around here somewhere."

"Oh, Mother," cried Alice, "look at that darling pony!  Couldn’t we get
that man to drive us around some place?  I’d adore to have that pony
pull me!"

Mrs. Merrill and Mary Jane liked the idea too, so they engaged the
driver of a quaint little pony cart to take them around the village.

But before five minutes had passed, they almost repented of their
bargain.  For, turning away from the station to the right, they began
ascending a hill that taxed the strength of the pony to the utmost.  Up
they went and up and up, and the little pony pulled and pulled and
pulled his best, but with such a load he couldn’t go faster than a very,
very slow walk.

At last they reached the top of the hill and there on an open plain they
saw a handsome monument—the driver told them it was Forefathers’
Monument.

"Whatever did they put it here for?" asked Mary Jane.  "There’s nothing
here but a field."

"You should get out and look," said the driver proudly.  "Just look—and
you’ll see."

They left the pony cart (they were glad to give the little fellow a
chance to rest you may be sure) and walked close up to the monument
before they turned around to look; and then they saw why the monument
was set just there. Before them lay the bay, the blue waters sparkling
in the bright sunshine; and to the left and to the right for miles and
miles they could see the coast line gleaming gold with the shining sand,
and back from the ocean to the north were the green marshes and fertile
fields.  It was a view long to be remembered.

"I expect the Pilgrims stood right here—didn’t they, Mother?" asked
Alice.

"Without a doubt they did," replied Mrs. Merrill, "and think how it must
have looked to them!  There were no fields then; only marshes and woods;
no friendly city off in the distance; only strange Indians.  I can
imagine that many a time a lonely Pilgrim must have sat in this very
spot and looked longingly out over the ocean toward the home they had
left."

"They _were_ brave folks, weren’t they, Mother?" said Mary Jane, much
impressed with the beautiful view and the thought of the long-ago
Pilgrims.  "But where’s Plymouth Rock?"

"We’ll have to find that rock for you in a hurry," laughed Mrs. Merrill.
"Well, at least we know it isn’t on a hill, so we can go on from here if
you are ready."

The pony cart next pulled them down the hill and that was nearly as
exciting as going up, for it surely seemed as though the cart with its
four folks would fall over on top of the little pony.

"I really believe," suggested Mrs. Merrill, "that we could get around
faster if we’d walk, girlies," as they turned back into the station
parkway.  "Suppose we walk for a way and explore as we go?"  The girls
were willing, so the pony cart was dismissed, and the Merrills set out
to explore.

They went south along the main street of the village, passed the museum
where relics of the Pilgrims were kept and which they meant to visit
later in the day; passed several big hotels and many stores till they
came to the end of the village where the fishermen had headquarters. And
there, at the shore end of a small wharf, they saw a stone monument.
Not a big handsome one such as they had seen on the hill a few minutes
before; a small stone monument with an open space in the center and an
iron grating sort of a door shutting up the open space.

Alice and Mary Jane ran ahead to see what it was, and there Alice read
the words, "Plymouth Rock."  There under the monument, set in the arch
made by the stone corners and protected from injury by the heavy iron
grating, was the famous stone.  It wasn’t big as Mary Jane had expected
it to be—it was just a common-looking boulder, and nobody would have
thought of it twice if it hadn’t been in a monument so folks would know
it was something to look at.

"Well," said Mary Jane practically, after she had looked at it carefully
for a minute or two, "I don’t see how in the world they stepped clear
from the ocean there at the end of the pier to here—I don’t see!"

"But you must remember, dear," replied Mrs. Merrill, "there wasn’t any
pier then—just the ocean and the shore.  No doubt the ocean was close to
the rock then, for sometimes sand and rocks are washed around and the
shore line changed in so many years as have passed since that day.  Or,
possibly, folks have moved the rock up here so it wouldn’t get
weatherbeaten by the winter’s storms.  I think that is most likely the
reason why it is here."

As she was speaking, two men came up to the monument to make some
repairs on the lock of one of the iron gates.  As the gate swung open
after they unlocked it, Mary Jane looked longingly in at the rock—if she
could only touch it! What fun it would be to tell Betty and Frances that
she, Mary Jane Merrill, had really touched Plymouth Rock!

One of the workmen seemed to guess what she wanted for he said to her,
"Hello there, little girl!  Did you come a long way to look at that
rock?"

"All the way from Chicago," answered Mary Jane.

"Then I think you’d like to touch it, wouldn’t you?" he said.  Mary Jane
nodded happily.

"Here goes then," he replied, and he stepped aside so she and Alice
could stand inside the gate and actually lay their hands on the rock.

"I know something better than that," said the other workmen, much
pleased with the girls’ interest and joy.  "We’ll open the gate on the
other side where the sun is shining and your mother can take your
picture standing on the rock, just as the Pilgrims did."

Mary Jane was so excited by that fine idea that she could hardly stand
still, but with the help of mother and the men the gates were at last
open, and she and Alice took their places on the rock—and the picture
was taken.

"Thank you so _very_ much," said Alice gratefully as the gates were
again locked up, "that picture will be fine to take to school ’cause I’m
studying American history."

"Then you want to notice that hill," said one workman, pointing to a
hill close by.  It wasn’t such a very high hill but the sides were steep
and grass covered and it was close to the shore. "That is the hill you
will read about," continued the man.  "After that hard winter when so
many of the Pilgrims died, the bodies of the dead were buried there and
the Pilgrims planted corn over the top, so the Indians would not guess
it was a cemetery and find out how very many had died.  You must walk up
that hill," he advised Alice, "so you can tell your class about it when
you get back."

"We certainly will," replied Alice gratefully, "and thank you for
telling us about it."

They crossed the street and climbed the wooden stairway up the hill.  On
the top was an inn where a sign announced that luncheon was served, but
the girls didn’t care for anything so modern.  Fortunately Mrs. Merrill
had had the hotel put up a fine luncheon for them, so they wouldn’t have
to waste time eating indoors. As it was now nearly noon and the girls
were very hungry, she suggested that they sit on some benches halfway up
the hill and eat now, where they could enjoy seeing Plymouth, the ocean
and the historic hill.

That seemed a splendid idea, and the girls agreed that never had fried
chicken and sandwiches tasted as good as on Plymouth Hill.

"I do feel awfully selfish though," Mary Jane said as she polished off a
drumstick, "to have such a good lunch at the very same place where folks
died ’cause they didn’t have enough to eat."

"I don’t feel so selfish as I do thirsty," said Alice.  "Now if I only
had a drink—"

"No doubt we can find one," replied Mrs. Merrill. "If you’ve eaten all
you wish, we can put the papers and scraps in that trash basket over
there and walk on.  Surely we’ll find a drink soon."

They walked along the street, passing many an old curiosity shop where
Alice would have loved to linger and price old candlesticks and bellows
and chairs and all the curious wares she could see through the window;
only she was so thirsty that a drink seemed more interesting than
curiosities just then.

Turning to the left they went up a steep grade to another street and
there, right in plain sight, was a beautiful drinking fountain.  Without
stopping to read the inscription she and Mary Jane had a good drink.
Then Alice read aloud the tablet that said this water was piped up the
hill from the very spring where the Pilgrim fathers first got their
water.

"I think we’re doing a lot of interesting things to-day," said Mary Jane
happily.  "We stood on Plymouth Rock and we ate lunch where the Pilgrims
didn’t have anything to eat, and now we’re drinking out of their own
spring!  Now what do we do next?"

"I think we’d better walk up these steps to the old cemetery," said Mrs.
Merrill.

Mary Jane thought it was awfully funny to walk up stairs on a street,
but it was the only way to get up so steep a hill.  Mrs. Merrill and
Alice were much interested in the quaint, old inscriptions on the queer,
flat tombstones, but Mary Jane was much more thrilled by the sight of
the old funeral carriage which she saw in an old barn as they came down
from the other entrance.  It didn’t seem possible that real folks had
ever made such a funny, fancy carriage—it seemed more as though it was
"made up" for a show!

The afternoon was flying along and they had to hurry if there was to be
time to stop and see the wonders of the historic museum they had passed
before.  And, indeed, that was the hardest place of all to leave, for
there the girls saw old spinning-wheels and looms, old-fashioned chairs,
dishes and toys such as little folks used to play with—though goodness
knows, children in those old days had very few toys of even home-made
sorts!—and boats, models of real boats of those early days and oh, so
many things, Mary Jane thought they would have to stay there a week to
see all she wanted to see.

But they wouldn’t stay a week, nor even an hour more, for at four they
must take a train to Marshfield Hills where they were to visit Cousin
Louise.  If Mary Jane hadn’t wanted to visit there very much she might
have suggested to wait till another train; but she had so often heard
her mother tell about this dear cousin and her little boy, that not even
the curious boats and wonders of the museum could make her want to miss
that train.

"Now you tell us all about ’em," she said to her mother, when, a little
after four, they were seated in the train and speeding toward Marshfield
Hills.  "Is he big as me or is he a baby? And how do I talk to him?"

"Oh, you must play with him very nicely," said Mrs. Merrill, "for he’s
only a little bit of a boy—oh, lots younger than you are."

But when Mary Jane stepped off the train at Marshfield Hills she
certainly was surprised, for the little fellow who sat in the front seat
of the waiting auto didn’t look as though he needed taking care of a
bit!



                        *VISITING COUSIN LOUISE*


Cousin Louise was close to the train as it stopped, and she helped Mary
Jane off and gave her a good welcoming hug as they hurried over to the
auto.

"And this is John, my boy," she said proudly. "John, this is your cousin
Mary Jane and this is Alice."

"You may sit up here with Dad and me," he said to Mary Jane, "and the
others can sit in the back."  Mary Jane saw in a minute that she was
going to like John.  He might be young but he wasn’t a baby; it was
plain that he expected to look after all the lady folks of the party
just as he plainly was used to looking after his dainty little mother.

Mary Jane dutifully climbed into the front seat, with a little help from
Cousin Louise, and then John played host by explaining to her all about
their automobile.  Mary Jane didn’t know one thing about an automobile
and she was much impressed by the fact that this little cousin whom she
had expected to take care of and mother around, knew so very much more
than she did.  Bui she liked it; she liked his sturdy, frank way and she
wished that they could stay longer and get acquainted, really
acquainted, with so desirable a cousin.

Shortly, John’s father who had been doing an errand, came back, and
after greeting the travelers, started up the car and away they dashed,
over the hills and bridges to the little white farmhouse by the mill
where John lived.

Mary Jane loved the house from the minute she saw it.  It had green
blinds and a long front porch; a flower-covered front yard, an
interesting looking barn at the side and a rambling kitchen at the back.

"Oh, Mother," she cried as the car turned in, "do let’s stay a long
time!  Let’s not go to-night."

"To-night!" exclaimed Cousin Louise, "surely you didn’t think of going
to-night?"

"That’s what I had planned," said Mrs. Merrill. "You know there is a
nine o’clock train to Boston, and I thought that would give us time for
a nice visit-y dinner and we have so many plans for to-morrow."

"Then you’ll just have to change your plans," said Cousin Louise briskly
as she welcomed them into the comfortable old house.  "We’ve lots of
room and we’ll loan you night things, and you can see what good times my
sonny and your girls are going to have."

"Well, then—" said Mrs. Merrill.

"She’s going to let you stay," said John. "Come on, let’s go see my
lamb."

He was a bit shy with his new grown-up cousin, Mrs. Merrill, but very
comfortable and easy with the two girls.

"Coming along, Dad?" he called to his father as the three children
slammed out of the kitchen door.

"Not for a while—got to see what’s the matter with this," answered his
father, who was tinkering with the automobile.  "You take the girls
through the barn and show them your pets. I’ll join you in the pasture
lot after a bit."

John needed no urging.  He ran ahead to open the barn door and let his
cousins in on the lower floor where his pet calf—a tiny little brown
creature who looked wonderingly at her visitors—stood by her mother in a
large roomy stall.

"This barn’s most like grandpa’s," exclaimed Mary Jane, as the sight and
smell of barn things brought back to her mind the joys of the summer she
spent visiting her grandparents in the country.  "He had an underpart,
too, where cows lived sometimes.  And a stairs—have you a stairs that’s
most like a ladder?"

John had stairs just such as Mary Jane expected and, to tell the truth,
he was a bit surprised to find that Mary Jane could run up the steep
stairs as fast and as fearlessly as he could. He couldn’t see how a girl
who knew nothing about automobiles (when he was so used to them!) could
know about anything at all.

On the main floor of the barn the children inspected all the nooks and
corners, John explaining and playing host manfully.

"Now let’s go to the pasture lot," he suggested.  "I want to show you
sumping there."

So out to the pasture lot they went, running gayly along the narrow
roadway past the garden.

John led them up the hill, over stones and through briars and he
wouldn’t stop for anything till the very top by the fence was reached.
Once there he looked around as though hunting for something.

"Why—where—?" he said in a puzzled way.

In the meantime Mary Jane stepped up close to the rocky wall bordering
the pasture to pick some wild flowers she saw in bloom there.  And as
she reached into the bushes to pick the flowers, her hand brushed
against something furred—and soft—and warm.

"Oh!" she cried drawing her hand back in a jiffy, "it’s alive!"

John pushed into the bushes and there discovered what he was looking
for—his best pet of all, his wee lamb.  He caught firm hold of the soft
wool at the back of the lamb’s neck and pulling hard dragged the shy
little creature out for inspection.

"Oh, I didn’t know it was a lamb!" exclaimed Mary Jane happily.  "I’m
not afraid of a lamb, I’m not.  I had a pet lamb too at grandpa’s farm."

John and Mary Jane sat down on the nearest rock and fell to comparing
notes about the lamb she had had and the lamb before them, and so busy
were they that they failed to notice the approach of John’s father with
a wheelbarrow.

"Anybody want a ride?" he asked.  "And Alice, if any big girl like you
says she wants one, she’s going to be fooled.  But if any people the
size of John and Mary Jane want one they’d better get in quick, because
mother has just given the signal for dinner and that means come and wash
your hands this minute."

John settled himself in the front of the barrow with his toes hanging
over the wheel while his father lifted Mary Jane on just behind.  And
with Alice for an escort the party went back to the house.

"I love to wash hands at a back door," said Mary Jane enviously as she
saw John’s father splashing at a pan near the door.  "It’s so common to
wash in a bathroom!"

"Well," laughed Cousin Louise, "I can’t say that everybody agrees with
you!  I know I felt very grand when we had our nice bathroom installed
upstairs.  But if you’d really _rather_ wash down here, I think John can
find you a pan and a towel."  Alice went upstairs with her mother and
washed in a nice, lady-like fashion, but John and Mary Jane had a
beautiful splash-y time at the back doorstep and to judge from their red
noses—and the towel—they must have come to the table every bit as clean.

"I could eat just everything," said Mary Jane ravenously, as they sat
down to an appetizing-looking dinner.

"Well, you won’t get everythin’," giggled John, "but Mother won’t let
you be hungry, will you, Mother?" he added hospitably.

And with all the good things before her, Mary Jane was sure she
_wouldn’t_ be hungry—lovely fresh peas, browned potatoes, salad in such
a pretty bowl.  For the next few minutes the children were too busy to
talk, but by dessert time, John was again telling the girls some of the
funny things his chickens and lamb could do.

"There now, John," said his mother interrupting, "I forgot the cream for
the berries. Can you get it for me from the kitchen table? It’s in the
blue bowl."

John thought he could and he slipped down from his chair and hurried out
to the kitchen. Coming back he didn’t hurry for in his hands, held
tightly, he carried a large blue bowl filled nearly full with rich
looking cream.

"We always have our cream in a pitcher," remarked Mary Jane.

"You couldn’t pour this cream out of a pitcher," explained Cousin
Louise.  "See?" She lifted a spoonful of the cream with a silver ladle
and Mary Jane thought she had never seen anything so good looking.  It
was rich and creamy colored and almost as thick as soft gelatine.  Alice
was a bit worried lest it be sour, and she hated milk or cream that
wasn’t every bit sweet.  But when the girls tasted it they found it
sweet as could be and oh, so good.

"There are the queerest things around Boston," exclaimed Mary Jane as
she smeared the thick cream over her berries ready to eat, "there are
boats made like swans, and tides like in Florida, and a spring coming
out of a pipe—that was in Plymouth—and cream that looks like pudding.
Have you got plenty of it, Cousin Louise?" she added as she eyed the
blue bowl.

Cousin Louise assured her that there was still plenty in the bowl and a
great plenty more in the milk cellar outside so she could eat all she
wanted.  But to tell the truth, Mary Jane found that one big bowlful of
strawberries and such cream was all she could eat, and she was soon
ready for the drive that Cousin Louise proposed.

They drove through the marshes that much to the girls’ interest proved
to be the place where cranberries are grown.

"See?" said John’s father as he slowed up the car so they could see the
bushes and could, perhaps, imagine the red cranberries with which the
low bushes would be loaded after frost. "Next time you eat your
Thanksgiving dinner, you just look hard at the cranberry sauce and see
if it didn’t come from Marshfield."

Mary Jane giggled at his funmaking and promised to ask each cranberry
she met during the coming fall.

Turning from the main road, they drove into the heart of a charming wood
where Cousin Louise had them get out to see the wild flowers. There the
girls saw, for the first time, the beautiful and very rare wild lady
slipper which Alice thought was the loveliest wild flower she had ever
seen.  They didn’t pick a single blossom as the flower is so rare that
flower lovers will not take a single bloom from its home in the woods;
but they looked at it so admiringly and so carefully that the girls were
sure they never, never would forget its beauty.

Back into the car and around a couple of low hills they saw before
them—the ocean—golden and blue and rosy as the varying lights of sunset
were reflected in it.

"Oh," cried Mary Jane, "are we going swimming?"

"Not this late in the evening, I’m afraid, my dear," said Cousin Louise.
"But perhaps mother will let you go in wading.  We always carry towels
in the back of the car for a good foot rub afterward."  Mrs. Merrill
approved, so the three children pulled off shoes and stockings and a
minute later were dashing down toward the water leaving the grown-ups
for a quiet visit near the car.

"Oh, look at the white stones!" exclaimed Mary Jane, as they wandered
around on the beach after the first hilarious fun of wading. "I’m going
to put some in my pocket.  There’s one.  There’s another.  See, John,
aren’t they pretty?"

John agreed and was so diligent in helping to pick them up and so
generous in handing over all he could find to Mary Jane, that by the
time the children were called to come and dry their feet, Mary Jane’s
pockets were loaded down and Alice’s were full of the overflow.

"I think they’ll charge excess baggage for you, young lady," laughed
John’s father as he lifted Mary Jane into her place by John. "You’re not
going to take all those stones back to Chicago, are you?"

"Well," began Mary Jane, and then she saw how impossible it would be to
carry so many so she decided, "I’m going to take two, the roundest,
whitest two, and I’m going to leave the others for John.  You’ll like
’em, won’t you, John?"

John hadn’t an idea what he would do with stones but he was always glad
to acquire valuable possessions, so he answered, "You bet!" most
vigorously, and Mary Jane was happy.

Back at the house, John rushed upstairs ahead of the girls and they
couldn’t imagine the reason for his hurry—children don’t usually like to
go to bed in a rush like that, at least the Merrill girls didn’t.

But when, a few minutes later, they leisurely went up, they found the
reason for his hurry. He met them at the top of the stairs and offered
to each girl a pair of his own pajamas!  He remembered that his mother
had promised night things and he wanted to be a good host.  The girls
looked with dismay at the cunning little blue pajamas offered them, but
their mother came to their rescue.

"Thank you so much, John," she said to the little boy, "you certainly
were nice to plan for the girls.  Now, don’t you want to show us your
room?  You know you promised you would."  And John, carelessly handing
over the pajamas, hurried off to display the room of which he was so
proud.

A few minutes later the tired little fellow was sound asleep, and then
Cousin Louise brought her guests a supply of night things that made them
very comfortable.

"I wish I didn’t have to go to bed," sighed Mary Jane as she trailed the
length of her cousin’s pretty gown over the floor.  "I think it’s horrid
when you have a big lady’s nighty and it’s so long and pretty and like a
court dress that then you just have to go to bed and sleep!"

"Well, if you don’t go to bed pretty soon," laughed Cousin Louise,
"you’ll hear my alarm clock and John’s roosters before you get to
sleep."

But there was no real danger of that because Mary Jane was so tired that
the minute her head touched the pillow she was sound asleep and dreaming
of white stones that perched up on top of Plymouth Rock and of a dear
woolly lamb that came over in the Mayflower.



                       *THE WILLOW TREE COTTAGE*


Mary Jane thought she never could wake up the next morning.  She heard
her mother and Cousin Louise talking in the next room, she heard John
calling, "Mary Jane! Mary Jane!  When you coming to breakfast?"  But she
simply couldn’t make herself wake up and answer.  She dozed off again
and again, she was so very sleepy.

Finally she heard Cousin Louise say, "Your mother says you must get up,
dear, so if you’ll jump into the bath that is all ready for you, I’ll
have breakfast waiting when you come back."  Mary Jane heard John and
Alice laughing and playing under her window, so she hopped out of bed in
a hurry and ran in to take her bath.

When she came back, she found that Cousin Louise had pulled a little
table up to the window overlooking the garden and barnyard, and that on
the table was spread out the nicest breakfast any girl could ask for.

"There now," said Cousin Louise as she laid a bathrobe around her little
guest, "while you eat we’re going to visit, because when there are so
many other folks around, we don’t get a chance to say a word."  Mary
Jane liked that breakfast ever so much.  She told Cousin Louise all
about Class Day and the game and the lobster salad and commencement and
dancing with one of Uncle Hal’s grown-up friends and the shoes that
slipped up and down and made a blister—and everything.  And as she
talked she ate and ate—till all the fresh strawberries and all the egg
and potatoes and coffee cake and milk and cereal that Cousin Louise had
carried upstairs on the tray had vanished.

"Well," laughed Cousin Louise, "see how stupid I sit here without
getting you one single bit of breakfast!"  And she laughed at the tray
of empty dishes.

"Never mind about any breakfast," replied Mary Jane continuing the joke,
"I don’t somehow seem hungry for anything this morning Anything _more_
you might say!"

"Then you slip into your clothes as fast as ever you can," said Cousin
Louise, "and run out to the barn.  John’s been watching his favorite
hens since he first got up in hopes there would be eggs for you to
gather before train time."

It didn’t take Mary Jane long to dress and as Mrs. Merrill came in just
at the right time to brush her hair and put on her hair bow, she was
soon out in the barn lot with Alice and John.

With diligent hunting the three children discovered four eggs by the
time that John’s father called to them that it was time to go to the
train.

"You take ’em with you in your pocket," said John hospitably giving his
little cousin all four eggs.  "You take ’em ’cause they’re good and I’ll
let you have ’em."

Mary Jane took them gratefully.  She had never been particularly fond of
eggs but John’s eggs, like grandpa’s eggs, tasted awfully good and she
was quite willing to carry four home. She promised faithfully to carry
them all the way to Chicago so her father could taste one. "That’ll make
one for each of us, ’cause there’s four of us," she told John as she put
the fourth one in her second pocket.

But when the children got back to the house Mrs. Merrill inquired into
the cause of the bulging pockets and out came the eggs—to stay in
Marshfield.

"Why Mary Jane," said her mother, "you’ve stones, all those white stones
you gathered on the beach last night, you know, and stones and eggs
don’t mix very well, you’d find.  Then we’re going ’way up to Rye Beach
for Sunday, and you’ll have lots to carry as it is.  And there’s no use
taking the eggs away from John just to run the risk of breaking them, is
there?"

Mary Jane agreed that there was no use of that.  And with John’s promise
that next time she came she could have four eggs—not necessarily these
same eggs however—for her very own, she was satisfied to put the eggs in
the ice-box and wash her hands ready to go to the train.

The little cousins hated to leave each other; they were just getting
well acquainted and were planning all sorts of fun they could do
together. But Mrs. Merrill thought that Mary Jane, and Alice too, had
had such a very busy week that they had better have a very quiet
week-end.  So as Uncle Hal had friends outside of Boston he wanted to
see before leaving for his home in the middle west, it was decided that
Mrs. Merrill and the girls go up to a quiet little hotel at Rye Beach
and spend Sunday resting and loafing, and that they meet in Boston again
on Monday to finish up the sightseeing and visiting.

"You come and see me again," shouted John, as the girls climbed aboard
their train half an hour later.  "Don’t you forget to come to see me and
get your eggs!"

"I won’t forget," called back Mary Jane, and then, much to the surprise
of the brakeman who was giving the signal to go ahead, she stepped half
down the steps of her car and shouted back to John, "Next time I come
I’m going to stay all day and get a lot of eggs—all the eggs you’ve
got!"  Then she hurried into the car to wave to John out of the window
as the train moved away.

It was a very dusty morning, as there hadn’t been rain for more than two
weeks; so Mrs. Merrill shut the window by which they sat. Mary Jane
liked that, for then she had a window sill where she could spread out
her precious stones without danger of losing any out of the window.

"Now that’s the father stone," she whispered to herself, as she hunted
out the biggest stone and put it in the left hand corner of the sill,
"and that’s the mother stone," she added as she chose the next biggest,
a round white stone that was her favorite, "and this is the big sister
stone and this the big brother stone and here’s all the little stones."
She pulled them out of her pocket, every one and made a long row of
stone children that filled the whole window sill.

"I guess I’ll call them Mr. and Mrs. Stone," she laughed softly to
herself, and then I’ll name the Stone children.  "You’re Patricia," she
announced to the biggest stone sister, "and you’re William Stone and
you’re Edward and you’re Margaret and you’re Ellen and
you’re—you’re—dear me!  How in the world do people name their families?
I should think it would be hard work!  I should think it would be as
hard as naming rivers."

The thought of rivers made Mary Jane remember that she was thirsty, so,
with her mother’s permission, she went up to the front end of the car
where the case of paper drinking cups and the water fountain was.  The
drinking cup case didn’t work very well, and Alice had to come and give
her assistance before two cups were dropped out of the slot so that the
little girls could get a cool drink.  Then Boston was so near that Mary
Jane had time only to pick up her Stone family and stow them safely in
her pocket—and it was time to get off.  There hadn’t been a minute to
wonder what she would do—the time just went that quickly.

They took a taxi up to their hotel, packed bags with things they would
need for over Sunday, ate a bit of lunch and hurried back to the station
to catch the train for Rye Beach.

"Did you ever see so many pretty flowers!" exclaimed Alice as their
train went past station after station made beautiful with flowers—late
irises, early roses, bridal wreath and snowballs, to say nothing of the
gay geraniums in formal beds along by the tracks.  "Wouldn’t you love to
have somebody say, ’just pick all you want to, Alice Merrill?’"

"We wouldn’t have time to pick ’em, ’cause the train doesn’t stop; it’s
taking us to Rye Beach where Mother went a long time ago.  Tell us about
it, Mother dear," Mary Jane added.  So Mrs. Merrill snuggled the tired
little girl close up and told her about the time she and her brothers
went to Rye Beach so long ago and how they all went in bathing in the
surf when the whistle blew the temperature of the water; and what good
things they had to eat at the Willow Tree Cottage and how—but there
wasn’t any use talking any more, for Mary Jane was fast asleep.

Mrs. Merrill glanced over at Alice who was reading a favorite book
Cousin Louise had given her, then she too picked up a magazine and read
as the train sped northward toward New Hampshire.

It was a good thing Mary Jane had a long nap that afternoon, for when
they got off at their station they found they were still a long way from
Willow Tree Cottage and that there was a lot to see on the way.  Several
passengers got off, and the bus which met the train was filled to the
last seat.

First they drove along by some pretty golf links where many folks were
enjoying an afternoon game; then they turned into a handsome big hotel.
Mary Jane saw children running up and down the broad verandas and caught
a glimpse of the ocean through the trees.

"I’d like that place to live," she said to herself, "I wonder if that’s
where we’re going?"  But it wasn’t.

Next they drove down a street where there were many private houses, in
front of some of which the bus stopped to drop passengers. Mary Jane saw
children playing in the grassy yards and everything looking so homelike
and restful that she couldn’t help but think, "I wonder if that’s where
we’re going.  I’d like to have that our place."  But it wasn’t.

Then they drove around a corner with a flourish that almost sent Mary
Jane from her seat and out through the opposite window, and drove up in
front of a grand-looking hotel right close to the ocean.  Folks in
pretty light dresses were walking on the broad porches.  Children were
playing in the great sand-pile out under the trees, and young folks were
having a croquet match over near the beach.

"Now that must be where we’re going," thought Mary Jane.  But it wasn’t.

At last, when everyone but Mary Jane and her mother and sister were out
of the bus, the driver whipped up his horses and drove away down the
beach and then turned down a short road and stopped in front of a
rambling, old New England farmhouse.  It was painted white, with green
shutters; the porch had comfortable chairs enough for a big, big family
and rambled around the front and sides of the house as though it was in
search of the kitchen door.  But out in front, close by where the bus
stopped, was the most interesting sight of all—a great willow tree.  It
had half a dozen trunks all grown partly together and each big enough to
make a tree of itself; it had wide spreading branches that arched over
the roadway, over the house and over a wide, grassy yard.  And under the
tree, just past the porch steps was a swing, a big sand pile and a small
merry-go-round and a slide place so that little folks who slid down it
would tumble gently into the clean white sand.

Was Mary Jane glad that they hadn’t stopped at the other places?  You
should have seen her happy face!

"Oh, Mother," she cried, "let’s not just stay here over Sunday!  Let’s
send for Daddah and stay and stay and stay ’cause I know I’m going to
have a good time here."

But before Mrs. Merrill had time to answer, Mrs. Bryan, the hospitable
lady who owned the cottage, came out to greet them and to say to Mary
Jane, "Oh, my dear!  I’m so glad you’re here!  Because I have the nicest
surprise for you!  Come right into the house and see.  I know you’ll
like it because it’s just what your mother and your Uncle Hal always
liked to see."

And Mary Jane, followed by Alice, both wondering what in the world the
surprise might be, hurried out of the bus and into the house.



                         *LOST!  ONE MARY JANE*


"Can we see it right away?" asked Mary Jane as she hesitated by the
newel post at the front stairs.  (It was a lovely long, straight
stairway with a white banister made of dainty white spindles and a
mahogany railing wide and shining on top—just exactly the right sort of
a banister for sliding down, and Mary Jane resolved to take a trial
slide the first time she could get the hallway to herself!)

"If it’s what I think it is," said Mrs. Merrill, looking laughingly at
Mrs. Bryan, "you’d better run upstairs and wash off the stains of your
journey before you go to see it, because once you get out in the kitchen
with Mrs. Bryan you won’t want to bother with washing and combing. Is it
what I think?" she added.

"Pretty likely!" laughed Mrs. Bryan, "you’re not forgetting so easily
what you always liked to see.  So do as your mother says, Mary Jane,"
she added kindly to the little girl, "and as soon as she says you may,
come out through that door over there and you’ll find me."

Alice dashed up the stairs, with Mary Jane close at her heels, and in a
very short time they were down again with clean hands and faces and
fresh frocks and hair ribbons.  Out through the door they went, through
the dining-room and into a great, roomy kitchen about as different from
their own little apartment kitchen as one could imagine.  It had a big
pastry table in the middle; two huge stoves at one side and a long sink
and several tables on another side.  Big windows looked out on a grassy
yard.

"Oh!" exclaimed Mary Jane rapturously, "I’d just love to live at your
house, Mrs. Bryan. Would you let me beat eggs and fix the edges of pies
and wipe dishes?"

"And the cupboards!" exclaimed Alice no less pleased, "would you look at
these cupboards, Mary Jane!  Wouldn’t you just adore getting out sugar
and spice and putting dishes away?"

"Well," replied Mrs. Bryan, half puzzled but very much pleased with
their enthusiasm, "you’re not much like most of the children who come
here.  Mostly they don’t know or care what a kitchen looks like or where
it is!  I can’t think what their mothers mean either, because a house
without a kitchen is just nothing.  And as for offering to help with
dishes—"  The good lady broke off in amazement at the unusual occurrence
of two boarders offering assistance because they _wanted_ to.

"Was this the surprise and may I look in that cupboard?" asked Alice as
she spied a stack of pretty blue and white dishes—just the kind she had
always wanted for her own—behind a half open cupboard door.

"Mercy no!" laughed Mrs. Bryan, "this isn’t the surprise.  But goodness
knows you may look in any cupboard you like, dearie; I know you won’t do
any harm because you like things too well.  The surprise is out here."

The girls followed her through a long pantry, the walls of which were
covered with cupboards and shelves clear up to the high ceiling, through
a summer kitchen where maids were working at preparations for supper,
and out into a half dim shed, the floor of which felt soft under their
feet because it was covered with thousands of tiny chips of wood, left
from the chopping of wood for the big kitchen range.

"There," she said, pointing to two great tubs near the outside door,
"that’s what your mother and your uncles used to like to see when they
used to come here.  Have ’em every Saturday evening—just that many," she
added as she pointed to the baskets, "and it’s time they went into the
pot this very minute."

"But what _are_ they?" asked Alice while Mary Jane just stared at the
queer sight.

Two heavily woven split baskets, bigger than bushel baskets,
considerably, were filled with brownish, greenish things that seemed to
move—but of course they _couldn’t_—but they _did_, they surely _did_.
Moved slowly but crawlingly like great spiders—

"Ugh!" shivered Mary Jane, "whatever are they?"

"You’ve a good catch this time, haven’t you?" Mrs. Merrill’s voice
behind her reassured Mary Jane.  Her mother had followed them out and
surely if her mother didn’t mind those queer things, they must be all
right for she well knew her mother didn’t like spiders any better than
she did!

"But what _are_ they?" insisted Alice wonderingly.

"Don’t you know," laughed Mrs. Bryan, "they’re lobsters.  Sam caught ’em
just to-day and a fine lot they are too.  Do you like lobsters?"

"Um-m," replied Alice, "do I?  You just try me!  But all the lobsters I
ever ate were red, bright red."

"Sure enough," laughed Mrs. Bryan as she bustled about a great iron pot
in a corner, "and all you ever will eat will be, I hope, because they’ll
be cooked.  The cooking makes ’em red.  These are alive."

"But if they’re alive you can’t cook ’em!" exclaimed Mary Jane in great
excitement.

"Oh, yes we can," replied Mrs. Bryan comfortably, "just that easily.  We
have the water boiling hot and dump ’em in—just that quick and they
never know what happens to ’em. Now you can go out this door," she
added, "because we’ve got to hurry now with supper. But don’t you go
far, for pretty soon you’ll hear a gong and that means ’come to supper!’
and you come first thing because I know you must be hungry."

Mary Jane and Alice needed no urging—they were hungry, for it had been a
long time since breakfast at Cousin Louise’s, and their hurried luncheon
in Boston wasn’t much to remember.

They ran out to the sand-pile, looked at the pretty shells, took a slide
or two and a few swings in the big swing and made friends with the two
children, a boy and a girl from Springfield, Massachusetts, who were
playing there, and, in a very short while it seemed, the gong sounded
and they went in to supper.

It was a different sort of a supper from any Mary Jane had ever eaten
away at a hotel—though as a matter of fact the Willow Tree Cottage
wasn’t really a hotel at all; it was an old New England farmhouse
enlarged a bit and opened to some twenty-five selected boarders through
the summer season.  And this meal truly was not a dinner such as Mary
Jane was used to eating in the evening; it was a real supper, delicious
and old fashioned as one could hope to find.  There was coffee cake,
fresh baked and luscious with great "wells" of sugar and butter running
through in streaks of sweetness; baked beans in brown pots; cold ham,
coldslaw with a sour cream sauce, and hot potatoes with cream gravy.
And then, after each table full of guests were seated and the meal
began, Mrs. Bryan herself (she would trust this task to no one else)
appeared with a great platter of lobsters, red and shining and smelling
oh, so good!

Mary Jane helped herself very daintily but Mrs. Bryan said, "Here,
honey, that’s no way to eat at my house!  You take a big helping and
then pass up!  There’s three more platterfuls like this out on the
kitchen table!"  The girls needed no second urging; they liked lobster,
but as they polished off claw after claw, they agreed that never _never_
had they eaten lobster before—not really truly lobster as this luscious
food proved to be.

As the maid appeared to ask what dessert they wanted, Mrs. Merrill said,
"Do you want any dessert, girls?  You’ve had such a good supper
already."

"Why mother!" exclaimed Mary Jane, "we _were hungry_!"  And then as the
maid said, "Huckleberry shortcake and apple pie" (meaning of course that
Mary Jane should take her choice), Mary Jane, not understanding, replied
blissfully, "I like ’em both, thank you!"

"Bless her heart!" laughed Mrs. Bryan, "she shall have ’em both, Ann.
You bring the girls each a helping of pie and shortcake—it’s not too
rich, it won’t hurt ’em for once," she added as she saw Mrs. Merrill
starting to object, "remember how you used to eat two helpings of
dessert and how _you_ made your dear father so ashamed!"  Mrs. Merrill
and the good lady laughed in recollection—and the girls had their double
dessert.

In the long twilight the Merrills took a leisurely walk through the pine
tree grove off toward the south of the cottage and home along the rocks
by the ocean.  By the time they turned toward home the sun had set in
rosy glory and through the gathering shadows could be seen the gleam of
lights in lighthouses near and far. ’Way down the coast on some jutting
rocks, still farther down on an out-reaching promontory, straight off to
the northeast on the Isle of Shoals and away toward the north was the
Portsmouth Light.  Some lights burned steadily, red or white; some
flashed on and off as though making a signal.  Mrs. Merrill explained
that each different location had its own light and method of burning it,
so that a pilot, out in the ocean when he saw a light burning red,
white, red white, could look on the chart and see just where that light
belonged; and then, when he saw one burning white, white, red, he could
look again and see where that one was.

The girls loved to watch the lights and to listen to the pound of the
waves on the rocks near by.  They would have liked to stay and watch a
long time, but Mrs. Merrill led them back toward the cottage by dark
and, to tell the truth, beds didn’t feel so very bad after such a big
day and, soon after the stars peeped out, two tired travelers were sound
asleep.

Sunday morning the girls slept late and almost missed breakfast; then
after a short walk to the beach they slipped on fresh frocks and went
with Mrs. Merrill to a quaint little church about a mile away.  The walk
there was charming, past the biggest hotel they had seen the night
before, along the beach, through a wood and to the edge of a meadow
where the little church, all vine-covered and rose-laden, came to view.

After dinner at noon, the girls sat on the beach a long time, watching
the tide and talking over the good times they had had and were going to
have.  They persuaded their mother that because the water was too cold
for bathing that day, they ought to stay over till afternoon of Monday
so that they might have a chance to bathe in the ocean.

"We’ll do better than that," decided Mrs. Merrill, when she saw how the
girls were enjoying the sea air and the quiet, "I’ll wire Hal and we’ll
stay till afternoon Tuesday.  That will give him time to finish his
visit leisurely and we will still have all of Wednesday in Boston and
you may go in bathing twice—if the water isn’t too terribly cold."

"I’m a-going in to-morrow even if it’s freezing!" said Mary Jane.

"So’m I," agreed Alice, "we’re not afraid of cold and it’s such fun to
jump in those big waves!"  But they little guessed what was really going
to happen when they went in bathing in that heavy surf!

The next morning, promptly at eleven, the whistle on the bathhouse blew
5-8.

"Fifty-eight," said Mrs. Merrill thoughtfully, "that’s pretty cold,
girlies."

"Oh, we don’t mind," Alice assured her. "The sun’s good and hot and if
the water seems cold we don’t need to stay in long—we can come out and
sit in the hot sand."

So they took their suits and walked down to the bathhouse.

The tide was high that morning and the beach was narrow because the
great waves washed up, higher and higher.  Heavy posts driven into the
bed of the ocean supported great ropes stretched where folks would want
to stand in the waves, and if one watched and went out between waves and
then held tightly to the rope while a wave broke over, there wasn’t a
fraction as much real danger as there appeared to be from the noise and
foam.  Mrs. Merrill, grasping a hand of each girl, made a quick dash for
the nearest rope and warned them to hold fast when the big wave came.
Alice could manage herself very well, as she had a good strong grip and
people were round about near to lend a hand if a wave should make her
lose her footing for a second, but Mrs. Merrill held tightly to Mary
Jane and together they jumped through the waves as the foamy crests of
cold water broke just over them.

"Burr, it _is_ cold, isn’t it!" said Mary Jane gayly as she shook the
salt water out of her eyes.

"Plenty cold and you’re getting blue," replied Mrs. Merrill with a keen
look at her little girl. "Let’s go up and sit in the warm sand for a
while.  Alice, you come up the line, here, nearer to shore, and then as
soon as I get Mary Jane settled in the sand snug and warm, I’ll come
back and take you out farther."

Left by herself a few minutes later, Mary Jane dug herself into the sand
and buried her feet, her legs, and tossed the sand over her chest. Then,
tiring of that amusement, she shook herself free of the sand, stood up
and looked around and—but—after that nobody seemed to know just what
Mary Jane did do.

Ten minutes after she left her so comfortably settled with her play,
Mrs. Merrill and Alice, flushed and laughing with their fun in the
waves, ran up the beach to where Mary Jane had been playing.  But no
Mary Jane was there to greet them!

Quickly Mrs. Merrill looked over the many bathers along the edge of the
waves—there was no little girl with bobbed brown hair. Hurriedly she ran
and questioned the life-guard; no, he hadn’t seen any little girl in a
blue and white suit.

The word passed along from one person to another but not a soul could
tell where the little girl was.  Several had seen her playing and
watching her mother and sister but no one had seen her get up and go
away.

There was lost, one Mary Jane; and a distracted mother and sister
together with a beach full of interested people started on a hunt for
the missing child.



                          *TEA ON THE TERRACE*


Questions and answers flew thick and fast as, one after another, the
many bathers at Rye Beach learned that a little girl was lost.

"Are you sure she didn’t follow you and go into the water?" asked one.

"Awful undertow," whispered another, "if she lost her footing even near
the shore—" but Mrs. Merrill turned away so as not to hear any more.

"Maybe she went up the beach a way," suggested another.

"We looked up there first thing," was the reply.

"I don’t know what to think," cried Mrs. Merrill in distraction as the
police officer questioned her.  "Mary Jane never ran away and I feel
sure she wouldn’t now.  I don’t think she would disobey me and go into
the water—and yet, where is she?"

Alice, poor child, forgot about being wet, and ran up and down the
beach, hunting and calling her sister.

At last, when there seemed nothing else to do, the officer said, "I am
sorry to say, madam, that it looks very much as though—" but he never
finished his sentence.  For at that minute Mary Jane’s voice close by
her mother said, "Look, Mother, what I got for you!  And there are a lot
more too so Alice can pick some."

There stood Mary Jane, rosy and dry from the warm sun, her hand full of
wild flowers she had picked—somewhere.

Mrs. Merrill gathered her up in her arms and hugged her so tight Mary
Jane thought she never would get her breath again, then, when she could
talk, she asked, "My dear child! Where _were_ you?  We’ve hunted and
hunted!"

[Illustration: "My dear child!  Where were you? We’ve hunted and
hunted!"]

"Why I was right there," answered Mary Jane, much surprised that they
should have been anxious.  "I stood up to shake off the sand and I saw
some wild flowers back there—see ’em?" she added, pointing to the end of
the bath-houses where some sand flowers bloomed on a low lying sand hill
back of the beach.  "And I thought, ’now I’ll just get some of those and
see if Alice wants ’em for her collection.’  So I ran up there and there
were so _many_—see how many kinds?  And—that’s all!  I just picked ’em
and then here I am!"

Mrs. Merrill thanked all the kind people who had helped hunt for Mary
Jane and made a firm resolve (which she likely as not wouldn’t keep)
that next time Mary Jane was "lost" she would sit still and wait for the
child to come back by herself.

For an hour Mary Jane played on the sand. They dug ditches, they
"buried" each other and their mother, and finally they shook off the
sand and ran to the beach for a final plunge before leaving.  After they
were dressed, Mary Jane led them up to the sand hill where she had found
the flowers, and Alice picked a bloom or two of each kind to press and
add to her collection.

Dinner never did taste so good as it did that day—surf bathing certainly
makes girls hungry and they both enjoyed every bite of the good food
Mrs. Bryan set before them.

"Now I think we’ll all take a rest for an hour," suggested Mrs. Merrill,
"and then, with some folks I met before you girlies woke up this
morning, we’ll drive to Portsmouth so you can see the harbor and the
beautiful drive along the shore."

Promptly at three o’clock they set out, and Mary Jane thought it would
take a whole book to tell all the beautiful and wonderful things they
saw on that drive.  The pine woods that smelled so sweet and good, the
rolling golf links here and there, the glimpses of the Isle of Shoals
that seemed no distance away, so clear was the air in the afternoon
sunshine.

"I ’most could reach out and touch ’em!" exclaimed Mary Jane once, and
it was hard to believe that the picturesque group of islands were miles
away, out in the ocean.

The river at Portsmouth, dotted with boats, big and little, the view
across into the state of Maine, and the beautiful grounds of a great
hotel set high on the bluff overlooking the ocean, all seemed very
wonderful.  Everywhere were lovely gardens brilliant with bloom and
grass so green and fresh, Mary Jane declared it made her want to get out
and feel it, for it looked like soft velvet.

At Portsmouth they stopped at an old curiosity shop and bought an
old-fashioned "knocker" for a souvenir of the drive.

"We’ll put it on the door to your room," said Mrs. Merrill, "and then,
when you shut the door, folks can knock before they come in.  And every
time you look at it, you will think of your trip to Rye Beach and to
Portsmouth."

The next morning the Merrills took their ocean dip early, as they had
decided to get to Boston in the afternoon instead of evening. The water
was "freezing" cold, but the sun was good and warm and the dip was most
refreshing as well as lots of fun.

It wasn’t easy to leave Rye Beach.  There was so much to do that would
be fun, and so many nice people to meet and such good things to eat,
that Mary Jane had to think hard about her father off home alone to make
herself willing to leave so soon.  But once away, she was quite happy,
especially when she found that they could have their luncheon in a
diner—Mary Jane would go anywhere—almost—to eat on a train!

Uncle Hal met them at the station in Boston and his smiling face assured
them a surprise was in store.

"Too tired riding to do a little more?" he asked, as they walked out of
the great station.

"Well," asked Mary Jane determined not to be tricked into anything, "is
it a nice thing we would do, if we weren’t too tired to do it?"

"_Very_ nice, I’d say, my young lady," replied Uncle Hal.

"Then I’m not a bit tired," Mary Jane assured him.

It was a good thing that was her answer, for the surprise was ready and
waiting at the station door.

"This is my sister and her two daughters, Miss Burn," said Hal as he
stepped up to a waiting car, "and they say they will enjoy the ride you
so kindly planned for them."  Miss Burn was a charming young lady with
whom Mary Jane and Alice promptly made friends, and her car was a
beautiful big touring car in which the Merrills were whisked away before
they quite realized what had happened to them.

Through the parks of Boston they went, out the boulevards along the
north shore where the roadway borders the ocean for miles and miles.
Beautiful homes flashed passed them, parks, suburbs, playgrounds,
amusement places—all like a wonderful living moving picture show. Mary
Jane was interested in the great shoe factories they passed in Lynn and
she tried to peek into the windows and see which factory made shoes for
little girls her age.  Rows and rows of red brick buildings—all shoe
factories Uncle Hal told her—seemed enough to make shoes for everybody
in the whole country!

On they went till they could see the houses on Marblehead and the famous
Marblehead lighthouse that can be seen from such a distance at night,
then, back they went, mostly over a different route, toward Boston.

"Couldn’t you stop at our house for a cup of tea?" invited Miss Burn,
"mother would love to meet you but she didn’t feel up to a ride to-day."

Mrs. Merrill said they had nothing to hurry them, so Miss Burn drove
them to her pretty home on one of the tree-covered streets in
Winchester.

"We’ll go through the house," said Miss Burn as they left the car, "but
I want you two girls to go to the garden.  You’ll like to see my pet
goldfishes."

"Pet goldfishes!" exclaimed Mary Jane, "do you keep ’em in a bowl?"

"Wait a minute, and I’ll show you where I keep them," replied Miss Burn,
and she led them through the hallway of her beautiful home and out,
through French doors, into the loveliest garden the girls had ever seen.
It was in the middle of the house—almost—for the house went around three
sides.  French doors opened from the hallway, on the north, from the
dining-room on the east, and from a long, low library living-room on the
west, while on the south side a rose covered pergola connected the ends
of the house making the garden appear to be surrounded with the house.
The edge of the garden, near the house, was filled with bay trees,
privet and vining roses, next, on a lower terrace, were flowers with
brilliant bloom, hollyhocks, delphiniums and marigolds, while around the
fountain in the center was a great bed of gorgeous roses making a mass
of fragrant bloom.

"Oh!" cried Alice, "think of living here!"

"It’s like a palace!" echoed Mary Jane.

"I thought you’d like it," said Miss Burn, much pleased with their frank
enjoyment, "we love it.  I do a lot of the work in the garden myself.  I
love the flowers so, and mother and I would rather be out here than
anywhere else in the world."

She led them over dainty gravel paths to the center of the garden where,
peering into the white fountain, the girls saw dozens of goldfish
swimming about in the sunshine.

"See?" said Miss Burn, pointing into the water, "I have one silver
fish—that’s for luck they say," she added laughingly.  "Don’t you think
it’s better to have fish here than in a bowl on a table?"

"I think everything’s better here—if you have a ’here’ like this,"
agreed Alice.  "I suppose Mary Jane feels like a princess again, now.
She always feels that way when she sees something wonderful."

"’Deed I do," admitted Mary Jane who had been too busy looking around
and pretending that all this was her own private palace, to talk with
mere folks!  "I love it here!"

"Let’s go over and meet mother," suggested Miss Burn, "and see if tea is
ready.  Then you may walk around the garden all you like and pick as
many flowers as you want to."

They found Mrs. Burn waiting for them under the rose-covered terrace,
and tea was all ready but the hot water which came in a few minutes.
Mary Jane was very glad that the grown folks were too busy talking to
count the number of lobster salad sandwiches she ate—they were so
good—even better than the nut sandwiches which were usually her
favorites. After tea, the girls wandered up and down the little paths in
the garden and picked a few flowers; not many, for the flowers looked so
lovely there that it seemed a shame to take them away.

"Oh, dear!" exclaimed Mary Jane later as she saw her mother rise to go,
"now it’s going to be late and we’ll have to go and—and I’d just love to
stay in this garden forever and ever! I would!"

"I wish you could, dear," said Mrs. Burn, "because I like to have little
girls around me—especially little girls who love flowers as you two do.
But I’ll tell you," she added comfortingly, "you’ve found the way out
here now and the next time you come to Boston, which will be some time
soon, let’s hope, you come and see me the very first day and stay as
long as ever you can."

Mary Jane promised and then she took a last glimpse at the fountain of
goldfish before Miss Burn took them back to Boston and their hotel.

"When I have a house," she said as she dropped off to sleep that
evening, "I’m going to have a garden just like Miss Burn’s with goldfish
and one silver fish and tea and lobster salad sandwiches and
everything!"



                   *THE LAST DAY IN BOSTON—AND HOME*


The last morning in Boston!  Mary Jane blinked at the bright sunshine
that streamed in at the window and asked sleepily, "What are we going to
do to-day, Mother?"

"_Mother!_" exclaimed Alice, suddenly wide awake, "we forgot to go to
Concord!  And my teacher told me surely, surely we must take that ride
up through Sleepy Hollow and Concord."

"Don’t you worry a minute, dear," said Mrs. Merrill, "I’m as anxious to
take that ride as you are.  In fact I had Hal get the seats in the
automobile yesterday evening, so there would be no doubt about our being
able to go this morning. I’ve never taken it either, you know, so we’ll
be seeing things together.  Now everybody up and see who can beat
getting dressed and ready for breakfast."

When they stepped up to the big sightseeing car, an hour and a half
later, they found that Uncle Hal had bought their seats for the front
row which pleased them very much.  Mary Jane liked to see things without
dodging the head of somebody in front, and Alice and Mrs. Merrill liked
to be close to the man who tells about the historic scenes on the way,
so they could ask questions and could hear everything that was said.

The car soon filled up with interested sightseers and the journey was
begun.

Alice eagerly listened to all that was told and fitted it into what she
knew of early American history.  The old church where the lights were
hung to give the signal to Paul Revere; the road he dashed across on his
long journey—marked now, by a big bronze tablet which the girls got out
of the car to read; the "green" where one of the early battles was
fought—Alice had read all the stories and seemed to live over the scenes
as she saw the famous sites.

Of course Mary Jane didn’t know as much history as her sister did, but
she knew something of the historical stories, as all American girls
should even if they are only in first grade, and she learned more
history in that two hours of riding than she would have learned in a
month of reading.  It didn’t seem like history out of a book, it seemed
like really truly—as it was.

The car turned down a long, shady road and came to a stop by a tiny
wooden bridge.

"There," said the driver, "is the Concord bridge and you may get out and
walk across if you like.  There’s no hurry."

"The Concord bridge?" exclaimed Alice, "why I thought it was a _big_
bridge—I’ve heard so much about it."

"Size doesn’t count for everything," laughed the driver; "it’s what
happens that counts."

They climbed out of the automobile and walked across the tiny bridge.
It was a low, wooden foot bridge, so narrow that one had to walk
carefully to pass anybody coming from the other direction.  On one side
was a hand rail, on the other nothing but the clear water of the little
creek so close below.

The girls stood in the center of the bridge and Mrs. Merrill took their
picture so Alice could show it to her teacher at school, then they sat
down in the shade close by and Mrs. Merrill told Mary Jane the story
that made that little bridge so famous; how the brave farmers stood
there waiting—right there on the spot Mary Jane could see; how the
Redcoats crept up through the darkness to the very tree (no doubt it was
the very tree for its wide spreading branches and great trunk told of
its old age), the very tree under which they were sitting, and then
there was fired the shot "for freedom," the shot which the poet said was
"heard ’round the world."

Reluctantly leaving the interesting spot that charmed them so, the
Merrills climbed back into the big auto and drove away; through Concord,
through Sleepy Hollow and to the house where Louisa M. Alcott had lived.
There Mary Jane felt at home immediately.  She saw the lilac bushes, the
old trees and the quaint old house she had heard about.  They went
through the rooms, upstairs and down, and saw the very books and dishes
and kettles and clothes that the girls in Miss Alcott’s story had used
and worn.

"Why they were just regular girls like we are, weren’t they, Mother?"
she exclaimed in surprise.  "And they didn’t know they were going to be
in a story and everybody read about them, did they?"

"To be sure," said Mrs. Merrill, "and that’s what makes them so
interesting.  They did all the things that real folks do, and we like to
hear about such things in books."

"Wouldn’t it be funny if we’d get into a story book," said Mary Jane,
laughing at the ridiculous idea, "and somebody’d read about how we came
to see Miss Alcott’s house?  I’d laugh if we did!"

"Well, you never can tell what’ll happen," said Alice as they wandered
out through the yard.  "I expect Meg and Beth never thought of being in
a book either.  I wonder if they picked roses from this same old bush?"
she added as she looked at a rose-bush that rambled high overhead, "it
looks old enough to have been here then."

It was hard to leave the quaint old house with its interesting
associations, but the honking of a horn out in front warned them that
they had lingered long enough, so they hurried out to finish the drive.

"When I get back home," said Mary Jane as she snuggled down in her front
seat again, "I’m going to read all about Concord and all about
everything—if you’ll read it to me, Mother, I am."  Mrs. Merrill
promised, so Mary Jane tried to look very hard at everything they saw so
she could remember it a long, long time.

"Now then," said Mrs. Merrill briskly, as they got out of the auto at
Copley Square, "we’ll just have time to hurry up and pack our things and
get our lunch before the train leaves.  And we won’t have a bit of time
to spare, so it’s a mighty good thing we haven’t left anything else to
do.  That Wolverine leaves on time whether we are on it or not."

"Won’t we have time but just only to pack and to get lunch?" asked Mary
Jane disappointedly.

"Why Mary Jane!" exclaimed Mrs. Merrill, "haven’t you seen enough of
Boston?"

"Oh, yes," replied Mary Jane, "I’ve seen enough but I haven’t done
enough."

"What more is there to do, child?" asked Mrs. Merrill.  "Seems to me
you’ve done about everything a person could think of already."

"Yes, I guess I have," admitted Mary Jane, "but I wanted to do some of
it over again.  I wanted to take another ride in my swan boat, I did."

"My dear child!" exclaimed Mrs. Merrill sympathetically, "and you shall
if I can get you down there.  Hurry now and we’ll get our packing done
in a jiffy and then before we eat we’ll go to the Commons and let you
take a ride."

Up in their room Mary Jane helped all she could with the packing.  She
stuffed the tips of all the shoes, she folded hair ribbons that had been
mussed and put clothes in neat piles on the bed.  Alice took everything
from the drawers, picked up personal belongings from the bathroom, and
brought the clothes that had been hanging in the closet.  With such good
help Mrs. Merrill packed in a very short time, and sooner than she had
supposed possible the trunk was ready to go, and they were dressed in
traveling frocks ready for the journey home.

"Now a wire to Dad," she said as she took a careful look over the room
to be certain that they were leaving nothing behind, "and I believe we
are ready to go."

"Let’s not stop for a big lunch," suggested Alice, "because we can have
early dinner on the diner.  Let’s get sandwiches and milk some place and
then let Mary Jane have two rides on the swan boats."

Mrs. Merrill telephoned Hal and he promised to call for their bags at
the hotel and then to come for them at the entrance of the Commons
nearest the lagoon.

A very happy little girl bought tickets for six rides and, with Alice
and her mother, Mary Jane took two last blissful rides on her favorite
boat.

"When I grow up to be a big lady and have a little girl of my own," she
observed between rides, "I’m going to bring her to Boston and let her
ride ’n ride ’n ride."

"Seems to me that’s about what I am doing with my little girl," laughed
Mrs. Merrill.  "I believe you like the swan boats better than anything
you have seen or done on the trip."

"I do," agreed Mary Jane, "unless," she added, thoughtfully, "unless
eating in the garden or seeing the goldfishes or swimming or playing
with John or—well, we’ve done a lot of nice things, Mother, but swan
boats are my favorite, I guess."

Hal’s taxi was chugging briskly when they reached the street and they
dashed off to take their train for home.

"Now there’s a whole day to ride without getting off or hurrying or
anything," said Mary Jane luxuriously, as she settled herself in the
comfortable sleeper and leaned back against the cushions with a deep
sigh of satisfaction.  "I just _love_ riding on a train, I do, Mother."

It _was_ fun to sit quietly and watch the towns dash by.  For ten busy
days Mary Jane had been the one to do the going, hurrying from one good
time to another and now it seemed the best fun of all to sit still and
think about all the fun she had had.

In an hour though, she began to want something to do.  Alice, deep in a
book, was close by, while her mother and Uncle Hal, who seemed to have
an endless amount to say to each other, were just across the aisle.
Should she bother them—or what should she do?

Suddenly she remembered!  She had brought something for just such a
time, and so busy had she been all the days in New England that she
hadn’t once thought of what she had carried around.  She slipped her
hand back of her till she touched her own little handbag that was on the
seat between herself and Alice, opened it and spread out on her lap her
precious paper dolls.

Mrs. Merrill, glancing across to see that her little girl was all right,
saw what she was doing and said, "Press the button there between the
windows, dear, and the porter will bring you a table to spread the dolls
out on."

Five minutes later Mary Jane had a table all to herself and on it spread
her whole paper doll family.  All the time the great train sped through
Massachusetts, she played with them, acting over again the Harvard Class
Day parties, the tea party in Mrs. Burn’s pretty garden and many other
things that she herself had done on her trip.

At five-thirty they went to the diner for dinner, and Mary Jane had some
good chicken and hashed-brown potatoes and apple dumplings with ice
cream, before she went back to finish playing with her dolls.

"I think paper dolls are the nicest dolls for on a train, I do," she
told her mother, as together they neatly tucked the dolls away for a
night’s rest in the handbag, "’cause they don’t break and they don’t
take up a lot of room, and I can have them all along—every one of them."

Mr. Merrill met his family at the station the next day, and there was a
happy reunion and a lot of talk about the fun they had had since they
last saw him.

"But nobody asks me what _I’ve_ been doing?" he exclaimed with mock
grief at the first pause in the conversation.

"Oh, Daddah," cried Mary Jane, "I’m so sorry!  But you see we had so
much to do—graduating Uncle Hal and seeing everything, we did.  Now
_you_ talk—it’s your turn."

Then Mr. Merrill told his surprise.  The builder who was to do their
house in the woods had been able to get to work sooner than he had
promised, and the house, while it wouldn’t be finished for some little
time yet, was well on the way.

"The roof’s on," he told them, "and that’s a lot, for it means we can go
out there and picnic and not worry about rain.  And if all goes well, we
can pack our trunks and move into the shack in a very few days."

"Oh, goody!" cried Mary Jane clapping her hands gleefully, "and I’m
going to make garden and keep house and hunt flowers and _everything_!"



           *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *



                         *THE MARY JANE SERIES*


                         By CLARA INGRAM JUDSON

Take a trip with Mary Jane.  She is the heroine of this popular series
for young girls.  You’ll find her a charming traveling companion.  Her
good nature, her abounding interest in her friends and surroundings, and
her fascinating adventures both at home and abroad have endeared her to
thousands all over the country.

MARY JANE—HER BOOK
MARY JANE—HER VISIT
MARY JANE’S KINDERGARTEN
MARY JANE DOWN SOUTH
MARY JANE’S CITY HOME
MARY JANE IN NEW ENGLAND
MARY JANE’S COUNTRY HOME
MARY JANE AT SCHOOL
MARY JANE IN CANADA
MARY JANE’S SUMMER FUN
MARY JANE’S WINTER SPORTS
MARY JANE’S VACATION
MARY JANE IN ENGLAND
MARY JANE IN SCOTLAND
MARY JANE IN FRANCE
MARY JANE IN SWITZERLAND
MARY JANE IN ITALY


                 GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK


                     *      *      *      *      *


       _There is the high, happy spirit of youth in these famous_

                           *BOOKS FOR GIRLS*

                           by JANE D. ABBOTT


                             BARBERRY GATE

A boy flyer opened the Barberry Gate, closed since the day
great-grandfather Colfax locked it, and Winsome learned the romantic
story behind it all.


                             LAUGHING LAST

Sidney finds adventure in Provincetown—she takes part in the capture of
modern pirates, and much to her surprise plays an unexpected part in her
sister’s romance.


                                APRILLY

The charming story of a young girl, child of the circus, and the
adventures which led to her goal of happiness.


                               HIGHACRES

A school story of Jerry Travis and her chum Gyp Westley. A thread of
romance and mystery in Jerry’s life runs through the tale.


                                KEINETH

How Keineth Randolph kept a secret—a war secret—for a whole year makes
one of the best stories ever written for girls.


                               RED ROBIN

In attempting to bring happiness into the lives of mill workers, Robin
Forsythe, heir to a fortune, has many strange adventures.


                                 HEYDAY

Twenty-three!  The heyday of life.  Jay, a small town girl, finds
happiness in New York.


                                LARKSPUR

Especially interesting to any Girl Scout because it is the story of a
Girl Scout who is poor and has to help her mother.


                              HAPPY HOUSE

How an old family quarrel is healed through a misunderstanding and an
old homestead becomes a "happy house" in reality.


                 GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK


                     *      *      *      *      *


                    *THE NANCY DREW MYSTERY STORIES*

                            By CAROLYN KEENE

             Illustrated.  Every Volume Complete in Itself.

Here is a thrilling series of mystery stories for girls.  Nancy Drew,
ingenious, alert, is the daughter of a famous criminal lawyer and she
herself is deeply interested in his mystery cases.  Her interest
involves her often in some very dangerous and exciting situations.


                      THE SECRET OF THE OLD CLOCK

Nancy, unaided, seeks to locate a missing will and finds herself in the
midst of adventure.


                          THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE

Mysterious happenings in an old stone mansion lead to an investigation
by Nancy.


                          THE BUNGALOW MYSTERY

Nancy has some perilous experiences around a deserted bungalow.


                        THE MYSTERY AT LILAC INN

Quick thinking and quick action were needed for Nancy to extricate
herself from a dangerous situation.


                       THE SECRET AT SHADOW RANCH

On a vacation in Arizona Nancy uncovers an old mystery and solves it.


                      THE SECRET OF RED GATE FARM

Nancy exposes the doings of a secret society on an isolated farm.


                         THE CLUE IN THE DIARY

A fascinating and exciting story of a search for a clue to a surprising
mystery.


                       NANCY’S MYSTERIOUS LETTER

Nancy receives a letter informing her that she is heir to a fortune.
This story tells of her search for another Nancy Drew.


                    THE SIGN OF THE TWISTED CANDLES

Nancy, as mediator in a generation-old feud, divulges an unknown
birthright.


                     THE PASSWORD TO LARKSPUR LANE

A carrier pigeon furnishes Nancy with a clue to a mysterious retreat.


                     THE CLUE OF THE BROKEN LOCKET

Nancy’s sympathy for adopted twins leads her into a surprising mystery.


                     THE MESSAGE IN THE HOLLOW OAK

In Canada, Nancy protects her new property from a crooked promoter.


                     THE MYSTERY OF THE IVORY CHARM

Nancy solves an Indian mystery by means of a lucky elephant charm.


                 GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK


                     *      *      *      *      *


                     *Melody Lane Mystery Stories*

                            By LILIAN GARIS

Thrills, secrets, ghosts—adventures that will fascinate you seem to
surround pretty Carol Duncan.  A vivid, plucky girl, her cleverness at
solving mysteries will captivate and thrill every mystery fan.

The author has written many popular mystery stories for girls and in
this new series Mrs. Garis is at her best.


                        THE GHOST OF MELODY LANE

Mystery surrounds the great organ in the home of the "Cameo
Lady"—beloved friend of Carol and sponsor of the girls’ Coral Club.
Three people see the "ghost" that wanders in the grove carrying a waxy
white rose.  And Carol finds the rose!  In the end she finds the ghost
too!


                          THE FORBIDDEN TRAIL

There was a tradition at "Splatter Castle" on Melody Lane, and Marah
Splartier, eccentric aunt of Veronica Flint determined to protect Vera
from following the long line of family tragedies that had had their
beginning on the "forbidden trail."  Carol has several bad frights
before she clears up the mystery that keeps the little family at
Splatter Castle unhappy and afraid.


                            THE TOWER SECRET

The winking lights flashing from the old tower on the grounds of the
Bonds’ new home defy explanation.  There is no one in the tower—and no
electric power or connections!  Had the engaging circus family that
Carol befriended anything to do with the mystery?  And what interest had
Parsnips, the queer old farmer, in the "ghost" tower?


                            THE WILD WARNING

What power did the strange, wild warning in the woods have over Polly
Flinders?  And why was she so desperately anxious to earn money?  Carol
brings happiness to three families when she solves this exciting
mystery.


                      THE TERROR OF MOANING CLIFF

No tenant would stay in the great, bleak house on "moaning cliff" that
belonged to Carol’s aunt.  But Carol, courageous and determined, finally
tracks the uncanny "haunts" to their source.


                        THE DRAGON OF THE HILLS

When Carol runs a tea shop for a friend, a baffling mystery comes to her
with her first customer.  Who has the limping man’s lost package—the
gypsies, the oriental or the neighbor’s boy who ran away?


                 GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK


                     *      *      *      *      *


                  *The MARY and JERRY MYSTERY STORIES*

                            By FRANCIS HUNT


                       THE MESSENGER DOG’S SECRET

The big police dog Flanders carried a strange message in his collar.  By
following its directions, Mary and Jerry Denton were able to bring a
lost fortune to someone in need.


                      THE MYSTERY OF THE TOY BANK

Jerry Denton was saving for a bicycle, but when his little bank
strangely disappeared he had a big mystery to solve. With the aid of
Mary, several chums and a queer old sailor, this eager lad brought about
a happy solution.


                       THE STORY THE PARROT TOLD

A fire in a pet shop started a long chain of adventures for Mary and
Jerry Denton.  The tale the talking parrot told caused plenty of
excitement and mystery before the bird was restored to its rightful
owner.


                    THE SECRET OF THE MISSING CLOWN

Mary and Jerry have many happy adventures at the circus while searching
for the missing clown and his beautiful pony, Silverfeet.


                 GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK


                     *      *      *      *      *


                       *THE BOBBSEY TWINS BOOKS*

                        FOR LITTLE MEN AND WOMEN

                           By LAURA LEE HOPE

            ILLUSTRATED.  _Every volume complete in itself_.


These books for boys and girls between the ages of three and ten stand
among children and their parents of this generation where the books of
Louisa May Alcott stood in former days.  The haps and mishaps of this
inimitable pair of twins, their many adventures and experiences are a
source of keen delight to imaginative children.

THE BOBBSEY TWINS
THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE
THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME
THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN A GREAT CITY
THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON BLUEBERRY ISLAND
THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA
THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN WASHINGTON
THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE GREAT WEST
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT CEDAR CAMP
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE COUNTY FAIR
THE BOBBSEY TWINS CAMPING OUT
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AND BABY MAY
THE BOBBSEY TWINS KEEPING HOUSE
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT CLOVERBANK
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT CHERRY CORNER
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AND THEIR SCHOOLMATES
THE BOBBSEY TWINS TREASURE HUNTING
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SPRUCE LAKE
THE BOBBSEY TWINS WONDERFUL SECRET
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE CIRCUS
THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON AN AIRPLANE TRIP
THE BOBBSEY TWINS SOLVE A MYSTERY
THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A RANCH
THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN ESKIMO LAND


                 GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK


                     *      *      *      *      *


                 *Three Stories of Fun and Friendship*

                           *THE MAIDA BOOKS*

                          by INEZ HAYNES IRWIN


                          MAIDA’S LITTLE SHOP

In a darling little shop of her own Maida makes many friends with the
school children who buy her fascinating wares.


                          MAIDA’S LITTLE HOUSE

All of her friends spend a happy summer in Maida’s perfect little house
that has everything a child could wish for.


                         MAIDA’S LITTLE SCHOOL

Three delightful grownups come to visit and the children study many
subjects without knowing that they are really "going to school."


                 GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK


                     *      *      *      *      *


                      *DANA GIRLS MYSTERY STORIES*

                            BY CAROLYN KEENE

                            _Author of the_
                       NANCY DREW MYSTERY STORIES


Impetuous, delightful Jean Dana and her charming serious minded sister
Louise find themselves in the midst of several mysteries, when they
attempt to aid people who are in trouble. Thrilling moments come to the
girls as they follow up clue after clue in an endeavor to untangle the
knotty problems in which they become enmeshed.

BY THE LIGHT OF THE STUDY LAMP

A stolen study lamp, a fortune teller, and a distressed schoolmate
provide plenty of excitement for the Dana girls before they locate the
persons responsible for many mysterious happenings.


                    THE SECRET AT LONE TREE COTTAGE

While the girls are at Starhurst School, they learn that their beloved
English teacher has vanished in a strange manner. In tracing her, Jean
and Louise are able to aid the frantic relatives of a dear little
curly-haired tot, but not before they themselves are in danger of
disappearing.


                       IN THE SHADOW OF THE TOWER

The mingling of unusual characters, who have life interests very
different from one another, lends excitement and intrigue to a Christmas
vacation of the Dana girls.  Their ability to fit together the pieces of
a strange puzzle brings happiness to several persons!


                        A THREE-CORNERED MYSTERY

There were three strange corners which the Dana girls successfully
rounded in their search for clues to clear up a mystery, involving
property and an international spy of many aliases.


                      THE SECRET AT THE HERMITAGE

When Louise is mistaken for a runaway prisoner, strange things begin to
happen, which lead the Danas to uncover the secret of a talented girl
and her crippled charge.


                 GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK





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