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By BETH B. GILCHRIST
Author of "Cinderella's Granddaughter," etc.
DORINDA Gates, as every one knew, was "Come along, Dorry. It will do you a shy, old-fashioned creature, the kind of good," Bella had urged. girl who prefers a book to a boy and who “Why?” Dorinda's slim, boyish fig. has an abhorrence, founded on timidity, ure loitered at ease in the doorway. "I for strangers. Dorinda had heard so don't see that it does you much good just often that she was quite without resource to do things that you don't want to do." or initiative that she would no more have Bella laughed. "But it 's queer that questioned her lack of those traits than you don't want to do them. The idea! Bella's possession of them. Mother had A girl like you, staying home from a trip so often lamented Dorinda's shyness and to camp!" her inaptitude for the gentler graces of “I like camp well enough. What bores amusing conversation and sprightly enter me is having to talk to the men. You tainment that Dorinda knew as well as know I can't, Bella. They scare me." Laura or Elaine that she had no social "Men you've known all your life, gifts. That she was dependable and silly!" sweet-natured, the family accepted with “Men
've known." out comment, and banked on heavily. Bella shook her head. "Talking to men
If her brothers and sisters had not been is as easy as rolling off a log." so brilliant and easy and charming, so “Maybe it is, if you know how. But eminently formed for sociability, Dorin- honestly, I'd rather stay home and play da's deficiencies in these respects would, with the dogs. They 're more fun." of course, have been less noticeable. But So the maid-Grandmother refused to with Laura the most popular girl in the tolerate a nurse-established the little old colony, Elaine the prettiest, and Bella first lady on the terrace, and Dorinda settled in demand for any project of the younger down in the sunshine beside her with the summer set, Dorinda's insufficiencies could puppies. The cook had been given a day not but show out with amazing distinct- off, and the waitress had helped herself to
The boys, to a man, had possessed one, with Dorinda's connivance: “Oh, the same qualities, but, as they were all run along. Jane always gets Grandeither in France or on the way there, Do mother's lunch, and I 'll forage for myrinda did not now have to measure her self in the pantry.” Everything was shortcomings against more than the sum peaceful and happy, promising a long, detotal of the girls' attractions. Nobody lightful day. pretended to understand how she could Into this beatitude fell a bomb. The be so different from the rest of them. telegram was addressed to Mother, but They had simply come to accept the fact, Dorinda opened it with a distinct recoland to let her have her own way in her lection of Mother's last injunction. “We preference for staying at home.
shall be four needles in a hay-stack. If That was why, this morning, Dorinda anybody wants us, let them wait till we and Grandmother and Grandmother's get home." maid were the only people about the big The telegram was dated the previous gray-shingled house that sat so comfort- day, and said simply; "Coming to-morably and coolly between the bays. Mother row. Thanks awfully. Will bring three. and Bella and Elaine and Laura had mo R. F. Gates." tored early to a distant camp in response Dorinda read it twice, and then she to half a dozen invitations,
looked at the urchin who had brought it.
"Where," she demanded, "has this been? Five minutes later she was back on the It should have been delivered yesterday !" terrace. “Grandmother," she announced,
The boy opposed her gaze with an in- "you will have to be the chief feature of nocence too blank to fathom. “Dunno,' the entertainment—you and the puppies.” he answered, after which he pocketed the "Certainly, my dear. Thank
for fee and departed.
including the puppies." "What is it?" asked Grandmother, “But you know, Gran darling, I have closing her magazine on a marking finger. n't time to put things properly."
"Rex Gates !” The words came out in “I know." Grandmother touched the a little gasp.
"Rex will be here to-day- bell at her elbow. “My knitting, Jane, with three others! Mother told him to with the unbroken skein, and my best come any day and bring some friends, but cap,” Grandmother's tone was brisk; "the she understood it would be any day next one with lavender ribbons. And find the week!"
white kitten." “H'm.” Grandmother extended her The maid departed on her conglomerhand for the telegram. “There seems to
ate errands. be no mistake about it."
Her gaze re
"If I might ask, what about dinner? turned from the yellow slip to the girl be Shall we try Jane?" side her. It was shrewd and a bit quiz Dorinda shook her head. “She might zical, but not in the least domineering. walk out of the house, if we did.” Dorinda looked up from her cogita “Let her
said Grandmother tions. “Is n't it awful!"
promptly. "I don't want her." Grandmother nodded. “I don't see any “But Mother wants you to have her. way out. Do you?"
No, I 've thought it all out. Gail 's com"No. There 's the whistle of the ex ing over. Gail and I will get dinner.” press now. Most likely they 're on it." "I admire your pluck." She shook off the puppies, and walked “We ought to be able to boil potatoes with her long, swift stride up the flight of and broil steak." turf steps and into the house.
Grandmother's blue-veined hands Grandmother watched her go with a clapped softly. "Go to it, Dorry!" she smile in her eyes. Then she closed her
Then she closed her applauded. “I knew you would.” magazine and sat back, expectantly, to “What else is there to do?” await developments.
“What, indeed?" Grandmother's Dorinda went straight to the telephone. twinkle was well hidden. "Give me 578-W-Gail? Yes, please, I The maid appeared, bearing knitting want to speak with Gail Andrews. Gail, and cap and kitten. Grandmother let the come over this minute and help me out. maid adjust the cap, and herself adjusted Everybody's gone except Grandmother, the kitten. The knitting, she laid on the maids and all, and there are four men wicker table at her elbow. that I never saw in my life coming on this “Madam's nap,” suggested the maid. train that 's just whistled — coming to "Nap?" said Grandmother briskly. spend the day. What 's that? But I "Don't speak to me of such a thing tocan't! Rex is some kind of cousin. day, Jane. I have other matters on hand, He 's not very old, I guess, and he 's go- pressing matters.” ing across any time now. His home 's in “But, madam" Nevada. So he could n't go there, and “Take it away!” The delicate wisp of Mother thought-I 'll explain afterward. lace on Grandmother's head bobbed autoStop talking and come! Run every step cratically. “Take it away at once. We 'll of the way, if you love me.”
have two naps to-morrow—if necessary, a The receiver snapped back on its hook, dozen. But remember, do not mention and Dorinda ran her finger down the that word to me again to-day.” telephone-list to the butcher's number. The maid retired, vanquished, but un
convinced. The victor stroked the kitten Dorinda was conscious of a ripple disserenely.
turbing the polite calm of three pairs of “I 'm anticipating to-day, Dorry. Oh, watching eyes, of a murmur, sotto voce, here comes Gail!"
“Lead on to the puppies, Rex.” Then The girl who hurried down thę turf her fingers were gripped successively by steps was small and breathless and pink- three masculine hands, and she was turncheeked and quite evidently in a flutter of ing to lead the way around the corner of tremulous excitement.
“I've run every
the house. The four young soldiers had step of the way!" she announced. "Now no notion how hotly the heart beat under tell me quick. What is it all about?" the cool white blouse that they followed.
"Grandmother will tell you,” said Do A grandmother and puppies! The prosrinda. “I 've got to go and watch for pect was new in their experience of enterthem now."
tainment, and alluring.
The path plunged into a cool, boughTHE three boys in olive-drab uniforms arched tunnel, and emerged again as abwho trailed behind their leader up the ruptly into a green, outdoor room, carrock stairway that led to the big gray peted with close-clipped grass and looking shingled house between the bays were in off across misty spires of larkspur to the clined to be facetious at his expense. shining bay. On the grass four puppies
"Say you knew anybody here, Rex ?" tumbled over one another and a pink
"Better drop us into the briny and go cheeked girl, and in the midst sat a little it alone.”
old lady in a white cap, knitting, while “The flag 's out. Nothing else. Here's a kitten pawed a ball of gray yarn at her where I get off. I 'm modest.”
feet. Did Dorinda hear some one say “Quit your kidding and come along." very softly, "Gee"?
Suddenly, by a path threading the There was no ice. How could there bushes that shouldered a corner of the be? The little grandmother and the puphouse, appeared a girl, walking swiftly- pies saw to that. Dorinda and Gail found a slim, straight girl, with frank boyish almost at once that all they need do was eyes and hand outstretched.
to stand ready to fill in the gaps, if there “Oh, how do you do? I thought I'd were gaps. Presently they lost conscioushave time to get as far as the road, at ness of even that. The girls forgot their least. So sorry you had to find your own shyness, and the boys forgot that they way from the station. Grandmother and were strangers, only one of them with a the puppies are on the terrace."
slender thread of cousinship to bind him “That sounds good,” said he in front. to this peaceful scene. It became, by the "Bella, is it, or Laura, or-”
magic of its very unpretentiousness, its "Oh, no, I 'm Dorinda! Mother and simple happiness, home to them, whether the girls are away. They went before they had ever known its like or not, home your wire came. The boy carried it in spelled with four capital letters & shrine his pocket all night, I 'm positive. Mother for hearts. will be so sorry! She—she was expecting The boy called “Pete” was tall and you next week, you see.”
slim, and, Dorinda could n't help suspectThe khaki boy stopped short. "See ing, would have been even shyer than she, here, if it is n't convenient, we—we can if it had n't been for Grandmother. As cut and—well, not exactly come again, it was, he attached himself to the little but, You don't want to be surprised old lady with an adoring gallantry that by a whole regiment, do you?”
she found very charming. He held the "I don't mind, if you don't. But I'm fresh skein of yarn for her to wind, resorry about Mother and the girls. There's settled the cushion at her feet, and told a puppy apiece, though. You may each her his life story. Pete, Dorinda overhave your choice--for to-day,"
heard, had had his own way to make in
the world ever since he was ten. Night- duced as Clay Adams, quiet and squareschools and paper-routes and horse-stalls jawed, with a grave, reflective manner and and garages were old tales, to him. “But the brow of a student-at a subsequent I never had anything like this happen to time Dorinda learned he was heir
an me before. Gee! I 'm going to live on iron king and had been "working up, this forever and ever, amen!" His brown patiently instructed a fourth puppy in the eyes were adoring.
rudiments of sitting up to beg. Big, And Grandmother smiled and tapped merry Rex, ranchman's son, lounged at his shoulder softly with a knitting-needle. . ease, throwing out hints to the class in "I shall have to adopt you, I think," said mendicancy, quizzing the chubby Nick, Grandmother. “I have n't quite enough chattering to the girls as though he had grandchildren, though I have fourteen. known them all his life. Dorinda pinched Besides, there is something wrong about her arm. Could it be true? a boy who has n't a grandmother to look After a while she bethought herself and out for him.”
surreptitiously signaled Gail. "There sure is," said Pete, fervently. "Where are you going?” asked Rex. "I 've always know it. But I had n't “To get dinner. Excuse us, won't known how wrong till this morning.' you? There is n't a maid in the house."
A few feet away the boy "Nick,” round Then to Dorinda a surprising thing and ruddy, sprawled contentedly beside happened. Gail, and was overrun by three happy "Hear that, fellows?” Nick sat up, puppies. Nick, Dorinda found out some showering puppies in all directions. time afterward, was a clergyman's son "Up and at 'em!" adjured Rex gravely. and a collegian. Near by, "Jinks," intro "It 's over the top for us right now!"
“The man who does not work shall not tato-bin! Me for the tank yonder. Hello, eat,” recited Jinks dispassionately, sprawl. the juice is out!" ing his puppy over with his foot. “Pete, "We were going to have a cold lunch," you 've had Grandmother long enough. explained Dorinda. I want her myself for a bit. Call me Watch me stoke her up!" when it 's time to cook the steak. Steak 's Almost before the two girls knew what my specialty.”
he meant, the lids were off the range, Rex "But what do you mean? How did had produced kindling from somewhere, you know?" stammered Dorinda.
and a fire was roaring up the chimney. “That we were going to have steak?” Nick, inspecting labels in the pantry, anJinks grinned. “I did n't. Now I do. nounced that he was the greatest and only Intuition, thy name is Clayton J. Adams, chef the Ritz had ever known, and began Jr.” He thumped his chest, and, picking ladling ingredients into a bowl. Pete, in up a cushion, deposited himself at Grand- a businesslike manner, washed potatoes, mother's feet and reached for the kitten. shouting for Rex to get the water boiling.
"No, you don't!" said Pete, firmly. "Where 's that lazy lubber, Jinks?” “This is my cat—and my grandmother," Rex demanded. “Still spooning with he added under his breath.
Grandma? Go and haul him in, girls. "I did n't quite catch your last re Tell him he 's got to set the table or he mark,” observed Jinks, tranquilly. “Bet- won't get any of our dinner when our ter run along, sonny. Potatoes to wash." dinner is hot." “I don't understand.”
In the end it was Gail and Jinks who Dorinda was frankly staring.
together set the table and Dorinda who Rex took her by the elbow. “Lead on, in the kitchen, as well as she was able, exMacduff! Lead us to the ammunition plained where the cook kept what. stores. In plain English we 're going to "Where 'll I find the cake, Dorry?" get dinner. Savvy?”
"Cake? In that tin, Rex. And pies "But-but you need n't!"
in the pantry.” “But—but we are !"
“Hooray! One man with only two Dorinda laughed. "I shall love to see side-arms advanced on the pantry and
swept it clear of pies. Great victory for Nick swept her a low bow. "Anything Uncle Samuel! No casualties. Got that to oblige the lady."
table set, Jinks?" In the next hour a storm struck the Sooner than either of the girls would conservative kitchen of the big gray house. have thought possible, out of the raillery Dorinda felt rather glad that her mother and confusion arose the voice of Nick dewas not there to see. She wondered what claring that his biscuits were done, while the cook would say on her return. It under Jinks's skilful manipulation the seemed hardly conceivable that such a tor kitchen filled with a savory odor of steak. nado could pass and leave no trace. Then Pete pulled off his apron and an
"You 're to sit tight and tell us where nounced he was going to bring in Grandthings are,” Rex commanded, putting his mother and the kitten. cousin into a chair. "Necessary to have It was an astonishingly well-served and a map of the occupied territory. You 're appetizing table to which they all sat
See? Now what 's this?” down. They put Grandmother in the Ainging open a door. "Ha! Aprons! seat of honor, and they waited on her Just where our cook keeps 'em at home. like a queen. And Grandmother ignored Step up, fellows, and avoid the rush! No the frantic Jane' and ate precisely what ladies need apply. Closed season on la she chose, and in a delicate, aristocratic, dies' aprons. Attire thy fairy form, Petey but quite unmistakable, way had the time boy. Tie the strings around your neck, of her life. The fun which had risen so idiot. Volunteers for a raid on the po riotously in the kitchen softened a little