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“ Want to go — want to go!” said Polly, flapping her wings expectantly.
"Oh, no, no, Polly; you don't know what you are saying. Among all those dreadful aunts ? Well, I don't want to go, anyway, and you wouldn't either, if you knew.”
And Pixey started off down the path, through the great magnolia trees, toward the bayou glistening and rippling in the morning sunlight outside the high iron fence at the farther end of the grove.
“Want to go, want to go, want to go!” cried Polly, flapping her wings vigorously, and swaying her body to and fro and up and down, with a baffled effort at flying; for as Polly stretched her wings, the fact became revealed that, while one of them was symmetrical and whole, the other bore evidence of the cruel scissors.
“ Hush, Polly,” Pixey called back softly, glancing anxiously up at the closed shutters of her aunt's room. The shutters were suddenly thrown back, and a pretty but much tumbled blond head made its appearance.
"Pixey, Pixey, where are you?” called a sweet but petulant voice.
“Here, Aunt Letty,” answered Pixey, coming under the window and looking up.
"Do, for mercy's sake, Pixey, take that awful bird away. She waked me up at five o'clock this morning with her everlasting chatter, and I haven't slept a wink since. Take her off to one of the cabins -- anywhere, so she won't disturb me any more to-day.” The blond head disappeared and the shutter closed.
“There, now! just see what you've done! Waked Aunt Letty up at five o'clock in the morning! How could you be so thoughtless ? Come along with me now, down to old auntie's cabin, and stay till I get back. We've got to keep out of Aunt Letty's way, or we'll get sent away. I'll go off to-day, and you keep quiet; perhaps Aunt Letty will forget all about sending us away. It depends on how you act, Polly. Now, remember!”
So Pixey trotted off with Polly on her finger, down to old auntie's cabin.
“Oh, Aunt Chloe, you'll have to take care of
her for me to-day. I'm going crawfishing with Lola.”
And Pixey ran away down the path, through the magnolia trees, Polly screaming after her, “Pixey, Pixey! Come back! Polly want to go!” But Pixey ran on until she reached the great double gateway; she passed out, crossed the street, and stood upon the little wharf, waiting for Lola and the oyster boat which was to take them on their trip.
The oyster boat came along at last; and the oysterman, a young fisherman, good-naturedly took them aboard, gave them all the oysters they could eat, breaking the shells himself; he was, in fact, as good and as kind as an oysterman could be.
It was on their way home that Pixey confided to Lola her troubles concerning Polly's wayward behavior of late, and the possibility of being sent away altogether. Then she began to wonder if Polly were in mischief, and to wish she were at home. The boat was going very slowly, but there was Bayside at last.
HER LITTLE SISTER POLLY
PIXEY hastened to the house, and as she drew near she heard Polly, from her aunt's room, crying lustily, “ Bad Polly — bad Polly! Poor, bad Polly.”
Pixey at once knew that Polly had been in mischief. With a beating heart she quickened her steps into a run. At the door of her aunt's room, she paused. Aunt Letty's room was usually in disorder, but to-day it was a veritable chaos.
The dressing case had been swept clean, all the toilet articles strewn about the floor, - everything bore witness of Polly's destructive powers. Polly herself was under the wardrobe, — her usual place of retirement in times of peril or disgrace, — and was pouring forth her lamentations with noisy energy.
In the middle of the room was Aunt Letty. “Just look what your Polly has done!” she began. “ That pink satin slipper, which I never wore but once, the toe chewed off, and my lace handkerchief, – torn to pieces! And the lace collar that your Uncle Hal brought to me from Paris utterly ruined ! And the pearls picked out of my ring! and the buttons pulled off every shoe I've got. Oh, you little wretch!” And she started for the wardrobe, with slipper uplifted.
Polly had stopped crying upon Pixey's arrival, and had ventured out to place herself under the protection of her faithful friend. She was indeed a comical sight. Her green feathers were sprinkled with the contents of the powder box, which had evidently fallen upon her. She started for Pixey, but at sight of the slipper she suddenly changed her mind, and scampered back into her hiding place. The slipper hit the tip end of her tail, and Polly gave an angry growl.
.“ Look out there! what you 'bout? Go 'way, go 'way, go 'way!” she cried indignantly. “Polly mad, Polly mad, Polly mad.”
“I declare, Pixey,” said Aunt Letty, as she threw herself into a chair, “I can't stand this any longer. I've had you and Polly now two years, and I think it's time some of the other aunts were