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I think Papa and Mamma, and Uncle Gee too, in spite of all their kindness and affection for the uproarious little mob, were thankful enough when the children's bedtime came, and they were all taken off, loudly declaring that it was not time yet.
Next morning they were all up like larks, and. had finished dressing sooner than usual, but, to their great horror, they looked out and saw the sky covered with leaden clouds, and heard the steady, heavy drops of rain falling on the skylight over the staircase.
“What a nuisance,” growled Bob and Tom, “when we wanted to try the new field, and Uncle Gee promised to have a game of cricket with us!"
“O dear,” said Mary, in dismay, “and I wanted to show him the new hammock swing Papa has given us !”
“We've lost our swing for certain,” said Jeanie, who was a regular romp; “what a bother!”
Rain, rain, go to Spain,” chanted Baby, in her squeaky voice-while Dora joined in chorus.
Who's singing that contraband rhyme ?”
said Papa, coming in ; “ I'm too thankful for the rain for the sake of my peas and potatoes !”
“ And the strawberries too,' chimed in Mamma; “just think, children, how they were shrivelling for want of rain.
“But we can't get out,” bawled all the children, “and now Uncle Gee's come we had such lots of things to show him !
“What's the matter now?” said Uncle Gee, coming in. “All this racket about a little rain ! Why, I was just thinking, while I was dressing, what a jolly day it would be to make a Kite!”
“ Make a Kite!” shouted Bob; “O how stunning; 0 Uncle Gee, can you show us how to do it?"
“I think I can, Bob,” replied his Uncle, “ but at any rate we'll try, and with Mamma's help perhaps we can manage it. I dare say she will let us have the school-room to make all our litters in, and I shall want every man jack of you to help!"
“ Am I man jack too, Uncle Gee?” asked Baby, very anxiously. “I should think so,” said Uncle Gee, kissing
, her, “a very useful one too; you shall help with the fine fringy tail !”
And when breakfast was over, to work they all went. Papa found some capital slips of light thin wood, and lent his best knife into the bargain. Mamma contributed some beautiful white glazed lining to cover the frame with, and lent her nice glue pot as well. Uncle Gee soon had the long table in the school-room covered with all sorts of things, and had set everybody to work as well. Bob and Tom busily hammered, fixed, planed, and cut, till they hindered Uncle Gee terribly; and when he saw Mary take up the scissors, and begin to measure the calico, he stopped short, and called a truce.
“Now,” said he, “if all are going to be at work, and no one master, we shall soon get into a fix, and knock over the whole concern. If we are to get the Kite made to-day, you must all obey orders. Mary, you and Jeanie can find me some strips of coloured paper, can't you, for the tail; and Dora, ask Nelson if she can let us have a long ball of string.”
And so the work went on merrily. Bob and Tom doing the looking on, and Mary and Jean smoothing and snipping the bits for the tail, and making the tassel for the end. Dora fetched
out a box of colours of his own, and suggested painting a face on it.
“Capital !” cried Uncle Gee; “and I'll tell you how you can make yourself useful, Dora, and that's by rubbing up a lot of colour on the back of a clean plate, I'll show you how;” and so to work Dora went with a will, and soon had a rare quantity all ready for the skilful hand of the artist.
Meanwhile, under Uncle Gee's superintendence, and with Mamma's help, Polly and Jean had supplied the long piece of string, provided for the tail with its cross pieces of paper to serve as light weights, and they were now busily snipping some very fine red paper Mamma had routed out from amongst her hoards for them, in order to make a grand tassel to finish the tail with.
“Does not this remind you of our own old days ? ” said Mamma to Uncle Gee, as she came in for awhile to help in the interval of her busy morning occupations.
“ Don't you remember what trouble we used to take with our toys and playthings; and how seldom we were able to buy any real toys. I do
think children have many more than are good
“Well, they don't value them now, as we
And so saying, he raised up the large, carefully planned framework of slips of wood, with the calico neatly glued on it.
“I am going to leave it to dry now,” said Uncle Gee; “I can't paint it while it is wet; and so now, young people, as I have worked in your service all the morning, it is high time you did for mine. I am going to write a letter, ånd have no more time to spare until after lunch. So you must promise me to leave this table untouched, and go and amuse yourselves until byand-bye.”
The children agreed to this very fair bargain, and very sensibly dispersed, and amused themselves until lunch time, which was really their dinner time.
When they all came down with carefully