the Party dress
By Florence L. Henderson
(Copyright, 1917, W. G. Chapman.)
"Was there ever anything so beau
tiful?" exclaimed Mrs. Wilder, lost in
"Oh, mother, I am so happy I could
cry," voiced pretty Winifred, her
"Huh, uncle spread himself sure,
this time!" chirped in her brother,
"And all I expected was some mod
est house dress," murmured Wini
fred. "Dear old Uncle Bryce! and
my first party dress. Oh, mother, I
am so happy."
"You look it and you deserve to
be," said her older sister Madge, with
real emotion and not one bit of envy.
"It is simply peerless."
Mrs. Wilder was a widow and poor.
True, her husband had left his fam
ily a house and ten acres of land and
it was clear of encumbrance, but
Ronald was too young to work.
Madge received a very small stipend
as teacher at the district school. Mrs.
Wilder was a partial invalid. Only
for Winifred's constant care of the
little truck garden and her economi
cal household management they
would never have been able to make
knd now the sweet surprise8, the
bewildering gift from Mrs. Wilder's
half brother. Winifred had ever been
his favorite, and once a year he made
a flying visit to these relatives. Al
ways after his departure there came
a package from the village. Two
years previous it had been a pretty
toilet set His next visit he had sent
a neat little watch. Now
It was certainly a beautiful dress,
and arrayed in its full magnificence
Winifred was more lovely than ever.
It had come in a box from the village
emporium. It fitted exquisitely.
"Uncle Bryce must have heard us
talking of the Durham party," sug
gested Madge. "What taste for an
old bachelor, and what munificence,
for I fancy that uncle is not over
blessed,with this world's goods."
For two days Winifred was in a
flutter of rare delight and anticipa
tion. She was not proud of show,
nor vain. But in every girl's heart
there is a longing for the possession
of the dainty and elegant. The party
dress was a delicate blue with lace
accompaniments that gave to 'it a
gossamer tastefulness that made it
a positive creation of art.
There was not a speck of mud in
the country paths, yet Winifred
guarded her treasured dress from
contact with brush and earth as
though she were going to some cor
onation. "You look just like a princess, sis,"
approve her escort, Ronald, who
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