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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 13, 1903, Image 8

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matic pauses between: sharp clicks of
the castantts rang through the hall; a
line of toes rose gradually toward tho
horizontal^ whirled more or less steadily
about, crossed behind, bent low, bowed,
and with a flutter of skirts resumed the
first position.
A little breeze of laughing admiration
circled the row of mothers and aunts.
"Isn't that too cunning! Just like a lit
tle 'ballet! Aren't they graceful, really,
now!" "¦
The whistle shrilled.
"Ready for the two-step, children!"
A mild tolerance grew on Richard. If
dancing must be. better the two-step than
anything else. Any one with a firm inten
tion of keeping the time and a strong arm
can drag a girl through it very accepta
bly. It was Dicky's custom to hurl him
self at the colored bunch nearest him,
seize a Sabine, so' to speak, and plunge
into the dance. He had bis eye on Louise
Hetherington, a large, plunmp girl, with
a tremendous braid of hair. She was a
size too big for the class, but everybody
liked to dance with her, for she knew
how, and piloted her diminutive partners
with great skill. But she had been "snap
ped up by the G-year-old Harold* and was
even now guiding his infant steps around
the hall.
Dicky skirted the row of mothers and
aunts cautiously. Heaven send Miss Doro
thy was not* looking at him! She seemed
to have eyes In the back of her bead, that
"Oh, look! Did you ever see anything
so sweet?" said somebody. Involuntarily
he turned. There in a' corner, all by her
self, a little girl was gravely performing
a dance. He stared at her curiously. For
the first time, free from all personal con
nection with them., he discovered that
those motions were pretty.
She was ethereally slender, brown-eyed,
brown-haired, brown-skinned. A little
ly considering flight.
He chuckled delightedly. Was ever such
engaging idiocy? She didn't know. Well,
well!" v;> V ¦
"Pooh!" he said grandly. "I guess you
know. Don't you, really?"
She looked hopelessly at her fan and
shook her ncad. Suddenly a light dawned
in her big eyes.
"Maybe I know,"' she .murmured. "I
gueth I know. He— he* th a really tbtate!"
"A really state? .That Isn't anything—
nothing at all. A really state?" he
frowned at her Judicially. Her lip quiv
ered. She turned and ran away.
/'Here, come back!" he called, but she
was gone.'- _ £
When at" length Miss Dorothy an
nounced "That will do for to-day" they
"What made you dance all the time
with Westoh? 1 .. She's art awful, baby— a
regular 'fraid cat.' We 'girls' tease her
Just as easy Do you. like her?"
"She's the prettiest one there!" he said.
His sister stared at' him. - .'
"Why, Dick Pendleton!*^he is not! She's
so little— she's not '.half so .pretty as Ag
nes, or— or lots of the girls. She's such a
baby. She puts her finger In her mouth
if anybody says anything at all. If you
ask her a single thing she does like this:
•I don't know, I don't know.' "
He emiled scornfully,.". Did he not know
how she did it? Had.heVnot seen that
adorable finger, those' appealing eyes?
:?i" And she can't talk plain! • She lisps—
she does." ; --.•¦'¦ . ¦-•-
VHeavens! Was ever a firl so thick-
"If you'll come over to my house I'll
showvou the biggest- rat hole you ever
saw— it's in the stable!" he said desper
ately. . It was a good deal to do for a girl,
but she was worth it.
"Oh! Oh!" she breathed, and her eyea
widened. . .. • •
"Maybe you can see the rat— he doesn't
often come out, though," he added hon
estly.. .
She shuddered and twisted her fingers
violently. ; .
"No! No!" she whispered revoltedly.
t§ I— I hate ratths! I dreamed about one!
I had to have the gath lit! Oh, no!"
Frightened at 1 -this long speech.- she
looked obstinately in- her lap, though he
tried persistently to catch her eye and
smile. ..::-, " : " . . . ¦ ¦
Their mothers' voices rose and fell; they
chattered meanlnglessly.^
anything to do with little girls before, so
we. are much impressed."
Oh, why did not the hassock yawn be
neath him and swallow him-up? To dis
cuss him as if he were a piece of furni
ture! ¦ •-• • •
Why c didn't she speak? If only they
were out of doors; in a room with pictures
and cushions a man is at such a disad
vantage. ' ' ¦ • " '
apologies rose above her sobbing; the
door closed behind Dicky and his mother.
Waves of rebuke rolled over his trou
bled spirit.
"Of air dreadful things to say to a poor,
nervous little girl! I am too mortified.
Richard, how do you learn such dreadful,
dreadful things. It's" not true."
"But, mama, it is! It truly is! When
they are little a man bites them off. Peter
told me so. He puts his mouth right
down" •
"Richard! Not another word! You ar*
disgusting— perfectly disgusting. You
trouble me very much."
He retired to the clothestree In the side
yard— there were no Junipers there— and
cursed his gods. To have made her cry!
They thought he didn't care, but, oh. ha
did! He felt as if he had eaten a cold,
gray stone that weighed down his stomach.
The eat slunk by. but he threw nothing at
her, and his ne'.ghbor's St. Bernard puppy
rolled Inquiringly into the hedge, stuck
there and thrashed about helplessly, but
he aaid nothing to frighten it He thought
of supper— they had spoken of cinnamon
rolls and little yellow" custards — but with
out the usual thrill. What was the mat
ter? Was he going to be sick? There
seemed no outlook to life— one thing was
as good as another. •»•.*
At night his mother came and sat for
a moment on the side of the bed.
'•Papa doesn't want you to feel too bad,
dear," she said. "He knows that you
never meant to frighten Cecelia so. You
know that little girls are very different
from little boys In some ways. Things
that seem — er— amusing to you seem very
cruel to them. To-morr6w would you like
to send her some flowers and write her
a little note and tell her how sorry you
are?" . .
lie could not speak, but he seized his
mother's hand and kissed it up to her lace
ruffle. The cold,"; gray stone melted away
from his stomach; again the future
stretched rosily vague before him. In
happy dreams he did the honors of the
rathole to a sweet, shy guest.
In the morning he applied -himself to
his- note of apology; his sister ruled the
lines on a beautiful sheet of paper with a
curly gold "P" at the top and he bent to
his -task with extended tongue and lines
between his eyes. He carried her the note
with a sense of Justifiable pride.
"It's spelled all right," be said, "because
•very word I didn't know Z asksA Baas.
and she told me." ¦ '
My Dear Cecelia; .*
I am going to send you soma fl*wm I
am sory they bite them of bat thay do. X
hopa you will not hafta Uta CSa ffa*» ¦*•"•
are all weU and bavetns; a good ttxaa. wtiLh.
much love X am your lortag saa,
**Bsss did the period*, to! X rim «!>**
•d the large I's myself,** ha add** ewra
fortAbly. "Ia It all right!"
.Ill* mother left the room abruptly and
he, supposing It to be on of bar many
suddenly remembered errands, waa m*e
cifully unconscious of any oonnaqtion to>
tweeh himself and the roars of LauxhU*
that came from hi* father's study.
"Just as It Is. mind you. Liiata, Just aa
It is!" his father called after her as sh«
came out again; and though she Insisted
that It was too absurd and that some
thing was the matter with her children.
¦he was sure, nevertheless •&• Vf — 1 him
with no •• particular occasion and b*14 bar
peace nobly when ha selected a hideacs
purple blossom with spotty leave*. asalsV
?J by the Interested florist. 'i .
His offering was acceptable. That day
she met him on her walk and t™M'"b; al
most fearlessly, offered fr'"i a carnal an
imal cracker! True, the most obvious
projection was bitten off. and that pro
cess Is the best part of ¦"*""¦• araokars.
He gave hsr In return a long-cherlabed
canetop of polished wood, cut In the abapa
of a greyhound's head, with eyea of or
ange-colored glass. She- seemed almost ta
appreciate It. Ho had been offered a
white mouse for It more than once.
. For two long months the Little God lad
¦him along the primrose way. The poor
fellow thought It was the mala road; ha
had yet to learn It was a by-path. But
the Little God was not through with him.
Her brother, an uninteresting fellow at
first, had Improved on acquaintance, and
though he scoffed at Dicky's devotion to
his slater— thinking her a great baby— b«
had come to consider him a friend. Ons
day late In April he led Dick out to a
deserted corner of the grounds, and for
the sum of a small red top and a blue
glasa eye that had been a doll's most
. winning; feature, consented to impart to
him a song of such delicious badness that
it had to be song in secret Ha had Just
learned it himself, and the knowledge of
it admitted one. to a sort of club, whose
members were bound - together by tn»
vicious syllables. - Dicky was pleasantly
uncertain of Its meaning, but It contained
words that custom had banished from the
famtly circle.^ They crooned it fearfully,
with faces averted from the houso and an
exhilarating sense of dissipation.
Yellow belly, yellow beUy, com* aa* tak* a
¦ ¦ - ; ••Rim! -'¦ ¦ i ¦• ... ¦ - ,-'_
Tea, by jolly, when tae tide eomat tat
As he ' slipped . back to the house aien\
practicing it furtively and foretasting the
Joys of imparting It to Peter, the stable
man, Cecelia appeared suddenly from be
hind a Urge tree. She waa all smiles— «ba
was not afraid of him any more. Dancing
lightly oarone foot, she waved her bonnet
and began to sing, bubbling with laugh
ter. Horror! What did he hear?
Telly belly. y«Ily belly. oomlaT uuu a t&wtal
Tlth. by
"Oh, stop! Cissy, stop it I Too mustat
slnafthat!" he cried wildly.
She looked elfish.
"Why not? Dicky thlngth it," sha said.
with a happy smile.
She bad a heavenly habit, left . Croen
babyhood, of referring t» her Interlocu
tor and occasionally to horseif la the third
"But girls mustn't sing It." he warned
her sternly. "Don't you dare to— (fa a
She danced farther away. )
"Dicky thingth It Thlthy thlssjth It,"
she persisted, and as he scowled ihsj
pursed her lips again.
Telly belly, yelly belly
"I won't sine It! I won't!** n« nilesl
desperately. "I won't If you'll keej» »tOl-
So there! I tell you I won't!"
She stopped, amused at his emotion. AH
ignorant of his sacrifice, all careless of
his heroic defense of, her. she only know
that she could teaso him la an entirety
new way.
And the Little God # knowing that Dicky
would keep his word, and that Peter
would never get the chance for the scan
dalized admiration once In store for htTw t
strutted proudly away and polished up
his chains. His victim was secure.
Her brother, on learning the facts, fmiw
gested slapping her well— good heavens'—
and having nothing more to do with her.
for a mean, sneaking tattle-tale. Her*
was an opportunity to break his bonds.
But to those who have served, the Little
God It will be no surprise to learn that
It was on that very evening that he mad«
his famous proposal to the assembled
family, namely, that he and Cecelia should
be really engaged like her Uncle Harry
and Miss Merriam, and In a little wall*
marry and set up housekeeping In the
guest chamber.
"That's what Miss Merriam Is goins; t»
do," he explained, "and Cissy's grandma
is sorry, too; it doesn't leave her any
place for company but the hall bedroom.
But they've got to have the room, she
"That will do, Richard! You are not to
repeat everything you hear. And I am
afraid I need the guest chamber. "What
should we do when Aunt Nannie comes?"
"Oh. Cissy could have her crib right In
the room. She wouldn't mind Aunt Nan
nie," he replied superbly. "She always
sleeps In a crib, and she always will. A
bed scares her— she's afraid she'll fall out.
I could sleep on the couch like Christinas
But In the manner of age the wide
world over, they merely urged him to
wait. J
It was that very night that he reached
the top of the wave, and Justified the
Little God's selection.
He came down to breakfast rapt and
quiet. He tn.tf<l his oatmeal by. mistake
and never Knew the difference. His sister
laughed derisively and explained his folly
to him as he swallowed the last spoonful,
but he only smiled kindly at her. Alter
his egg he spoke.
"I dreamed that It was dancing school.
And I went. And I waa the only fellow
there. And what do you think? Ail the
little girls were Cecelia!"
They gasped.
"You don't suppose he'll be a po«t do
you, Rl*h? Or a genius, or anything *•
bis mother inquired anxiously. *
"Liord, no!" his father returned. **I
should say he was more likely to be m.
Mormon!" .
Dick Jtnew nothing of either claaa. But
the Uttle God knew very well what he
was. and wa» at that moment mafcinr out
his diploma, *
(Copyright, 1903. by Josephine Dodge
Uv vt *\HERE are you going?" said
\ A / somebod >' " he Blunk out
W toward the ..atrack.
* Tr "Oh, out." he returned,
wltn what a vaudeville ar
tist would call a good imitation of a per
son wishing to appear blamelessly forget
ful of something he remembered yu.te
"Well, see that you don't stay long. Re
member what it la this afternoon."
He turned like a stag at bay.
"What la It this afternoon?" he demand
ed viciously.
"You know very welL"
"See that you're here, that's all. You've
got to get dressed."
"I will not go to that old dancing school
again, and I tell you that I won't, and I
won't. And I won't."
"Now, Dick, don't begin that all over
again. It's so silly of you. You've
«ot to go."
"Because it's the thing to do."
"Because you must ltarn to dance."
•"Every nice boy learns."
"That will do. Richard. Go and find
your pumps. Now, get right up from the
floor, and If you scratch the Morris chair
I shall speak to your lather. Aren't you
ashamed of yourself? <Jet right up. You
must expect to Le hurt if you pull so.
Come, Kichard! Now stop crying— a great
bey like you! 1 am soriy 1 hurt your el
bow, but you know very well you aren't
crying tor that at ail. Ccmo along:"
His sister riitted by the door in an en
gaging ceshabiiie, her accordion plaited
eklrt held carefully from the lloor, her
hair ia two glistening biue-knotttd pig
tails. A tiail of rose-scented soap tlitUd
through the hall.
"Hurry up, L»ick, or we'll be late," she
called Lack sweetly.
"Oh, you shut up, will you!" he snarled.
She locked met k and listened to his de
privation of dessert for the rest of the
week with an air of love for the sinner
and hatred for the sin that deceived even
her older sister, who was dressing her.
A desperately patient monologue from
the next r<^m indicated the course of
events there:
"Your necktie is on the bed. No, I don't
know where the blue one is. It doesrTt
matter. That is just as good. Yes, it is.
No, you cannot. You w;il have lo wear
one. Because no one ever goes without.
1 don't know why.
"Many a boy wou'd be thankful and
gLaxi to nave silk stockings. NoriSenso —
your legs are warm enougr.. I don't be
lieve you. Now, Kichard, how perfectly
ridiculous! 'Ihcre Is no left and right
stock.ngs. You have no t.me to change.
Shoes are a different thing. Well, hurry
up, then. Because they are made so, X
suppose. 1 don't kr.ow why.
"Brush it more on that side — no, you
can't go tj the barber's. You went last
week. It looks perfectly well. 1 cut it?
Why, 1 don't know how to trim ha.r.
Anyway, there isn't t.me now. It will
have to do. £t<<p your tc^wling, /for good
ness' sake, LMc-k. Have you a hanaker
chief? It makes no difference, you must
carry one. You ought to want to use it.
Well, you shouid. Yes, tlity always do,
whether they have colds or not. 1 doa't
know whv.
"Your Golden Text! The idea! No, you
car.net. You can ltarn that Sunday belore
chuich. 'J his is not the time to learn
Golden Texts. 1 never taw such a child.
Now take your pumps aiid find the plush
bag. Why not? Put them right wfta
KuthVs. That's what the ijag was made
for. Well, how do you want to carry
them? Why, I never heard of anything
so silly! You will knot the strings. I
don't care if they do carry skaies that
way — skates ait liot slippers. You'd lose
them. Very well, then, only hurrv up. I
Ehould think you'd be ashamed to nave
them dafigUnsj around your neck that
way. Because people never do carry theta
so. I don't know why.
"Now, here's your ccat. Well, I can't
help it; jou have no time to hunt for
them. Put your hands in your pockets —
It's not far. And, mind you, don't run for
Ruth every time. You don't take any
pains with her. and you hustle her about,
Miss Dorothy says. Take another little
glrL Yes. you must. I shall speak to
your father if you answer me in that
way. Richard. Men don't dance with their
sisters. Because they don't. I don't know
why." 9
He slatr.mc-d the door till the piazza
•hock, and strode along beside his scan
dal;s> d sister, the pumps flopping noisily
on his shoulders. She tripped along con
tentedly—she liked to go. The personality
capable of txti acting pleasure from the
hour before them laffled his comprehen
sion, and he scowled fiercely at her, rub
bing his Filk stockings together at every
step, to enjoy the strange smooth sensa
tion thus produced. This gave him a bow
legged gait that distressed his sister be
yond WOrdS. - »:>i
"I think you might stop. Everybody's
looking at you! Please stop. Dick Pcn
dleton; you're a mean old thing. I shou!d
think ,you'd be ashamr-d to carry -your
slippers that way. If you jump in that
w«t place and spatter me I shall tell
papa— you will care when I tell him. just
the same! You're Just es bad as you
can be. I shan't rpeak with you to-day!"
She pursed up her lips ar.d maintained
a determined silence. He rubbed his legs
together with renewed emphasis. Ac
quaintances met them and passed, uncon
scious of anything: but the sweet picture
of a sister and a brother and a plush bag
going daintily and dutifully to dancing
school; but his heart was hot at the in
justice of the world and the hypocritical
cant of girls, and her thoughts were busy
with her indictment of him before the
family tribunal— she hoped he would be
sent to bed. ,
He Jumped over the threshold of the
leng room and aimed bis cap at the head
of a boy he knew, who was standing on
one foot to put on a slipper. This de
stroyed his friend's balance and a cheer
lr.g scuffle followed. Life assumed a more
hopeful aspect. In the other dressing
rcom his sister had fluttered into a whls.
perlng. giggling, many-colored throng;
buzzing and chuckling with the rest, she
adjusted her Ellppers and perked ou her
bows, her braids quivering with eocla
A rhrlll whistle called them out In two
crowding bunches to the polished floor.
Hoping against hope, he had duns to
fi-.e brau'i'ful thoucht that Miss Dorothy
v.culd be sick, that shf hnd m'pst-d her
I rain — but no! there she was, with her
shiny. bigh-beeled ?Uppers. f.her o n.'t
*klrt that pulled out like a fan and her
silver whistle on a cha'.n. The little
clickirg caetariet* t*iat rnnjr out" sharply
were in htr hand beyond a doubt.
"Repf'y, children! Spread out. Take
your lir.es. First position. Now!" ,'..',
The large man at the piano, who always
lcok< d half asleep, thundered nut the
first 1 iirs of the latest waltz and the budl
r.css began.
Tlulr eyes were fixed solemnly on Miss
Dorothy's pointed shoes. They slipped
and slid and crossed their legs and arched
their pudgy Insteps; the bjys breathed
hard over trjeir gleaming collars. On the
r'.ght side of the hall thirty hands held
out their diminutive skirts at an alluring
angle. On tlie left neat black legs pat
tored diligently through mystic evolu
lha chorda rolled out slower, with dra-
fluffy white dress spread fan-shaped
above her-' knees; her .tiiKits wtre l>wii
•hkev ¦. The foot on which she poised
seemed hardly to rest, on the ground; the
other, point* d outward, hovered' easily—
now hen . how there. Her .eyes Wt»re ; se
rious, her hair, hung: loose* She. swayed
lightly: one. Httie gloved hand held o\it
her skirt, the other marked the time. •
L'icky advanced and bowed jerkily,
ffiasptd one ef the loops of her sash in
the back, stamped gently a moment to
vet the time, and the artist sank into the
"''Don't they do It well, though! See
these little things near the door!" he
caught as they went by, and his heart
svolipd with pride.
"What's your name?" he asked abrupt
ly after the dance.
"Thethelia," r.he lisped, and shook her
hair over her ch^ek. She wis very shy.
"Mine's Richard Carr Pendlcton. My
father's a lawyer. What's yours?"
"I— I don't knowl" she gasped, obvlous-
'¦* .'.':¦ J- ¦ ¦¦ ¦ ¦¦/.-.' -
surged Into the dressing-rooms, to be but
toned up and pulled out of draughts and
trundled home;
She was swathed carefully in a wadded
siik jnckit and then enveloped in a hood- {
ed .Mother Hubbard- cloak. She looked.*:
lik<> an 'ahgelije" brownie. Dicky ran up to .
Yiir as a worfean'Med her oirt to a, coupe at J
the curb and,.-.tugged at the ribbon of her
"Where do you live? Say, where do you
live?" he demanded.
Her hair was under the hood, but she
hid her face behind the woman.
•U"J— ! don't know," she said softly. The
woman, laughed.
"Why; yes, you do, Cissy," she repror
ed. <"TeII him directly, now."
' She put one tiny finger in her mouth.
"I— I gueth I live on Chethnttf thtreet."
she called as the door, slammed and shut
her in.
His sister amicably, offered him. half the .
pluah bag- to carry, and opened a run- .
nlng criticism of the afternoon. .
headed as that sister of his? Brains,
technical knowledge, experience jot ,the
world— these he had never looked 'to find
in her; but perceptions, feminine intui
tions—were they- lacking, too? .-. • • .
; "I .should HKe,"**n"e satd to his mother
the next day, J'to go arid see her."
"Well, you can go vrUhcpe to-morrow,
perhaps, when I call- on Mrs. Weston."
she assented.
"What? Why, of course not! Men
don't go calling in pumps. Your best
shoes will do. A re you crazy? A straw
hat in February? You will wear your
middy cap. Now don't argue the matter,
Richard, or you can't go at all."^
Seated opposite her on a hassock, their
mothers chatting across the room.- his as
surance withered away. There was noth
ing: whatever to say, and he said it, ade
quately perhaps, but with a sense of deep
ening embarrassment. She took refuge
behind her hair, and they stared un
comfortably at each other.
"And he has never condescended to hare
• ghe would not look at him: at his
wits' ends he played his highest card. If
she tfere of mortal flesh and blood, this
would Interest her.
"Look here! Do you know what Bos
ton bull pups are? Do you 7"
She nodded vigorously.
"Well, you know their' tails?**
She nodded uncertainly.
"You know they're Just little stumps?**
"Oh, yeth!" she beamed at him. "My
Uncle Harry'th got a j bulldog. Hlth
name lth Kit. He llketh me."
"Well, see here I Do you know how they
make their tails short? A man bites 'em
off! A fellow told me"—
"Oh I Oh I Oh!" Bhe shuddered off the
hassock and rushed to her mother, gup»
in* with horror.
"He thayth— he thayth" words failed
her. Broken sobs of "Ell! Oh, £211" filled
the parlor. He was daxed. terrified. What
had happened? What had he doneT He
was ¦*" < **^1 dlagraoafuUy from tao room;
This Is the first of on exclusive iserles.of . nine of the.rnost thrilling
and genuinely realistic Railroad Stories ever written : : : : : : :
==NEXT SUN0eqy T ~CALL^==
If you read at all you know this author's creations are the talk, of -the world.

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