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- Princess Polly's Playmates - 1/23 -


PRINCESS POLLY'S PLAYMATES

By AMY BROOKS

AUTHOR OF

"Princess Polly," "Princess Polly at School," "Princess Polly by the Sea," "Princess Polly's Gay Winter," "Princess Polly at Play."

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. IN THE GARDEN

II. A LITTLE HERO

III. POLLY VISITS ROSE

IV. THE VILLAGE NUISANCE

V. THE LITTLE GREEN DOOR

VI. AT THE STUDIO

VII. AN UNEXPECTED GUEST

VIII. AT THE SHORE

IX. PRINCESS POLLY RETURNS

X. GWEN CALLS UPON POLLY

XI. GWEN TELLS A STORY

XII. GYP RUNS AWAY

PRINCESS POLLY'S PLAYMATES

CHAPTER I

IN THE GARDEN

"IF it was only true that castles COULD be enchanted, then I'd surely think Sherwood Hall was one," said the little girl with soft, dreamy eyes.

"You'd think Sherwood Hall was what?" questioned the other little girl, who had paused to rest her foot upon a stone, while she tied the ribbons of her shoe.

"An enchanted castle!"

"Why Vivian Osborne! You're always thinking of fairy tales," was the quick reply, and she laughed as if the idea were impossible.

"Now Leslie Grafton," Vivian replied, "you just come here, and look where Sherwood Hall shows between the trees. See the sun on the red roofs, and on those lovely windows! Can't you almost SEE the captive princess looking from her casement?"

"Well there she is!" cried Leslie laughing, "and we don't have to ALMOST see her. We can TRULY see her."

"Oh, wasn't it fine that just as we were talking, Princess Polly opened her window, and looked out," said Vivian, as together they ran up the avenue, and in at the gateway of Sherwood Hall.

"It was Lena Lindsey who first thought of calling her 'Princess Polly,' and she's always so sweet that the name seems to belong to her," said Leslie.

Polly had seen them, and when they reached the house, she was waiting to greet them.

"The postman is coming!" they cried, "the postman is coming, and we ran ahead to tell you!"

"Oh, perhaps there's a letter from Rose!" said Polly.

"That's what we thought," said Leslie, "and if there is, DO tell us some of it. We love Rose Atherton as much as you do."

Polly Sherwood shaded her eyes with her hand, and looked along the broad avenue.

"Oh, now I see him!" she cried, "and he's taking out a handful of letters as he comes along."

The postman laughed at Polly's eagerness.

"Three for you, Miss Polly," he said, as he placed them in her hands.

Polly looked at the envelopes. "That one is from my cousin," she said. "She always uses pink paper, and that one is from a little girl I used to play with before we came to live at Sherwood Hall. I know, because her paper is always pale green, but THIS one--" she held up the envelope with a little cry of delight, "THIS one is from Rose!"

With Leslie and Vivian looking over her shoulder, Polly opened the letter.

"Read it with me," she said.

"Oh, read it aloud while we listen," said Leslie.

Rose had been a dear little playmate when she had lived with her Aunt Judith in a little cottage, near Sherwood Hall. Now that she had gone to live with her Great-Aunt Rose, for whom she had been named, and some miles distant, her little friends remembered her, and wished that she were with them.

Now, as Polly read the letter, it seemed as if little Rose Atherton were talking to them.

"Dear Princess Polly:--" the letter began, and then followed loving assurance of her true affection for her "own Polly," very tender inquiries for Sir Mortimer, the beautiful cat, and tales of little happenings in the new home.

"Great-Aunt Rose is kind, and Aunt Lois is gentle and sweet, but I'm LONSUM.

"The rooms are large, and cool and dark, and sometimes when the garden is hot and sunny, I go to the parlor, and try to amuse myself, but oh, I wish I had someone to play with. "When I try to pick out a tune on the piano, the notes sound so loud, I turn around to see if Aunt Rose is provokt, but she never folows me. There's a portrate of a funny old man that hangs at the end of the parlor, and I always think he's watching me. When I smile, he seems to smile, and when I'm lonsum, he doesn't look jolly at all. There's five people in this house beside me. There's my two aunts, and three servants, but no one makes any noise, and oh, sometimes I WISH they would.

"Aunt Rose says sometime she'll give a party for me, but she says there must be no romping, and that it must be dig-ni-fide. I don't believe I spelled that right, and I'm not sure what it means, but it doesn't sound nice. I don't believe the children that come to it, will like a party that's digni--, I can't write that long word again.

"Aunt Lois is to have her portrate painted, and I'm to go with her to the artist's studyo.

"Aunt Rose just came in, and said, 'That is a long letter. Shall I help you with the spelling?' I didn't let her. I know some of the words are funny, but I don't want her to see this letter.

"I haven't said anything norty in it, only about how quiet and lonsum it is, but she mite not like that. I just had to tell you. Aunt Rose is going to ask you to visit me, and I'll be so glad when you come.

Your loving little friend,

ROSE.

P.S.--Aunt Rose said this morning that I ort to sine my name, Rose Jerusha Atherton, because that's her name, and I was named for her. How can I? Isn't JERUSHA orful?"

Of course the three little friends sympathized with Rose.

They felt as if they had seen the quaint, beautiful old house, with its dark, cool rooms.

They seemed to see bright, merry little Rose, now quiet, and lonely, wandering through the great hall to the parlor, to find a companion in the piano, or looking up into the friendly face of the old gentleman whose portrait she had described.

"And she says she is to go with her aunt to the artist's studio," said Leslie, "and wouldn't I like to do that? Just think what fun it would be to see him painting."

"I wonder if he'll let Rose watch him?" said Polly.

"There'd be no fun in going if she couldn't see him paint," declared Leslie "and if I were Rose, I WOULD watch him, if I had to peep when he wasn't looking."

"Oh you WOULDN'T!" said Vivian.

"I WOULD," said Leslie firmly, and Vivian did not reply.

"I wonder what her Aunt Lois will wear?" said Polly. "All of the portraits in our drawing room are young ladies in lovely gowns, with flowers in their hair, and jewels, many, many jewels, and plumes, and fans. Her Aunt Lois wouldn't wear such things as that!"

They wondered much about the portrait, and decided to question Rose


Princess Polly's Playmates - 1/23

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