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- Marjorie's Vacation - 6/34 -


body bounced up into the air, and instead of falling backward again, she gave a frightened convulsive movement, and fell headlong to the ground.

Quick as a flash, Molly, when she saw what had happened, scrambled back up the roof with a wonderful agility, and let herself down through the skylight, and down the ladder like lightning. She rushed out of the barn, to where Marjorie lay, and reached her before Carter did, though he came running at the first sounds of Marjorie's screams.

"I'm not hurt much," said Marjorie, trying to be brave; "if you'll help me, Carter, I think I can walk to the house."

"Walk nothin'," growled Carter; "it's Miss Mischief you are for sure! I thought you had outgrown your wild ways, but you're just as bad as ever! What'll your grandma say?"

Molly stood by, decidedly scared. She didn't know how badly Marjorie was hurt, and she longed to comfort her, and tell her how sorry she was that she had urged her to this mischief, but Carter gave her no opportunity to speak. Indeed, it was all she could do to keep up with the gardener's long strides, as he carried Marjorie to the house. But Molly was no coward, and she bravely determined to go to the house with them, and confess to Mrs. Sherwood that she was to blame for the accident.

But when they reached the door, and Grandma Sherwood came out to meet them, she was so anxious and worried about Marjorie that she paid little attention to Molly's efforts at explanation.

"What are you trying to say, child?" she asked hastily of Molly, who was stammering out an incoherent speech. "Well, never mind; whatever you have to say, I don't want to hear it now. You run right straight home; and if you want to come over to-morrow to see how Marjorie is, you may, but I can't have you bothering around here now. So run home."

And Molly ran home.

CHAPTER IV

A PAPER-DOLL HOUSE

The result of Marjorie's fall from the roof was a sprained ankle. It wasn't a bad sprain, but the doctor said she must stay in bed for several days.

"But I don't mind very much," said Marjorie, who persisted in looking on the bright side of everything, "for it will give me a chance to enjoy this beautiful room better. But, Grandma, I can't quite make out whether I was disobedient or not. You never told me not to slide down the roof, did you?"

"No, Marjorie; but your common-sense ought to have told you that. I should have forbidden it if I had thought there was the slightest danger of your doing such a thing. You really ought to have known better."

Grandma's tone was severe, for though she was sorry for the child she felt that Marjorie had done wrong, and ought to be reproved.

Marjorie's brow wrinkled in her efforts to think out the matter.

"Grandma," she said, "then must I obey every rule that you would make if you thought of it, and how shall I know what they are?"

Grandma smiled. "As I tell you Midget, you must use your common- sense and reason in such matters. If you make mistakes the experience will help you to learn; but I am sure a child twelve years old ought to know better than to slide down a steep barn roof. But I suppose Molly put you up to it, and so it wasn't your fault exactly."

"Molly did suggest it, Grandma, but that doesn't make her the one to blame, for I didn't have to do as she said, did I?"

"No, Midge; and Molly has behaved very nicely about it. She came over here, and confessed that she had been the ringleader in the mischief, and said she was sorry for it. So you were both to blame, but I think it has taught you a lesson, and I don't believe you'll ever cut up that particular trick again. But you certainly needn't be punished for it, for I think the consequences of having to stay in bed for nearly a week will be punishment enough. So now we're through with that part of the subject, and I'm going to do all I can to make your imprisonment as easy for you as possible."

It was in the early morning that this conversation had taken place, and Grandma had brought a basin of fresh, cool water and bathed the little girl's face and hands, and had brushed out her curls and tied them up with a pretty pink bow.

Then Jane came with a dainty tray, containing just the things Marjorie liked best for breakfast, and adorned with a spray of fresh roses. Grandma drew a table to the bedside and piled pillows behind Marjorie's back until she was quite comfortable.

"I feel like a queen, Grandma," she said; "if this is what you call punishment I don't mind it a bit."

"That's all very well for one day, but wait until you have been here four or five days. You'll get tired of playing queen by that time."

"Well, it's fun now, anyway," said Marjorie, as she ate strawberries and cream with great relish.

After breakfast Jane tidied up the room, and Marjorie, arrayed in a little pink kimono, prepared to spend the day in bed. Grandma brought her books to read and writing materials to write letters home, and Marjorie assured her that she could occupy herself pleasantly.

So Grandma went away and left her alone. The first thing Marjorie did was to write a letter to her mother, telling her all about the accident. She had thought she would write a letter to each of the children at home, but she discovered to her surprise that it wasn't very easy to write sitting up in bed. Her arms became cramped, and as she could not move her injured ankle her whole body grew stiff and uncomfortable. So she decided to read. After she had read what seemed a long time, she found that that, too, was difficult under the circumstances. With a little sigh she turned herself as well as she could and looked at the clock. To her amazement, only an hour had elapsed since Grandma left her, and for the first time the little girl realized what it meant to be deprived of the free use of her limbs.

"Only ten o'clock," she thought to herself; "and dinner isn't until one!"

Not that Marjorie was hungry, but like all the invalids she looked forward to meal-times as a pleasant diversion.

But about this time Grandma reappeared to say that Molly had come over to see her.

Marjorie was delighted, and welcomed Molly gladly.

"I'm awful sorry," the little visitor began, "that I made you slide down the roof."

"You didn't make me do it," said Marjorie, "it was my fault quite as much as yours; and, anyway, it isn't a very bad sprain. I'll be out again in a few days, and then we can play some more. But we'll keep down on the ground,--we can't fall off of that."

"I thought you might like to play some games this morning," Molly suggested, "so I brought over my jackstraws and my Parcheesi board."

"Splendid!" cried Marjorie, delighted to have new entertainment.

In a few moments Molly had whisked things about, and arranged the jackstraws on a small table near the bed. But Marjorie could not reach them very well, so Molly changed her plan.

"I'll fix it," she said, and laying the Parcheesi board on the bed, she climbed up herself, and sitting cross-legged like a little Turk, she tossed the jackstraws out on the flat board, and the game began in earnest.

They had a jolly time and followed the jackstraws with a game of Parcheesi.

Then Jane came up with some freshly baked cookies and two glasses of milk.

"Why, how the time has flown!" cried Marjorie, "it's half-past eleven, and it doesn't seem as if you'd been here more than five minutes, Molly."

"I didn't think it was so late, either," and then the two girls did full justice to the little luncheon, while the all-useful Parcheesi board served as a table.

"Now," said Marjorie, when the last crumbs had disappeared, "let's mix up the two games. The jackstraws will be people, and your family can live in that corner of the Parcheesi board, and mine will live in this. The other two corners will be strangers' houses, and the red counters can live in one and the blue counters in the other. This place in the middle will be a park, and these dice can be deer in the park."

"Oh, what fun!" cried Molly, who was not as ingenious as Marjorie at making up games, but who was appreciative enough to enter into the spirit of it at once.

They became so absorbed in this new sort of play that again the time flew and it was dinner-time before they knew it.

Grandma did not invite Molly to stay to dinner, for she thought Marjorie ought to rest, but she asked the little neighbor to come again the next morning and continue their game.

After dinner Grandma darkened the room and left Marjorie to rest by herself, and the result of this was a long and refreshing nap.


Marjorie's Vacation - 6/34

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