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- Two Little Women on a Holiday - 1/37 -


TWO LITTLE WOMEN ON A HOLIDAY

BY

CAROLYN WELLS Author Of The Patty Books, The Marjorie Books, Two Little Women Series, Etc.

FRONTISPIECE BY E. C. CASWELL

Made in the United States of America 1917

TO MY VERY DEAR CHILD FRIEND

FRANCES ALTHEA SPRAGUE

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I A WONDERFUL PLAN

II A FAVOURABLE DECISION

III THE ARRIVAL

IV A MERRY QUARTETTE

V GOING ABOUT

VI A MATINEE IDOL

VII GREAT PREPARATIONS

VIII THE CALLER

IX FINE FEATHERS

X A SKATING PARTY

XI THE COLLECTIONS

XII THE LOST JEWEL

XIII SUSPICIONS

XIV AT THE TEA ROOM

XV DOLLY'S RIDE

XVI WAS IT ALICIA?

XVII A CLEVER IDEA

XVIII FOUR CELEBRATIONS

XIX ALICIA'S SECRET

XX UNCLE JEFF'S FOUR FRIENDS

CHAPTER I

A WONDERFUL PLAN

"Hello, Dolly," said Dotty Rose, over the telephone.

"Hello, Dot," responded Dolly Fayre. "What you want?"

"Oh! I can't tell you this way. Come on over, just as quick as you can."

"But I haven't finished my Algebra, and it's nearly dinner time, anyway."

"No it isn't,--and no matter if it is. Come on, I tell you! You'd come fast enough if you knew what it's about!"

"Tell me, then."

"I say I can't,--over the telephone. Oh, Dolly, come on, and stop fussing!"

The telephone receiver at Dotty's end of the wire was hung up with a click, and Dolly began to waggle her receiver hook in hope of getting Dotty back. But there was no response, so Dolly rose and went for her coat. Flinging it round her, and not stopping to get a hat, she ran next door to Dotty Rose's house.

It was mid January, and the six o'clock darkness was lighted only by the street lights. Flying across the two lawns that divided the houses, Dolly found Dotty awaiting her at the side door.

"Hurry up in, Doll," she cried, eagerly, "the greatest thing you ever heard! Oh, the very greatest! If you only CAN! Oh, if you ONLY can!"

"Can what? Do tell me what you're talking about." Dolly tossed her coat on the hall rack, and followed Dotty into the Roses' living-room. There she found Dotty's parents and also Bernice Forbes and her father. What could such a gathering mean? Dolly began to think of school happenings; had she cut up any mischievous pranks or inadvertently done anything wrong? What else could bring Mr. Forbes to the Roses' on what was very evidently an important errand? For all present were eagerly interested,--that much was clear. Mr. and Mrs. Rose were smiling, yet shaking their heads in uncertainty; Bernice was flushed and excited; and Mr. Forbes himself was apparently trying to persuade them to something he was proposing.

This much Dolly gathered before she heard a word of the discussion. Then Mrs. Rose said, "Here's Dolly Fayre. You tell her about it, Mr. Forbes."

"Oh, let me tell her," cried Bernice.

"No," said Mr. Rose, "let her hear it first from your father. You girls can chatter afterward."

So Mr. Forbes spoke. "My dear child," he said to Dolly, "my Bernice is invited to spend a week with her uncle, in New York City. She is privileged to ask you two girls to accompany her if you care to."

Dolly listened, without quite grasping the idea. She was slow of thought, though far from stupid. And this was such a sudden and startling suggestion that she couldn't quite take it in.

"Go to New York, for a week. Oh, I couldn't. I have to go to school."

Mrs. Rose smiled. "That's just the trouble, Dolly. Dot has to go to school, too,--at least, she ought to. Bernice, likewise. But this invitation is so delightful and so unusual, that I'm thinking you three girls ought to take advantage of it. The question is, what will your parents say?"

"Oh, they'll never let me go!" exclaimed Dolly, decidedly. "They don't want anything to interfere with my lessons."

"No, and we feel the same way about Dotty. But an exceptional case must be considered in an exceptional manner. I think your people might be persuaded if we go about it in the right way."

"I don't believe so," and Dolly looked very dubious. "Tell me more about it."

"Oh, Doll, it's just gorgeous!" broke in Bernice. "Uncle Jeff,--he's father's brother,--wants me to spend a week with him. And he's going to have my cousin, Alicia, there at the same time. And he wants us to bring two other girls, and Alicia can't bring one, 'cause she's at boarding school, and none of the girls can get leave,--that is, none that she wants. So Uncle said for me to get two, if I could,--and I want you and Dot."

"A whole week in New York! Visiting!" Dolly's eyes sparkled as the truth began to dawn on her. "Oh, I WISH I could coax Mother into it. I've never been to New York to stay any time. Only just for the day. How lovely of you, Bernie, to ask us!"

"There's no one else I'd rather have, but if you can't go, I'll have to ask Maisie May. I must get two."

"Are you going anyway, Dots?"

"I don't know. I want to go terribly, but I don't want to go without you, Dolly. Oh, WON'T your mother let you?"

"The only way to find out is to ask her," said Mr. Forbes, smiling. "Suppose I go over there now and ask. Shall I go alone, or take you three chatterboxes along?"

"Oh, let us go," and Dotty sprang up; "we can coax and you can tell about the arrangements."

"Very well," agreed Mr. Forbes, "come along, then."

So the four went across to the Fayre house, and found the rest of Dolly's family gathered in the library.

"Here is Mr. Forbes, Daddy," said Dolly, as they entered.

Mr. and Mrs. Fayre and Trudy, Dolly's older sister, greeted the visitor cordially, and looked with smiling inquiry at the eager faces of the three girls.

Dolly went and sat on the arm of her mother's chair, and, putting an arm around her, whispered, "Oh, Mumsie, please, PLEASE do say yes! Oh, please do!"

"Yes to what?" returned Mrs. Fayre, patting her daughter's shoulder.


Two Little Women on a Holiday - 1/37

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