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- Peggy Stewart: Navy Girl at Home - 34/34 -

"Keep yo' cash, lady. I done DAT job fer ma little quality lady hyer, an' SHE pays wid somethin' bettah."

Mrs. Stewart was evidently NOT in her amiable guise, but turning to Peggy she strove to force a smile and say:

"Ignorant creatures, aren't they, dear? But come. I've a thousand questions to ask."

"Thank you, Aunt Katharine, but I rode over on my saddle horse, and shall have to ask you to excuse me."

Not until that moment did Mrs. Stewart notice the three horses standing like statues just beyond the carriage with the splendid dog lying upon the ground in front of them.

Peggy crossed the intervening space and with the one word "Up," to Tzaritza, set her escort in motion. They reached forward long, slim necks to greet her, Tzaritza bounding up to rest her forepaws upon her shoulders and nestle her silky head against Peggy's face, sure of the solicited caress. Then Peggy bounded to Shashai's back, and the little group, wheeling like a flash, led the way from the depot.

"Good heavens and earth! It is quite time someone came down here to look after that child. I had no idea she was leading the life of a wild western cowboy," was the exclamation from the rear seat of the surrey, plainly overheard by Jess, and, later duly reported.

"Huh, Um," he muttered.

The ride to Severndale held no charm for Madam Stewart. She was too intent upon "that child's mad, hoydenish riding. Good heavens, if such were ever seen in New York," New York with its automaton figures jigging up and down in the English fashion through Central Park being her criterion for the world in general.

Presently beautiful Severndale was reached. Dr. Llewellyn was waiting upon the terrace to greet his ward's aunt, which he did in his stately, courtly manner, but before ten words were spoken he comprehended all Neil Stewart meant in his letter by the words:

"Stand by Peggy. I've landed her up against it," and as the young girl led her aunt into the house, with Mammy, all immaculate dignity following in their wake, he mentally commented: "I fear he HAS made a grave mistake; a very grave one, but Providence ordereth all things and we see darkly. It may be one of the 'wondrous ways.' We must not form our conclusions too hastily. No, not too hastily."

And just here we must leave Peggy Stewart upon the threshold of a new world the entrance to which is certainly not enticing. What the experiences of that month were, and the revelations which came into Peggy's life during it; how the perplexing problem was solved and who helped to solve it, must be told in the story of Peggy Stewart at School. But just now we must leave her doing her best to make "Aunt Katharine" comfortable; to smooth out some of the kinks already making a snarl of the usually evenly ordered household, for Mammy had not changed her opinion one particle, and when Harrison went back to her own undisputed realm of the big house she was overheard to remark:

"Well, Neil Stewart is a man, so OF COURSE, he's bound to do some fool things, but unless I miss MY guess, he's played his trump card THIS time."

Peggy Stewart: Navy Girl at Home - 34/34

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