She wanted the pleasure of telling the children the story with her own lips. Grace was fairly wild with joy, kissing everybody, and declaring it was "too good for anything." She was too happy to keep still, while as for Horace, he was too happy to talk.
"Then uncle Henry wasn't gone to heaven," cried little Prudy: "hasn't he been to heaven at all?"
"No, of course not," said Susy: "didn't you hear 'em say he'd be here to-night?--Now you've got on the nicest kind of a dress, and if you spot it up 'twill be awful."
"I guess," pursued Prudy, "the man that shooted found 'twas uncle Henry, and so he didn't want to kill him down dead."
How the family found time to do so many things that day, I do not know, especially as each one was in somebody's way, and the children under everybody's feet. But before night the pantry was full of nice things, the whole house was as fresh as a rose, and the parlors were adorned with autumn flowers and green garlands.
Not only the kerosene lamps, but all the old oil lamps, were filled, and every candle-stick, whether brass, iron, or glass, was used to hold a sperm candle; so that in the evening the house at every window was all ablaze with light. The front door stood wide open, and the piazza and part of the lawn were as bright as day. The double gate had been unlatched for hours, and everybody was waiting for the carriage to drive up.
The hard, uncomfortable stage, which Horace had said was like a baby-jumper, would never do for a sick man to ride in: so Billy Green had driven to the cars in his easiest carriage, and aunt Madge had gone with him, for she was afraid neither Billy nor the gentleman who was with Captain Clifford would know how to wrap the shawls about him carefully enough.
I could never describe the joyful meeting which took place in those brilliantly lighted parlors. It is very rarely that such wonderful happiness falls to any one's lot in this world.
While the smiles are yet bright on their faces, while Grace is clinging to her father's neck, and Horace hugs his new "real drum" in one arm, embracing his dear papa with the other, let us take our leave of them and the whole family for the present, with many kind good-by's.
SOPHIE MAY'S "LITTLE-FOLKS" BOOKS.
[Illustration: "By and by the colts came to the kitchen window, which was open, and put in their noses to ask for something to eat. Flaxie gave them pieces of bread."
SPECIMEN OF OUT TO "FLAXIE FRIZZLE SERIES."]
LITTLE FOLKS ASTRAY.
"This is a book for the little ones of the nursery or play-room. It introduces all the old favorites of the Prudy and Dotty books with new characters and funny incidents. It is a charming book, wholesome and sweet in every respect, and cannot fail to interest children under twelve years of age."--_Christian Register._
PRUDY KEEPING HOUSE.
"How she kept it, why she kept it, and what a good time she had playing cook, and washerwoman, and ironer, is told as only Sophie May can tell stories. All the funny sayings and doings of the queerest and cunningest little woman ever tucked away in the covers of a book will please little folks and grown people alike."--_Press._
AUNT MADGE'S STORY.
"Tells of a little mite of a girl, who gets into every conceivable kind of scrape and out again with lightning rapidity, through the whole pretty little book. How she nearly drowns her bosom friend, and afterwards saves her by a very remarkable display of little-girl courage. How she gets left by a train of cars, and loses her kitten and finds it again, and is presented with a baby sister 'come down from heaven,' with lots of smart and funny sayings."--_Boston Traveller._
_Any volume sold separately._
DOTTY DIMPLE SERIES.--Six volumes. Illustrated.
Dotty Dimple at her Grandmother's.
Dotty Dimple at Home.
Dotty Dimple out West.
Dotty Dimple at Play.
Dotty Dimple at School.
Dotty Dimple's Flyaway.
FLAXIE FRIZZLE STORIES.--Six volumes. Illustrated. Per volume, 75 cents.
The Twin Cousins.
Flaxie Growing Up.
LITTLE PRUDY STORIES.--Six volumes. Handsomely Illustrated. Per volume, 75 cents.
Little Prudy's Sister Susy.
Little Prudy's Captain Horace.
Little Prudy's Story Book.
Little Prudy's Cousin Grace.
Little Prudy's Dotty Dimple.
LITTLE PRUDY'S FLYAWAY SERIES.--Six volumes. Illustrated. Per volume, 75 cents.
Little Folks Astray.
Prudy Keeping House.
Aunt Madge's Story.
LEE AND SHEPARD, PUBLISHERS, BOSTON.