Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother's,
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"MISS PATTY, ISN'T THIS THE LONGEST NIGHT YOU EVERSAW?"--Page 161.]
BY SOPHIE MAY.
DOTTY AT HER GRANDMOTHER'S
LEE & SHEPARD BOSTON
_DOTTY DIMPLE STORIES._
AT HER GRANDMOTHER'S.
BY SOPHIE MAY,
AUTHOR OF "LITTLE PRUDY STORIES."
LEE AND SHEPARD PUBLISHERS 10 MILK STREET
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870,
BY LEE AND SHEPARD,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
_SARAH G. PEIRCE_
I. DOTTY'S PIN-MONEY, 7
II. PLAYING KING AND QUEEN, 23
III. THE WHITE TRUTH, 42
IV. DOTTY'S CAMEL, 57
V. A SAD FRIGHT, 68
VI. MAKING POETRY, 94
VII. A DAY ON THE SOFA, 109
VIII. WASHING THE PIG, 122
IX. A DARK DAY, 139
X. "THE END OF THE WORLD," 156
XI. CRAZY DUCKLINGS, 170
XII. "THE CHARLIE BOY," 182
DOTTY DIMPLE AT HER GRANDMOTHER'S.
Everything was very fresh and beautiful one morning in May, as if Godhad just made the world. The new grass had begun to grow, and the fieldswere dotted over with short, golden-topped dandelions.
The three Parlin children had come to their grandmother's much earlierin the season than usual; and now on this bright Sabbath morning theywere going to church.
Dotty Dimple, otherwise Alice, thought the fields looked like her AuntMaria's green velvet toilet-cushion stuck full of pins. The spiders hadspread their gauzy webs over the grass, and the dew upon them sparkledin the sunshine like jewels. "Such nice tablecloths as they would havemade for the fairies," thought Dotty, "if there only were any fairies."
"The world is ever so much handsomer than it was a week ago," saidPrudy, pointing towards the far-off hills. "I'd like to be on thatmountain, and just put my hand out and touch the sky."
"That largest pick," said Dotty, "is Mount Blue. It's covered withblueberries, and that's why it's so blue."
"Who told you that?" asked Susy, smiling. "It isn't time yet forblueberries; and if it was, we couldn't see them forty miles off withouta telescope."
"Jennie Vance told me," said Dotty; "and she ought to know, for herfather is the judge."
By this time the children had reached the church, and were waiting onthe steps for the rest of the family. It was pleasant to watch thepeople coming from up and down the street, looking so neat and peaceful.But when Jennie Vance drew near with her new summer silk and the elegantfeather in her hat, Dotty's heart gave a quick double beat, halfadmiration, half envy. Jennie's black eyes were shining with vanity, andher nicely gaitered feet tripped daintily up the steps.
"How d'ye do?" said she, carelessly, to Dotty, and swept by her like alittle ship under full sail.
"Jennie Vance needn't talk so about her new mother," whispered Prudy,"for she gives her fifty-two new dresses, one for every Sunday."
Dotty's brow darkened. Just now it seemed to her one of the greatesttrials in the whole world that the dress she wore had been made overfrom one of Prudy's. It was a fine white organdie with a little pinksprig, but there was a darn in the skirt. Then there was no feather inher hat, and no breastpin at her throat.
Poor Dotty! She did not hear much of the sermon, but sat very quiet,counting the nails in the pews and the pipes in the organ, and watchingold Mr. Gordon, who had a red silk kerchief spread over his head toguard it against the draught from the window. She listened a little tothe prayers, it is true, because she knew it was wrong to let herthoughts wander when Mr. Preston was speaking to God.
When the services were over, and she was going to her Sabbath schoolclass, she passed Jennie Vance in the aisle.
"Where are you going, Jennie?" said she.
"Going home. My mamma says I needn't stay to say my lessons and miss awarm dinner."
Jennie said this with such a toss of the head that Dotty longed to replyin a cutting manner.
"It isn't polite to have warm dinners on Sunday, Jennie Vance! But yousaid your father had a _step-wife_, and perhaps she doesn't know!"
"I didn't say my papa had a step-wife, Dotty Dimple."
But this was all Jennie had time to retort, for Dotty now entered thepew where her class were to sit. Miss Preston was the teacher, and itwas her custom to have each of her little pupils repeat a half dozenverses or so, which she explained to them in a very clear manner. Thechildren did not always understand her, however; and you shall seehereafter how Dotty's queer little brain grew befogged. The last clauseof one of her verses to-day was this:--
"The Lord loveth a cheerful giver."
"Suppose," said Miss Preston, "there were two little girls living in abeautiful house, with everything nice to eat and wear, and there shouldcome a poor man in rags, and beg for charity. One of the little girls isso sorry for him that she runs to her mamma and asks, as a favor, to beallowed to give him some of her Christmas money. The other little girlshakes her head, and says, 'O, sister what makes you do so? But if youdo it _I_ must.' Then she pours out half her money for the beggar, butscowls all the while.--Which is the 'cheerful giver?'"
"The first little girl. O, of course, Miss Preston." Then Dotty fell tothinking:--
"I don't have much to give away but just pieces of oranges; but I don'tscowl when I do it. I'm a great deal more 'cheerful' than Jennie Vance;for I never saw her give away anything but a thimble after the pig hadchewed it. 'There, take it, Lu Piper,' said she, 'for it pinches, and Idon't want it.' I shouldn't think _that_ was very cheerful, I am sure."
Thus Dotty treasured up the lesson for the sake of her friend. It wasreally su
Now it happened that before the week was out a man came to Mr. Parlin'sback door begging. Dotty wondered if it might not be the same man MissPreston had mentioned, only he was in another suit of clothes. She andJennie were swinging, with Katie between them, and Susy and Prudy wereplaying croquet. They all ran to see what the man wanted. He was notragged, and if it had not been for the green shade over his eyes and thecrooked walking-stick in his hand, the children would not have thoughtof his being a beggar. He was a very fleshy man, and the walk seemed tohave taken away his breath.
"Little maidens," said he, in gentle tones, "have you anything to give apoor tired wayfarer?"
There was no answer, for the children did not know what to say. But theman seemed to know what to do; he seated himself on the door-step, andwiped his face with a cotton handkerchief. Little Katie, the girl withflying hair, who was sometimes called 'Flyaway,' looked at him withsurprise as he puffed at every breath.
"When um breeves," said she to Dotty, "seems's um _whissils_."
"Come here, little maiden," said the beggar, pointing to Dotty; "you arethe handsomest of all, and you may take this document of mine. It willtell you that I am a man of great sorrows."
Dotty, very much flattered, took the paper from his hands. It was greasyand crumpled, looking as if it had been lying beside bread and butter ina dirty pocket. She gave it to Susy, for she could not read it herself.It was written by one of the "selectmen" of a far-away town, and askedall kind people to take pity on the bearer, who was described as "a poorwoman with a family of children." Susy laughed, and pointed out the word"woman" to Prudy.
"Why do you smile, little ladies? Isn't it writ right? 'Twas writ by alawyer."
"I will carry it in to my grandmother," said Susy; and she entered thehouse, followed by all the children.
"Who knows but he's a _griller_?" said Jennie.
"Lem _me_ see paper," cried Katie, snatching at it, and holding it up toher left ear.
"O, dear!" sighed she, in a grieved tone; "it won't talk to me, Susy. Idon't hear nuffin 'tall."
"She's a cunning baby, so she is," said Dotty. "She s'poses writingtalks to people; she thinks that's the way they read it."
Grandmamma Parlin thought the man was probably an impostor. She wentherself and talked with him; but, when she came back, instead ofsearching the closets for old garments, as Dotty had expected, sheseated herself at her sewing, and did not offer to bestow a singlecopper on the beggar.
"Susy," said she, "he says he is hungry, and I cannot turn him awaywithout food. You may spread some bread and butter, with ham between theslices, and carry out to him."
"What makes her so cruel?" whispered Dotty.
"O, Grandma knows best," replied Prudy. "She never is cruel."
"What makes you put on so much butter?" said Jennie Vance; "I wouldn'tgive him a single thing but cold beans."
Dotty, whose Sunday school lesson was all the while ringing in her ears,looked at the judge's daughter severely.
"Would you pour cold beans into anybody's hands, Jennie Vance? Once mymamma gave some preserves to a beggar,--quince preserves,--she did."
Jennie only tossed her head.
"I'm going to give him some money," continued Dotty, defiantly; "just ascheerfully as ever I can."
"O, yes, because he called you the handsomest."
"No, Jennie Vance; because _I_ am not stingy."
"Um isn't stinchy," echoed Katie.
"I've got some Christmas money here. I earned it by picking pins off thefloor, six for a cent. It took a great while, Jennie, but _I_ wouldn'tbe selfish, like _some_ little girls."
"Now, little sister," said Prudy, taking Dotty one side, "don't giveyour money to this man. You'll be sorry by and by."
But there was a stubborn look in Dotty's eyes, and she marched off toher money-box as fast as she could go. When she returned with the piecesof scrip, which amounted in all to fifteen cents, the children weregrouped about the beggar, who sat upon the door-step, the plate ofsandwiches before him.
"Here's some money, sir, for your sick children," cried Dotty, with anair of importance.
"Blessings on your pretty face," replied the man, eagerly.
Dotty cast a triumphant glance at Jennie.
"Ahem! This is better than nothing," added the beggar, in a differenttone, after he had counted the money. "And now haven't any of the restof you little maidens something to give a poor old wayfarer that's beenin the wars and stove himself up for his country?"
There was no reply from any one of the little girls, even tender Prudy.And as Dotty saw her precious scrip swallowed up in that dreadfullydingy wallet, it suddenly occurred to her that she had not done such avery wise thing, after all.
"Why don't you eat your luncheon, sir?" said Jennie Vance; for the man,after taking up the slices of bread and looking at them had put themdown again with an air of disdain.
"I thought, by the looks of the house, that Christians lived here," saidhe, shaking his head slowly. "Haven't you a piece of apple pie, or a cupcustard, to give a poor man that's been in prison for you in the southcountry? Not so much as a cup of coffee or a slice of beefsteak? No. Isee how it is," he added, wiping his face and rising with an effort;"you are selfish, good-for-nothing creeters, the whole of you. Here I'vebeen wasting my time, and all I get for it is just dog's victuals, andenough scrip to light my pipe."
With this he began to walk off, puffing. Dotty longed to run after himand call out, "Please, sir, give me back my money." But it was too late;and summoning all her pride, she managed to crush down the tears.
"Tell the people in this house that I shake off the dust of my feetagainst them," wheezed the stranger, indignantly. "The dust of myfeet--do you hear?"
"What a wicked, disagreeable old thing!" murmured Jennie Vance.
"Dish-gwee-bly old fing!" cried "Flyaway," nodding her head till herhair danced like little tufts of corn-silk.
"I'm glad I didn't give him any of _my_ money," said Jennie, loftily.
"So am I," returned Susy.
Prudy said nothing.
"I didn't see him shake his feet," said Dotty, changing the subject;"and the dust wouldn't come off if he did shake 'em."
"Have you any more Christmas money left, Dotty," said Jennie, twirlingher gold ring on her finger.
"O, yes, ever so much at home. And I shall soon have more," added Dotty,with a great effort to be cheerful; "for people are always droppingpins."
"I've got any quantity of scrip," pursued Jennie; "and I don't have towork for it, either."
"O, dear," thought Dotty, "what's the use to be good? I 'sposed if Igave away my money _cheerfully_, they'd all feel ashamed of themselves;but they don't! I wish I had it back in my box, I do!"