A Little Princess
"It Is the Child!"
The next afternoon three members of the Large Family sat in the Indian gentleman's
library, doing their best to cheer him up. They had been allowed to come in to perform
this office because he had specially invited them. He had been living in a state of
suspense for some time, and today he was waiting for a certain event very anxiously. This
event was the return of Mr. Carmichael from Moscow. His stay there had been prolonged
from week to week. On his first arrival there, he had not been able satisfactorily to trace
the family he had gone in search of. When he felt at last sure that he had found them and
had gone to their house, he had been told that they were absent on a journey. His efforts
to reach them had been unavailing, so he had decided to remain in Moscow until their
return. Mr. Carrisford sat in his reclining chair, and Janet sat on the floor beside him. He
was very fond of Janet. Nora had found a footstool, and Donald was astride the tiger's
head which ornamented the rug made of the animal's skin. It must be owned that he was
riding it rather violently.
"Don't chirrup so loud, Donald," Janet said. "When you come to cheer an ill person up
you don't cheer him up at the top of your voice. Perhaps cheering up is too loud, Mr.
Carrisford?" turning to the Indian gentleman.
But he only patted her shoulder.
"No, it isn't," he answered. "And it keeps me from thinking too much."
"I'm going to be quiet," Donald shouted. "We'll all be as quiet as mice."
"Mice don't make a noise like that," said Janet.
Donald made a bridle of his handkerchief and bounced up and down on the tiger's head.
"A whole lot of mice might," he said cheerfully. "A thousand mice might."
"I don't believe fifty thousand mice would," said Janet, severely; "and we have to be as
quiet as one mouse."
Mr. Carrisford laughed and patted her shoulder again.
"Papa won't be very long now," she said. "May we talk about the lost little girl?"
"I don't think I could talk much about anything else just now," the Indian gentleman
answered, knitting his forehead with a tired look.
"We like her so much," said Nora. "We call her the little un- fairy princess."
"Why?" the Indian gentleman inquired, because the fancies of the Large Family always
made him forget things a little.