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Little Men

9. Daisy's Ball
"Mrs. Shakespeare Smith would like to have Mr. John Brooke, Mr. Thomas
Bangs, and Mr. Nathaniel Blake to come to her ball at three o'clock today.
"P.S. Nat must bring his fiddle, so we can dance, and all the boys must be good,
or they cannot have any of the nice things we have cooked."
This elegant invitation would, I fear, have been declined, but for the hint given in
the last line of the postscript.
"They have been cooking lots of goodies, I smelt 'em. Let's go," said Tommy.
"We needn't stay after the feast, you know," added Demi.
"I never went to a ball. What do you have to do?" asked Nat.
"Oh, we just play be men, and sit round stiff and stupid like grown-up folks, and
dance to please the girls. Then we eat up everything, and come away as soon as
we can."
"I think I could do that," said Nat, after considering Tommy's description for a
minute.
"I'll write and say we'll come;" and Demi despatched the following gentlemanly
reply,
"We will all come. Please have lots to eat. J. B. Esquire."
Great was the anxiety of the ladies about their first ball, because if every thing
went well they intended to give a dinner-party to the chosen few.
"Aunt Jo likes to have the boys play with us, if they are not rough; so we must
make them like our balls, then they will do them good," said Daisy, with her
maternal air, as she set the table and surveyed the store of refreshments with an
anxious eye.
"Demi and Nat will be good, but Tommy will do something bad, I know he will,"
replied Nan, shaking her head over the little cake-basket which she was
arranging.
"Then I shall send him right home," said Daisy, with decision.
"People don't do so at parties, it isn't proper."
"I shall never ask him any more."
"That would do. He'd be sorry not to come to the dinner-ball, wouldn't he?"
"I guess he would! we'll have the splendidest things ever seen, won't we? Real
soup with a ladle and a tureem [she meant tureen] and a little bird for turkey, and
gravy, and all kinds of nice vegytubbles." Daisy never could say vegetables
properly, and had given up trying.
"It is 'most three, and we ought to dress," said Nan, who had arranged a fine
costume for the occasion, and was anxious to wear it.
"I am the mother, so I shan't dress up much," said Daisy, putting on a night-cap
ornamented with a red bow, one of her aunt's long skirts, and a shawl; a pair of
spectacles and large pocket handkerchief completed her toilette, making a
plump, rosy little matron of her.
Nan had a wreath of artificial flowers, a pair of old pink slippers, a yellow scarf, a
green muslin skirt, and a fan made of feathers from the duster; also, as a last
touch of elegance, a smelling-bottle without any smell in it.
 
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