Rilla of Ingleside
III. Moonlit Mirth
Rilla, who still buttoned up her eyes when she went to sleep so that she always looked
as if she were laughing in her slumber, yawned, stretched, and smiled at Gertrude
Oliver. The latter had come over from Lowbridge the previous evening and had been
prevailed upon to remain for the dance at the Four Winds lighthouse the next night.
"The new day is knocking at the window. What will it bring us, I wonder."
Miss Oliver shivered a little. She never greeted the days with Rilla's enthusiasm. She
had lived long enough to know that a day may bring a terrible thing.
"I think the nicest thing about days is their unexpectedness," went on Rilla. "It's jolly to
wake up like this on a golden-fine morning and wonder what surprise packet the day will
hand you. I always day-dream for ten minutes before I get up, imagining the heaps of
splendid things that may happen before night."
"I hope something very unexpected will happen today," said Gertrude. "I hope the mail
will bring us news that war has been averted between Germany and France."
"Oh--yes," said Rilla vaguely. "It will be dreadful if it isn't, I suppose. But it won't really
matter much to us, will it? I think a war would e so exciting. The Boer war was, they say,
but I don't remember anything about it, of course. Miss Oliver, shall I wear my white
dress tonight or my new green one? The green one is by far the prettier, of course, but
I'm almost afraid to wear it to a shore dance for fear something will happen to it. And will
you do my hair the new way? None of the other girls in the Glen wear it yet and it will
make such a sensation."
"How did you induce your mother to let you go to the dance?"
"Oh, Walter coaxed her over. He knew I would be heart-broken if I didn't go. It's my first
really-truly grown-up party, Miss Oliver, and I've just lain awake at nights for a week
thinking it over. When I saw the sun shining this morning I wanted to whoop for joy. It
would be simply terrible if it rained tonight. I think I'll wear the green dress and risk it. I
want to look my nicest at my first party. Besides, it's an inch longer than my white one.
And I'll wear my silver slippers too. Mrs. Ford sent them to me last Christmas and I've
never had a chance to wear them yet. They're the dearest things. Oh, Miss Oliver, I do
hope some of the boys will ask me to dance. I shall die of mortification-- truly I will, if
nobody does and I have to sit stuck up against the wall all the evening. Of course Carl
and Jerry can't dance because they're the minister's sons, or else I could depend on
them to save me from utter disgrace."