The Golden Road
XVIII. Sara Ray Helps Out
We all missed Aunt Olivia greatly; she had been so merry and companionable,
and had possessed such a knack of understanding small fry. But youth quickly
adapts itself to changed conditions; in a few weeks it seemed as if the Story Girl
had always been living at Uncle Alec's, and as if Uncle Roger had always had a
fat, jolly housekeeper with a double chin and little, twinkling blue eyes. I don't
think Aunt Janet ever quite got over missing Aunt Olivia, or looked upon Mrs.
Hawkins as anything but a necessary evil; but life resumed its even tenor on the
King farm, broken only by the ripples of excitement over the school concert and
letters from Aunt Olivia describing her trip through the land of Evangeline. We
incorporated the letters in Our Magazine under the heading "From Our Special
Correspondent" and were very proud of them.
At the end of June our school concert came off and was a great event in our
young lives. It was the first appearance of most of us on any platform, and some
of us were very nervous. We all had recitations, except Dan, who had refused
flatly to take any part and was consequently care-free.
"I'm sure I shall die when I find myself up on that platform, facing people," sighed
Sara Ray, as we talked the affair over in Uncle Stephen's Walk the night before
"I'm afraid I'll faint," was Cecily's more moderate foreboding.
"I'm not one single bit nervous," said Felicity complacently.
"I'm not nervous this time," said the Story Girl, "but the first time I recited I was."
"My Aunt Jane," remarked Peter, "used to say that an old teacher of hers told her
that when she was going to recite or speak in public she must just get it firmly
into her mind that it was only a lot of cabbage heads she had before her, and she
wouldn't be nervous."
"One mightn't be nervous, but I don't think there would be much inspiration in
reciting to cabbage heads," said the Story Girl decidedly. "I want to recite to
PEOPLE, and see them looking interested and thrilled."
"If I can only get through my piece without breaking down I don't care whether I
thrill people or not," said Sara Ray.
"I'm afraid I'll forget mine and get stuck," foreboded Felix. "Some of you fellows
be sure and prompt me if I do--and do it quick, so's I won't get worse rattled."
"I know one thing," said Cecily resolutely, "and that is, I'm going to curl my hair
for to-morrow night. I've never curled it since Peter almost died, but I simply must
tomorrow night, for all the other girls are going to have theirs in curls."
"The dew and heat will take all the curl out of yours and then you'll look like a
scarecrow," warned Felicity.
"No, I won't. I'm going to put my hair up in paper tonight and wet it with a curling-
fluid that Judy Pineau uses. Sara brought me up a bottle of it. Judy says it is