The Golden Road
XIV. A Prodigal Returns
Aunt Olivia and the Story Girl lived in a whirlwind of dressmaking after that, and
enjoyed it hugely. Cecily and Felicity also had to have new dresses for the great
event, and they talked of little else for a fortnight. Cecily declared that she hated
to go to sleep because she was sure to dream that she was at Aunt Olivia's
wedding in her old faded gingham dress and a ragged apron.
"And no shoes or stockings," she added, "and I can't move, and everyone walks
past and looks at my feet."
"That's only in a dream," mourned Sara Ray, "but I may have to wear my last
summer's white dress to the wedding. It's too short, but ma says it's plenty good
for this summer. I'll be so mortified if I have to wear it."
"I'd rather not go at all than wear a dress that wasn't nice," said Felicity
"I'd go to the wedding if I had to go in my school dress," cried Sara Ray. "I've
never been to anything. I wouldn't miss it for the world."
"My Aunt Jane always said that if you were neat and tidy it didn't matter whether
you were dressed fine or not," said Peter.
"I'm sick and tired of hearing about your Aunt Jane," said Felicity crossly.
Peter looked grieved but held his peace. Felicity was very hard on him that
spring, but his loyalty never wavered. Everything she said or did was right in
"It's all very well to be neat and tidy," said Sara Ray, "but I like a little style too."
"I think you'll find your mother will get you a new dress after all," comforted
Cecily. "Anyway, nobody will notice you because everyone will be looking at the
bride. Aunt Olivia will make a lovely bride. Just think how sweet she'll look in a
white silk dress and a floating veil."
"She says she is going to have the ceremony performed out here in the orchard
under her own tree," said the Story Girl. "Won't that be romantic? It almost makes
me feel like getting married myself."
"What a way to talk," rebuked Felicity, "and you only fifteen."
"Lots of people have been married at fifteen," laughed the Story Girl. "Lady Jane
"But you are always saying that Valeria H. Montague's stories are silly and not
true to life, so that is no argument," retorted Felicity, who knew more about
cooking than about history, and evidently imagined that the Lady Jane Gray was
one of Valeria's titled heroines.
The wedding was a perennial source of conversation among us in those days;
but presently its interest palled for a time in the light of another quite tremendous