The Story Girl
Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On
Peter took Dan and me aside one evening, as we were on our way to the orchard with our
dream books, saying significantly that he wanted our advice. Accordingly, we went round
to the spruce wood, where the girls would not see us to the rousing of their curiosity, and
then Peter told us of his dilemma.
"Last night I dreamed I was in church," he said. "I thought it was full of people, and I
walked up the aisle to your pew and set down, as unconcerned as a pig on ice. And then I
found that I hadn't a stitch of clothes on--NOT ONE BLESSED STITCH. Now"-- Peter
dropped his voice--"what is bothering me is this--would it be proper to tell a dream like
that before the girls?"
I was of the opinion that it would be rather questionable; but Dan vowed he didn't see
why. HE'D tell it quick as any other dream. There was nothing bad in it.
"But they're your own relations," said Peter. "They're no relation to me, and that makes a
difference. Besides, they're all such ladylike girls. I guess I'd better not risk it. I'm pretty
sure Aunt Jane wouldn't think it was proper to tell such a dream. And I don't want to
offend Fel--any of them."
So Peter never told that dream, nor did he write it down. Instead, I remember seeing in
his dream book, under the date of September fifteenth, an entry to this effect:--
"Last nite i dremed a drem. it wasent a polit drem so i won't rite it down."
The girls saw this entry but, to their credit be it told, they never tried to find out what the
"drem" was. As Peter said, they were "ladies" in the best and truest sense of that much
abused appellation. Full of fun and frolic and mischief they were, with all the defects of
their qualities and all the wayward faults of youth. But no indelicate thought or vulgar
word could have been shaped or uttered in their presence. Had any of us boys ever been
guilty of such, Cecily's pale face would have coloured with the blush of outraged purity,
Felicity's golden head would have lifted itself in the haughty indignation of insulted
womanhood, and the Story Girl's splendid eyes would have flashed with such anger and
scorn as would have shrivelled the very soul of the wretched culprit.
Dan was once guilty of swearing. Uncle Alec whipped him for it--the only time he ever
so punished any of his children. But it was because Cecily cried all night that Dan was
filled with saving remorse and repentance. He vowed next day to Cecily that he would
never swear again, and he kept his word.
All at once the Story Girl and Peter began to forge ahead in the matter of dreaming. Their
dreams suddenly became so lurid and dreadful and picturesque that it was hard for the
rest of us to believe that they were not painting the lily rather freely in their accounts of
them. But the Story Girl was the soul of honour; and Peter, early in life, had had his feet