The Story Girl
The Shadow Feared Of Man
We were all up early the next morning, dressing by candlelight. But early as it was we
found the Story Girl in the kitchen when we went down, sitting on Rachel Ward's blue
chest and looking important.
"What do you think?" she exclaimed. "Peter has the measles! He was dreadfully sick all
night, and Uncle Roger had to go for the doctor. He was quite light-headed, and didn't
know any one. Of course he's far too sick to be taken home, so his mother has come up to
wait on him, and I'm to live over here until he is better."
This was mingled bitter and sweet. We were sorry to hear that Peter had the measles; but
it would be jolly to have the Story Girl living with us all the time. What orgies of story
telling we should have!
"I suppose we'll all have the measles now," grumbled Felicity. "And October is such an
inconvenient time for measles--there's so much to do."
"I don't believe any time is very convenient to have the measles," Cecily said.
"Oh, perhaps we won't have them," said the Story Girl cheerfully. "Peter caught them at
Markdale, the last time he was home, his mother says."
"I don't want to catch the measles from Peter," said Felicity decidedly. "Fancy catching
them from a hired boy!"
"Oh, Felicity, don't call Peter a hired boy when he's sick," protested Cecily.
During the next two days we were very busy--too busy to tell tales or listen to them. Only
in the frosty dusk did we have time to wander afar in realms of gold with the Story Girl.
She had recently been digging into a couple of old volumes of classic myths and
northland folklore which she had found in Aunt Olivia's attic; and for us, god and
goddess, laughing nymph and mocking satyr, norn and valkyrie, elf and troll, and "green
folk" generally, were real creatures once again, inhabiting the orchards and woods and
meadows around us, until it seemed as if the Golden Age had returned to earth.
Then, on the third day, the Story Girl came to us with a very white face. She had been
over to Uncle Roger's yard to hear the latest bulletin from the sick room. Hitherto they
had been of a non-committal nature; but now it was only too evident that she had bad
"Peter is very, very sick," she said miserably. "He has caught cold someway--and the
measles have struck in--and--and--" the Story Girl wrung her brown hands together--"the
doctor is afraid he--he--won't get better."