The Story Girl
A Disobedient Brother
Dan was his own man again in the morning, though rather pale and weak; he wanted to
get up, but Cecily ordered him to stay in bed. Fortunately Felicity forgot to repeat the
command, so Dan did stay in bed. Cecily carried his meals to him, and read a Henty book
to him all her spare time. The Story Girl went up and told him wondrous tales; and Sara
Ray brought him a pudding she had made herself. Sara's intentions were good, but the
pudding-- well, Dan fed most of it to Paddy, who had curled himself up at the foot of the
bed, giving the world assurance of a cat by his mellifluous purring.
"Ain't he just a great old fellow?" said Dan. "He knows I'm kind of sick, just as well as a
human. He never pays no attention to me when I'm well."
Felix and Peter and I were required to help Uncle Roger in some carpentering work that
day, and Felicity indulged in one of the house-cleaning orgies so dear to her soul; so that
it was evening before we were all free to meet in the orchard and loll on the grasses of
Uncle Stephen's Walk. In August it was a place of shady sweetness, fragrant with the
odour of ripening apples, full of dear, delicate shadows. Through its openings we looked
afar to the blue rims of the hills and over green, old, tranquil fields, lying the sunset glow.
Overhead the lacing leaves made a green, murmurous roof. There was no such thing as
hurry in the world, while we lingered there and talked of "cabbages and kings." A tale of
the Story Girl's, wherein princes were thicker than blackberries, and queens as common
as buttercups, led to our discussion of kings. We wondered what it would be like to be a
king. Peter thought it would be fine, only kind of inconvenient, wearing a crown all the
"Oh, but they don't," said the Story Girl. "Maybe they used to once, but now they wear
hats. The crowns are just for special occasions. They look very much like other people, if
you can go by their photographs."
"I don't believe it would be much fun as a steady thing," said Cecily. "I'd like to SEE a
queen though. That is one thing I have against the Island--you never have a chance to see
things like that here."
"The Prince of Wales was in Charlottetown once," said Peter. "My Aunt Jane saw him
quite close by."
"That was before we were born, and such a thing won't happen again until after we're
dead," said Cecily, with very unusual pessimism.
"I think queens and kings were thicker long ago," said the Story Girl. "They do seem
dreadfully scarce now. There isn't one in this country anywhere. Perhaps I'll get a glimpse
of some when I go to Europe."