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A Dear Little Girl's Summer Holidays Part 25

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"And were you disappointed?"

"Oh, I was indeed; but you haven't told me how you did get here."

"Ben brought us."

"Ben? Where is he?"

"Oh, he was around a little while ago, but I reckon he got tired of waiting and went off somewhere; he will be back after a while."

"But I don't understand yet. Where did you come across Ben?"

"In Boston at the Old North Church; he was going in just as we were going out, and he stayed with us the rest of the time and we all came on together; then when Mr. Ramsey found that Ben could come with us he said he thought he might as well stay in New York and attend to some business and let us come on. Ben was going to telephone, but it was just as well he didn't."

"It is all very clear now, and I can see that no one was to blame, for of course no one knew that we were going to meet you."

"But, oh, Mother, it is so good to have you again," said Edna, giving her mother another squeeze. "I haven't kissed sister half enough either." There was another season of hugging and kissing, and then all went upstairs that Edna might show her new doll and present the little gifts she had bought at the bazar. Then Ben came in and there were more explanations, and next the boys came rus.h.i.+ng upstairs to give boisterous bearlike hugs and to tell Edna she looked fine as silk, and so the hours went on till it was time for Mr. Conway to come and that gave a new excitement and questioning and explaining.

After all had been smoothed out Mr. Conway made the remark, "I saw Uncle Justus this afternoon. He came into the office to ask if Edna had arrived. He certainly is fond of the child."

Then Edna told of how Uncle Justus gave up the sailing party on her account and of how gentle and kind he was.

"Gee!" cried Charlie, "I should think you'd rather he would have gone."

For Uncle Justus had never shown the boys his gentler side and they stood in great awe of him, scuttling out of sight whenever they saw him coming.

Everyone smiled at Charlie's speech, but Edna said gravely, "I loved to have him stay. He took me in his lap and rocked me and we had a lovely time."

Charlie could scarcely believe this, but he said nothing and the talk went on to other things. Edna and Ben were the center of interest that evening, for when Edna was not telling something that went on at Ramsey's, Ben was relating some of his yachting experiences. He would leave for his own home the next day, but would return later to take up his studies at college, and, as last year, to spend the winter with his aunt and cousins.

It seemed warm and murky after the sharp fresh from the sea, and Edna, for all her excitement, was ready for bed early. Just as she was going upstairs the telephone rang, and Celia answered. "Someone for you, Edna," she said, and Edna went to the 'phone.

"Hallo, Edna," came Dorothy's familiar voice "I couldn't go to sleep without saying good-night to you. I thought I could but I couldn't. Are you all right?"

"Yes. Are you? Wasn't it funny that we didn't find anyone home when we got here. Why didn't you come over?"

"Why didn't you?" Then each heard a little giggle, for the same reason was in the mind of each.

"Well, good-night. I kind of miss you, Edna," came Dorothy's final words.

"And I kind of miss you. Good-night."

There was no sound of murmuring waves on the beach, no Jennie in the next room, and no Dorothy as bed-fellow, but instead there was the murmur of leaves making a pleasant song, there was Celia playing softly on the piano, and best of all there was mother very near; so Edna turned over with a sigh of content, glad that she was in her own home.

THE END.

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