• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Half Title
 A birthday surprise
 "Some days must be dark and...
 Ned's Christmas gift
 How Denise and Ned set up...
 Gentleman Ned's quarters
 Cooking, housekeeping, and...
 Farmer Sutton
 An inviting lane
 House-cleaning and mischief
 An epidemic of mischief
 Ned develops a taste for taffy
 Captain Hamilton's plan
 Patsy Murphy
 Birthday plans
 Pokey has a dream
 A nutting-party
 Pokey tries to study botany
 The "chapel"
 Anxious hours
 An hour of anguish
 Thanksgiving
 Pokey comes to spend Christmas
 Ned is put through his paces
 Stockings
 The star actor's farewell...
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Denise and Ned Toodles
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086677/00001
 Material Information
Title: Denise and Ned Toodles a true story
Physical Description: ix, 224 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Jackson, Gabrielle E ( Gabrielle Emilie ), b. 1861
Relyea, C. M ( Charles M. ), 1863-1932 ( Illustrator )
Century Company
De Vinne Press ( Printer )
Publisher: Century Co.
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: The De Vinne Press
Publication Date: 1898
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Horses -- Behavior -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Girls -- Behavior -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children and animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Human-animal relationships -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Mothers and daughters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fathers and daughters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Aunts -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Happiness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sharing -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Love -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Thanksgiving Day -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christmas -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Family stories -- 1898   ( local )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
Family stories   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Gabrielle E. Jackson ; with illustrations by C.M. Relyea.
General Note: Illustrated front cover and spine.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086677
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002232095
notis - ALH2485
oclc - 32937570

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
    Half Title
        Page ii
    Frontispiece
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
        Page v
    Dedication
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
    Half Title
        Page xi
        Page xii
    A birthday surprise
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    "Some days must be dark and dreary"
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Ned's Christmas gift
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    How Denise and Ned set up housekeeping
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Gentleman Ned's quarters
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Cooking, housekeeping, and "Pokey"
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    Farmer Sutton
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    An inviting lane
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    House-cleaning and mischief
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    An epidemic of mischief
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
    Ned develops a taste for taffy
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    Captain Hamilton's plan
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    Patsy Murphy
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    Birthday plans
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    Pokey has a dream
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
    A nutting-party
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
    Pokey tries to study botany
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    The "chapel"
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    Anxious hours
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
    An hour of anguish
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
    Thanksgiving
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
    Pokey comes to spend Christmas
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
    Ned is put through his paces
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    Stockings
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    The star actor's farewell appearance
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text












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The Baldwin Library
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DENISE
AND NED TOODLES


























L 7







THE NEW PONY.








DENISE

AND NED TOODLES



Et rue Storg



BY
GABRIELLE E. JACKSON


WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY
C. M. RELYEA


NEW YORK
THE CENTURY CO.
I898































Copyright, 1898,
By THE CENTURY Co.


























THE DEVINNE PRESS.


























TO MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS

fay anb %llItan

WHO HAVE PROVEN THEM-
SELVES VERY KIND AND GEN-
TLE CRITICS,THIS LITTLE TALE
IS MOST AFFECTIONATELY
INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR




















CONTENTS


CHAPTER PAGE
I A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE I
II "SOME DAYS MUST BE DARK AND DREARY" II
III NED'S CHRISTMAS GIFT 21
IV How DENISE AND NED SET UP HOUSE-
KEEPING. 27
V GENTLEMAN NED'S QUARTERS 34
VI COOKING, HOUSEKEEPING, AND "POKEY" 42
VII FARMER SUTTON 52
VIII AN INVITING LANE 64
IX HOUSE-CLEANING AND MISCHIEF 70
X AN EPIDEMIC OF MISCHIEF 8
XI NED DEVELOPS A TASTE FOR TAFFY 90
XII CAPTAIN HAMILTON'S PLAN 101
XIII PATSY MURPHY IO9
XIV BIRTHDAY PLANS 121
XV POKEY HAS A DREAM 130
XVI A NUTTING-PARTY 137
XVII POKEY TRIES TO STUDY BOTANY 148
XVIII THE "CHAPEL" 155
vii








viii CONTENTS
PAGE
XIX ANXIOUS HOURS. 166
XX AN HOUR OF ANGUISH 176
XXI THANKSGIVING 182
XXII POKEY COMES TO SPEND CHRISTMAS 192
XXIII NED IS PUT THROUGH HIS PACES 199
XXIV STOCKINGS 207
XXV THE STAR ACTOR'S FAREWELL APPEARANCE 217













LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

THE NEW PONY Frontispiece
PAGE
LAST OF ALL CAME THE GOOD-BY TO NED, AND
IT WAS MORE THAN DENISE COULD ENDURE 15
A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE HOUSE HAD BEEN BUILT
IN THE YARD 29
FUNNIEST OF ALL WERE THE DINNERS GIVEN TO
NED, TAN, AND THE DOGS 45
DENISE AND POKEY PETTED THE LITTLE LAMB 61
AFTER THE HOUSE WAS IN ORDER, THE DOLLS
HAD TO BE DRESSED 73
T*E PAN AND SPOONS WERE FLYING WILDLY OUT
INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD 93
PATSY 113
NED REACHED OUT AND GRABBED THE CANDY. 117
IT TOOK MANY DAYS AND MUCH PATIENCE BE-
FORE NED WAS PRONOUNCED PERFECT 127
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY IN THE WOODS 141
IN THE CHAPEL. 159
ANXIOUS HOURS 169
SLEIGHING ON THANKSGIVING DAY 185
THE THANKSGIVING PARTY 189
CHRISTMAS MORNING 209
THE TINY CUTTER SKIMMING OVER THE SMOOTH ICE 221




















DENISE AND NED TOODLES










DENJSEANDvEDTOODLES










CHAPTER I
A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

MANY years ago (so many that the writer's
little daughter, when told how many, asked:
"Mama, are you a hundred years old yet? ")
there lived in a pretty town on the banks of
the Hudson River, not many miles from New
York, a little girl named--well, we will call
her Denise. That was not her real name, but
some one who is very closely related to her
now bears it, and so we will give it to her.
She had neither brother nor sister, and was
sometimes a little bit lonely, even though she
i






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


had a number of pets, including dogs, kittens,
rabbits, birds, and a beautiful big goat named
"Tan" to drive about in a little carriage.
Tan loved her dearly, and, when not har-
nessed to his carriage, would follow her about
like her big Newfoundland dog, "Sailor."
No matter where Denise went, the goat "was
sure to go," until people used to laugh and
say, Here come Tan and Denise," instead
of "Denise and Tan."
The little girl loved her pets as dearly as
they loved her; but the dream and desire of
her life was to have a dear little pony to ride
and drive, and last but by no means least -
to love; her fondness for horses amounted to
a passion, and with them she was absolutely
fearless. They, in turn, seemed to love and
comprehend her to a wonderful degree, re-
sponding to her voice and submitting to her
caresses when they were often fractious and
quite unruly with others.
So it seemed a very gratifying ending to
the long-cherished wish, when, on her tenth
birthday, one bright October morning, her
father said to her:
Many happy returns of the day, my pet!
Run to Mama, and ask her to dress you for a






A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE


walk. I 've a surprise at the end of it for
both her and you."
"Another surprise!" exclaimed Denise.
"Why, I thought I 'd seen all the surprises
before breakfast!"
"No, dear; I 've another. It 's a little
thing, and if you don't like it you may tell it
to just run away, as you have no place for it."
"Now, what can it be?" thought Denise,
as she hurried up-stairs, and, bursting into
Mama's room, cried: Oh, Mama, dress me
quickly, please, for Papa has a walk at the
end of a surprise, and you 're not to know a
thing about it, either!"
Never were curls made tidy so quickly, or
clothes scrabbled on in such a hurry. Before
Papa had time to find hat, gloves, or cane, a
very excited little girl stood before him cry-
ing: If you don't start quickly, I just know
my head will fly off--like a bottle of soda-
water that 's all fizz!"
About thirty minutes' walk along the shore
of the beautiful river, whose waters seemed to
dance and sparkle in sympathy with Denise
as she pranced and skipped along, brought
them to the village, where Papa turned down
a side street which led to a livery- and board-






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


ing-stable. Denise's heart began to beat so
loudly that she felt sure it could be heard,
and her brown eyes to sparkle as though
some one had dropped a little diamond into
each.
"Oh, me!" she whispered to herself. "I
just know it 's a new carriage and set of har-
ness for Tan! Papa has asked Mr. Andrews
to get it for me because he heard me say that
the old ones were getting very shabby for
such a handsome goat."
Tan, by the way, was an unusually large
specimen of his kind, measuring quite thirty-
two inches at the shoulders, and boasting a
head and pair of horns that were the admira-
tion of all who saw them. He was named
Tan because of the color of his hair, which
was a bright tan, and shone like satin when
well brushed by John, the coachman. So the
prospect of a new harness and carriage for
Tan was quite enough to set Denise's heart
dancing.
At last the stable was reached, and the
first thing her eyes fell upon was a beautiful
little phaeton with bright yellow wheels, and
a shining top that could be raised and low-
ered, "just like big folks'."






A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE


In the bottom, for her feet to rest upon,
was a little yellow Angora-wool rug, to match
the color of the wheels. On the seat was a
soft, white wool blanket, bound with yellow
silk, and in one corner was fastened a big
blanket-pin that was certainly intended to
pin that blanket snugly around something's
throat. Over the shining dash-board was
folded a handsome fur robe, made of a leop-
ard's skin, and trimmed all round the edges
with wildcat's fur.
The leopard's head looked very fierce, as it
stared at Denise with big glass eyes; but I
hardly think that a live leopard would have
made much impression on her, so speechless
and dumb had this fascinating sight turned
her.
But when she went closer, and took out the
exquisite little whip which stood in the whip-
socket, and read her own initials on the gold
band which held the dainty ivory handle to
the snakewood stick, her joy began to pour
forth in a torrent of words which quite
drowned the remark of.old John, who stood
by, enjoying it all as though the whole thing
had been planned for one of his own little
Johns at home.






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


Whisht, darlint! while I roon and fitch up
the little hoorse that fits insidee" said he, as
he disappeared through a side door.
Presently Denise's ears heard a patter,
patter patter, patter! Looking behind her,
she beheld the dearest, darlingest little pony
that any one ever saw!
He was black as a crow from the tip of
his saucy little nose to the end of the long
silky tail that dragged on the ground behind
him, except one little white moon just back
of his right eye, which seemed to have been
put there on purpose to kiss, it was so soft
and round.
For a moment Denise did not move or
speak, and then, with a cry of delight which
amply repaid her father for his long weeks of
searching and planning for this perfect little
turnout, she flung her arms around the pony's
neck and laughed and cried and kissed him
until the poor little fellow was quite bewil-
dered, and did not know whether his new
mistress was one to be desired or avoided.
Presently, however, he decided that it was
all right, and, with a little neigh, he thrust
his soft nose into her hands, pressed his
face close to hers, searched her pockets for






A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE 7

sugar, and tried to say as plainly as a horse
could:
"This is my new little mistress, and as she
seems to love me already, I 'm going to show
her how much I can love her."
Then John produced the harness that fitted
the "little hoorse" which "fitted insidee" and
before many minutes the new pony was har-
nessed to the phaeton that had been made to
his measure.
No words can express the rapture of that
drive. To hold the pretty reins and feel the
prompt response given by the well-trained
little animal; to watch his pranks and antics
as he dashed along, apparently trying to show
how graceful he could be in order to con-
vince his new mistress that he left nothing
to be desired it really seemed too good to
be true, and Denise feared that it might all
be a dream from which she would waken and
find that pony and all had vanished!
The little feet fairly flew over the ground,
and the drive home was quite the shortest
she had ever known.
Mama stood on the piazza, watching for
the surprise to come; and when she saw the
handsome pony and the carriage with her






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


husband and her own little daughter sitting
in it come dashing up the driveway, she was
as much pleased as mothers usually are when
they know that their little girls' dearest wishes
are realized.
The entire household had to be summoned
to see and admire this pony, which was surely
more wonderful than any pony that had ever
lived; and the charming little fellow was
talked to and caressed and petted and fed
with apples and sugar until he was in a very
fair way to be made ill.
"And now," said Denise, "what shall we
name him, Mama?"
"You must name him yourself, darling,"
answered Mama, "for he is all your very
own, to love and care for."
"Well," said Denise, in a tone which set-
tled the matter beyond all question, "I 'm
going to call him 'Ned Toodles'; 'Ned'
because he is as black as old darky Ned
who comes for the ashes, and 'Toodles' be-
cause he is so little and round and roly-
poly."
So "Ned Toodles" was the name given to
the dear little pony, who thenceforth figured
very conspicuously in the life and pranks of






A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE


his mistress, and now and again caused many
a twinge of jealousy among the other pets.
At last Denise was persuaded to let Ned
be led away to his new quarters, John ex-
claiming, as he marched off with his small
charge in tow: "Faith! however am I to clane
sooch a shcrap of a thing as this? I '11 have
to be hoontin' up a big box to stand him
on!"
And, sure enough, that was exactly what
he had to do, and it took but a short time for
the intelligent little animal to learn just what
the box was for; as soon as his stall was
opened, he would march out, get upon the
box, stand very still while he was curried,
and then lift first one dainty little foot and
then each of the others to have it properly
cleaned and washed.
Nothing gave John greater satisfaction
than to brush the beautiful coat until it shone
like moleskin, and to comb the silky mane
and tail until each particular hair seemed to
stand out for very pride.
Ned soon grew to love his little mistress
very dearly, and to answer with a loud neigh
the queer, piping whistle by which she always
called to him.






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


No pen can describe the delightful drives
of the charming autumn days. Jack Frost
seemed particularly gracious that year, and
painted the trees more gorgeously than ever
before. At least, it seemed so to Denise;
but perhaps seeing it all from her own little
carriage as she drove along in the golden
sunshine, singing to Ned a certain little song
of which he never seemed to tire, gave an
added charm to everything.
This song was all about a "poor little
robin," whose name was "Toodle-de-too";
and Ned seemed to think that it had been
composed especially for him, and would in-
variably go very slowly as soon as Denise
began to sing it, and would turn back one
ear, as though to hear it better.
When the song was ended he would give
a funny little jump of approval, and then trot
on again.
And so the happy autumn days sped by,
and the longer she owned him the more cer-
tain little Denise felt that there never had
been so happy an introduction before as that
which made her acquainted with her saga-
cious, affectionate pony, Ned Toodles.













CHAPTER II


"SOME DAYS MUST BE DARK AND DREARY

HE days slipped quickly by. Each
crisp, frosty morning Denise drove
Papa to the station, and each even-
ing went to fetch him home. At first Ned
did not know what to make of the big iron
horse that came snorting and panting into
the depot, and was strongly tempted to jump
and run. But Denise was too good a horse-
woman to permit such pranks, and it was
not long before she quieted his fears, and in
a short time he was ready to follow her right
up to the engine and touch it with his nose
wherever she laid her hand upon it, let it
pant and puff as hard as it could.
The engineer seemed to consider it a good
joke, and often came down out of his cab to
speak to Denise and stroke little Ned's soft
nose.
Many years have passed, but the engineer
IX






12 DENISE AND NED TOODLES


is still at his post, running engine 274, and
never fails to have a kind word and smile for
the little Denise who now skips and dances
beside the one whose pony he used to pet
and helped to teach that locomotives were
not going to run off their tracks just to chase
small horses.
The confidence Ned grew to feel in his
little mistress was wonderful to witness, and
there was simply nothing she could not do
with him, or induce him to do for her. Each
morning brought its lessons with her gov-
erness, Miss Meredith, and from nine until
twelve o'clock Master Ned had to amuse
himself by watching John or the big horses,
and telling his adventures to them in horse
language.
He was very happy in his new home, and
surely never was pony more beloved and
petted.
So we cannot wonder that Denise felt as
though her heart must break when, one even-
ing in November, Papa said that it would be
necessary for them to go to town for two or
three months, and the house would have to
be closed and left in the charge of the ser-
vants.






"SOME DAYS MUST BE DARK AND DREARY" 13

"But, Papa," said Denise, "surely you will
not leave Ned behind ? "
"I fear we must, little daughter," was the
reply. "We shall have no place in town to
keep him; and even had we, I should not
like my little girl to drive through the city
streets, and we shall not be near the park."
Denise was not a model child, and did not
possess a submissive spirit by any means;
but she had been taught one thing, and
taught thoroughly, and it was that teasing
is selfish and inconsiderate, especially when
once a wise reason has been given.
The reason was always forthcoming, and
she was encouraged to look upon a question
from all sides, and consequently many a
wretched hour and trying scene were spared.
So now she struggled against the tears
which would well up in spite of her bravest
efforts, and said:
"Please, Papa, may I come sometimes to
see him and the other children?" For her
pets seemed like children to her, which must
be loved and taught as she herself was by
Papa and Mama, whom she considered the
very wisest and best that had ever lived.
Darling, let me tell you something," said





14 DENISE AND NED TOODLES


Papa, drawing her to him and holding her
close. I do not wish to promise something
I may be unable to fulfil, and so I '11 tell you at
once that it is very improbable that you will
get out to see 'the children' before our return
in March. But I want my little girl to try to
be patient, as the months will soon slip away
and I hardly think she will regret it in the
end. Ned will be well cared for during your
absence, for John is very fond of his small
charge, and will never forget his morning
lump of sugar, nor the tidbits for the other
pets."
All too soon came the morning when all
was ready for the short journey to the city.
It was a gloomy, showery morning, as though
the weather was in sympathy with Denise
and was glad to feel dismal too.
The pets were all visited for the last time.
The rabbits had their parsley, the kittens
their saucer of milk, Sailor a bone saved from
breakfast, and Tan his carrot.
The four birds and Beauty Buttons"-
the little black-and-tan terrier were to ac-
company the family to town, so only Ned
and the big horses remained to be bidden
farewell.
















i' i



I'I-


/iF';


a. ~N. a


"LAST OF ALL


CAME THE GOOD-BY TO NED, AND IT WAS MORE
THAN DENISE COULD ENDURE."






"SOME DAYS MUST BE DARK AND DREARY" 17

Into the great box-stalls went Denise with
her sugar, for the little girl was perfectly fear-
less, and knew that the horses loved her too
dearly to harm her in any way.
Their big, silky heads were thrust down
beside her face, and the great, intelligent eyes
looked at her as though trying to express
their love and good-by in a language we
can soon understand if we are fond of the
beautiful dumb creatures.
Good-by, 'Sunshine,'" said Denise, hold-
ing the warm muzzle close to her face. "Be
a good horse and don't forget me."
Then going into the adjoining stall, she
laid her face against "Flash's" silky neck,
and the great beast, although well meriting
his name, was as quiet as a lamb.
Good-by, dear old horse. I '11 come back
just the very minute I can, and give you and
Sunshine such lots of sugar to pay up for all
you 'll miss while I 'm gone."
Last of all came the good-by to Ned, and
it was more than Denise could endure; so
putting her arms around the soft, warm neck,
she hid her face in the shaggy mane and
sobbed as hard as she could sob.
Oh, Ned, Ned, Ned how am I ever to get






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


on without you?" she cried. And the little
fellow seemed to realize that something was
very, very wrong, for he laid his head on her
shoulder and gave a soft, subdued little
whinny, very unlike those he usually gave
his little mistress, as though he was trying to
comfort her.
It was a comfort, for after a time the bitter
sobs ceased, and Denise kissed him again
and again, and at last left him to good John,
who was much affected by the pathetic little
scene, and vowed a mighty vow in his kind
Irish heart that "thot small hoorse should
be after havin' the best attention John
Noonan could give him."
When Denise joined her father and mother,
the traces of tears told them how hard the
parting had been for their little girl.
"Poor little thing," whispered Mama; "I
really believe she has suffered as keenly as
you or I would, were we called upon to part
with a dear friend, for Ned has become a part
of her very existence."
"Well," answered Papa, "if it is within my
power, I shall make it up to her in some way,
for she has yielded without a murmur and
made her sacrifice very bravely, dear little






"SOME DAYS MUST BE DARK AND DREARY" 19

body! But I have a plan in my head, which,
with a little help from you, dear, I think, will
make her return home such a happy one that
she will never regret having been so con-
siderate of us."
Presently all were on the train speeding
toward New York; and as they flew along,
going farther and farther from the beloved
pony, Papa and Mama talked over the plan
in a tone too low for Denise to guess that she
was the subject of the conversation, or ever
to dream of the wonderful plan which was
being turned about for her happiness.
So her little moan was made; and at the
end of a few hours she found herself estab-
lished in a big hotel in the city, with enough
noise and bustle all about her to keep both
eyes and ears busy, and help her forget for a
time a pert little head and pair of soft brown
eyes far away up the river.
But only for a short time; for often during
the three months in town she felt as though
she must run away for one hug and one kiss
on the tiny white moon beside Ned Toodles's
right eye.
Good reports, however, came from John,
for the faithful creature nearly paralyzed his






20 DENISE AND NED TOODLES

fingers in his endeavors to keep Denise well
informed; and before she realized it Decem-
ber had nearly passed, and Christmas, with
its innumerable pleasures, surprises, and what
not, was at hand; and Christmas to Denise
usually meant a great deal, and brought with
it enough to keep eyes, ears, and hands busy
for several months.
This year was to be no exception, for Ned
must figure in all the plans, and how he fared
must be told in another chapter.












CHAPTER III


NED'S CHRISTMAS GIFT

AMA," said Denise, one morning,
shortly before Christmas, "what
can I get for Ned's Christmas pres-
ent? He does n't need a new blanket, or
anything of that sort, so what shall it be ?"
"Surely he must have something, and who
shall say what?" answered Mama, who usu-
ally entered heart and hand into her little
girl's plans.
"Seems to me he has just everything now,
and I can't think of a single thing for him,"
said Denise, in despair.
"Suppose we ask Papa to help us answer
so weighty a question," suggested her mother.
"Just the thing !" cried Denise; and when
Papa arrived the problem was given to him
to solve.
"Something for Ned? Have n't you for-
gotten that little black scamp?" said he,
pinching Denise's cheek.
21






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


"Forgotten Ned! As though I could for-
get him for one half-minute!" exclaimed Ned's
mistress, indignantly.
"And he must have something, must he?
Why not send him a little stick and have it
fastened up in his stall to act as a hint for
good behavior ?"
"You 're not to tease me another bit, but
just sit down in that chair, so"-pushing
him into the easy-chair "and let me crawl
into your lap, so curling herself into a lit-
tle round ball like a kitten-"and think as
hard as ever you can think."
"'A horse! a horse! My kingdom for a
horse '-a very little one !" said Papa, laugh-
ing. "That ever I should have to sit down
and think seriously of what I should give a
horse for his Christmas, you small tyrant!
Well, there, suppose we take a walk to-
morrow A. M. to a store I happen to know of,
and we will see what can be found."
"I just believe you 've ordered something
already," said Denise, "and have talked all
this nonsense to make me believe you had n't
thought a thing of it."
"You do 'muchee thinkee,' as Sam Sing
said to me a few days since, when I asked
him how he managed to keep track of all his






NED'S CHRISTMAS GIFT 23

laundry work. That little head of yours
should n't be able to 'muchee think' at
Christmas-tide, don't you know that?" was
her father's answer.
Bright and early the next morning the
trio started out, Papa leading the way to a
big harness-store on Broadway, which he
entered as though he were no stranger to the
place.
How is my order coming on, Mr. Lenox ?"
was the first question put.
"Finely, sir; what do you think of it? "
said the salesman, bringing from a case a
beautiful little side-saddle, bridle, and whip.
Denise clapped her hands and exclaimed,
"I knew it! I knew it!" but whether she
meant the saddle or whip was not explained.
"Is this the young lady who is to mount
this saddle?" asked Mr.. Lenox. "Suppose
we try how it sits, little miss"; and he placed
it upon a small wooden horse standing at
hand. After adjusting everything properly,
he lifted Denise to her seat and placed the
reins and whip in her hands.
"Oh, if it were only Ned Toodles!" said
she. "It would be simply perfect! Do you
think it will fit, Papa ?"
"I should n't wonder if it did, for Ned sent






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


me his waist measure and told me he pre-
ferred gray castor to brown for the seat."
"I 'm going to write to John the very min-
ute I get home, and ask him to tell Ned all
about it. He'll understand and be delighted,
I know," said Denise, half beside herself with
pleasure.
But, as often happens, one acquisition ne-
cessitates number two, and it was soon dis-
covered that a saddle and bridle without a
habit were very like a cart without a horse;
and the next question to be answered was,
What shall the habit be ?
"That," said Papa, "is not in my line, and
I '11 leave it to Mama and you."
"Then my suggestion," said Mama, when
the question was submitted, "would be a
brown habit, brown hat, and brown gloves to
match brown eyes and brown hair. What
do you say to it?"
So, brown it was; and in due time all was
completed, and it was only necessary for
spring to come in order to try the effect of
saddle, bridle, habit, and all.
Christmas morning dawned bright and
frosty, and "Merry Christmas!" "Merry
Christmas!" sounded back and forth from
Denise's room and Papa's and Mama's; for






NED'S CHRISTMAS GIFT


sleep was quite out of the question, when a
big tree with plenty of pretty things on it,
and bundles galore lying beneath, stood just
beyond a closed door in Mama's sitting-room.
So instead of forty extra winks for a holiday
it was many less, and the dressing was done
in short order.
Denise could scarcely swallow her break-
fast, so eager was she to see the gifts. And
well she might be, for few little girls were
more generously remembered than this for-
tunate little one whose true story I am telling
you. But at last the breakfast was disposed
of, and to Denise it seemed as though Papa
had never eaten so heartily or so slowly.
But all things come to an end, and in time
Papa's appetite was appeased, and he was
ready to distribute the pretties.
First, a wonderful dolly with a wardrobe
which might have served as a model for any
society belle, and a perfect little trunk in
which to keep the charming toilets. This
was Papa's gift. From Mama came the
entire set of Miss Alcott's stories, prettily
bound, and ready for Denise's little library
at home. Aunt Helen sent a bedroom set
for the young lady doll, consisting of bureau,
bed, wash-stand, table, and chairs, and also a






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


dear little sideboard for the dishes at home.
Then, too, there were games and all sorts of
pretty remembrances from friends far away
who never forgot her, no matter how great
the distance that separated them.
Of course the dolly had to be named, and
Denise usually managed to think out some
name befitting the recipient. In this case it
happened to be Rosamund Marie Lombard -
and all agreed that it suited the young lady
admirably. Every costume had to be tried
on and admired and criticized by the assem-
bled family. But after many trials the lav-
ender satin ball dress was pronounced the
"loveliest," and the young lady wore it the
entire day, to the great distress of the other
dolls, who felt decidedly cast into the shade
by her splendor.
It was no wonder that, with so much to
read and play with, the days after Christmas
slipped away so quickly that February crept
upon them before Denise could realize it.
Soon there were only weeks, then only days
to be counted before it would be time to pack
the trunks for the homeward journey. These,
too, soon slipped by, and the grand day itself
arrived.













CHAPTER IV


HOW DENISE AND NED SET UP HOUSEKEEPING

N the way home Denise felt as if she
must shout and sing for very joy.
It was simply a physical impossi-
bility to keep still, when the prospect of
meeting Ned Toodles was so near at hand;
and her fellow-travelers smiled from sheer
sympathy when they caught sight of her
happy face and heard the incessant chatter of
the excited little maid.
As the train drew into the station, Denise's
eyes swept the driveway at one glance.
Oh, I see him I see him she shouted;
John has brought him to meet me and she
almost plunged headlong upon the platform.
Sure enough, there was little Mr. Ned, as
perky as ever, with both ears pointing for-
ward to hear her voice, which he at once
recognized and answered with a loud and
joyous neigh.






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


Such a happy meeting It was difficult to
tell which was the happier, Denise or Ned,
for he whinnied and snorted and hoo-hooed,"
and made all sorts of remarkable sounds. He
put his head first on one and then on the
other side of Denise's face. He turned it so
that the little white moon could be kissed, for,
though probably quite unaware that any little
white moon was there at all, he still remem-
bered that it was just there she most often
kissed him, and he wished her to know that he
had not forgotten it. It was plain that he wished
her to know that he had not forgotten her.
Denise, my darling," said Mama at last,
"won't you please get into the phaeton and
drive home, or I fear there will be no Ned left
to carry you."
Little did Denise dream of what had hap-
pened during her absence, or what a delight-
ful surprise awaited her at the end of the
drive.
The first thing that caught Denise's eye as
she drove into their own pretty grounds was
a beautiful little house that had been built in
the yard near the stable. A pretty little
French-roofed affair it was, with a window on
every side, both up-stairs and down, and two











*I 4


31--w-
4- -
4~. K>-


"A BEAU'TI'I" L" iLL i'


I.


r







DENISE AND NED SET UP HOUSEKEEPING 31

doors, one of which looked very like the front
door of a house, and the other decidedly like
a stable door.
"Now, whatever can that be?" thought
she. "Surely it can't be for John and his
family, for it is n't big enough for them.
Why have they built that funny little house
in our grounds ?"
Meanwhile her father and mother had left
their carriage and had walked over to this
remarkable house; so Denise drove over to
them, for a branch road from the main drive-
way led most invitingly to it. On the door
was a little brass plate, and upon it was
engraved:


MISS DENISE LOMBARD
AND
MR. NED TOODLES.


Papa," exclaimed Denise, you 've had a
play-house built for Ned and me! Oh! oh!
oh! was ever anything so sweet?" and she
spun around in a perfect ecstasy.
"May we walk into your parlor?" asked







32 DENISE AND NED TOODLES


Mama. Here 's the key." Denise took it
as if it were something that might vanish if
roughly handled, and opened the door.
She stood transfixed upon the threshold,
too astounded to go farther. The front door
opened into a little room fitted up like a din-
ing-room. On the hard-wood floor lay a
pretty rug, upon which stood the dolls' ex-
tension-table, with table-cloth and dishes all
laid for dinner. In one corner stood Aunt
Helen's present, the little sideboard, which
had been sent on with the other luggage a
few days before.
Two chairs stood beside it--chairs that
had never been made for big people, al-
though quite strong enough to hold them,
if necessary.
A door from this room led to another just
beyond, which was evidently the kitchen, for
there stood the little cooking-stove, and in it
crackled and snapped a fire of charcoal, while
a little coal-hod stood beside it, filled with
fuel, so as to keep the tiny stove always well
supplied.
Poker, shovel, and holder were handy by,
on the hooks; and upon shelves stood all the
things needed in a complete kitchen. The






DENISE AND NED SET UP HOUSEKEEPING 33

table stood waiting to be used, and even the
tiny kitchen-apron was not forgotten.
As soon as she could move, Denise rushed
from one thing to another, nearly beside her-
self with excitement, while the authors of this
charming plan stood reaping their reward for
all the thought and care spent upon the hap-
piness of their little girl.
"You precious, precious Moddie!" cried
Denise, throwing her arms about her mother's
neck; "you did all this for me, and I don't
know how I 'm ever to thank you hard
enough!"
"But, darling," said Mama, as she un-
wound the little arms, "it was not I alone.
You must let dear Papa and Miss Alcott
share the thanks, for it took all three to
bring about this pleasure for you. Papa
thought of one part, I another; and when we
read 'Little Men' this winter, Aunt Jo's
kitchen for Daisy and Nan suggested this
one for you. And I want my little girl to
use hers as carefully and wisely as they used
theirs, and to become as skilful a little cook.
And Ned Toodles is to be your company, for
he is close by. Now, dear, open this door,
and find out to what it leads."













CHAPTER V


GENTLEMAN NED'S QUARTERS

ENISE crossed the kitchen, and
opening the door, found herself in
a complete miniature stable. Be-
fore her stood the phaeton, and also a new
wagon of the sort called a "depot-wagon."
It had two seats, and was certainly built for
service. Just beyond was a big closet with
a glass door, through which could be seen
the harness, the blankets, and a shining new
collar to be used with the depot-wagon.
There, too, hung the saddle and bridle,
and a dozen other things necessary for a
well-bred and self-respecting pony. At the
farther side of the room were two dainty
box-stalls-one, with two wooden bars across,
for a day-stall; the other with a door bal-
anced by heavy weights so that it would
raise and lower like a window-sash. The
bars on the day-stall were held in place by
34






GENTLEMAN NED'S QUARTERS


wooden pegs, which fact led to serious mis-
chief a few months later.
The weights that balanced the door of the
night-stall hung down on the inside, and the
door was as easily raised and lowered as a
well-hung window. Directly in the center a
hole had been cut in which to place the hand
to raise the door; and peeping through that
hole Denise saw a big brown eye, while
through the door came the unspellable sound
horses make when they welcome you-
" Hoo-hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo-hoo!" It meant,
as plainly as words could have said it, "I
want to come out, for I don't belong in this
stall in the daytime."
While Denise had been admiring her play-
house, John had unharnessed Ned and
tucked him safely away; for he was more
than anxious that all should be in proper
shape to receive the little mistress's first
visit.
Hush !" whispered Denise. Let's make
believe we don't hear him."
Presently a great bang, banging began;
for, failing to attract his share of attention
by snorting, Ned decided to resort to more
active measures, and set about slamming the






36 DENISE AND NED TOODLES


weights against the side of his stall by poking
them with his saucy little nose.
"Mercy me !" exclaimed Denise. He
will bang the door down! and she flew to
open it.
Out walked the young scamp, as serenely
as though slamming weights about had never
entered his head.
Stopping for a moment to take a good look
at his guests, he decided that they were his
friends, that this was his own domicile, and
that the bin of oats was his own property.
Walking over to it, he proceeded to get at
the contents by calmly raising the lid with
his teeth, and then prepared to eat his fill.
"Well," said Papa, "you are a young fel-
low of resources. When did you learn that
trick ?"
"Faith," said John, "he '11 just be after
doin' that iviry chance he gets; and he niver
has to learn anything. He knows it alriddy."
"Well, we can't have him up to such
pranks, or he will eat till he kills himself.
John, you must put a fastening on this bin.
And you," he added, as he dragged Ned away
by his forelock, "just toddle back to your
stall! "






GENTLEMAN NED'S QUARTERS


But Master Ned had no notion of being
shut up in his stall again, and with a saucy
shake of his head, and funny little jumps, he
went straight over to the barrel of soft feed
which stood beside the pail of water, and
lifting off the lid, plunged his nose into the
meal, which flew in all directions.
I declare, he is worse than a monkey!"
cried Papa, as he made a second dive for the
marauder. But Denise caught his hand and,
between her shouts of laughter, begged her
father to let Ned be, and see what next would
happen. What Ned did was to poke and push
the barrel until he had tilted it over toward
the pail of water, when a lot of the meal ran
into the pail. This he proceeded to swish
about till he had a most delectable mess, and
he was daubed with meal from his nose to his
ear-tips.
It was funny beyond words to watch the
sagacious little pony, for he seemed to reason
out exactly how a thing should be done, and
then do it.
When at last he was safely bestowed in
his day-stall, he promptly turned his back
upon his visitors, and acted as if he would
have nothing further to say to them.






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


"John," said Papa, as they were about to
leave the stable, "I think you had better have
combination locks put on everything, and
then we shall be safe at least, till Ned
Toodles learns the combination."
Returning to the play-house, they mounted
the pretty staircase that led up aloft, and
came to a little bedroom with all Denise's
furniture and dollies. Off this was a small
room in which were placed her various toys
and treasures. A partition divided this from
the "up-stairs" which belonged to Ned's side;
and Denise said it was a mercy that he had
not learned to climb steps during their ab-
sence, or he would dispose of the provisions
stowed away for him here.
"Am I really to play here, and have it all
for my very own?" asked Denise, as if it
were too delightful to be true, and must hold
some conditions to make it really, truly hers.
"It is really your very own, my pet," said
Papa; "Play here all you like, and make your
patty-cakes or putty-cakes, or whatever you
call them. Mama and I have done this to
thank you for doing so much for us."
Why, what have I done ?" asked Denise
in surprise.






GENTLEMAN NED'S QUARTERS


You have always given us both that which
we would rather receive than all the costly
gifts you could find cheerful obedience. It
was hard to leave the new pet last fall, we
know, and we were both grieved to compel
you to do so; but you did so without a mur-
mur, and we chose this way to prove how much
we appreciated it."
Denise's eyes filled with tears, and she
clung tightly to the dear ones whom she
loved so tenderly, feeling that her reward
was more than she merited.
But the sunshine soon came back, and was
all the brighter for the tender little shower.
So there was the complete little play-house,
and next door was the tiny stable which held
the dearest little playfellow one could desire.
Of course the other pets had to be visited
before Denise could tear herself away long
enough to go into the big house to lay aside
her belongings.
All were happy to welcome her home, and
each showed joy in its own peculiar manner.
Tan, the goat, bleated and licked her hand.
Sailor, the Newfoundland, threatened to up-
set her at every step. by rubbing against her
and getting under her feet. The pussies






40 DENISE AND NED TOODLES
purred and mewed and jumped into her lap
and on her shoulder. Even the bunnies
seemed to realize that their little mistress had
come home, and all came hurrying up to the
fence when she called to them, their ears flap-
ping and noses wriggling in bunny fashion.
John had to answer at least fifty questions
regarding the condition and behavior of the
family, and was never weary of extolling their
exemplary conduct especially Ned's; for
Toodles, he declared, was "the best and
jolliest little baste he iver had the curryin' of."
W'u'd ye belave it?--he l'arnt how to turn
on the wather-spigot when the hose-poipe is
on; and may I be bate if he don't take the
ind of the poipe in his mouth and dhrink like
a sojer! Come now till ye see him"; and
he led the way into the stable.
After fastening on the short hose-pipe, he
let it lie on the floor, and then went over to
Ned's stall and took down the bars. Out
came the small atom of horse-flesh, and walk-
ing over to the hydrant, turned the little
handle that started the water running. When
it came flowing out at the end of the hose
he deliberately picked up the spout with his
teeth, and sucked away till he had all he






GENTLEMAN NED'S QUARTERS 41

wanted, when he let the hose fall, and marched
back to his stall. Shouts of laughter from all
greeted this performance, and Ned seemed
quite gratified.
At last the excitement subsided, and all
went indoors. Papa said he believed the
arrival of a circus could not have caused a
greater commotion; and certainly no circus
could have had a pony who could learn more
cleverly than little Mr. Ned, although his
training had but just begun, as later events
and association with his bright and original
little mistress proved.













CHAPTER VI


COOKING, HOUSEKEEPING, AND POKEY"

OW am I ever to tell all that took
place that spring? I don't believe
I can remember one half; and if I
could, I doubt whether the lads and lassies
who read this would think it true. But they
must; for, if they wish, they can go to that
town and see the very house where it all
happened.
The old apple-trees still stand there, and I
dare say the blossoms are just as sweet as
they were that spring when they showered
white flakes on Denise as she sat beneath
them in her hammock, or climbed up into the
branches where John had nailed seats and
fastened a box, all nicely covered with oil-
cloth, to hold her books and treasures safe
from wind and rain.
Of course the lessons filled the mornings
from nine to one o'clock till vacation came in






COOKING, HOUSEKEEPING, AND "POKEY" 43

June; but the afternoons were given up to
Ned and the Bird's Nest," as the play-house
was named.
Every Saturday morning Mama donned a
big gingham apron and went out to the Nest
to give lessons in cooking; for this delightful
play had been planned not wholly for amuse-
ment, but that Denise might learn in the
pleasantest way imaginable how to become a
skilful little cook. And years after she often
had cause to thank the good, thoughtful
mother, who so wisely combined lessons and
pleasure that one forgot all about the labor,
and saw only the fun. So bread was baked,
and biscuits were made -although the latter
might at first have served for bullets, had such
been required. But that occurred only when
the pretended "Bridget" forgot so trifling a
matter as baking-powder. Then there were
cakes that rose nearly to the top of the oven,
and pies that smelt so delicious that they
caused old Sailor to act as Denise's devoted
attendant till she had to drive him off by
threats with the rolling-pin.
It was funny to see the serious way in
which she went about her housekeeping. No
staid old housekeeper ever felt weightier re-






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


sponsibility than Denise found in the care of
this tiny house; for besides the cooking-
lessons, there were sweeping, dusting, bed-
making, and mending to be learned. People
who keep house properly, and have families
on their hands, have, of course, to know all
these things.
Funniest of all were the dinners given to
Ned, Tan, and the dogs. After some delec-
table mess had been prepared, the table was
set, and the viands were placed thereon.
Then Denise would whistle, and in would
walk Master Ned, followed by old Tan.
In they would come; and Denise, leading
first one and then the other to his place at
the table, would admonish them not to touch
a thing till she helped them. Nor would they,
although they looked with longing eyes at
the cakes and other tempting things, and
Sailor and Beauty stood beside her with
tongues fairly lolling out of their mouths.
Then Denise would place something on
each little plate, and when that point was
reached animal forbearance could stand it no
longer, and the dainty would vanish in one
gulp. The articles of diet which found their
way down those animals' throats I should n't












































"FUNNIESr OF ALL WERE THE DINNERS GIVEN TO NED, TAN, AND THE DOGS."






COOKING, HOUSEKEEPING, AND "POKEY" 47

dare name. But all was fish that came to their
nets, and if Denise ate it they would, providing
it was a vegetable production. Sailor and
Beauty were a great blessing, for what Ned
and Tan disdained, they regarded as princely
fare, and Mama used to say that they robbed
old darky Ned's pigs.
To see the little girl seated at her table in
her tiny dining-room, with a shaggy black
pony standing at one end, a big tan-colored
goat at the other, and a dog at either hand,
made a picture which still dwells in the minds
of many of the neighbors, who often came to
witness the funny spectacle. To this day her
very original and remarkable performances
are talked of, and amusing tales are told of
this peculiar child whose parents sanctioned
such extraordinary conduct so long as the
lessons were never neglected and absolute
obedience given them in return for any happi-
ness they could give to her.
Although utterly unselfish, Denise usually
liked best to play alone with her pets. Her
intense love for them seemed to give her a
keener understanding of animals' natures than
children usually feel, and she and they had a
common language.






48 DENISE AND NED TOODLES


While other children might not be actually
unkind to them, they sometimes could not re-
sist teasing them a little; and that was more
than Denise could tolerate. In Denise their
confidence was boundless; but, at the same
time, they understood that they must obey
her, and her word could always guide or
control them. So, with the exception of a
few young friends who sometimes came, and
a little girl from Brooklyn who visited her
every summer, she rarely had other play-
mates than her four-footed ones, and was as
happy as the day was long, and sang like a
lark from morning till night. But she and
the city friend, who were probably as unlike
as two children well could be, always got on
capitally together, and the date of her arrival
was eagerly looked forward to. The wel-
come was invariably a warm one, and the
wildest pranks were reserved for her visit.
So no wonder that Denise should count the
days that must pass before July could come
and bring with it her beloved "Pokey"; for
by this name, which fitted her so exactly, the
boon companion was called. None could
have suited her better, for she was never
quite ready for anything; and breakfast,






COOKING, HOUSEKEEPING, AND "POKEY" 49

luncheon, and dinner always found her just
a little behind time, but invariably amiable.
Pokey was a thin slip of a girl with big
blue eyes, light brown hair which fell far
below her waist, and delicate, nervous fea-
tures, and an expression that appealed to all,
as it always seemed asking for affection, and
rarely failed to win it, despite her sensitive
nerves and many blunders. For Pokey cer-
tainly was a blunderer. How she ever man-
aged to survive her many mishaps, no one
ever attempted to guess, but accepted it as a
matter of course that Pokey would come out
all right, somehow.
But July, like March, came at last; and
one bright, sunny afternoon, Denise drove to
the depot to welcome her beloved Pokey.
No princess could have felt greater pride
than Denise, as she sat in her pretty little
phaeton, awaiting the arrival of the train.
Ned was looking his best, for John had
brushed and groomed him until he shone like
satin; and Denise had spent hours tying pale
blue satin ribbons on him, till mane, forelock,
headstall, collar, saddle, breechen and whips
fairly bristled blue satin bows, and his little
owner, dressed in a dainty white gown with






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


blue sash, and blue feathers bobbing on a big
white straw hat, lovingly greeted the aston-
ished Pokey when Papa assisted her from the
train.
After a rapturous meeting, Pokey was
comfortably established in the phaiton, and
Denise's pent-up feelings -found vent in hold-
ing forth upon the innumerable good quali-
ties of Ned. "Is n't he just all I wrote about
him, and lots more? she asked.
"Yes, he is sweet; but does he always go
so fast and bounce about so much?" asked
Pokey, whose experience with ponies in gen-
eral was very limited. She had some misgiv-
ings about the conduct of this particular one.
Bounce! exclaimed Denise. "You
don't call that bouncing, do you? Why, he
is n't going fast now. Shall I make him, just
to show you how well he can trot? "
"Mercy, no!" cried Pokey; for the ground
seemed fairly to fly under them, and she fan-
cied that Ned had a particularly mischievous
sort of gait.
"Would you like to drive him a little
way ?" asked Denise, a moment later. "He
has a lovely mouth, and you can guide him
with the slightest touch."






COOKING, HOUSEKEEPING, AND "POKEY" 51

"Drive him!" cried Pokey, in dismay.
"I would n't drive him not for not for
-well-pounds of candy! You must drive
always; and don't you ever get out of the
carriage and leave me in it, or I shall have a
fit, right off!"
Denise's laugh rang out sweet and clear,
and Papa called back from the big carriage
to know if the fun had already commenced.
"Oh, yes; you will learn to drive, too.
By and by you will get so fond of him that
you will love him as dearly as I do."
"Maybe," was the skeptical reply; "but I
don't believe I '11 ever drive him." And she
never did, but was perfectly content to sit
quietly beside Denise and enjoy it all in her
own subdued way.
These were blissful days for Pokey, and all
the rest of the year was as a blank compared
to the time spent in the country with the
friends who always had such a warm welcome
for her, and were so quick to appreciate her
truly lovable character that with them all that
was sweetest in their little visitor was drawn
forth, as sunshine draws the perfume from the
violet.













CHAPTER VII


FARMER SUTTON

UCH a vacation was never known
never were skies so blue, breezes
so balmy, or rainy days so conspic-
uous by their absence. No day seemed quite
long enough to hold all that was planned for
each; and indeed they must have been forty-
eight hours long to have enabled the children
to carry out all their wild schemes. Pokey
soon got used to Ned, even though she could
not quite overcome the idea that he knew she
was afraid of him, whether he was harnessed
or following Denise about the grounds, and
that he would roll his eyes at her as he never
rolled them at any one else. It really
seemed as if both Ned and Tan realized her
fear, for if animals ever have a sense of fun,
they certainly had. It was a common thing
to see Pokey go flying across the lawn with
Tan or Ned, and often both, in hot pursuit.
52






FARMER SUTTON


The poor child would fly for her life, and
they would chase until they overtook her,
and then pass by like a whirlwind; manes
and tails straight up in the air, and blaating
or snorting like wild things. But they never
offered to molest her in any way and seemed
to consider her running a huge joke.
Pokey usually rushed to an old apple-tree
which grew in one corner of the grounds,
and, once safe in its low-hanging limbs,
breathed a sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, Denise, choking with laughter,
would call to her to stop running, assuring
her that Ned and Tan would not hurt her,
and would n't run if she did n't.
It's all very well to say stop running,' but
I guess you 'd run if you had a great pair of
horns flying after you, and that little black
villain who just knows he can frighten me
nearly to death! Why does n't he chase other
people, I 'd like to know?" asked Pokey.
"It 's just because you do run. He and
Tan often play tag with me, and as soon as
you start to run they think they must too;
and you do look just too funny for anything,
and I can't help laughing."
"Well, you may laugh all you want to, but






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


I 'm going to stay up in this tree, for I know
they can't climb it even if they do put their
feet on that low limb down there and try to.
I think it is fine up here, and John was just
splendid to fix all these little seats in it. I
would rather stay up here and read, than have
to run away from wild animals."
"All right," said Denise, "you stay there
and read; but don't forget to lock the books
in the box, please, when you 've done, for
John put it up there on purpose for them and
covered it all over with oil-cloth so the rain
could n't wet them. Now I can go up there
and read and not have to carry them back to
the house when I have done. I 'd rather stay
down here in the hammock, and then Ned
and Tan can come and see me whenever they
want to, and get their old noses rubbed." And
Denise stretched herself out for a midsum-
mer day's dream. She had not swung long
when a patter of feet over the lawn told her
that her mischievous "children" were near at
hand, but hastily closing her eyes, she pre-
tended to be sound asleep.
On they came, and slowly approaching the
hammock thrust their warm noses very gently
into her hands.






FARMER SUTTON


She kept perfectly still, and the little crea-
tures stood motionless beside her, quite con-
tented to be near and within reach of their
little mistress's stroking fingers. It was a
pretty picture, and one which Denise -who
is now grown up and has a little Denise of
her own often recalls. She remembers the
beautiful summer weather; the pretty house
with its attractive grounds; the old apple-
trees on the lawn, with the hammock swing-
ing beneath in their shade, and the little girl
lying in it, with a great tan-colored goat at
one side, and a little black pony on the other,
with their heads in the hammock, and their
soft noses within reach of her hand. Sailor
and Beauty lay on the grass close by, and,
perched in the tree overhead, the little friend
in her bright gingham dress looked like some
gay fairy. Rather too literary, however, for
Pokey was a veritable bookworm, and never
happier than when left absolutely alone to
read.
Not long after Pokey's arrival, Papa and
Mama went on a journey, leaving Denise and
Pokey to the care of Aunt Helen, who came
to stay during their absence. Denise loved
her almost as dearly as she loved her father






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


and mother, and was always delighted when
she came, for Auntie indulged her little niece,
and was always ready to enter into any plan
for her pleasure. Denise used to say she
liked "just to look at Aunt Helen; that it
made her feel good because she was so
pretty." And pretty she certainly was, with
her great dark eyes, wavy black hair, and
pretty white teeth.
Such plans as were made when Aunt Helen
was installed as mistress of ceremonies!-tea-
parties in the Bird's Nest; long drives with
Ned, and little picnics at the end; bathing-
parties in the river, with Sailor to act as
swimming-master, and Beauty to stand on
the shore barking like mad.
But the old saying that "when the cat is
away the mice will play" had still to be veri-
fied, and these two children would have been
more than mortal, had they not entered into
some mischief.
One morning Aunt Helen announced that
she must run into the city for a few hours,
but would surely return by the one-thirty
train for luncheon.
"Now, Denise," said she, as she was about
to start, "be very careful during my absence.






FARMER SUTTON


If you need anything, go directly to Mary,
and she will attend to you. John will harness
Ned at nine o'clock, and you and Pokey may
take a nice drive. If you want an errand,
you may go over the hill to Farmer Sutton's
and tell him I am ready for the promised
poultry. You will enjoy that, I know; but
come directly home."
At nine o'clock Ned was put to the phae-
ton, and the small maids started.
"We will go over by the mountain road,
and come back by the turnpike, so Ned will
have all the hills at the start," announced
Denise as they started.
"All right," said Pokey, who usually did
say "all right" to any proposal of Denise's.
About an hour's drive brought them to
Farmer Sutton's neat farm. His big, round
face beamed with pleasure when he saw them
drive into the barn-yard; for Denise was a
prime favorite of his, and the kind man was
never so happy as when loading her phaeton
with all the good things his farm would pro-
duce. So he hastened to welcome her and to
bring forth his possessions, of which there was
a bountiful supply; for he had a fine farm and
took unusually good care of it. Soon she






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


looked like a vender of fruits; and as for Ned,
he had eaten apples till he simply could hold
no more.
Then the sleek cows had to be visited, the
funny little pigs to be fed, and all the live
stock inspected and talked about. All this,
of course, took time; and just as Denise was
beginning to think that Ned's nose should be
turned homeward, Farmer Sutton said: "Now,
you young ones, come right along o' me, an'
let Mrs. Sutton fetch up some cold milk out'n
the spring for ye. It 's proper good milk, I
tell ye, and ye '11 jist enj'y drinking' on it "; and
he led the way to the dairy.
Mrs. Sutton, a stout, pleasant woman,
whose chief happiness lay in ministering to
others' comforts, bustled about and soon had
two glasses of icy cold milk on her dairy
table.
"Now, jist ye wait one little minute,
dearies, whilst I fly into the butt'ry and git a
bite for ye, 'cause ye must be starvin' after
yer drive in the fresh air." And away she
hurried, to return with a big blue dish piled
high with cookies, crullers, doughnuts, and
great slices of pound-cake.
"Oh, Mrs. Sutton," cried Denise, "we






FARMER SUTTON


can't eat ha/f that. We should n't be able
to stir one step if we did!"
Never ye mind whether ye eat it all or
not. That don't matter a mite. Ye jist tuck
it away in yer little go-cart out yander, and
trot it along home. Children is allers hungry,
'cordin' to my experience."
The children labored earnestly to make
Ned's homeward load lighter, and certainly
succeeded to an amazing degree, if stowing a
large quantity in a small space could help
matters; At any rate, the cake-plate pre-
sented a far less generous appearance half an
hour later.
Now come along o' me, and let me show
ye the cunningest live critter ye ever clapped
yer brown and blue eyes on," said their hos-
tess, when she felt convinced that they really
could not eat any more. She led the way
to the wash-house yard, and as soon as she
entered it she was greeted by a funny little
bleating.
"Yes, yes, Molly, I be a-comin'," said she
to a tiny lamb which was tied to a little tree
in the middle of the yard.
Denise and Pokey ran across the grass to
see the little snowball, for certainly "Molly "






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


looked like nothing else. She was not more
than five weeks old, and as happy and frisky
as a kitten. It was funny to see her snuggle
up to Mrs. Sutton, whom she seemed to con-
sider as her mother. And, sure enough, the
farmer's wife was the only mother the poor
little thing had ever known, her own having
been killed when she was only a few days
old.
Mrs. Sutton produced a bottle of milk from
her pocket, and little Miss Molly took her
dinner as nicely as a baby might have done.
"Now, what do ye think o' that? Ain't
it a funny baby? Why, it's almost as much
care as a baby; but it was so little and help-
less that I jist could n't let it die; and it took
to its meals as natural as ye please. How do
ye think I keep her so clean? I wash her
every Monday, and stand her in the tin oven
ter dry. Jist poke her in head foremost, and
let her stand and warm till her wool is dry as
a bone. She ain't got sense enough to turn
round and come out, and we don't never let it
get too warm. She follers me everywhere,
and if I did n't keep her tied up she would git
into mischief every minute."
Denise and Pokey petted and fondled the






















4T
2! ::


DENISE AND POKEY PETTED THE LITTLE LAMB.






FARMER SUTTON 63

pretty little thing, and it seemed to see that
they would not harm it; for it got into
Pokey's lap as she sat on the grass beside it,
and made itself comfortable as for a morning
nap.
At last they realized that time was slipping
by, and putting Molly on the grass, they bade
Mrs. Sutton good-by.
But after their bountiful luncheon it was
small wonder that their appetites failed to ad-
monish them that noon was upon them, and
they would barely have time to reach home
before Aunt Helen's train was due.













CHAPTER VIII


AN INVITING LANE

E"T 'S go down this lane a little
way," said Denise, when they were
about half-way home. "I 've never
been down it, and it always looks so inviting
that I 've often wanted to go."
"Do you think there will be time ?" asked
Pokey. You know Aunt Helen said we
must be back by one o'clock."
Oh, yes, I guess so. Let 's see what
time it is, anyway. Why, where is my
watch?" was the startled exclamation.
"You did n't put it on. I saw it on the
bureau when I went back to get my pocket-
handkerchief, just before we started."
"Oh, me! Now we are in a fix. But,
anyway, I guess it can't be later than twelve
o'clock, and we are more than half-way home
now." And Denise turned Ned's head down
the lane, much to that wise beast's disgust,






AN INVITING LANE


for he had not found apples particularly sus-
taining, and his craving for something more
substantial hinted the time of day more cor-
rectly than Denise's guessing.
By way of manifesting his disapproval, he
wriggled from one side of the lane to the
other, leaving a perfect snake-track behind
him.
"Did you ever see anything act as he
does?" demanded Denise. "He is too ex-
asperating to be endured. Ned Toodles,
behave yourself!" And the whip was cracked
menacingly.
A fig cared Ned for the whip. It never
had caused him much fear, and he did n't
believe it was going to do any great amount
of harm now. So, giving two or three tanta-
lizing jumps of defiance, he rushed into a
barn-yard in which the lane suddenly termi-
nated. Not a particularly attractive barn-yard
was this, either, for it was littered with all
sorts of farm paraphernalia, and simply alive
with cows, chickens, ducks, dogs, and young-
sters. The latter at once swarmed around
the pony and carriage, and began to ask
questions at the rate of forty a minute.
Denise began to feel that following an invit-






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


ing lane was perhaps not the wisest thing she
had ever done, and to wish most heartily that
she had kept to the homeward road.
The eldest of the tribe, a girl of about
eleven years, elected herself spokeswoman,
and began to catechize the new arrivals most
freely.
Hullo, Sis Is this yer pony yours ?"
"Yes."
"Where did yer git it? "
"Papa gave him to me."
"Where did he git him? What did he
have to pay fer it? Lots er cash, I '11
bet."
I don't know what it cost," said poor De-
nise, trying to find some way out of the scrape
and the barn-yard. Turning Ned's head,.she
made the attempt, but "Griselda Goose" was
not to be done out of her rare treat so soon.
"Here, hold on a minute. I don't want
yer ter go yet," said she, holding Ned by the
bridle, while brothers and sisters crowded al-
most into the carriage, one taking out the
pretty whip, another tugging at the linen lap-
cover, another unrolling the curtain behind-
in short, swarming over the whole thing like
ants.






AN INVITING LANE


Say, what's yer name, anyway, and where
do yer live ?"
My, don't I wish I had a little horse like
that! Are yer rich? Guess yer must be, ter
have such things."
Meanwhile, unhappy Pokey was growing
more and more miserable, and at last turned
to Denise and said desperately:
Do for mercy's sake try to get away; they
are just awful, and besides, I know we shall be
late!"
"You must let me go," said the distracted
Denise. "We shall be late for luncheon."
What 's that? asked her tormentor.
"What is what ?"
"Why, that thing yer just said -ludgen.
Is it a train ?"
No, dinner," said Denise, trying politely
to hide her laughter.
"Oh, is that what yer call it? Yes, I
reckon it is most dinner-time, for Ma she
said we must all set to and git ours down
right smart, for she had to go over to see
Uncle Josh this afternoon. He 's been awful
sick. See that barn down yander? Well,
he 's there. He 's jist gittin' over smallpox.
Ever had it?"






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


But Denise did not wait to inform her.
With a slash of her whip which took Ned off
all four feet and scattered the youngsters in
every direction, she started out of that barn-
yard at a pace which defied pursuit, and
reached the main road in much less time than
it had taken her to reach the farm.
But her troubles were not yet ended, for
about half a mile from home she was met
by John mounted on Flash, he having been
despatched by Aunt Helen, who had arrived
by the one-thirty train and was nearly dis-
tracted when she found that the children had
not yet returned.
Faith, wheriver have yez been to at all ?"
demanded he, lapsing into his richest brogue
in his excitement. It 's scared half dead yer
aunt is wid the freight ye 've put her in."
"Oh, John," cried Denise, half in tears,
"don't say one word, for we've had an awful
experience, and been near a man who has
smallpox."
"Presarve us! Wheriver could ye have
been at all?"
But Denise offered no explanation, and
hurried home at a pace which would have
scandalized her had she been less excited.






AN INVITING LANE


Aunt Helen's feelings can be more readily
imagined than described, and no time was
lost in sending John off for Dr. Swift. He
soon calmed her fears, by assuring her that
there could be no possible danger for the
children, as both had been vaccinated that
spring, and had such not been the case, no
harm would have come of it, as the man was
quite recovered. But the scare had done
both the girls good, he said; and the kind,
jolly doctor threw back his head and laughed
heartily.
But never again did Denise explore invit-
ing lanes. Public roads and broad highways
were quite to her taste ever after. Nor did
she leave her watch at home when going on
a trip upon which it was necessary to know
the difference between half-past twelve and
half-past two o'clock, although it is true that
she soon after got into an epidemic of scrapes
which cast that one into the shade.













CHAPTER IX


HOUSE-CLEANING AND MISCHIEF

HINGS ran very smoothly for some
time after Denise's exploring expe-
dition, and the time for Mr. and
Mrs. Lombard's return was near at hand.
Aunt Helen began to congratulate herself
that a delightfully clear record could be re-
ported when the commanders-in-chief should
once more assume control, for, to tell the
truth, she never felt quite certain as to what
might turn up next, and much preferred
visiting when the responsibility for the little
girls rested with them instead of herself.
I am so glad," said she to the children, as
they sat at breakfast one morning, "that only
one little scrape has to be reported when
Papa and Mama come. It's such a comfort
to have had you behave so well, dearies, and
I am going to put an extra lump of sugar in
each cup just by way of reward"; and she
70






HOUSE-CLEANING AND MISCHIEF


laughingly selected the biggest two she could
find in the sugar-basin.
Here comes John with the mail now!"
cried Denise. "Maybe there is a letter from
Papa to tell us when they are coming"; and
she flew out of the dining-room to get the
letters. Whisking back again, she thrust the
mail-bag into her aunt's hands, saying excit-
edly: Open it quickly, Auntie, please do."
Yes, here is one from Papa, and now let's
see what he has to tell us." After reading a
few minutes, she said in a surprised tone:
"Why, he will be home to-night by the
six-o'clock express, and will bring Captain
Hamilton with him for a little visit."
"Won't Mama come too?" asked Denise,
in a disappointed tone.
No; she will stay with Grandma a week,
and when she returns will bring her too."
"Oh, goody, goody! Won't that be just
splendid! Will she stay long? "
"Yes, a long time, I think-perhaps all
winter. But now we must set about prepar-
ing for our visitors, and have everything put
in spandy order."
Little did poor Auntie dream how much
"putting in order" she was destined to do






72 DENISE AND NED TOODLES


before sunset, or how easy it is to count one's
chicks before they are out of the shell.
Turned loose for the morning, Pokey and
Denise made straight for the Bird's Nest, and
such a scouring and cleaning as was gone
through with Of course, upon so important
an occasion, it had to be well swept and
dusted from garret to ground floor. It was
a wonder that the rugs had any fringe left on
them, for Denise banged them so energetically
that they flapped aboutlike witches on a broom-
handle, and her dusting-cap flew wildly off,
and roosted on a neighboring tree.
After the house was in order, the dolls had
to be dressed, and I grieve to relate that in
being carried from the dining-room, where
they had sat around the table since the night
before, to the bedroom above, poor "Ange-
nora Manuella" slipped from Pokey's arms and
rolled to the bottom of the stairs, cracking her
crown and shattering an arm.
"Oh, you precious, precious child!" shrieked
her mother. I know you are killed! Pokey,
fly for Dr. Glue this instant, and fetch him with
you at once, while I heat some water. You
know he always wants it first thing."
Pokey rushed off to the house for the bottle













































*i I;


~-c



4h~t


"AFTER THE HOUSE WAS IN ORDER, THE DOLLS HAD TO
BE DRESSED."


iii' '






HOUSE-CLEANING AND MISCHIEF


of glue which represented the doctor, and in
a few minutes poor Angenora Manuella was
undergoing a surgical operation.
The fortitude the dear child displayed was
really beautiful to witness in one so delicately
organized, for she never uttered a sound, and
fell asleep the instant she was placed in her
bed.
But at length the Nest was all in apple-
pie order, and Pokey stood upon the threshold
and breathed a sigh of relief.
I used to think that I just hated to do any
housework or to wash dishes," she observed
soberly; "but I just believe I sha'n't ever mind
it again. I '11 shut my eyes and make believe
I 'm out here with you, and then it will all be
fun. Don't let's touch a pin on that cushion,
for they are all put in in little squares, and I
believe it took me over an hour to do it."
Now let's go look after Ned," cried Ned's
energetic mistress. "What color ribbon would
you tie on the harness to-day?"
"Why don't you tie rose color ? You know
that stands for happiness, and I guess you are
glad that Mr. Papa is coming home, are n't
you ?"
"Just the thing. How do you ever get to
5






76 DENISE AND NED TOODLES


know all those things, Pokey?" asked De-
nise, quite impressed with Pokey's deep
learning.
"Oh, I don't know. I guess I read them
somewhere, and they sort of stick in some
part of my brain till something makes one
hop out."
So fully another hour was passed in brush-
ing Ned's mane and braiding into it a long
rose-colored ribbon. John had taught De-
nise how to braid it in one long braid, which
ran the whole length of his neck, and ended
in a little pigtail at the withers.
Then the forelock had to be parted and
braided into two braids decked with ribbons,
and as a suitable conclusion to his personal
adornment, his tail was braided into three
braids and finally looped up with a big bow
of ribbon.
"Faith, he looks like a monkey!" said
John, laughing.
"No, John, he does n't, either -do you,
dear? It's a hot day, and he is much more
comfortable without all that hair flying about,
I know."
"I hope he won't go and get all mussed up,"
said Pokey, as she surveyed him approvingly.






HOUSE-CLEANING AND MISCHIEF


" He is so black and shiny that those ribbons
look just too sweet on him."
"Ned Toodles," said Denise, admonish-
ingly, as she turned him into his day-stall
and fastened the bars, "don't you go scrooch-
ing up against the sides of your stall and
mussing even one end of a ribbon, or you
sha'n't have any sugar for a week !"
Then the harness was decked, and when a
bow was tied on the whip the effect was pro-
nounced superb.
Noon hour struck before all was finished,
and Auntie, coming out to summon them to
lunch, blessed the good fairy who had put the
idea of the Bird's Nest into Papa's head, as it
kept the children happy and out of the way
of grown-up folk who had their hands full.
"John," said she, giving him a letter, "be-
fore you return from your dinner to-day, I
wish you would mail this letter for me. I
want it to go out by the two-o'clock mail,
without fail, so you had better go home at
once.
Very good, miss. I '11 be goin' right off.
Shall I close Ned's stable door, or will Miss
Denise do it whan she goes in ?"
I '11 shut it when I go," answered Denise.






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


"All right, thin; but don't be after for-
gittin' it, or there's no tellin' what that young
villain will be doin' at all "
Don't you call Ned a villain, John. He
would n't do anything bad for all the oats in
the bin."
Now, don't you be too sure of that, thin.
I 'd not thrust him out of me soight." And
with a good-natured laugh John left the
grounds.
Come in at once, children," said Auntie,
as she returned to the house.
We're coming this very minute, for we 're
half starved."
Now, my little maids," said Auntie, when
the famished children were sustained by a
generous supply of luncheon, "you may amuse
yourselves in any quiet way you choose, till
it is three o'clock; and then come to me for
your baths, and I '11 make you both as sweet
as roses to meet Papa and Captain Hamilton."
Away went the children, and, taking Auntie
at her word, chose a charming quiet way to
amuse themselves on a hot summer afternoon.
"Let 's make some taffy," said Denise.
I have plenty of molasses in the kitchen,
and we can boil it in no time."






HOUSE-CLEANING AND MISCHIEF


It will never get hard on such a hot day
as this is," answered Pokey.
"Why, yes, it will, if we put it in cook's re-
frigerator," insisted. Denise.
I don't believe it, for it 's awful stuff in
summer-time," said skeptical Pokey.
"Well, we '11 try, anyway"; and Denise
soon had a fire sputtering in the stove and a
pail of molasses bubbling on top.
"What can be the matter with Ned ? she
exclaimed, when the smell of the boiling candy
had filled the house and adjoining stable.
"He is stamping about at a great rate; I
just believe he smells this candy."
"I dare say; he loves sweet things like a
little bear," said Pokey.
"Do go into the stable and see what he 's
up to," begged Denise. "I can't leave this
candy now, or it will burn."
"Indeed I sha'n't," affirmed Pokey. "He'd
roll his eyes and bounce at me."
"Now, how could he bounce at you, when
he is fast in his stall?" demanded Denise.
"I don't believe he is fast; he could n't
walk round so much if he was."
"Why, how in the world could he get out?
His bars are up, and I don't believe even he is






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


wise enough to pull the pegs out. You stir this
candy, and I '11 go see, if you are afraid to."
And Denise handed over a very sticky
spoon to the willing Pokey and started for
the door communicating with the stable.
She opened it and gave a scream, for there
in the middle of the floor, and in all his
goodly array of rosy ribbons, stood Master
Ned, looking at her in the most tantalizing
way, as though to say: Can't I pull out the
pegs with my teeth, and can't I jump over
the lower bar, and can't I fly through this
door which you forgot to shut after John
told you to ? and with a rush and a clatter he
tore out of the stable and over the lawn,
flinging up his heels and tossing his head
and making straight for the big gate, which
unfortunately stood wide open.
Denise stood rooted to the spot for an in-
stant, and then screaming, "Pokey, Pokey,
Ned has run away!" she tore out of the
stable and made after him as though she had
wings to her feet.
Aunt Helen heard the uproar and rushed
out just in time to witness Ned's final kick-up
as he flew up the road with Denise in hot
pursuit.













CHAPTER X


AN EPIDEMIC OF MISCHIEF

",N OW we are in a fix!" Aunt Helen
exclaimed to Pokey, who had man-
aged to get as far as the piazza, but
had forgotten to lay down the sticky spoon,
to which she still clung, as if its tenacious prop-
erties might have power to hold Ned, could
she but lay it upon him. "John a mile away,
and Ned in a fair way to be ten if he goes on
at the rate he has started, and with no halter
on to fetch him back with when he is caught! "
Meanwhile Ned and Denise tore on; he
glorying in his freedom, and she vainly trying
to overtake him. But as though the very
spirit of mischief had entered into him, he
made a sudden turn and headed straight for
the railway station. Denise was just near
enough to see him dash upon the platform,
rush across it and into the station as though
carrying a danger-signal to the astonished






DENISE AND NED TOODLES


ticket-agent, who sat in his little office, into
which Ned tore full tilt, scaring the good man
nearly to death.
But Master Ned found the place very
like an eel-pot,-much easier to get into than
out of,-and Mr. Smith was a man of prompt
action, as one who might have to deal with
runaway engines, whether four-footed or four-
wheeled, is obliged to be. So promptly clos-
ing his office door, he had the beribboned
runaway a fast prisoner.
A moment later Denise, panting and puffing
like a small steam-engine, and with perspira-
tion pouring down her face, rushed into the
office; whereupon Mr. Smith sat down to
laugh, and Denise, with what breath was left
her for laughter, followed his example.
"Oh she panted, "did you ever know such
a bad little thing as he is, to lead me such a
chase? What do you mean," she demanded,
shaking Ned by his forelock braids, "by scar-
ing me so:? John said you were a little villain,
and I think you just are."
How will you get him home, Miss De-
nise?" asked Mr. Smith. "Shall I send one
of the men with you ? "
"No, indeed, thank you. I don't need any






AN EPIDEMIC OF MISCHIEF


help. I '11 get him home." And, springing
up, she caught Ned by his braids, saying,
" Come home this minute," and, tugging him
along, she got him out of the office and started
for home, with the little scamp walking as de-
murely beside her as though he had never
done anything mischievous in his life.
That was the funniest bit of Ned's make-up.
No matter how mischievous and full of pranks
he might be at one moment, his weather would
straightway change, and he would be as meek
as possible, or else look at you in a surprised
way, as if to say: "Why, you must be mis-
taken. I did n't do anything."
Aunt Helen and Pokey met them at the
gate, and the former said: "When you have
put Ned into his stall and shut the stable door,
you had better come to me for your bath, for
I fancy you feel the need of it."
Denise only waited to push Ned in his
night-stall by way of punishment, and bang
down the door, when she rushed into the play-
h'ouse for the precious candy, which Pokey had
poured into a pan. Running into the kitchen
with it, she put it into cook's refrigerator, and
then went up-stairs to Aunt Helen.
Children," said Aunt Helen an hour later,






DENISE ANP NED TOODLES


when soap, water, and clean clothes had meta-
morphosed the two scapegraces into two
dainty little maids in white frocks, "no more
mishaps to-day, I beg of you. Go out and
drive quietly about in the phaeton till train-
time, and then let Papa find you spandy
nice."
We will, Auntie; we truly will "; and De-
nise started down-stairs.
Pokey lingered to ask, "Aunt Helen, please
let me fill the tub again. I do love to see
the water pour in."
Yes, you may fill it, but be careful not to
get splashed," answered Aunt Helen, whose
soul was filled with apprehension for unlucky
Pokey.
"I '11 be careful," was the reply, as she
seated herself on the edge of the tub, and
started both faucets.
Meanwhile Denise was waiting in the hall
below and calling to Pokey to hurry up.
I 'm coming in just half a minute. Just
wait till the tub gets full."
There she exclaimed; it 's just up to
that little ring, and now I 'm going oh "-
and, suiting the action to the word, which
ended in a prolonged howl, Pokey lost her






AN EPIDEMIC OF MISCHIEF


balance and slid backward into the tub --
white frock, pink sash, and all.
For an instant Aunt Helen stood speech-
less, too startled to know whether to laugh or
scold, as the unfortunate child struggled to
regain her feet.
"Elizabeth Delano!" she cried, as she
stood the dripping child on the tiled floor,
where the puddles could form without harm-
ing anything. I certainly feel as though I
could shake you thoroughly, for the limit of
my patience is reached, I believe!"
Oh! oh oh! gasped Pokey, nearly
in tears. "I 'm so sorry, and so wet. I
did n't mean to slip so far back."
I believe you; and now let me get you
into dry clothes just as quickly as possible."
At the howl of anguish Denise had rushed
up-stairs to find Pokey decidedly moist, for
tears fell from her eyes and water dripped
from her skirts, as Aunt Helen hastened to
get her out of her wet garments. Denise
took in the situation in an instant, and the
bubbling laugh which was never far below
the surface came rippling out.
"Oh, Auntie !" she cried. Does n't she
look just like a drowned rat? Don't cry,






86 DENISE AND NED TOODLES


Pokey; you will soon be all dry, and Auntie
won't scold very hard, will you, Auntie?
'Cause she did n't mean to."
I would n't mind the scolding," said Pokey,
"'cause I half believe I ought to get one, but
I 've just gone and spoiled all the water for
Aunt Helen's bath." Which remark was so
perfectly characteristic of Pokey.
Another half-hour and another start. This
time Auntie gave no admonitions, feeling,
perhaps, that it would be best to let Fate
direct things herself. Surely Fate was in a
particularly tantalizing mood that day, and
delighted in tormenting these little specimens
of frail humanity.
Down to the porch went the two delin-
quents, fully determined to be model children
for the remainder of the afternoon.
Mischief, however, must have been in the
air, and they particularly susceptible, for the
door was scarcely passed when Denise, stop-
ping, exclaimed: "The candy, Pokey; let's
not forget that. We can take it with us and
we can go up under the trees on Hillside road
to eat it."
Soon the candy was produced, but in a con-
dition far more resembling cold molasses than




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