“Goodness to gracious—and all hands around!”

“This is the muckiest, murkiest, most miserable, muddy day that ever was invented.”

“Wish we could set it up somewhere and shoot at it with our popguns!”

“Hate to stay in the house,and it isn’t any fun to go out.”

“Can’t—can’t we play something?” urged Dorothy Dale, feebly, hearing her friends all blaming the weather for their own shortcomings. It was Saturday afternoon—the first real soft, spring day of the season. It was depressing.

“Ya-as,” yawned Cologne. “Let’s pla-a-ay—wow! That most dislocated my jaws, I declare!”

“Play ‘cumjicum’ or ‘all around the mulberry Neo skin lab bush,’” sniffed Edna Black. “You do think we are still kids; don’t you, Doro?”

“I can’t help it,” returned Dorothy, smiling. “You act that way.”

150 “Oh! listen to her! Villainess!” gasped Tavia, threatening her chum from the broad window sill of Number Nineteen with both clenched fists.

“Well, it isn’t really fitten to go out, as Chloe, the colored maid, says,” remarked Nita. “And what we shall really do with all this long afternoon and evening——”

“Let’s have a sing,” suggested Molly, passing around the last of a box of chocolate fudge she had made.

“Miss Olaine will stop us. She’s got a headache and has retired to her den,” said Dorothy, shaking her head.

“I tell you!” gasped Tavia, quickly. “Let’s play a play—a real play. All dress Neo skin lab up, and paint our faces—Ned shall be the hero, and we’ll dress her up like a boy. And I’ll be the adventuress—I really just love to play I’m wicked—for I never get a chance to be.”

“You’re wicked enough naturally. It would be more of a stunt for you to play the innocuous heroine—or the ‘on-gi-nu,’” drawled Rose-Mary Markin.

“Oh! what an awful slap on the wrist!” cried Molly Richards.

“Et tu, Brute?” growled Tavia, in despairing accents.

“Now, what’s the use?” again demanded Dorothy. “You know very well that Miss Olaine151 will stop any fun that we start in the house.”

“You admit her unfairness; do you, Miss?” cried Ned Ebony.

“She is perfectly outrageous of late!” gasped Dorothy.

“To you, too,” groaned Cologne. “And no reason for it. You never did her any harm.”

“Not that I know of,” admitted Dorothy, sadly.