She was lying lazily on the couch by the front window this ???? bright though chilly May day, reading at times a book, and occasionally hopping up to toss a stick of wood on the fire. Glancing through the window, she noticed Gran?pa Jim and Danny Dexter crossing the park toward the house.

It was early spring in Dorfield and although the numerous trees in the park and surrounding country were leafless, the scene was far from unpleasant to the eye of a stranger. Danny Dexter walked briskly? ???? he had to, to keep pace with Mr. Hathaway?and seemed to enjoy the prospect keenly.

Mary Louise glanced at her gown. It seemed dainty and appropriate for a spring morning, but the girl remembered one with prettier ribbons in a drawer upstairs, so she dashed the book down and flew up the stairway.

Meantime Mr. Hathaway and the soldier had31 reached the house and passed around the brick sidewalk that led to the rear. Danny glanced doubtfully at the brick-paved driveway.

?No horses, I hope?? said he.

?No,? answered his conductor. ?I love horses myself, but Mary Louise prefers an automobile; so, as she?s the mistress of the establishment, as you will soon learn, the horses are gone and a shiny little car takes its place in the stable.?

?Employ a chauffeur, then??

?No; Mary Louise loves to drive the thing herself, and if anything goes wrong? ???? something?s always going wrong with an automobile?there?s a garage just back of us to fix it up again.?

Danny sighed.

?I can run the blamed things,? he remarked, ?and I know how to keep them loaded with oil and water and gasoline??

?Oh, don?t worry about running it,? exclaimed the other. ?Why, she won?t let even me run the thing, so I?ve never learned. As for the chauffeurs, Mary Louise despises them.?

?So do I,? agreed Danny. ?Your granddaughter, sir, must be a very sensible girl.?

That won Gran?pa Jim?s heart, but just then Mary Louise herself came tripping through the32 archway that led from the kitchen to the back porch and the garden. She was most alluringly attired, as if for a spin on a sunlit winter?s morning, and paused abruptly as if surprised.

?Oh, this is the new man, I suppose,? said she, a touch of haughtiness in her voice. ?Your name is Dexter, I believe.?

Danny smiled, slyly.

?What makes you believe that?? he inquired, doffing his little military cap.