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The Dolls’ Journey from Minnesota to Maine
by [?]

Mr. Plum lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.

There were six little Plums, all girls, varying in ages from fourteen to seven, and named Kate, Lucy, Susy, Lizzy, Marjory and Maggie. There was no mamma, but Mrs. Gibbs, the housekeeper, was a kind old soul, and papa did everything he could to make the small daughters good and happy.

One stormy Saturday afternoon the children were all together in the school-room, and papa busy at his desk in the library, with the door open because he liked to hear the pleasant voices and catch glimpses of the droll plays that went on there.

Kate lay on the sofa reading “The Daisy Chain” for the fourth time. Susy, Lucy and Lizzie were having a select tea party in their own recess, the entrance to which was barricaded with chairs to keep out the “babies,” as they called the little ones, who were much offended at being excluded and sat up in the cushioned window-seat pensively watching the rain.

“If it had only waited till to-morrow we should have had time for our journey; now we can’t go till next Saturday. Flora is so disappointed she would cry if I had not taught her to behave,” said Maggie with a sigh, as she surveyed the doll on her knee in its new summer suit.

“So is Dora. Just see how sweet she looks with her hat and cape on and her travelling-bag all ready. Couldn’t we play travel in the house? It is such a pity to wait when the children are in such a hurry to go,” answered Marjory, settling the tiny bag that held Dora’s nightcap and gown as well as the morsels of cake that were to serve for her lunch.

“No,” said Maggie decidedly, “we can’t do it, because there is no room for carriages, and boats, and railroads, and hotels, and accidents. It is a long journey from Minnesota to Maine, and we couldn’t get it all into one room I’m sure.”

“I don’t think papa would mind our coming into the library, if we didn’t ring the car bells very loud or scream much when the accidents happen,” said Marjory, who hated to give up the plan they had been cherishing all the week.

“What is it, little ones? Come and tell me what is the matter,” called Mr. Plum, hearing his name and the magic word “railroad,” for he was the president of one and had his hands full just then.

Down jumped the little girls and ran to perch on either arm of his chair, pouring out their small tribulations as freely as if he had been the most sympathizing of mothers.

“We planned to take a long, long journey round the garden with our dolls to-day, and play go to Maine and see Aunt Maria. You know she asked us, and we looked out the way on the map and got all ready, and now it rains and we are dreadfully disappointed,” said Maggie, while Marjory sighed as she looked at the red D. worked on the inch square travelling-bag.

“As you can’t go, why not send the dolls to make aunty a visit, and she will send them back when they get homesick,” proposed Mr. Plum, smiling, as if a sudden idea had popped into his head.

“Really?” cried Maggie.

“How could we?” asked Marjory.

“They could go and come by mail, and tell you all about their adventures when they got back,” said papa.

Both children were speechless for a moment, then as the full splendor of this proposition dawned upon them they clapped their hands, crying eagerly:

“We will! we will! Let’s do it at once.”

“What? where? who?” asked Susy, Lucy and Lizzie, forgetting their tea party to run and see what was going on.

They were told, and in their turn exclaimed so loudly that Kate came to join in the fun.