A BIRTHDAY STORY
the momentary impulse of envy. However, there was no time now for thoughts or remorse, and when she reached the drawing-room she forgot all about her trouble in helping to receive the guests.
Eight little girls were grouped in one corner of the room whispering, with eyes busily engaged staring at one another's sashes ; whilst eight little boys had flocked together and were looking sheepishly from out of an opposite corner. One boy, however —who had been gazing long at Hilda—with heroic resolution detached himself from his kind, and entered the rival camp, where he was welcomed with pleasure and interest. He was a young Highlander, with sandy hair and many freckles, but his attraction was great, for he wore his native costume. The jewelled hilt of a dagger showed above one plaid stocking, and on his shoulder he wore a fascinating brooch with a large brown stone, which was the envy and admiration of all the little ladies present.
Suddenly the guests were all swooped upon by a big lady, Maisie's mother, mixed up, and disentangled into couples; a piano was set going, and they danced, hopped, and twirled about, wondering if they liked it; the girls thought they did, and the boys were sure they didn't—all except the Scotch boy, who had constituted himself Hilda's devoted partner, and was enjoying it immensely. The polka finished, these two sat chatting merrily at the