THE RAINBOW BOOK
window, when all at once Hilda became silent. She happened to catch sight of something sticking out of the ivy on the sill. It was the " cracking thing " which she had thrown from the window above. Her partner was surprised to see her look as though she were going to cry. She didn't dare do that.
Just then tea was announced. Weighty recollection of warnings from home-counsellors came to the minds of the children, which warnings, however, conveniently faded away at sight of the good things set forth so temptingly in the dining-room: custards, jellies, and all those concoctions beloved of the youthful interior. But the chief interest centred in Maisie's gorgeous cake, which had her name and age flowingly written in coloured sugar, surrounded by the most realistic and sweetest of red roses imaginable, nestling in the coolest-looking golden leaves.
Hilda sat by the side of her Scotch cavalier, who had taken her in, and who was much concerned when he found that she had no appetite, but less distressed when he found that that fact did not affect his.
Once during the meal, Hilda heard their mother ask Maisie, as she helped her cut the birthday cake, what was in her cracker, and Maisie replied, as she looked up from her struggles, " What cracker ?" but then, in her anxiety to know why Hilda refused to taste any of her cake till the morrow, she did not pursue the subject.