do it. I'm not what you'd call a natural walker an' never have been. This last week's wore me out. I'd do it till I dropped, mind you, but it's the rheumatics. They've come on me sudden. I couldn't walk a yard if I was to die for it."
William was silent for a minute. One of his few friends in the adult world and one who had never failed him was in trouble. William had only the vaguest appreciation of the cause of the trouble, but her voice and expression told him that it was to her a very real trouble. It was not William's custom to leave his friends in the lurch. . . . He stared in front of him, his freckled face drawn into a thoughtful frown. At last he said :
" D'you think—I s'pose—d'you think he'd do it with me there ? "
Mrs. Roundway looked at William. There was nothing romantic about William, nothing remotely suggestive of Cupid in William's appearance. There was even something about Williams expression that would have chilled sentiment at its very fount.
" No, love," she said simply, " I'm sure that no one would propose to anyone with you about."
William's mind sped over the day in front of him. He had meant to spend it in the woods as a Red Indian, but it was a small enough sacrifice in return for years of cookie boys.
" S'pose I go with them, then," he said, " stick to them all the time but as if I'd just come to help carry things. I bet I'd stick to them all right. I'm good at sticking to people whether they want me or not."
Her face brightened.
" Oh, could you ? " she said, " would you ? I'm afraid it would be a very dull day for you."
William was afraid so, too, but he said cheerfully :
" I don't mind," and added thoughtfully, " it might turn out fun in a sort of way, too."
" He's very cunning," said Mrs. Roundway, " very