"Oh, oh, and I think I'll soon have to be doing some rooting in the
parsley bed," said Judy Plum, as she began to cut Winnie's red
crepe dress into strips suitable for "hooking." She was very much
pleased with herself because she had succeeded in browbeating Mrs.
Gardiner into letting her have it. Mrs. Gardiner thought Winnie
might have got another summer's wear out of it. Red crepe dresses
were not picked up in parsley beds, whatever else might be.
But Judy had set her heart on that dress. It was exactly the shade
she wanted for the inner petals of the fat, "raised" roses in the
fine new rug she was hooking for Aunt Hazel . . . a rug with
golden-brown "scrolls" around its edges and, in the centre,
clusters of red and purple roses such as never grew on any earthly
Judy Plum "had her name up," as she expressed it, for hooked rugs,
and she meant that this should be a masterpiece. It was to be a
wedding gift for Aunt Hazel, if that young lady really got married
this summer, as, in Judy's opinion, it was high time she should,
after all her picking and choosing.
Pat, who was greatly interested in the rug's progress, knew nothing
except that it was for Aunt Hazel. Also, there was another event
impending at Silver Bush of which she was ignorant and Judy thought
it was high time she was warned. When one has been the "baby" of a
family for almost seven years just how is one going to take a
supplanter? Judy, who loved everybody at Silver Bush in reason,
loved Pat out of reason and was worried over this beyond all
measure. Pat was always after taking things a bit too seriously.
As Judy put it, she "loved too hard." What a scene she had been
after making that very morning because Judy wanted her old purple
sweater for the roses. It was far too tight for her and more holy
than righteous, if ye plaze, but Pat wouldn't hear of giving it up.
She loved that old sweater and she meant to wear it another year.
She fought so tigerishly about it that Judy . . . of course . . .
gave in. Pat was always like that about her clothes. She wore
them until they simply wouldn't look at her because they were so
dear to her she couldn't bear to give them up. She hated her new
duds until she had worn them for a few weeks. Then she turned
around and loved them fiercely, too.
"A quare child, if ye'll belave me," Judy used to say, shaking her
grizzled head. But she would have put the black sign on any one
else who called Pat a queer child.
"What makes her queer?" Sidney had asked once, a little
belligerently. Sidney loved Pat and didn't like to hear her called
"Sure, a leprachaun touched her the day she was born wid a liddle
green rose-thorn," answered Judy mysteriously.
Judy knew all about leprachauns and banshees and water-kelpies and
fascinating beings like that.
"So she can't ever be just like other folks. But it isn't all to
the bad. She'll be after having things other folks can't have."
"What things?" Sidney was curious.
"She'll love folks . . . and things . . . better than most . . .
and that'll give her the great delight. But they'll hurt her more,
too. 'Tis the way of the fairy gift and ye have to take the bad
wid the good."
"If that's all the leppern did for her I don't think he amounts to
much," said young Sidney scornfully.
"S . . . sh!" Judy was scandalised. "Liddle ye know what may be
listening to ye. And I'm not after saying it was all. She'll SEE
things. Hundreds av witches flying be night over the woods and
steeples on broomsticks, wid their black cats perched behind them.
How wud ye like that?"
"Aunt Hazel says there aren't any such things as witches,
'specially in Prince Edward Island," said Sidney.
"If ye don't be belaving innything what fun are ye going to get out
av life?" asked Judy unanswerably. "There may niver be a witch in
P. E. Island but there's minny a one in ould Ireland even yet. The
grandmother av me was one."