that the thief was captured, and Tom appeared, bearing Snip by the nape of the neck in one hand, and Polly’s cherished bonnet in the other.

“The little scamp was just going to worry it when I grabbed him. I’m afraid he has eaten one of your gloves; I can’t find it, and this one is pretty well chewed up,” said Tom, bereaving Snip of the torn kid, to which he still pertinaciously clung.

“Serves me right,” said Polly, with a groan. “I’d no business to get a new pair, but I wanted to be extra gorgeous to-night, and this is my punishment for such mad extravagance.”

“Was there anything else?” asked Tom.

“Only my best cuffs and collar; you’ll probably find them in the coal-bin,” said Polly, with the calmness of despair.

“I saw some little white things on the dining-room floor as I raced through. Go, get them, Maud, and we’ll repair damages,” said Tom, shutting the culprit into the boot closet, where he placidly rolled himself up and went to sleep.

“They are not hurt a bit,” proclaimed Maud, restoring the lost treasures.

“Neither is my bonnet, for which I’m deeply grateful,” said Polly, who had been examining it with a solicitude which made Tom’s eyes twinkle.

“So am I, for it strikes me that is an uncommonly ‘nobby’ little affair,” he said, approvingly. Tom had a weakness for pale pink roses, and perhaps Polly knew it.

“I’m afraid it’s too gay,” said Polly, with a dubious look.

“Not a bit; sort of bridal, you know. Must be becoming; put it on, and let’s see.”

“I wouldn’t for the world, with my hair all tumbling down. Don’t look at me till I’m respectable, and don’t tell anyone how I’ve been acting. I think I must be a little crazy to-night,” said Polly, gathering up her rescued finery, and preparing to go and find Fan.

“Lunacy is mighty becoming, Polly; try it again,” answered Tom, watching her as she went laughing away, looking all the prettier for her dishevelment. “Dress that girl up, and she’d be a raving, tearing beauty,” added Tom to Maud, in a lower tone, as he took her into the parlour under his arm.

Polly heard it, and instantly resolved to be as “raving and as tearing” as her means would allow, “just for one night”, she said, as she peeped over the banisters, glad to see that the dance and the race had taken the “band-boxy” air out of Tom’s elegant array.

The friends had a social “cup o’ tea” upstairs, which Polly considered the height of luxury; and then each took a mirror and proceeded to prink to her heart’s content. The earnestness with which Polly made her toilet that night was delightful to behold. Feeling in a daring mood, she released her pretty hair from the braids in which she usually wore it, and permitted the curls to display themselves in all their brown abundance, especially several dangerous little ones about the temples and forehead. The putting on of the rescued collar and cuffs was a task which absorbed her whole mind; so was the settling of a minute bit of court-plaster, just to the left of the dimple in her chin, an unusual piece of coquetry, in which Polly would not have indulged if an almost invisible scratch had not given her an excuse for doing it. The white, down-trimmed cloak, with certain imposing ornaments on the hood, was assumed with becoming gravity, and draped with much advancing and retreating before the glass, as its wearer practised the true Boston gait, elbows back, shoulders forward, a bend and a slide, occasionally varied by a light skip. But when that bonnet went on, Polly actually held her breath till it was safely landed, and the pink rose bloomed above the smooth waves of hair, with what Fanny called a “ravishing effect”. At this successful

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