THE SCOUT’S SURPRISE

As soon as Marjorie had sent her telegram, and had stopped in the
kitchen to tell Mrs. Hadley the good news, she ran upstairs again to
Olive. She knew that the other girl would be even more eager than she
was to talk things over, and to learn of everything that had happened.

“I’m really not a bit sick,” said Olive. “I don’t see why I should stay
in bed.”

“Well, you might as well rest until supper and then get up. Because
tomorrow will be a strenuous day, with all the scouts and your own
family here.”

“And how about Tommy?” asked Olive. “Does he have to come from Ohio?”

“Worse than that!” replied Marjorie. “Wyoming! And the funny part of it
was that he was on the ranch with us all summer.”

“Oh, tell me all about him–everything!” cried the girl, and Marjorie
spent most of the morning relating even the minutest details about Kirk
Smith.

Daisy, with her mother and father, arrived that night, almost wild in
their joy, after those dreadful months of uncertainty and fear. Their
happiness in the reunion was wonderful to see; Marjorie and Mrs. Hadley
both wiped tears from their eyes as they beheld it.

“And so you will be here for our house party after all!” said Marjorie,
squeezing Daisy’s hand.

“Yes,” replied the girl, smiling. “And it is going to be the very
nicest one I ever attended.”

“What I am waiting for, is to see the other girls’ surprise,” continued
Marjorie. “Shall we ask your mother and father to withdraw and have
some fun teasing them?”

“I’d love it!” agreed Daisy, who was in for anything now.

The other six scouts, accompanied by John Hadley, arrived about noon on
Saturday. Marjorie and Daisy met them at the train.

“Daisy!” they all exclaimed at once. “You here!”

“Yes,” replied the girl, making a vain effort to disguise her happiness.

“You certainly look happy!” remarked Alice. “What has happened?”

“I’m going back to Miss Allen’s in the Fall,” she answered.

“Girls,” said Marjorie, interrupting the conversation, “we have a guest
with us. Somebody you’ll no doubt be delighted to meet: Kirk Smith’s
wife!”

“Kirk Smith’s wife!” repeated Alice. “When did he get married?”

“Last April,” said Marjorie.

“And is he separated from her?” asked Ethel, breathlessly.

“Naturally! He wasn’t with her this summer, was he?”

“I thought there was something queer about him,” observed Alice. “Is
she nice?”

“Charming.”

“And does she love him?”

“She seems to.”

“Well, where did you ever find her?” asked Florence.

“She is a friend of Mrs. Hadley’s,” answered Marjorie.

It was John’s first knowledge of the fact that the mysterious girl
whom his mother had been sheltering was really Daisy’s sister, and he
uttered a cry of joy. The girls all looked at him suspiciously.

“You’re fooling us, like you and Lily did about the lieutenant!” was
Alice’s conclusion.

“I’m not–am I, John?”

“No, on my word of honor!”

Very shortly after, Marjorie proved to them that she had been telling
the truth. She introduced them all to Mrs. Kirk Smith, a charming young
woman of about twenty-two.

It was Ethel Todd’s clever mind which put two and two together, and
first made the discovery. This girl was a Mrs. Smith; she answered to
Olive’s description; moreover, Daisy’s presence, her joy, her statement
that she would return to Miss Allen’s all led to the solution.

“Aren’t you Daisy’s sister?” she asked suddenly.

Marjorie and Daisy burst into laughter, as the realization dawned
upon the other girls. Explanations followed, and Mr. and Mrs. Gravers
appeared on the scene, to join in the merry-making.

The celebration that night was the happiest that Marjorie had ever
attended. And, at the back of her mind, was always the thought of the
reunion of husband and wife, which would take place the following week,
and which would be the crowning event of all.

But when Daisy’s family tried to put all the credit upon Marjorie, she
modestly disclaimed it.

“It was really Mrs. Hadley’s good-turn,” she said.

“And I couldn’t have done it without John,” replied the older woman.

“But I couldn’t have done anything without Marjorie,” he said.

“Let’s call it ‘_The Good-turn of the Senior Patrol_,’” suggested
Marjorie. “The senior patrol, and their loyal friends.”

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