CHAPTER II. DOROTHY AT THE OFFICE
III. A STRANGE ADVENTURE
IV. A CLEW
V. MILES BURLOCK
VI. AT THE SWING
VII. WHAT HAPPENED IN THE ORCHARD
VIII. SQUIRE SANDERS AT SCHOOL
IX. THE AFTERMATH
X. APPLE BLOSSOM MAGIC
XI. A SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER
XII. AN UNPROVOKED ATTACK
XIII. A QUEER PICNIC
XIV. THE SECRET
XV. DOROTHY IN POLITICS
XVI. THE GIRLS HAVE IT
XVII. A GIRL'S WEAPON
XVIII. DOROTHY IN DANGER
XIX. A SURPRISE TRIP
XX. AN EVENTFUL JOURNEY
XXI. AT AUNT WINNIE'S
XXII. THE PRICE OF TAVIA'S TRESSES
XXIII. IN SOCIAL ELEMENTS
XXIV. THE PAINTED FACE
XXV. AN EMERGENCY CASE
XXVI. DOROTHY'S COURAGE
XXVII. THE LITTLE CAPTAIN--CONCLUSION
The day of days had come at last: Dorothy would be the Daughter of the
"Lucky you don't have to curl your hair Doro for the fog is like rain
and that's the worst kind for made curls" said Tavia.
"Oh I do hope it is not going to rain!"
"No it surely won't. But come don't let's be late."
"There's heaps of time Tavia. Oh just see Briggs' new flag! Isn't it
glorious?" cried Dorothy Dale.
"Not half as glorious as your old Betsy Ross. I'd be too proud to march
if I had a real truly Betsy. I think anyway it's prettier with the
star of stars than with the regular daisy field of them" and Tavia tied
her scarf just once more that being the fourth time she had smoothed it
out and knotted it over.
"I think red white and blue look lovely over a white dress" commented
Dorothy. "Your scarf is perfect."
"But you are like a live Columbia" insisted Tavia. "No one could look
as pretty as you" and her companion fairly beamed with admiration.
"Come now gather up the stuffs. Button your cloak all the way down for
we don't want folks to see how we're dressed" and Dorothy made sure
that her own water-proof covered her skirts to the very edge.
It was Decoration Day and the girls were to take part in the Veterans'
Dorothy was the only daughter of Major Frank Dale one of the prominent
veterans of Dalton a small town in New York state. Dorothy was in her
fourteenth year but since her mother was dead and she was the eldest
of the small family (the other members being Joe age ten and Roger
just seven) she seemed older and was really very sensible for her
The major always called her his Little Captain and she showed such a
practical interest in his business that of running the only newspaper
in Dalton The Bugle that few if any boys could have made better
partners in the work.
At housekeeping Dorothy was relieved of the real drudgery by Mrs.
Martin who had been with the major's children since the day when baby
Roger was taken from his mother's side; and while the housekeeper was
the soul of love for the motherless ones it was Dorothy who felt
responsible for the real management of the home for Aunt Libby as the
children called Mrs. Martin was fast growing old and faster growing
queer in spite of a really good-natured disposition.
"It seems to me Dorothy" the old lady would say "Libby can't suit you
any more. And Joe too--he's mighty fussy about his victuals. Only my
baby Roger loves the old woman!" and she would press the younger boy to
her breast with a world of love in the caress.
Not far from Dorothy lived Octavia Travers or Tavia as all the girls in
Dalton called her She had the reputation of being wild; that is she
cared little for school and less for study but she loved her brother
Johnnie and she loved Dorothy. She also had some love left for the
woods; but like many another child of nature she was misunderstood and
she was considered an idler by every one but her own father and Dorothy.
"Tavia is a rough diamond" Dorothy would tell the major "and you need
not be afraid of Aunt Libby's dreadful ideas about her. She's as good as
gold. Lots of girls who turn up their noses at her might learn charity
from the Tiger Lily as they call her just because she has a few
freckles around her eyes. I think they make her eyes prettier they are
so brown--her eyes you know. And Daddy no other girl in Dalton loves
soldiers dead or alive as truly as Tavia does."
This last argument never failed to convince Major Dale for a patriotic
girl could no more go astray than could a star fall from the flag he
declared; so the Little Captain might go with Tavia if she desired.
So it was that Dorothy and Tavia were companions on Decoration Day. For
weeks they had been getting ready--Tavia picking out the patches of
daisies that would surely be in bloom in time and Dorothy making
certain that Mrs. Travers would not disappoint Tavia with her white
things as well as keeping track of Aunt Libby who had Dorothy's own
costume in hand. The dress was too short and had to be let down a whole
inch and of course it could not be done up until after the alterations
There was always a big time in Dalton on Memorial Day but this year it
was to be made more memorable than ever before. The Grand Army of the
Republic men were to come in from Rochester the firemen were to turn
out and the school children were to have a place in the ranks with
Dorothy Dale as their leader. Besides this the Dalton Drum and Fife
Corps would make their first public appearance on this occasion and a
real review was to be given the procession in the little square
opposite the school not very far from the cemetery where the soldiers'
graves would be decorated.
No wonder then that Dorothy and Tavia were anxious about their
appearance. Every school girl was expected to wear white of course and
the bunting stripes of red white and blue were bought in Rochester by
the school teacher Miss Ellis and sold to the children at actual cost-
-ten cents for each scarf.
One thing was certain no other girls would have such flowers as Dorothy
and Tavia had. Such syringias and such daisies! And the ferns that Tavia
had growing back of the well for weeks!
Tavia had taken charge of the flowers for Dorothy had made the big
bouquet and had covered it with wet paper so it would keep fresh. The
Little Captain had made certain that her companion would not be
disappointed about her white dress and although Tavia had to stay from
school to wash it the day before Dorothy went over to help her with the
ironing for Mrs. Travers managed somehow to have an excuse for her
failure in getting her daughter ready--she was that kind of helpless
shiftless person who rarely had things ready for her children
especially in the matter of Tavia's clothes.
"Your dress looks real pretty" declared Dorothy as the girls hurried
along to the school.
"Thanks to you for ironing it" responded Tavia with gratitude in her
"I only helped you did the skirt."
"That was plain but the waist and sleeves--I never could have even
smoothed them to say nothing of making them look this way" and she
straightened up to show the beauty of the garment.
At the school everything was in commotion. Some girls wanted their
scarfs tied others wanted to carry flags some insisted they could not
go out without hats while Miss Ellis always strict seemed more stern
"Those who were here yesterday afternoon raise their hands" she
commanded. Every girl but Tavia raised her hand.
"Those who were not here to rehearsal" went on the teacher "cannot be
in the ranks. You know I told you all to be here or not to expect to go
blundering along the roads disgracing the school. Now Miss Tavia
Travers please step back."
All the commotion ceased. Tavia the patriotic girl--she who had been
searching for flowers in all sorts of dangerous and lonely places--not
"Teacher" spoke up Dorothy her cheeks aflame and her voice quivering.
"It was not Tavia's fault. She--"
"Silence Dorothy or you will also lose your place."
"But teacher--" insisted the girl with commendable courage "I know
"Leave the ranks!" called Miss Ellis and Dorothy stepped down--and
slipped into a seat alongside her weeping friend. "Sarah Ford you may
This announcement caused no less surprise than did the punishment of
Dorothy. To think that Sarah Ford a stranger in Dalton whose father
was not even a firemen let alone a soldier should take first place!
It must be admitted that not every girl cared when Tavia left the ranks
for she was not a general favorite: but Dorothy! Major Dale's daughter!
and he the head marshal!
With a conceited toss of her head Sarah Ford stepped to the front.
"She's mean" was whispered around. "Perhaps teacher knows only the
meanest girl would ever take Doro's place."
Meanwhile two very miserable girls were crying their eyes sore in the
"Oh Doro!" sobbed Tavia "to think you lost it on my account."
"It was not on your account" wailed Dorothy "but on account of an
"Hush! She'll hear you."
"Hope she does" went on the crying girl. "I would just like her to know
what I think of her. I don't care if I never come in this old school
"I never will" whispered Tavia.
The ranks were formed now and the girls marched out. An unpardonable
expression covered the face of Sarah Ford as she passed the tearful
"There" hissed Tavia sticking out her tongue at the unpopular leader.
"Sneak!" she hissed again and made the most unmistakable face of
contempt and defiance at the haughty Sarah.
Many looked sadly at Dorothy and with pity at Tavia. Certainly these two
girls deserved to march. Dorothy had done so much to help in fact some
of the girls knew she had helped the major with all the letter writing
inviting the Rochester men and sending instructions to the firemen. And
to think that now at the last moment she should be debarred!
And Tavia too had been so happy at the prospect of the parade. Poor
Tavia! Everybody knew she had a hard time of it anyway only for
Dorothy who always helped her out.
"Now young ladies" said Miss Ellis as the last girl passed out "you
may fall in at the end."
"I don't care to" Dorothy spoke up wiping her eyes.
"But I say you must!"
"Do" whispered Tavia "we can see them anyway."
This was enough for Dorothy. Both girls stood up straightened out their
crushed dresses patted their red eyes with their handkerchiefs and
fell in at the end of the line.
"I don't care a bit" said Dorothy smiling. "I would just as soon be
with you any way. And besides we will be right next to the Veterans."
"Oh good" answered her companion "I would rather be there than up
front. Only of course you should lead."
The Dalton Drum and Fife Corps was playing loudly. There seemed
something very solemn about the lively tune in honor of the "Boys" who
had answered their last roll call. Tavia's eyes were swimming and not
a freckle was to be seen beneath the deep red color that framed them.
Dorothy could not talk. It was so sad--that soldiers had to die just
like other persons. She prayed her "Daddy" would not be called for years
At the corner of the street the school children were joined by the main
column. The veterans fell in--back of Dorothy and Tavia!
Major Dale was grand marshal and of course came first. He looked
surprised at seeing his daughter--his Little Captain last in line with
Then he glanced at Tavia. It was certainly something for which she was
responsible he was sure for Dorothy had told him she had remained away
from school and missed the last rehearsal. "Halt" called the major and
his men stood still.
At a signal the entire ranks waited. Miss Ellis stepped up to the
marshal smiling. She had evidently forgotten his daughter had lost her
"I need two girls to carry the end flags" he began. "These old men have
all they can do to travel. The flags are not heavy--here the two last
girls will do nicely!"
Dorothy and Tavia stepped to the sides and gracefully took the flags
from the hands of the aged soldiers.
The only girls who could carry real army flags! And walk on either side
of the marshal leading the Veterans!
"If I only could stick my tongue out just once more at Sarah" whispered
Tavia as she crossed back of the marshal to her place.
"We have both got Betsy Ross flags now" said Dorothy and in all that
procession there were no prettier figures than those of Dorothy and
Tavia as they marched alongside the veterans with the real army flags
waving above their heads stepping with feet and hearts in perfect
accord to the music of the Dalton Drum and Fife Corps' "Star Spangled
DOROTHY AT THE OFFICE
Could the sunshine of yesterday be forgotten in the clouds of to-day?
Major Dale was ill. Overfatigue from the long march the doctor said
had brought on serious complications.
Early that morning after Memorial Day Aunt Libby called Dorothy to go
to her father. The faithful housekeeper had been about all night for
the major had had a high fever but now with daylight came a lowering
of temperature and he wanted Dorothy.
"Now don't take on when you see him" Aunt Libby told the frightened
girl. "Just make light of it and pet him like."
Poor Dorothy! To think her own "Daddy" was really sick--and so many
veterans already dead! But she must not have gloomy thoughts she must
be brave and strong as he had always taught her to be.
"Why Daddy" she whispered in a strained voice kissing his hot cheek
"the honors of yesterday were too much for you."
"Guess so Little Captain but I'll be on hand at mess time" and he
made an effort to look like a well man. "But I tell you daughter
there's something on my mind; the Bugle should come out to-morrow."
"And so it will. I'll go directly down to the office and tell Ralph."
"Yes Ralph Willoby is a good boy--the best I have ever had in the Bugle
office. And that's why I sent for you so early. I want you to go down to
the office and help Ralph."
"Oh I'll just love to!" and Dorothy was really pleased at the prospect
of working on the paper in spite of the unfortunate circumstance---her
father's illness--that gave her the chance.
"Not so fast now. You must pay strict attention--"
"But you are not to talk: you have had a fever from fatigue you know
and it might come back. Just let me go to the office and I will promise
to return for instructions at the very first trouble Ralph meets."
Dorothy was already on her feet. She knew the very worst thing the major
could do in his present condition would be to talk business.
"Now I'm off" she said with a kiss and an assuring smile "you will be
proud of to-morrow's Bugle. 'All about Memorial Day!' 'Get the Bugle if
you want the news!'" she added in true newsboy style. Then Aunt Libby
came in to wait on the major.
But Dorothy's heart was not as light as her smile had been. Her father
looked very ill and the bread and butter of the Dale household depended
upon the getting out of the Bugle.
Her brothers Joe and Roger had been sent to school early to be out of
the way but to-morrow they might both stay home thought the sister
for they could help sell papers.
"Father never would let the boys do it" she reflected "but he is sick
now and we must do the very best we can. If he were ill a long time we
would have to get along."
Only waiting to snatch up a sandwich left from her brothers' lunch--for
she knew the noon hour would be a busy time at the Bugle office--
Dorothy hurried out and over to Tavia's.
"I can't go to school to-day" she called in at the half opened door.
"Father is sick and I must attend to some business for him."
"Bad?" queried Tavia for she noticed the change in her friend's manner.
"Perhaps not so very. But you know he is seldom sick and now he has a
"Fever?" echoed Mrs. Travers. "Tavia close that door this very minute!
We cannot afford to catch fevers."
Dorothy felt as if some one had slapped her face. To think of her father
giving any one sickness!
"Nonsense ma" spoke up Tavia. "The major is only ill from walking in
the hot sun. Come in Doro dear and tell us if we can help you."
"Aunt Libby is alone with him and when the doctor comes she may need
something. If your ma would not be afraid to let Johnnie run over about
noon I would pay him for any errand" spoke Dorothy.
"Oh certainly dear" the woman replied now venturing to poke her
uncombed head out of doors thinking evidently that the mere mention of
money was the most powerful antiseptic known. "Of course Johnnie will be
too pleased. I'll send him any time you say."
Secretly glad that her mother had so promptly overcome her fear of the
fever but also ashamed that her motive should be so flagrant Tavia
slipped on her things and joined her companion.
"I wouldn't keep you another minute" she began "for I know just how
anxious you are. But I'm going along to help. I can go on errands at
least and keep you company."
"Oh Tavia dear perhaps you had better go to school. On account of the
trouble yesterday teacher will think we are both defying her."
"Then let her send the Lady Sarah to find out" retorted Tavia. "I would
show her if I had freckles on my tongue."
"Please don't talk so Tavia it is wrong--"
"Wrong? My father says there are some men in this world too mean to
bother the law about. He says he knows one he would like to thresh only
he is sure the sneak would not hit him back but would have him
arrested. Physical punishment is the kind for such father declares. And
that's just the way I feel about Lady Sarah. I would not tell teacher on
her for that would give her a chance to 'crawl' as Johnnie calls being
mean. So sticking my tongue out at her is the nearest I can come to
This doctrine did not in any way coincide with the upright views of
Dorothy but she knew argument would be useless. Besides her head and