It was nearly two o’clock next day when the thirtieth programme was ﬁnished and placed in the last row of dainty cards, laid out for the family’s farewell inspection.
While Lloyd cut the squares of tissue-paper which were to lie between them, Joyce brought the box in which they were to be packed and the white ribbons to tie them.
Jack, having saddled Washington, was blacking his shoes and making other preparations for his ride to town. A special trip had to be made, in order to get the package to the Phœnix post-ofﬁce in time.
“They might wait until morning, I suppose,” said Joyce, as she began placing them carefully in piles of ten. “But it is best to allow all the time possible for delays. Then the programmes have to be written on them after they get to Plainsville. Oh, I hope Mrs. Link will like them!”
“I don’t see how she can help it!” exclaimed Lloyd. “They’re lovely, and I think you’d be so proud of them you wouldn’t know what to do.”
“I am pleased with them,” admitted Joyce, stopping to take one last peep at the pretty rose-garlanded Cupids ringing the bride-bells, which Phil had suggested. It was the best design in the lot, she thought.
“Oh, I forgot!” she exclaimed, suddenly, looking up in dismay. “What shall I do? I promised Mr. Armond that I’d let him see these cards before I sent them away.”
“You won’t have time now,” suggested Lloyd.
“I suppose Jack could wait a few minutes, but I thought we’d start over to Shaw’s ranch just as soon as the cards were off. I didn’t want to lose a minute in getting my hive of bees, after I’d earned them. It’s such a long walk over there and back, that I don’t feel like going to the ranch ﬁrst.”
“Let Jack stop and show them to Mr. Armond,” suggested her mother. “He’s always so careful that he can be trusted to tie the box up safely afterward.”
“Oh, he’s safe enough,” answered Joyce, “but he’d make such a mess of it, tying and untying the white ribbons on the inside of the package. He can’t make a decent bow to save his life. He’d have them all in knots and strings, and after all the care I’ve taken I want Mrs. Link to ﬁnd them just as they leave me.”
For a moment Joyce stood undecided, regretting her promise to Mr. Armond, and sorely tempted to break it.
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