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Page 12 text:
8 THE MANZANITA
Jackson, i'Hello, Mary!" and Aza-
lia in her jealous rage, saw Sadie
smile and nod back at him. A tear
started from Azalia's bright eye,
but just then he turned and looked
straight at her.
"Hello, dearyl" his cheery voice
cried, and then to astonished yet
delighted Azalia he threw a
Foolishly blushing, she stood in
confusion, staring after his tiny
"Why, Zaly, that clown frowed
a kiss to you," cried Janet in a
shocked tone. "Who is he, Zaly?"
Azalia walked home slowly-
thinking-wondering. She could
not forget the clown's small face.
How handsome and young he Was!
And he had thrown a kiss-to her!
At the dinner table she was so un-
usually quiet that her father in-
quired, "What's the matter with
Puss today? Didnlt you like the
parade? Don't you want to go this
afternoon tl l guess you do not like
circuses much, eh?"
"Chl yes, she does," spoke up
Janet," hut, Father, today, the pret-
ty little clown boy frowed a kiss to
her! My! l should think she'd he
happy 'stead of mad-l would, if
And how Mr. Domincus did laugh.
Ile laughed till the tears rolled
down his face and still he laughed!
"Threw a kiss to you, did he? Well
Puss, l wouldn't worry about that.
He does that to all the pretty girls.',
As an answer Azalia made a face,
stuck out her tongue, and flung
herself out of the room. ln her own
room she looked in the mirror. The
face she saw was really pretty. Her
long black hair was topped by a
big pink bow, the very tint of her
round cheeks. Her brown eyes
flashed out from under heavy black
lashes and her mouth was curved
t'So he does it to all the pretty
girls, does he?" she said spitefully
to the girl in the mirror. t'Huh!
didn't I see him speak to Sadie
Jackson? And he never threw a
kiss to her-and all the neighbors
thing shc's pretty."
The afternoon was one of excite-
ment to every villager. The big
white tent, spread on a green com-
mon at the edge of town, was
crowded to its utmost capacity. Mr.
and Mrs. Domincus were there with
all the family. Azalia could hardly
wait till the performance began.
Finally the band on the platform
began to play "The Star Spangled
Banner" and the whole audience
rose. Twelve jet black horses came
prancing out, bearing twelve girls.
'lhey tripped daintly to the rings,
where they divided, six going into
each ring. The skill of the beauti-
fully dressed girls in their daring
acts was a source of envy and ad-
miration to Azalia. She watched
their every move, her brown eyes
flashing. Between each act the
Baby Clown would come out, mak-
ing fun for every one. Many peo-
ple afterward declared they had
never laughed so before in all their
lives. Azalia tried to attract his at-
tention by waving her hand or
throwing peanuts at him and twice
or three times she succeeded in get-
ting a grin and a wink from him.
The performance over, Azalia left
the tent with reluctance. She linger-
ed in the menageries as long as she
could and walked oh! so slowly
down the street toward home. Sud-
denly, as she walked along, a bril-
liant idea came to her, so brilliant
in fact that it made her brown eyes
shine like stars. At the same time
Page 11 text:
THE MANZANITA 7
eager boys had met the train early
that morning and had watched the
fascinating performance of unpack-
ing. And now the time for the big
parade was drawing near. On the
corner of Main and Park Streets
Mrs. Domineus stood, holding little
Janet by the hand, but Azalia, not
eontented to wateh from the walk,
had mounted a soap box.
"Oh! Mother, will it never come?
l'm so tired," ealled Janet.
t'Here, Azalia," said the little
mother, Htake Jannie up there with
you. She is too small to see any-
thing from here and the erowd
jostles her so."
Hlndeed, I won't," snapped Aza-
lia. 'Ll found this box and brought
if here for my own use, not for the
whole family. Besides l'm not go-
ing to be bothered with-Oh! here
it eomes-here it comes," she
Yes, it was really coming. The
band, perehed upon a gilded wagon,
burst i11to a spirited n1are'h. The
glossy black horses tossed their be-
ribboned heads and lifted their feet
high in the air with eaeh step. And
sueh a parade! Croftville, gather-
ed on the curbs of Main Street,
eheered and eheered. Wagoli after
wagon passed-a cage of lions-a
den of snakes-a eage of dogs-air
other of lions-a polar bear-seals,
some camels-and-"Oh! Mother-
see the little ponies and look at that
white Teddy bear ! "
"Oh! Oh!" breathed Azalia,
"that beautiful horse-look-see
him pranee-and look at that lovely
lady-all in red-my, ain't she
"Hello! Mary," whined a voiee,
and Azalia looked down to see the
tiniest of clowns, riding on a white
donkey. 'tHello, Mary," he called
again. He was looking at her!
Should she answer? "Hello, Mary
dear!" This time he waved his
hand. The parade was moving
slowly on. He would be gone in a
moment! Quick! he was looking
"Hello," she quavered weakly.
The word seemed to choke her. The
rest of the parade passed slowly by
her but Azalia's mind was still on
Tilly Tad. She decided he was a-
bout ber age, perhaps a little older.
She stood as one in a dream. The
golden rave ehariots-the ele-
phants-the minstrel band-the gi-
raffes-the zebra with its monkey
rider-all reeeived merely a glanee
"Come down, Azalia," urged the
mother, Heome home with us. You
have seen it all-why, what on
earth is the matter, child? You
look so queer-brush that hair out
of your eyes and please don't bite
your finger nails, Azalia!"
"Oh! Mother, let me stay till it
comes back. It won't be long and
l'll hurry home. Oh! please, Mum-
sie! Here-I'll take Jannie up on
my box, if you will.
" Well ' '-she eonvsented-' ' here,
take Janet and do hurry. I want
to set the table." With these words
she left them. The band began to
play again as the parade turned
and started back. Azalia waited
impat-iently till the white donkey
appeared-yes, there it came and
there was Tiny Tad in his cute lit-
tle red and white suit and tasseled
eap. Oh! if he would only look this
way! VVould he wave and call a-
gain? No, he was looking toward
the other side of the street. All at
once Azalia heard him say to Sadie
Page 13 text:
THE MANZANITA 9
she quickened her pace and fairly
ran the rest of the way home, the
pink bow flopping gaily over one
ear as she ran.
"A-zalia," cried ber
mother as she came into
"Where have you been 'Z We have
been home for an hour. Look at
your dusty shoes. And do fix your
hair! You look like a ruffian!"
"Yes, mother," answered our
heroine as she skipped to her room.
But once inside, she paid no atten-
tion to the pink bow but engaged
in very mysterious proceedings.
When her mother called for supper,
Azalia emerged from her room with
a triumphant light on her face.
"Will you please pass the butter,
father," said Azalia sweetly as she
sat at the supper table. The whole
family stared in amazement at this
new and strangely gentle Azalia, but
she merely dimpled back at them.
The supper dishes washed, Aza-
lia joined the family in the living
room. She tried to read a maga-
zine but could not become interested.
Then she attempted to crochet but
her thread tangled in an exasperat-
ing manner. Finally she cast it a-
side, too, and leaned back in her
chair. As she looked arou11d the
room, first at her father, busy over
his newspaper, then at the mother
mending one of her middy blouses,
next at Albert reading "Treasure
lslandf' and last at little Janet
singing a lullaby to her doll, some-
thing seemed to tug at her throat
and she swallowed hard to get rid
The clock on the shelf struck
eight. Mrs. Domincus rose wcarily.
"t'ome, Jannie, dear, it's time for
Azalia sprang to her feet. "Let
me take her, mother, you look
tiredf, The mother's face lighted
up with a tender smile. "That's so
thoughtful of you, Zaly, I am very
tired. Goodnight, Jannie, pleasant
dreams," she added as she kissed
the rosy mouth. Azalia flushed
guiltily, but said nothing.
As she tucked little sister in bed,
Janet pulled her face down to her
own small one and whispered, "I
love you, Zaly." Again that queer
something tugged at her throat and
again she swallowed hard as she
closed the door behind her.
In the living room once more the
minutes dragged slowly by. At
half-past nine she arose to say good
night. As she kissed her father she
felt that awful sensation in her
throat again. Her eyes burned and
filled with tears. She gritted her
teeth to suppress them and turned
toward her mother. But the sight
of the gentle mother working so
patiently for her, touched Azalia's
heart. She could not trust herself
to kiss her but stumbled out of the
room with not a glance toward the
The moon shone through the win-
dow and fell on Janet's face as she
lay sleeping. A low sob escaped
Azalia's trembling lips. "Oh! well.
11's worth it. I'm not going to
stay here in this poky old town for-
ever," she declared with an attempt
to regain her courage.
Azalia crept into bed and 'lay
there with sleepless eyes till the
clock struck ten-then the half
hour-then she heard the rest of the
family leave for bed. Another hour
passed-another half hour-and
then she crept stealthily out of bed,
dressed quickly, and pulled a small
satchel from under the bed. It was
an easy thing for Azalia to climb
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