“It is funny,” admitted Mary Louise, laughing, “but the 업소알바 soldier wanted it that way. He said it made him proud to wear the Hathaway badge of respectability. He’s a total stranger around here, you know—lives in some Eastern city and has conceived a remarkable admiration for little Dorfield.”

“Is that all you know about him?” asked Laura, suspiciously.

“He’s a soldier,” said Mary Louise proudly, “and entered the service a common private and came out a top-sergeant. That’s something.”

“Shows he’s popular with his mates and a good soldier,” agreed Irene.

“He was appointed to Company C of our regiment, together with some others, after the battle of Argonne,” continued Mary Louise, lauding her hero earnestly, “and was twice wounded before43 being sent home with the Dorfielders. He had been offered an honorable discharge when he got that terrible cut across the forehead, but in a week he was back with the boys, fighting desperately.”

“Did he bring any recommendations?” asked Phoebe.

“Will White told me his story, and so far as recommendation is concerned, every man in the Dorfield Regiment will swear by him and stand for Danny Dexter to the last gasp. Don’t you like my new chauffeur, girls?”

“I do,” responded Laura Hilton. “Father offered him a nice job at the mill, but he turned it down.”

“It was the same with my father,” announced Phoebe.

“The back yard looks neater than it has in years,” commented Irene, “and he surely proved to us this afternoon that he understood driving an auto.”

“Gran’pa Jim declares it was my automobile that won him,” Mary Louise stated. “He wasn’t anxious to be our hired man, either, until he caught sight of the car, when he at once hired out.”

“Well, it is a swell car,” declared Alora Jones,44 “and has every modern appliance. Besides, it shines like a diamond in the sun.”

“My, she’s only had the thing a month,” said Phoebe, “and it’s the most expensive little car in the market. Several have been sold in Dorfield already.” There was envy in this speech, and all the girls sighed in unison. Mary Louise, however, smiled slyly for she knew that with the exception of Irene, any one of the girls present could afford to buy a duplicate of her car.

“Well, the Hathaway establishment is blossoming out,” said Laura lightly, “and one man—a hard-working soldier—seems responsible for the transformation.”

“No, let’s put the auto first,” objected Irene. “First the old Colonel is cajoled into selling his ancient rattle-trap and buying Mary Louise a luxurious car, the latest model offered for sale; then comes along a soldier who falls in love with the car, and to get the fun of handling the machine hires out to the Hathaways. He proves a good man all-around and soon has the old place slicked up as if it were new.”

“That’s all an example of Mary Louise’s luck,” commented Laura. “It couldn’t possibly happen to anybody else.”

45 “I’m inclined to think that’s true,” added Phoebe, laughing at their earnest faces. “Mary Louise seems to get the best of what happens around Dorfield, but that’s not her fault—the dear little heart—and I’m mig