he startled Mrs. Donovan, staring stupidly at the child embracing her knees.
"I brought your little niece," began Mrs. Black.
"Niece!" gasped Mrs. Donovan in astonishment, for the figure at her knees did not look like any niece she had ever seen. "Sure, it's a boy!"
The little face upturned to her broke into a radiant smile. "That's what everyone says. But I'm not a boy, I'm not! Am I, Mrs. Black? I'm a girl and my name's Mary Rose and I'm almost eleven----"
"H-sh, h-sh, dearie!" Mrs. Donovan's hand slipped over the red lips and she sent a quick glance over her shoulder. Bewildered and surprised as she was she realized that her niece's age was not to be shouted out in the vestibule of the Washington in any such joyous fashion. "My soul an' body," she murmured again as she looked at the sturdy little figure in knickerbockers. "You're Mary Rose Crocker?" she asked doubtfully. She almost hoped she wasn't.
"Mary Rose Crocker," repeated the red lips and the knickerbockered legs j