The day for the Lenox sports dawned
clear and beautiful. By breakfast time the mists
had rolled away from the hilltops. The trees,
which were now beginning to show bare places among
their leafy branches, beheld their own reflections
in the lakes that nestled at the feet of the Lenox
From their veranda Miss Stuart and
her girls could see every style of handsome vehicle
gliding along the perfect roads that led toward the
Fair Grounds from the beautiful homes surrounding
the old township.
The Society Circus could be enjoyed
only by invitation. The tickets had been sent
out only to the chosen. An invitation meant the
payment of five dollars to the Hospital Fund.
Barbara was the first of the girls
to be ready to start to the Fair Grounds. She
wore the tan riding-habit that Ruth had loaned her.
She was not to ride until later in the day, but it
would not be feasible to return to the hotel to change
Miss Stuart and her party had been
asked to be the guests at luncheon of Ambassador and
Ruth and Grace were dressed in short
skirts, loose blouses, and coats. They, also,
looked ready for business. So only Miss Stuart
and Mollie were able to wear the handsome toilets
suited to the occasion. Mollie appeared in her
blue silk costume. Miss Sallie was resplendent
in a pearl gray broadcloth and a hat of violet orchids.
At half-past nine, Hugh Post and Ralph
Ewing knocked at Miss Stuart’s sitting-room
door. Barbara had already seen Ruth’s and
Hugh’s automobiles waiting for them on the hotel
driveway. The boys were impatient to be off.
“Kindly explain to me, Ruth,”
asked Hugh, as the party finally started, “why
you are carrying those two large bolts of ribbon?
Are you going into the millinery business to-day?”
Ruth laughed. “Remember,
if you please, that Grace and I are going in for a
much more serious undertaking. These ribbons are
the reins that we intend to use for our extraordinary
race to-day. I shall endeavor to drive my turkey
with blue strings. Grace considers red ribbon
more adapted to the disposition and appearance of
“Well, you girls certainly have
nerve to take part in such a wild goose chase!”
laughed the boy.
At the Fair Grounds Miss Stuart had
reserved seats for her party near the green inclosure.
Just in front of them was a little platform, decorated
in red, white and blue bunting. On this were seated
the Ambassador, Franz Heller, Mr. Winthrop Latham,
Reginald and several other prominent Lenox residents.
Grace and Ruth were not allowed to
remain with their friends; they were immediately hurried
off to the clubhouse, where they found eight other
girls waiting for them. The entrance of the ten
girls, driving their extraordinary steeds, was to
be the great opening event of the Society Circus.
At ten-thirty Mr. Winthrop Latham
announced the first feature of their entertainment.
A peal of laughter burst from hundreds of throats.
Marching from the clubhouse were ten
pretty girls, “shooing” in front of them
ten varieties of barnyard fowls!
Dorothy Morton walked along in a stately
fashion, led by an old gray goose. Neither Miss
Morton nor the goose seemed in the least degree disturbed
by the applause and laughter.
Ruth’s turkey was not so amiable.
It stopped several times in its promenade from the
clubhouse, to crane its long neck back at the driver.
The turkey’s small eyes surveyed the scene about
it with a look of mingled suspicion and indignation.
The old rooster, which regarded the occasion as given
in its honor, traveled in front of Grace at a lively
Within the inclosed field, just in
front of the little stand, where the Ambassador and
his friends sat, two poles had been placed ten yards
apart. Across the meadow, about an eighth of a
mile, were two other poles of the same kind.
The girls were to try to persuade
their curious steeds to run across the field from
the first posts to those opposite. There the drivers
were expected to turn their steeds and come safely
back to the starting place.
Of the ten entrances Grace and her
rooster made the best start. Ruth’s turkey
refused to stir; he had found a fat worm on the ground
in front of him. His attention was riveted to
that. Ruth flapped her blue silk reins in vain.
But a peacock bore the turkey company.
Seeing himself and his barnyard acquaintances the
center of so many eyes, Mr. Peacock was properly vain.
He spread his beautiful fan-shaped tail, and would
not be driven from the starting-place.
Dorothy Morton and her old gray goose
continued their stately walk across the meadow.
Only once did the goose’s dignity forsake it.
Grace’s excitable rooster crossed its path!
The rooster had made a short scurry to the side, his
driver trying to persuade him back to the straight
path. As the rooster hurried past the old gray
goose, the latter stopped short, gave an indignant
flap of its wings, rose a few inches from the ground,
and pecked at Mr. Rooster. A moment later the
goose continued its dignified march.
This incident was too much for Grace’s
irascible rooster. With a terrified crow he darted
first this way, then that, until Grace was wound up
in her own red silk reins. It seemed a hopeless
task to try to reach the goal.
It was another instance of the old
story of the hare and the tortoise. While Grace
struggled with her rooster, a fat duck waddled past
her. The duck’s mistress had enticed her
nearly the whole length of the journey by throwing
grains of corn a yard or so ahead of her steed.
Of course, any well disposed duck would move forward
Dorothy Morton arrived safely at the
first goal with her old gray goose. But now her
troubles really began. Her steed had no disposition
to return to the crowd of noisy spectators that it
had so cheerfully left behind. Dorothy tugged
at one of her heavy white reins. The goose continued
placidly on its way across the broad field. A
goose is not a pleasant bird in attack, and Dorothy
did not like to resort to forcible methods.
Assistance came from an unexpected
quarter. Grace’s rooster had at last been
persuaded to rush violently between the required posts.
In one of its excited turns, it brushed close behind
the old goose. Here was a chance for revenge!
The rooster gave a flying peck at the goose’s
tail feathers and flew on.
With a loud squawk the goose turned
completely around. It flew up in the air, then
down to the ground again, and made a rush for its opponent.
But the rooster was unworthy game. It tacked
too often to the right and left. The old gray
goose gave up its pursuit in disgust. Since it
was headed toward the starting-place it took up its
walk again, Dorothy Morton meekly following it.
Only three of the girls remained in
the race. Ruth had given up in despair.
Her turkey had wandered off to parts unknown.
Another girl sat on an upturned stump feeding crumbs
to a motherly hen that had found walking disagreeable
and had taken to scratching around the roots of a
Dorothy passed her rival with the
duck midway on her journey back home. The duck
took no further interest in corn. It had eaten
all that a well-bred fowl could desire. Now it
squatted in the grass to enjoy a well-earned repose.
Shrieks of laughter rose when Dorothy
Morton at last drove her gray goose back to the judge’s
“Hurrah for the old gray goose!”
shouted the spectators in merry applause.
Franz Heller rushed down from the
platform, carrying two wreaths in his hands.
One was made of smilax and pink roses; the other
a small wreath of evergreens with a silver bell fastened
to it. Franz dropped the rose garland over Dorothy
Morton’s head. The small wreath with the
bell he placed on the neck of the old gray goose.
Exhausted, Dorothy dropped into the
nearest seat. The old gray goose wandered off
toward home, led by a proud farmer’s boy.
Scarcely had the laughter from the
first event ceased, when the Thread and Needle Race
was called for.
Ralph Ewing was an easy winner, thanks
to Mollie’s skill as a seamstress. Ralph
declared the button she sewed on him should ornament
his coat for evermore.
But the Egg and Spoon Race was a closely contested
The race appeared to be a tie between Ambassador Morton
and Mr. Winthrop
Near-sighted Franz Heller made a brave
start, but his eyes betrayed him. Carefully carrying
his egg in a spoon which he bore at arm’s length,
Franz forgot to look down at his feet. He stumped
his toe against a small stone. Crash, the egg
rolled from his spoon! A yellow stream marked
the place where it fell.
Mr. Latham and the Ambassador were
painstaking men. They ran along, side by side,
at a gentle pace. The man who arrived first at
the appointed goal with an unbroken egg was, of course,
Unfortunately for Mr. Latham, an old
habit overcame him. In the midst of the contest
he paused to adjust his glasses. The movement
of his arm was fatal. His spoon tipped and his
egg rolled gently to the earth.
Still the Ambassador continued unmoved
on his stately journey. With a smile he solemnly
handed an unbroken white egg to Reginald Latham.
“Here, cook this for your breakfast!”
he advised Reginald, who was acting as judge of this
Cutting a lemon with a saber, and
the Dummy Race, ended the morning’s sports.
The afternoon was to be devoted to riding.