"Of all things, to have that happen just now! Isn't it too mean!" sighed Dorothy, perching herself on the high shelf at the side of the pump, and gazing dejectedly beyond the wire fence into the pigeon loft, where a few birds posed in real "Oh fair dove, Oh, fond dove!" fashion.
"Mean?" repeated Tavia, who was inside the wire fence, calling live birds, and looking for dead ones, both of which efforts were proving failures. "It is awful, Dorothy, such a doings as this. They are gone, sure enough," and she crawled through the low gate that was intended as an emergency exit for chickens or pigeons. "I'd just like to know who took them," she finished.
"So would I," and Dorothy shook her blonde head with a meaning clearer than mere words might impart. "Yes, I would like to know, and I've just a notion of finding out."
2 Tavia reached for the clean little drinking pan that rested on the shelf at Dorothy's elbow. She held it under the pump spout while Dorothy worked the pump handle up and down. Then, with the fresh water in her hand, Tavia crawled inside the wire enclosure again. A few tame bantams flew across the yard to the treat. Then the doves left their perch and joined the party around the pan.
"How lonely they look without the others," remarked Dorothy, as she, too, crept through the wire gate. "And I did love the Archangels. I never saw prettier doves. They always reminded me of real Paradise birds. No wonder they were called by a heavenly name."
"And to have taken both pairs!" denounced Tavia. "My favorites were the fantails—they always made me think of—What do you think?"
"Think? I know."