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The Great Ball — Adventures of the Teenie Weenies by William Donahey

There was some great secret in the air. For some time there had been much stir in and about the Teenie Weenie village beneath the rose bush. There were many secret meetings between the General and the Lady of Fashion, who seemed to be the leading spirits of it all. The Turk and the Cook and Gogo, under the direction of the Lady of Fashion, spent many days in the cellar of a certain house not far from Shoehurst. The Lovers’ bungalow was closed to all gentlemen callers every afternoon for several weeks, and it was reported that the little ladies who gathered there were sewing with might and main.

“By heck, it ’pears to me that there is somethin’ mighty queer goin’ on ’round here,” remarked Grandpa as he shuffled into the Chinaman’s laundry one afternoon. “Such carryin’s on I haven’t seen for a long time.”

“Allee same muchee slecrets,” said the Chinaman, putting down his tiny iron and pushing out a chair for his visitor.

“Secrets!” shouted the old man. “Why, bless my soul, the air is full of ’em, and I reckon it’s some of those new fangled ideas of the Lady of Fashion; she’s always up to somethin’ or t’other.”

“Allee same we fine out if we wait long enough,” laughed the Chinaman.

“Well, I ’spect you’re right,” growled Grandpa, “but we never did have any carryin’s on like that when I was a youngster.”

It wasn’t long before all the Teenie Weenies knew what the secret was, for one morning they each received a tiny invitation written neatly in the dainty hand of the Lady of Fashion.

It was a very formal invitation to a grand ball in the cellar of a certain house.

There was much excitement among some of the little men, for it was whispered about that those who attended the ball were supposed to wear full dress suits and several of the little chaps had none. However, the Old Soldier, who was quite a good tailor, came to their rescue and everybody was provided with a dress suit, or “fish and soup suit,” as Grandpa called them.

The ball was to be the most fashionable thing that ever had been given in Teenie Weenie land, and all the little folks could hardly wait for the appointed day.

The ball was to be given on the head of a drum which lay in a cellar not far from the shoe house. A paper box, which was found in the cellar, was pulled up beside the drum. Onto it steps were built up to the head of the drum. By cutting a door in the box it made a wonderful place for the little guests to leave their wraps, and a curtain, strung across the center of the box, gave the little ladies a snug place to powder their tiny noses. The head of the drum made a fine dance floor, and around the edges comfortable seats were placed.

It took quite a lot of argument to get the Dunce and Gogo to act as footmen, for they wanted to wear dress suits like the rest, but when they found out that they were to help the Cook serve the ice cream they were very willing.

The day of the ball the excited Teenie Weenies started to scrub and clean themselves many hours before the time set for the party, and a cleaner set of little folks never was seen.

At 9 o’clock the guests began to arrive and they were received at the top of the stairs by the Lady of Fashion and the General. Great candles flooded the place with light, and the Old Soldier, Paddy Pinn, and the Cowboy furnished music for the dancing.

At first the guests were rather stiff and formal, but the Dunce relieved the situation by falling down stairs with a tray full of dishes. The little people laughed right out loud when they saw the Dunce wasn’t hurt, and from that moment on every one enjoyed themselves as they never had before.

A wonderful lunch was prepared by the Cook, and the footmen passed around dainty sandwiches, cocoa, lemonade, and ice cream.

All the Teenie Weenies attended the ball, except Grandpa, who stayed home and took care of the Lover Twins, and everyone said that the ball was the greatest event that had ever taken place in the Teenie Weenie social world.

“We had a wonderfully fine time, Grandpa,” cried the Doctor when the little folks returned from the ball.

“And we had awful good things to eat,” announced the Dunce. “See, I’ve brought some home for you,” and the little fellow uncovered a tiny dish filled with ice cream.

“Once I went to a party,” said Grandpa, dipping into the ice cream. “It was along in March in forty-nine—” But the little folks were too tired to listen to the story and they trudged off to bed, leaving the old gentleman to finish his ice cream and story by himself.

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