“Come in,” said Lady Iolana.
The door opened and her father peered inside. He paused for a second, seeing her still in bed, but then he closed the door behind him and stepped across the room to take a seat in the comfy chair by the fireplace.
“It’s unusual for you to be in bed at this hour,” he said. “Not ill, are you?”
“No. I’m just being indolent.”
“Well, you are entitled, I suppose. It’s not everyday you turn fourteen.”
“No, it isn’t, but it seems like my birthday comes quicker every year.”
“Wait until you’re my age,” he said. “They fly at you like freight trains. We missed you at breakfast.”
“Esther brought me breakfast in bed. But I’m about ready to get up and about now.”
“What are your plans today?”
Iolana pulled the book, heretofore unnoticed from her side, and placed a silver bookmark between its pages before setting it on the nightstand.
“We are having our little get-together tonight, and I have a date for tea with Dovie. I thought I would visit some friends this morning.”
Mr. Staff stood up and walked over to the bedside. He picked up the book as if he was reading the cover, though he didn’t really look at it.
“You’re a very busy young lady,” he said. “I suppose you soon won’t have any time for me at all.”
“Don’t be silly, Father. We’re going hunting three days hence. We have to get that therizinosaurus that you’ve been after. Besides, we’ll see each other tonight.”
“Of course,” he said with a smile. Setting the book back down, he turned and walked to the door. He paused to look back over his shoulder. “You have a present waiting for you downstairs.”
“I can’t wait,” she said with a smile.
As soon as Mr. Staff left, Esther entered. She was wearing a cheerful blue sundress.
“Have you decided what you want to wear?” she asked.
“I don’t want to clash with you,” said Iolana. “Perhaps my teal skirt, with a white blouse. Do I have a teal tie?”
“Yes, but you don’t have a matching hat.”
“Find a bit of teal lace and put it around my white boater. I’m sure Auntie Yuah has some if I don’t.”
Thirty minutes later, properly attired, Iolana and Esther descended the stairs. As usual for that time of day, Kayden was manning the front door. He opened it and ushered them outside. Sitting right in front of the portico was a new Sawyer and Sons model 12b steam carriage with a large red bow attached to its shiny sky blue bonnet.
“Golly!” exclaimed Iolana.