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CHAPTER XIII The Birthday Party
 THE first of September was Johnny Blossom’s birthday, and Father and Mother had that he should have a party and that the party should be held at Kingthorpe. How that would be!  
He was to be allowed to invite just exactly whom he pleased, especially those who had been kind to him, Mother said. My, oh, my! but that would mean a good many!
Soon after this plan was made, all the household went out to Kingthorpe one day—Father, Mother, Asta, Andrea, Dagny, and Johnny Blossom, of course, and the two maids.
Wide open stood the park gates, wide open the heavy, richly gates to the courtyard, where the fountain was splashing musically; wide open, too, the great entrance doors and all the doors between the rooms, so that light and air streamed once more through the long-closed . Very big and beautiful it looked in the bright sunshine, and its curtains fluttering in the summer wind seemed to be waving a welcome from the windows.
In the lofty, echoing rooms everything had been left undisturbed: the furniture with its silken upholstery, the mirrors reaching from floor to ceiling, the great paintings that filled the walls, and the art treasures, gathered from every corner of the world. Many of these and vases and statues were extremely rare, but to Johnny Blossom they were only queer, especially a certain Indian with an ugly face made of gold. Why should any one want that?
Mother went about, uncovering mirrors and furniture until the room which was called the white showed all white and yellow, with its and its silken damask cushions gleaming in the strong September sunlight.
“I think Uncle Isaac would like that there should be a festival at Kingthorpe on the first birthday you have after becoming the Kingthorpe heir, John,” said Mother.
Johnny Blossom went storming through the rooms. My, oh, my! how little he seemed when he looked at himself in those enormous mirrors. Soon, however, he was walking on the railing of the . What a veranda it was, with its massive stone pillars and broad steps of white marble leading to the grounds! Still, Johnny Blossom was not altogether sure that the veranda at home wasn’t just as pretty; at any rate, it was pleasanter, that was certain.
Below the veranda at Kingthorpe an avenue of nut trees stretched a long way. The was so thick that the avenue was always in deep shade, however bright the day. Not a sunbeam pierced the gloom, but far down at the end of the avenue, something shone like a big glittering eye. That was the sea shining.
The whole garden with its old trees and newly planted young ones was with fruit: big and little pears, red apples, yellow apples, and oh! any quantity of plums—yellow plums bursting with ripeness, great juicy blue plums, and those sweet ones of a reddish purple color. !
And he was to ask every one he wished to! Hurrah for that, too! All the boys in his class, of course; and all the boys in the next higher; why, yes, and those little fellows in the class below. And Tellef! And Tellef’s sisters and mother and the grandmother—she could see now—yes, he must have her. Then all those old women at the almshouse. And the workmen at the and the Works—they must come with their families.
Mother planned everything for the party. There should be long tables in the park, where the feast should be spread for the children and most of the grown-up people; but the old and feeble ones whom Johnny invited should have their feast in the beautiful dining room that had angels painted on the ceiling. A band of music was to come from the city. There were to be flags and colored lanterns the entire length of the shady avenue, and when daylight faded and the park began to grow dusky, there would be fireworks—yes, fireworks as true as you live! Mother said so.
As the first of September drew near, Johnny Blossom could scarcely sit still a minute, he was so full of joy. He asked if he might not go around and invite the guests himself, it would be so jolly.
“You mustn’t forget anybody,” warned Mother.
Far from it. He was sure he would remember every single one.
First he went to Madame Bakke, who lived nearest. She had had a long illness and was paler than usual today. Johnny Blossom put his heels together and bowed.
“I want to know if you will come to a party on Saturday at Kingthorpe, Madame Bakke,” said Johnny.
“What do you say?” asked Madame Bakke.
“It’s my party,” continued John, “and I am to invite as many as I please.”
“Well, well!” exclaimed Madame Bakke in delight. “Am I to go to Kingthorpe?”
“Yes, and there is so much sunshine out there,” said Johnny. “You’ll see how hot the sun is on the white marble steps.”
“But I haven’t any fine clothes,” said Madame Bakke.
“Well, of course you must look nice,” said Johnny seriously, “but you don’t need anything fine. Good-by, and welcome to the party.”
Johnny Blossom bowed himself out and Madame Bakke watched him as long as he was in sight.
Next he went to the little crippled boy who had such big, mournful eyes.
“I’m going to have a party at Kingthorpe,” said Johnny, “and I want you to come. There will be lots and lots of yellow plums.”
“Is that so?” asked the little cripple.
“You may chop my head off if it isn’t,” said Johnny. “And your little sisters are to come, too; only they must have their faces washed.”
“Can I eat all the plums I want?” asked the little cripple.
“Oh, yes, the whole garden is full.”
“Shall I come now?” asked the child, smiling.
“No, it is next Saturday.”
“That’s a long time to wait.”
“Oh, well, the plums will be all the riper.”
Away went Johnny Blossom to Jeremias the wood-cutter.
“On Saturday you must come to my party at Kingthorpe, Jeremias,” said Johnny.
“Who is going to invite me?” inquired Jeremias.
“Why, I invite you, you see.”
“What should I do there?”
“Oh, eat and drink and have fun. If you want to swing in the big swing, for instance, you can do that.”
“Well, now! Perhaps that would be pleasant,” said Jeremias the wood-cutter. “It is handsome of you to invite me.”
“I’m all my friends,” said Johnny Blossom, earnestly. “You must wear that light coat the mayor gave you, for that will look nice, you know.”
Yes, he had that coat, but who had told Johnny to tell him to wear it?
“I thought of it myself.”
Jeremias wagged his head. “I tell you, there’s something to a boy that has the head to plan like that.”
“You will be very welcome, Jeremias,” said Johnny ceremoniously.
Now it was Katrina the he was inviting. She could not believe at first that she was asked to a party at Kingthorpe.
“A dwarf like me would not be wanted at that fine place,” said poor Katrina.
“Yes, indeed, you are to come; you must come. There’s going to be a band of music the whole time.”
“Music? Is there to be music?”
“Yes, and good things to eat.”
“Oh! but to think—music! It’s just heavenly to listen to music.”
“Well, you can sit and listen to music all day, and eat plums at the same time.”
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