by Marion Mallette Thornton
"Oh," said Millicent, watching the postman's blue coat up the street. "I wish he would come here day after tomorrow and bring me twenty valentines!"
"Will he, Mitty?" Jimmy-Boy asked eagerly.
Millicent shook her head. "'Course not, Jimmy-Boy. I know only six little girls; I couldn't get but six."
Aunt Sara was listening. She was Millicent's very prettiest auntie from the city, and she nearly always found a way to help.
"How would you like to send twenty valentines?" she asked.
Millicent laughed. "Why, auntie, I couldn't send but six, either. I don't know any more girls. Besides, I haven't any more valentines."
"Suppose I should show you how to make twenty valentines, and find twenty little girls to send them to; would you like, to do it?"
Millicent came running from the window with Jimmy-Boy close behind her.
"I'd love to, auntie! Please show me right away."
"Love to, auntie, right away," echoed Jimmy-Boy.
"You can help," Aunt Sara promised. "You can bring the mucilage while Millicent gets the scissors."
When they came back with these, Aunt Sara had a pile of gay pictures on the table, and some sheets of thick white paper.
"We will cut this into hearts," she said, "and you can cut out these birds and flowers and paste them on. Let's see which can make the neatest and prettiest ones."
Jimmy-Boy had to be helped a little in cutting out pictures, but he had learned to paste neatly at kindergarten, and his valentines were so pretty it was hard for Aunt Sara to choose between his and Millicent's.
It was such fun making them that Millicent almost forgot about the twenty little girls they were to go to.
"Who are they, auntie?" she asked when she remembered. "Where do they live?"
"Away down in the city," Aunt Sara explained. "Each one in a little white bed in a Children's Hospital. I don't know their names, but I'll send them to the superintendent, and they will get them safely on Valentine's Day. You can't think how happy they will be."
"Oh, I just like to try to think!" cried Millicent. "I'm glad we made them so nice."
The twenty valentines went off in their white envelopes the next morning.
On Valentine's Day the postman brought Milly six from the six little girls and two from Jimmy-Boy and Aunt Sara. They were lovely, and there were some for Jimmy-Boy, but they did not please the children nearly as much as a letter that came a week later.
It was from the hospital superintendent and said: "I wish you could have seen my dear little sick girls smile when they saw their pretty valentines. They looked at them all day and slept with them under their pillows at night. One tiny girl kept hers in her hand. They all send a big ‘Thank you’ to Millicent and Jimmy-Boy."
"Next year we'll begin sooner and make forty," Millicent decided; "it's lots more fun than getting them, isn't it, Jimmy-Boy?"