Mary Ware, The Little Colonel's Chum, Chapter 9: The Bride-Cake Shilling Comes To Light

by Annie Fellows Johnston (1863-1931)

Published 1908
Illustrated by Etheldred B. Barry

Table Of Contents



ALL the way home she kept nervously rehearsing to herself the explanation which she intended to make, so absorbed in her thoughts, that she started guiltily when the girls laughed, and she found that Phil had asked her a question three times without attracting her attention. When they reached the house it was some time before she could slip upstairs unobserved. No amateur burglar, afraid of discovery, ever made a more stealthy approach towards his booty than she made towards the telephone. At any moment some one might come running up to the nursery. Three times she started out of her door, and each time the upstairs maid came through the hall and she drew back again.

When she finally screwed up her courage to sit down at the desk and find the rector's number, her heart was beating so fast that her voice trembled, as if she were on the verge of tears. Luckily the Reverend Eames had just returned to his study and answered immediately. In her embarrassment she plunged as usual into the middle of her carefully prepared speech, explaining so tremulously and incoherently that for a moment her puzzled listener was doubtful of his questioner's sanity. Finally, when made to understand, he was very kind and very sympathetic, but his answer merely sent her on another quest. She would have to apply to the treasurer, he told her, Mr. Charles Oatley, who always took charge of all collections of the church, depositing them in the bank in the city, in which he was a director. That was all the information lie could give her about it. Yes, Mr. Oatley lived in the country, near the village, at Oatley Crest. As this was a holiday, probably he would not take the money to the bank until the following morning.

Hastily thanking him, Mary listened a moment for coming footsteps, then called up Oatley Crest. To her disappointment a maid answered her. The family had all gone to take dinner with the James Oatleys, and would not be home until late at night. No, she did not know where the place was --- some twenty miles away she thought. They had gone in a touring-car.

Baffled in her pursuit. Mary turned away, perplexed and anxious. She had forgotten to ask the name of the bank. But the glimpse she caught of her worried face in a mirror in the hall made her pause to smooth the pucker out of it.

"It is foolish of me to let it spoil my Christmas day like this," she reasoned with herself. "If I can't keep inflexible any better than this I don't deserve to have fortune change in my favour."

So armed with the good vicar's philosophy, she went down to the group in the library. Almost immediately she had her reward.

"Well, what did you think of the offertory, Miss Mary?" asked Stuart, who had just come in, and was listening to the account that the girls were giving Eugenia of the morning's music. "Your sister thinks the soloist had the voice of an angel."

"I'll have to confess that I didn't pay as much attention to that as I did to the first solos," said Mary honestly. "I was so busy staring at the fat man who took up the collection in our aisle. He had at least four chins and was so bald and shiny he fascinated me. His poor head looked so bare and chilly I really think that must have been what made me sneeze --- just pure sympathy."

"Oh, you mean Oatley," laughed Stuart. "He considers himself the biggest pillar in St. Boniface, if not its chief corner-stone. Awfully pompous and important, isn't he? But they couldn't get along without him very well.--- He is a joke at the bank, where he is a sort of fifth wheel. They made a place for him there, because he married the president's daughter, and it was necessary for him to draw a salary."

One question more and Mary breathed easier. She had learned the name of the bank, and early in the morning she intended to start out to find it. With that matter settled it was easy for her to throw herself into the full enjoyment of all that followed. The Christmas dinner was served in the middle of the day instead of at night, and the afternoon flew by so fast that Eugenia protested against their going when the time came, saying that she had had no visit at all. Joyce explained that she had promised Mrs. Boyd to help with an entertainment that night for a free kindergarten over on the East Side, and that she must get to work again early in the morning to fill an order for some menu cards she had promised to have ready for the twenty-seventh.

Betty, also, had promised to go back. Mrs. Boyd was sure she would find material and local colour for several stories, and she felt that it was an opportunity that she could not afford to miss.

"Then Mary must stay with me," declared Eugenia, and Mary found it hard to refuse her hospitable insistence. Had it not been for the lost shilling she would have stayed gladly, and once, she-was almost on the verge of confessing the real reason to Eugenia.

"I don't see why I should mind her knowing how much I think of it," she mused. "But I don't want anybody to know. They'd remember about its being a 'Philip and Mary shilling,' and they'd smile at each other behind my back as if they thought I attached some importance to it on that account."

To the delight of each of the girls, the invitation which they felt obliged to decline was changed to one for the weekend, so when they waved good-bye from the sleigh on their way to the station, it was with the prospect of a speedy return.

"'And they had feasting and merry-making for seventy days and seventy nights." quoted Mary, as the train drew into the city. "I used to wonder how they stood it for such a long stretch. but I know now. We have been celebrating ever since the mock Christmas tree at Warwick Hall --- ages ago it seems but there has been such constant change and variety that my interest is just as keen as when I started."

Mrs. Boyd and Lucy were at the flat waiting for them when they arrived, and after a light supper, eaten picnic fashion around the chafing-dish, they started off for the novel experience of a Christmas night among the children of the slums. Betty did find the material which Mrs. Boyd had promised, and came home so eager to begin writing the tale, that she was impatient for morning to arrive. Joyce found suggestions for two pictures for a child's story which she had to illustrate the following week, and Mary came home a bundle of tingling sympathies and burning desires to sacrifice her life to some charitable work for neglected children.

She was also a-tingle with another thought. At the corner where they changed cars on the way to the Mission, she had made a discovery. The bank where St. Boniface deposited its money loomed up ahead of them, massive and grim. The name showed so plainly on the brilliantly illuminated corner, that it almost seemed to leap towards them. It would be an easy matter to find by herself. Now she need not ask anybody, but could slip away from the girls early in the morning, and be on the steps first thing when the doors opened.

Fortunately for her plans, Joyce announced that they would have an early breakfast, in order that she might begin work as soon as possible. Mrs. Boyd and Lucy had not returned with them the night before, but had gone back to Brooklyn to finish their visit with their friends immediately after the exercises at the Mission. So only a small pile of dishes awaited washing when their simple breakfast was over. Mary insisted on attending to them by herself so that Betty could begin her story at once.

"Strike while the iron is hot!" she commanded dramatically. "Open while opportunity knocks at the door, lest she never knock again! I'll gladly be cook-and-bottle-washer in the kitchen while genius burns for artist and author in the studio! Scat! Both of you! "

So they left her, glad to be released from household tasks when others more congenial were calling. They heard her singing happily in the kitchenette, as she turned the faucet at the sink, and then forgot all about her, in the absorbing interest of the work confronting them. With so many conveniences at hand the washing of the dainty china was a pleasure to Mary, after her long vacation from such work. Quickly and deftly, with the ease of much practise, she polished the glasses to crystal clearness, laid the silver in shining rows in its allotted place, and put everything in spotless order.

Joyce heard her go into the bath-room to wash her hands, and thought complacently of Mary's wonderful store of resources for her own entertainment, wondering what she would do next. She had been asking questions about the roof garden, and how to open the scuttle. Probably she would be investigating that before long, getting a bird's-eye view of the city from the chimney tops.

"I believe she could find some occupation on the top of a church steeple," thought Joyce, recalling some of the things with which she had seen Mary amuse herself. There was the time in Plainsville when a burned foot kept her captive in the house, and she couldn't go to the neighbours. Always an indefatigable visitor, she amused herself with a pile of magazines, visiting in imagination each person and place pictured in the illustrations, and on the advertising pages. She played with the breakfast-food children, talked to the smiling toothpowder ladies, and invented histories for the people who were so particular about their brands of soap and hosiery.

There was always something her busy fingers could turn to when tired of household tasks; beadwork and basket-weaving, embroidery, knitting, even strange feats of upholstering, and any repair work that called for a vigorous use of hammer and saw and paint-brush. A girl who could sit by the hour watching ants and spiders and bees, who could quote poems by the yard, who loved to write letters and could lose herself to the world any time in a new book, was not a difficult guest to entertain. She could easily find amusement for herself even in the top flat of a New York apartment house. So Joyce went on with her painting with a care-free mind.

Meanwhile Mary was slipping into her travelling suit, hurrying on hat and gloves and furs, and with her heart beating loud at her own daring, boldly stepping out into the strange streets by herself. It was easy to find the corner where they had taken the car the night before. Only one block to the right and then one down towards a certain building whose mammoth sign served her as a landmark. But the night before she had not noticed that the track turned and twisted many times before it reached the corner where they changed for the East Side car, and she had not noticed how long it took to travel the distance. Rigid with anxiety lest she should pass the place she kept a sharp look-out, till she began to fear that she must have already done so, and finally mustered up courage to tell the conductor the name of the bank at which she wished to stop.

"Quarter of an hour away, Miss," he answered shortly. So she relaxed her tension a trifle, but not her vigilance. There were a thousand things to look at, but she dared not become too interested, for fear the conductor should forget her destination, and she should pass it.

At last she spied the grim forbidding building for which she was watching, and almost the neat instant was going up the steps, just three minutes before the clock inside pointed to the hour of opening. She could not see the time, however, as the heavy iron doors were closed, and the moments before they were swung open seemed endless. It seemed to her that people stared at her curiously, and her face grew redder than even the cold wind warranted. Then she heard the porter inside shoot the bolts back and turn the key, and as the door swung open she darted past him so suddenly that he fell back with a startled exclamation.

In her confusion all she saw was the teller's window, with a shrewd-eyed man behind its bars, looking at her so keenly that she was covered with confusion, and forgot the name of the man she wanted to see.

"I --- I --- think it is Wheatley," she stammered. "Any way he is awfully fat, and has two double chins, and married the president's daughter, and he takes up the collection at St. Boniface."

The man's mouth twitched under his bristling moustache, but he only said politely, "You probably mean Mr. Oatley. He's just come in." Then to Mary's horror, the man she had described rose from a desk somewhere behind the teller, and came forward pompously. It seemed to Mary that she stood there a week, explaining and explaining as one runs in a nightmare without making any progress, about dropping the wrong coin in the St. Boniface collection; an old family heirloom, something she would not have parted with for a fortune; then about telephoning to the rectory and to Oatley Crest. The perspiration was standing out on her forehead when she finished.

But in a moment the ordeal was over. A clerk was at that instant in the act of counting the money  which Mr. Oatley had brought in to deposit. The shilling rolled out from among the quarters, and as she hurriedly repeated the date and inscription to prove her story, the coin was passed back to her with a polite bow.

She looked into her purse for the quarter which she had started to put into the collection, then remembered that she had loaned it to Joyce for carfare the night before. There was a dollar in the middle compartment, and eager to get away, she plumped it down on the marble slab, saying hastily, "That's for the plate --- what I should have put in instead of the shilling, and I can never begin to tell you how grateful I am to get this back."

In too great haste to see the amused glances that followed her, she hurried out to the corner to wait for a home-going car. While she stood there she opened her purse again for one more look at the rescued shilling. Then she gave a gasp. When she left the house the purse had held a nickel and a dollar. She had spent the nickel for car fare and left the dollar at the bank. Nothing was in it now but the shilling, and that was not a coin of the realm, even had she been willing to spend it. She would have to walk home.

"Now I am in for an adventure," she groaned, looking helplessly around at the hundreds of strange faces sweeping past her. "It's like 'water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.' People, people everywhere, and not a soul that I dare speak to.

Knowing that she could never find her way home should she undertake to walk all those miles, and that she would attract unpleasant attention if she stood there much longer, she started to stroll on, trying to decide what to do next. One block, two blocks and nearly three were passed, and she had reached no decision, when she came upon a motherly-looking woman and two half-grown girls, who had stopped in front of a window to look at a display of hats, marked down to half price. Mary stopped too. Not that she was interested in hats, but because she felt a sense of protection in their company.

"No, mamma," one of the girls was saying, "I'm sure we'll find something at Wanamaker's that will suit us better, and it's only a few blocks farther. Let's go there."

Wanamaker's had a familiar sound to Mary. The place where she had lunched only two days before would seem like home after these bewildering stranger-filled streets. So when the bargain-hunting trio started in that direction, she followed in their wake. They paused often to look in at the windows, and each time Mary paused too, as far from them as possible, since she did not want to call attention to the fact that she was following them.

The last of these stops was before a window which looked so familiar that Mary glanced up to see the name of the firm. Then she felt that she had indeed reached a well-known haven, for the name was the same that was woven in gold thread in the tiny silk tag inside her furs. It was the place where Joyce had brought her to select her Christmas present, and there inside the window was the pleasant saleswoman who had sold them to her. She had been so nice and friendly and seemed to take such an interest in pleasing them that Joyce had spoken of it afterward.

Then the woman recognized her --- looked from the furs to the eager little face above them and smiled. It seemed incredible to Mary that she should have been remembered out of all the hundreds of customers who must pass through the shop every day, but she did not know that the sight of her delight over her gift had been the one bright spot in the saleswoman's tiresome day.

Instantly her mind was made up, and darting into the shop in her impetuous way, she told her predicament to the amused woman, and asked permission to telephone to her sister.

Joyce, painting away with rapid strokes, in a hurry to finish the stent she had set for herself, looked up a trifle impatiently at the ringing of the telephone bell. Her first impulse was to call Mary to answer it, but reflecting that probably the call would require her personal attention sooner or later, laid down her brush and went to answer it herself. She could hardly credit the evidence of her own ears when a meek little voice called imploringly, "Oh, Joyce, could you come and get me? I'm at the furrier's where you bought my Christmas present, and I haven't a cent in my pocket and don't know the way home."

"What under the canopy! "gasped Joyce, startled out of her self-possession. All morning she had been so sure that Mary was in the next room that it was positively uncanny to hear her voice coming from so far away.

"I've never known anything so spooky," she called. "I can't be sure its you."

"Well, I wish it wasn't," came the almost tearful reply. "I'm awfully sorry to interfere with your work, and you needn't stop till you get through. They'll let me wait here until noon. I've got a comfortable seat where I can peep out at the people on the street, and I don't feel lost now that you know where I am." Then with a little giggle, "I'm like the Irishman's tea-kettle that he dropped overboard. It wasn't lost because he knew where it was --- in the bottom of the sea."

"Well, you're Mary, all right," laughed Joyce. "That speech certainly proves it. Don't worry, I'll get you home as soon as possible."

"Telephones are wonderful things," confided Mary to the saleswoman. "They are as good as genii in a bottle for getting you out of trouble. I should think the man who invented them would feel so much like a wizard, that he'd be sort of afraid of himself."

The woman answered pleasantly, and would gladly have continued the conversation, but was called away just then to a customer. Hidden from view of the street by a large dummy lady in a sealskin coat and fur-trimmed skirt, Mary peeped out from behind it at the panorama rolling past the window. At first she was intensely interested in the endless stream of strange faces, but when an hour had slipped by and still they came, always strange, always different, a sense of littleness and loneliness seized her, that amounted almost to panic. She longed to get away from this great myriad-footed monster of a city, back to something small and familiar and quiet; to neighbourly greetings and friendly faces. The loneliness caused by the strange crowds depressed her. It was like a dull ache.

The moments dragged on. She had no way to judge how long she waited, but the hour seemed at least two. Then suddenly, through the mass of people came a well-known figure with a firm, athletic tread. A man, who even in this crowd of well-dressed cosmopolitans attracted a second look.

"Oh, it's Phil! "she exclaimed aloud, her face brightening as if the sun had suddenly burst out on a cloudy day. She wondered if she dared do such a thing as to tap on the window to attract his attention. She would not have hesitated in Plainsville or Phoenix, but here everything was so different. Somebody else might look and Phil never turn his head.

While she waited, half-rising from her chair, he stopped, looked up at the sign, and then came directly towards the door. Wondering at the strange coincidence that should bring him into the one shop in all New York in which she happened to be sitting, she started up, thinking to surprise him. Then the surprise was hers, for she saw that he was in search of her. With a word to the obsequious salesman who met him, he came directly towards her hiding-place behind the dummy in sealskin. His face lighted with a merry smile that was good to see as he crossed over to her with outstretched hand, saying laughingly:

"The lost is found! Well, young lady, this is a pretty performance! What do you mean by shocking your fond relatives and friends almost into catalepsy? I happened to drop in at the studio just as Joyce got your message, and she and Betty were at their wits' end to account for your disappearance."

"Oh, I'm so glad to see you," answered Mary. "You can't imagine! I'm even as glad as I was that time you happened along when the Indian chased me." She ignored his question as entirely as if he had not asked it.

He asked it again when they were presently seated on a homeward bound car. "What I want to know is, what made you wander from your own fireside?"

Mary felt her cheeks burn. She was prepared to make a full confession to the girls, but not for worlds would she make it to him. Quickly turning her back on him as if to look at something that had attracted her attention in the street, she groped frantically around in her mind for an answer. He leaned forward, peering around till he could see her face, and repeated the question.

"Oh," she answered indifferently, bending slightly to examine the toe of her shoe with a little frown, as if it interested her more than the question. "I just went out into the wide world to seek my fortune. You know I never had a chance before."

"And did you find it?"

She laughed. "Well, some people might not think so, but I'm satisfied."

"Did you have any adventures?" he persisted.

"Yes, heaps and heaps, but I'm saving them to go in my memoirs, so you needn't ask what they were."

"Lost on Broadway, or Arizona Mary's Mystery!" exclaimed Phil. "I shall never rest easy until I unearth it."

"Then you'll have a long spell of uneasiness," was the grim reply. "Horses couldn't drag it from me."

He had begun his questioning merely in a spirit of banter, but as she stubbornly persisted in her refusals, he began to think that she really had had some ridiculous adventure, and was determined to find out what it was. So he set traps for her, and cross-questioned her, secretly amused at the quick-witted way in which she continually baffled him.

"I see that you are sadly changed," he said finally, with a shake of the head. "The little Mary I used to know would have given the whole thing away by this time --- would have blurted out the truth before she knew what she was doing. She was too honest and straight-forward to evade a question. But you've grown as worldly-wise as an old trout --- won't bite at any kind of bait. Never mind, though, I'll get you yet."

Thus put on her guard, Mary refused to tell even the girls what had possessed her to take secret leave that morning, but as she passed Joyce in the hall she whispered imploringly, "Please don't ask me to tell now. It isn't much, but I don't want to tell while he's in the house. He has been teasing me so."

"I'd stay to lunch if anybody would ask me three times," announced Phil, presently. "I have to have my welcome assured."

"I'll ask you if Mary is willing," said Joyce, who had gone back to her work. "She has promised to be chef to-day."

Mary regarded him doubtfully, as if weighing the matter, then said, "I'm willing if he'll promise not to mention what happened this morning another single time. And he can order any two dishes in the cook-book that can be prepared in an hour, and I'll make them; that is, of course, if the materials are in the house."

"Then I choose doughnuts," was the ready answer. "Doughnuts with holes in them and sugar sprinkled over the top, and light as a feather; the kind you used to keep in a yellow bowl with a white stripe around it, on the middle shelf in the Wigwam pantry. Gee! But they were good! I've never come across any like them since except in my dreams. And for the second choice --- let me see!" He pursed up his lips reflectively. "I believe I'd like that to be a surprise, so Mistress-Mary-quite-contrary, you may choose that yourself."

"All right," she assented. "But if it is to be a surprise I must have a clear coast till everything is ready."

Arrayed in a long apron of Joyce's, Mary stood a moment considering the resources of refrigerator and pantry. There were oysters on the ice. An oyster stew would make a fine beginning this cold day. There was a chicken simmering in the fireless cooker. Joyce had put it on while they were getting breakfast, intending to make some sort of boneless concoction of it for dinner. But it would be tender enough by the time she was ready for it, to make into a chicken-pie. In the days when Phil had been a daily guest at the Wigwam, chicken-pie was his favourite dish. That should be the surprise for him.

It was queer how all his little preferences and prejudices came back to her as she set about getting lunch. He preferred his lemon cut in triangles instead of slices, and he liked the cauliflower in mixed pickles, but not the tiny white onions, and he wanted his fried eggs hard and his boiled eggs soft. But then, after all, it wasn't so queer that she should remember these things, she thought, for the likes and dislikes of a frequent guest would naturally make an impression on an observant child who took part in all the household work. It was just the same with other people. She'd never forget if she lived to be a hundred how Holland put salt in everything, and Norman wouldn't touch apple-sauce if it were hot, but would empty the dish if it were cold.

"I can't paint like Joyce, and I can't write like Betty," she thought as she sifted flour vigorously, "but thank heaven, I can cook, and give pleasure that way, and I like to do it."

An hour would have been far too short a time for inexperienced hands to do what hers accomplished, and even Joyce, who knew how quickly she could bring things to pass, was surprised when she saw the table to which they were summoned. The oyster stew was the first success, and good enough to be the surprise they all agreed. Then the chicken-pie was brought in, and Phil, cutting into the light, delicately browned crust, declared it a picture in the first place, and a piece of perfection in the second place, tasting the rich, creamy gravy, and thirdly  "a joy for ever," to remember that once in life he had partaken of a dish fit for the gods.

"Honestly, Mary, it's the best thing I ever ate," he protested, "and I'm your debtor for life for giving me such a pleasure."

Mary laughed at his elaborate compliments and shrugged her shoulders at his ridiculous exaggerations, but in her heart she knew that everything was good, and that he was enjoying each mouthful. A simple salad came next, with a French dressing. She had longed to try her hand at mayonnaise, but there wasn't time, and lastly the doughnuts, crisp and feather-light and sugary, with clear, fragrant coffee, whose very aroma was exhilarating.

"Here's a toast to the cook," said Phil, lifting the fragile little cup, and smiling at her through the steam that crowned it:

"Vive Marie! Had Eve served her Adam ambrosia half as good as this, raw apples would have been no temptation, and they would have stayed on in Eden for ever!"

It certainly was pleasant to have scored such a success, and to have it appreciated by her little world.

They might have lingered around the table indefinitely had not a knock on the door announced that Mrs. Maguire had come. It was her afternoon to clean.

"So don't cast any anxious eyes at the dishes, Mary," announced Phil. "We planned other fish for you to fry, this afternoon. I proposed to the girls to take all three of you out for an automobile spin for awhile, winding up at a matinee, but Joyce and Betty refuse to be torn from their work. They've seen all the sights of New York and they've seen Peter Pan, and they won't 'play in my yard any more.' The only thing they consented to do was to offer your services to help me dispose of this last day of my vacation. Will you go?"

"Will I go!" echoed Mary, sinking back into the chair from which she had just risen. "Well, the only thing I'm afraid of is that my enjoyer will be totally worn out. It has stood the wear and tear of so many good times I don't see how it can possibly stand any more. Why, I've been fairly wild to see Peter Pan, and I've felt so green for the last few years because I've never set foot in an automobile that you couldn't have chosen anything that would please me more."

"Hurry, then," laughed Phil. "You've no time to lose in getting ready. And don't you worry about your ` enjoyer' --- it's the strongest part of your anatomy in my opinion. I've never known any one with such a capacity. It's forty-horse power at the very least."

Only a matinee programme was all that she brought back with her from that memorable outing, but long after it had grown yellowed and old, the sight of it in her keepsake box brought back many things. One was that sensation of flying, as they whirled through snowy parks and along Riverside drive, past historic places and world-famous buildings. And the delightful sense of being considered and cared for, and entertained, quite as if she had been a grown lady of six and twenty instead of just a little school-girl, six and ten.

How different the streets looked! Not at all as they had that morning, when she wandered through them, bewildered and lost. It was a gay holiday world, as she looked down on it from her seat beside Phil. She wished that the drive could be prolonged indefinitely, but there was only time for the briefest spin before the hour for the matinee.

More than all, the programme brought back that bewitching moment when, keyed to the highest pitch of expectation by the entrancing music of the orchestra, the curtain went up, and the world of Peter Pan drew her into its magic spell.

It was a full day, so full that there was no opportunity until nearly bedtime to explain to the girls the cause of her morning disappearance. It seemed fully a week since she had started out to find her lost shilling, and such a trivial affair now, obscured by all that had happened afterward. But the girls laughed every time they thought about it while they were undressing, and Mary heard an animated conversation begin some time after she had gone to bed in the studio davenport. She was too sleepy to take any interest in it till Betty called out:

"Mary, your escapade has given me the finest sort of a plot for a Youth's Companion story. I'm going to block it out while I am here, and finish it ,when we get back to school. If it is accepted I'll divide the money with you, and we'll come back on it to spend our Easter vacation here."

Mary sat up in bed, blinking drowsily. "I'm honestly afraid my enjoyer is wearing out," she said in a worried tone. "Usually the bare promise of such a thing would make me so glad that I'd lie awake half the night to enjoy the prospect. But somehow I can't take it all in."

Fortunately it was a tired body instead of a tired spirit that brought this sated feeling, and after a long night's sleep and a quiet day at home, Mary was ready for all that followed: a little more sightseeing, a little shopping, another matinee, and then the week-end at Eugenia's. The short journey to Annapolis and the few hours with Holland did not take much time from the calendar, but judged by the pages they filled in her journal, and all they added to her happy memories, they prolonged her holidays until it seemed she had been away from Warwick Hall for months, instead of only two short weeks.

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