酷兔英语



[Frontispiece: Their houseboat vacation had begun.]

Madge Morton,

Captain of the Merry Maid

By

AMY D. V. CHALMERS

Author of Madge Morton's Secret, Madge Morton's Trust, Madge Morton's

Victory.

PHILADELPHIA

HENRY ALTEMUS COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1914, BY HOWARD E. ALTEMUS

PRINTED IN THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTENTS

CHAPTER.

I. MADGE MORTON'S PLAN

II. CHOOSING A CHAPERON

III. THE SEARCH FOR A HOUSEBOAT

IV. THE FAIRY'S WAND

V. ALL ABOARD

VI. PLEASURE BAY

VII. THE UNKNOWN JAILER

VIII. AN ANXIOUS NIGHT

IX. THE GIRL ON THE ISLAND

X. AN EXCITING RACE

XI. AT THE MERCY OF THE WAVES

XII. A BRAVE FIGHT

XIII. LIFE OR DEATH?

XIV. MADGE COMES INTO HER OWN AGAIN

XV. A CALL FOR HELP

XVI. THE ATTEMPTED RESCUE

XVII. THE CAPTURE

XVIII. ON A STRANGE SHORE

XIX. FINDING A WAY TO HELP MOLLIE

XX. MADGE'S OPPORTUNITY

XXI. MOLLIE'S BRAVE FIGHT

XXII. THE EVIL GENIUS

XXIII. "MOTHER"

XXIV. FAREWELL TO THE "MERRY MAID"

List of Illustrations

Their houseboat vacation had begun . . . Frontispiece.

Madge and Tom went gayly down to the boat.

The girls ran down to the water's edge.

"I wish you to come and live with me, Madge."

Madge Morton, Captain of the Merry Maid

CHAPTER I

MADGE MORTON'S PLAN

"I never can bear it!" cried Madge Morton excitedly, throwing herself

down on her bed in one of the dormitories of Miss Tolliver's Select

School for Girls. "It is not half so bad for Eleanor. She, at least,

is going to spend her holiday with people she likes. But for Uncle

William and Aunt Sue to leave for California just as school closes, and

to send me off to a horrid old maid cousin for half my vacation, is

just too awful! If I weren't nearly seventeen years old, I'd cry my

eyes out."

Madge was alone in her bedroom, which she shared with her cousin,

Eleanor Butler. The two girls lived on an old estate in Virginia, but

for the two preceding terms they had been attending a college

preparatory school at Harborpoint, not far from the city of Baltimore.

Madge had never known her own parents. She had been reared by her

Uncle William and Aunt Sue Butler and she dearly loved her old southern

home. But just when she and Eleanor were planning a thousand pleasures

for their three months' vacation a letter had arrived from Mr. and Mrs.

Butler announcing that they were leaving their estate for six weeks, as

they were compelled to go west on important business. Eleanor was to

be sent to visit a family of cousins near Charlottesville, Virginia,

and Madge was to stay with a rich old maiden cousin of her father.

Cousin Louisa did not like Madge. She felt a sense of duty toward her,

and a sense of duty seldom inspires any real affection in return. So

Madge looked back on the visits she had made to this cousin with a

feeling of horror. Inspired by her Aunt Sue, Madge had always tried to

be on her best behavior while she was the guest of Cousin Louisa. But

since propriety was not Madge Morton's strong point she had succeeded

only in being perfectlymiserable and in offending her wealthy cousin

by her unconventional ways.

Madge had a letter from this cousin in her hand while she gave herself

up to the luxury of despair. She had not yet read the letter, but she

knew exactly what it would say. It would contain a formal invitation

from Cousin Louisa, asking Madge to pay her the necessary visit. It

would suggest at the same time that Madge mend her ways; and it would

doubtless recall the unfortunate occasion when Mistress Madge had set

fire to the bedclothes by her wicked habit of reading in bed.

It was the study hour at Miss Tolliver's school, and all of the girls

except Madge were hard at work. Eleanor had slipped across the hall to

the room of their two chums to consult them about a problem in algebra.

Madge at that moment was far too miserable to be approached in regard

to a lesson, though at other times she would have done anything for

Eleanor.

Finally Madge raised herself to a sitting posture. It struck her as

rather absurd to have collapsed so entirely, simply because she was not

to spend the first part of her summer as she chose. She knew, too,

that it was high time she fell to preparing her lessons.

With a little shiver she opened Cousin Louisa's letter. Suddenly her

eyes flashed, the color glowed in her cheeks, and Madge dropped the

note to the floor with a glad cry and ran out of the room.

On the door of her chums' room was a sign, printed in large letters,

which was usually observed by the school girls. The sign read:

"Studying; No Admittance." But to-day Madge paid no attention to it.

She flung open the door and rushed in upon her three friends.

"Eleanor, Phyllis, Lillian," she protested, "stop studying this very

minute!" She seized Eleanor's paper and pencil and closed Lillian

Seldon's ancient history with a bang. Phyllis Alden had just time to

grasp her own notebookfirmly with both hands before she exclaimed:

"Madge Morton, whatever has happened to you? Have you gone entirely

crazy?"

Madge laughed. "Almost!" she replied. "But just listen to me, and you

will be nearly as crazy as I am."

Madge had dark, auburn hair, which was curly and short, like a boy's.

To her deep regret her long braids had been cut off several years

before, when she was recovering from an attack of typhoid fever, and

now her hair was just long enough to tuck into a small knot on top of

her head. But when Madge was excited, which was a frequent occurrence,

this knot would break loose, and her curls would fly about, like the

hair of one of Raphael's cherubs. Madge had large, blue eyes, with

long, dark lashes, and a short, straight nose, with just the tiniest

tilt at the end of it. Although she was not vain, she was secretly

proud of her row of even, white teeth.

Phyllis Alden was the daughter of a physician with a large family, who

lived in Hartford, Connecticut. Phil was not as pretty as her three

friends, and no one knew it better than Phyllis. She was small and

dark, with irregular features. But she had large, black eyes, and a

smile that illuminated her clever face. Put to the vote, Phyllis Alden

had been declared to be the most popular girl in Miss Tolliver's

school, and Phyllis and Madge were friendly rivals in athletics.

Lillian Seldon was perhaps the prettiest of the four boarding school

chums, if one preferred regular features to vivacity and charm.

Lillian was of Madge's age, a tall, slender, blonde girl, with two long

plaits of sunny, light hair, a fair, delicate skin and blue eyes. She

was the daughter of a Philadelphia lawyer and an only child. A number

of her school companions thought her cold and proud, but her chums knew

that when Lillian really cared for any one she was the most loyal

friend in the world. Eleanor, who was the youngest of the four school

friends, looked like the little, southern girl that she was. She had

light brown hair and hazel eyes, and charming manners which made

friends for her wherever she went.

The three girls now waited with their eyes fixed inquiringly on the

fourth. They were not very much excited; they knew Madge only too

well. She was either in the seventh heaven of bliss, or else in the

depths of despair. Yet this time it did look as though Madge had more

reason than usual for her excitement. Eleanor wondered how she could

have changed so quickly from her recent disconsolate mood.

"What has happened to you, Madge?" Lillian inquired. "Eleanor said you

were upset because you are obliged to spend the first of your vacation

with your hateful Cousin Louisa."

"Hateful? Did I ever dare to say that my Cousin Louisa was hateful?

She is one of the loveliest women in this world! Just think! Cousin

Louisa has written to say that she can't have me, or rather won't have

me, visit her. She is going to shut up her house, and is going to sail

for Europe. I know it is just to escape my odious presence."

"Why, Madge, what will you do?" Eleanor asked. "You've nowhere else to

go." You know how you hate those awful children at Charlottesville."

"Wait, Eleanor Butler--wait!" Madge cried dramatically. "You do not

know what has happened, nor why I now truly love and adore the same

Cousin Louisa whom I once thought I disliked. Just look here." Madge

waved a small strip of paper in the air. "Cousin Louisa has sent me a

check for two hundred dollars! She says I am to spend the money on my

summer vacation in any way I like, provided Aunt Sue and Uncle William

approve."

"But you can't go off traveling by yourself," objected Eleanor. "I

should think you would hate to spend your summer alone."

"Alone!" Madge answered indignantly. "Who said I meant to spend my

vacation alone? I want you three girls to spend the six weeks with me.

Only last night Eleanor and I said that we four girls could never be

really happy anywhere without one another."

"Generous Madge," smiled Lillian affectionately. "Two hundred dollars

seems quite a fortune. Perhaps you ought not to spend it all. Where

can we go, and what can we do?"

"Young ladies," a stern voice spoke just outside the door, "kindly

remember this is the study hour. You are expected to keep silence."

An unusualstillness fell on the four offenders. Only Madge's blue

eyes flashed rebelliously. "It's that tiresome Miss Jones. You might

know she would be somewhere about. She is the crossest teacher in this

school."

"Sh-sh, Madge," Eleanor lowered her voice, "Miss Jones might hear you.

She is ill, I am sure. That is what makes her so cross. Phil and I

are both sorry for her."

"Oh, you and Phil are sorry for everybody. That's nothing! Thank

goodness, there is the bell! It is the recreation hour. Come, my

beloved chums, I simply must think of some way to spend our vacation

and I never can think indoors. 'It is the merry month of May,'"

caroled Madge. "Come, Phil, let us go down to the water and take Nell

and Lillian rowing. It is a dream of an afternoon, all soft and

sunshiny, and the river folk are calling us, the frogs, and the water

rats----"

"Dear me, Madge," teased Phil, "do hush. We are glad enough to go

rowing without an invitation from the frogs. We have two hours before

supper time. Shall we ask poor Miss Jones to go with us? She does not

have much fun, and you know it is her duty to make us keep the rules.

Miss Jones admires you very much, Madge. She said you were clever

enough to do anything you liked, if you would only try. But she knows

you don't like her."

"Then she knows the truth," returned naughty Madge. "No, Phil, please

don't ask Miss Jones to come out with us this afternoon, there's a

dear. I told you I wanted to think. And I can think brilliantly only

when in the company of my beloved chums."

Phyllis Alden and Madge Morton were good oarsmen. Indeed, they were

almost as much at home on the water as they were on land. Each girl

wore a tiny silver oar pinned to her dress. Only the week before Madge

had won the annual spring rowing contest; for Miss Tolliver made a

special point of athletics in her school, and fortunately the school

grounds ran down to the bank of a small river.

Phil and Madge rowed out into the middle of the river with long,

regular strokes. They were in their own little, green boat, called the

"Water Witch." Lillian sat in the stern, trailing her white hands idly

in the water. Eleanor sat quietly looking out over the fields.

Suddenly Madge, who always did the most unexpected things in the world,

locked her oars across the boat and sat up in her seat with a jerk that

rocked the little craft.

"Girls, I have thought it all out!" she exclaimed. "I have the most

glorious, the most splendid plan you ever heard of in the world! Just

wait until you hear it!"

"Madge," Phil called in horror, "do sit down!" The boat was careening

perilously. Before Phil could finish her speech Madge had tumbled over

the side of the skiff and disappeared in the water below.

The girls waited for their friend to rise to the surface. They were

not frightened, for Madge was an expert swimmer.

"I am surprised at Madge," declared Phil severely. "The idea of

plunging into the water in that fashion, not to mention almost

capsizing our boat! Why doesn't she come up?"

The second lengthened to a minute. Still Madge's curly head did not

appear on the surface of the water. Eleanor's face turned white.

Madge had on her rowing costume, a short skirt and a sailor blouse.

She could easily swim in such a suit. But perhaps she had been seized

with a cramp, or her head might have struck against a rock at the

bottom of the river!

Lillian and Phil shared Eleanor's anxiety. "Sit still, girls," said

Phyllis. "I must dive and see what has happened to Madge. If you are

quiet, I can dive out of the boat without upsetting it."

Phil slipped out of her sweater. But Eleanor caught at her skirts from

behind. "Sit down, Phil. Here comes that wretched Madge, swimming

toward us from over there. She purposely stayed under water."

The three friends looked in the direction, indicated by Phyllis. They

saw Madge moving toward the boat as calmly as though she had been in

her bathing suit and had dived off the skiff for pure pleasure. She

had been swimming under the water for a little distance and had risen

at a spot at which her friends were not looking. As she lifted her

head clear of the water a ray of the afternoon sunlight slanted across

her face, touching its mischievous curves, until she looked like a

naughty water-sprite.

In an instant Madge's hands were alongside the boat, and Phil pulled

her into it. "I am so sorry, girls," she explained, shaking the water.

out of her hair; "but I had such a wonderful idea that it really

knocked me overboard. I was afraid I would throw you all into the

river, so I jumped. But don't you want to know my plan? We are going

to spend the summer on the water!"

"In the water, you mean, don't you?" laughed Phyllis, as she wrapped

her sweater about her friend. "Madge, will any one ever be able to

guess what you are going to do next?"

"Just listen, girls," Madge went on with shining eyes. "I have been

determined, ever since I got my letter from Cousin Louisa, that we


生词表:
  • vacation [və´keiʃən, vei´keiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.假期;休庭期;腾空   (初中英语单词)
  • anxious [´æŋkʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.担忧的;渴望的   (初中英语单词)
  • farewell [feə´wel] 移动到这儿单词发声  int.再见 n.&a.告别   (初中英语单词)
  • excitedly [ik´saitidli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.兴奋地,激动地   (初中英语单词)
  • holiday [´hɔlidi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.假日,假期,节日   (初中英语单词)
  • california [,kæli´fɔ:njə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.加利福尼亚   (初中英语单词)
  • estate [i´steit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.财产;庄园;等级   (初中英语单词)
  • virginia [və´dʒinjə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.佛吉尼亚(州)   (初中英语单词)
  • maiden [´meidn] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.少女 a.未婚的   (初中英语单词)
  • affection [ə´fekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.友爱;慈爱   (初中英语单词)
  • horror [´hɔrə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.恐怖;战栗   (初中英语单词)
  • miserable [´mizərəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.悲惨的;可怜的   (初中英语单词)
  • wealthy [´welθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.富有的;丰富的   (初中英语单词)
  • luxury [´lʌkʃəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.奢侈(品);享受   (初中英语单词)
  • despair [di´speə] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.绝望   (初中英语单词)
  • contain [kən´tein] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.包含;容纳;抑制   (初中英语单词)
  • formal [´fɔ:məl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.正式的;外表的   (初中英语单词)
  • unfortunate [ʌn´fɔ:tʃunit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不幸的,运气差的   (初中英语单词)
  • mistress [´mistris] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.女主人;情妇;女能手   (初中英语单词)
  • wicked [´wikid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.邪恶的;不道德的   (初中英语单词)
  • reading [´ri:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(阅)读;朗读;读物   (初中英语单词)
  • consult [kən´sʌlt] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.商量;磋商;请教   (初中英语单词)
  • absurd [əb´sə:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.荒谬的,可笑的   (初中英语单词)
  • shiver [´ʃivə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.(使)颤抖;碎片   (初中英语单词)
  • firmly [´fə:mli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.坚固地,稳定地   (初中英语单词)
  • whatever [wɔt´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  pron.&a.无论什么   (初中英语单词)
  • frequent [´fri:kwənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.常见的,频繁的   (初中英语单词)
  • physician [fi´ziʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(内科)医生   (初中英语单词)
  • slender [´slendə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.细长的;微薄的   (初中英语单词)
  • delicate [´delikət] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精美的;微妙的   (初中英语单词)
  • lawyer [´lɔ:jə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.律师;法学家   (初中英语单词)
  • charming [´tʃɑ:miŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可爱的;极好的   (初中英语单词)
  • wherever [weər´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  conj.无论在哪里   (初中英语单词)
  • excitement [ik´saitmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.兴奋;骚动;煽动   (初中英语单词)
  • anywhere [´eniweə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.无论何处;任何地方   (初中英语单词)
  • unusual [ʌn´ju:ʒuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不平常的;异常的   (初中英语单词)
  • invitation [,invi´teiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.邀请;请帖;吸引   (初中英语单词)
  • beloved [bi´lʌvd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.为….所爱的 n.爱人   (初中英语单词)
  • annual [´ænjuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.每年的 n.年刊   (初中英语单词)
  • contest [kən´test, ´kɔntest] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.争辩 n.争夺;竞赛   (初中英语单词)
  • expert [´ekspə:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.专家;内行   (初中英语单词)
  • costume [´kɔstju:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.服装(试样);女装   (初中英语单词)
  • anxiety [æŋ´zaiəti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.挂念;渴望;焦虑的事   (初中英语单词)
  • wretched [´retʃid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可怜的;倒霉的   (初中英语单词)
  • calmly [´kɑ:mli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.平静地;无风浪地   (初中英语单词)
  • sunlight [´sʌnlait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光   (初中英语单词)
  • instant [´instənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.立即的 n.紧迫;瞬间   (初中英语单词)
  • finding [´faindiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.发现物;判断;结果   (高中英语单词)
  • horrid [´hɔrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.令人讨厌的;极糟的   (高中英语单词)
  • butler [´bʌtlə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(男)管家   (高中英语单词)
  • behavior [bi´heiviə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.举止,行为   (高中英语单词)
  • perfectly [´pə:fiktli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.理想地;完美地   (高中英语单词)
  • irregular [i´regjulə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不规则的;不正当的   (高中英语单词)
  • nowhere [´nəuweə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.无处;不知道   (高中英语单词)
  • stillness [´stilnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不动;无声,寂静   (高中英语单词)
  • recreation [,rekri´eiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.消遣;休养   (高中英语单词)
  • indoors [,in´dɔ:z] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在屋里   (高中英语单词)
  • naughty [´nɔ:ti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.顽皮的;下流的   (高中英语单词)
  • fortunately [´fɔ:tʃənətli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.幸运地   (高中英语单词)
  • unexpected [ʌniks´pektid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.突然的;意外的   (高中英语单词)
  • severely [si´viəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.剧烈地;严格地   (高中英语单词)
  • alongside [əlɔŋ´said] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在旁 prep.横靠   (高中英语单词)
  • preceding [pri(:)´si:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.在先的;前面的   (英语四级单词)
  • dearly [´diəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.深深地(爱等);昂贵   (英语四级单词)
  • notebook [´nəutbuk] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.笔记本   (英语四级单词)
  • typhoid [´taifɔid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.伤寒性的 n.伤寒   (英语四级单词)
  • hateful [´heitfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可恨的,可憎的   (英语四级单词)
  • odious [´əudiəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可憎的;丑恶的   (英语四级单词)
  • tiresome [´taiəsəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.令人厌倦的;讨厌的   (英语四级单词)
  • athletics [æθ´letiks] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.体育(运动);竞技   (英语四级单词)
  • sweater [´swetə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.毛线衫   (英语四级单词)
  • touching [´tʌtʃiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.动人的 prep.提到   (英语四级单词)
  • mischievous [´mistʃivəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有害的;淘气的   (英语四级单词)
  • overboard [´əuvəbɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.向船外;到水中   (英语四级单词)
  • propriety [prə´praiəti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.正当;合适;礼貌   (英语六级单词)
  • posture [´pɔstʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.姿势 v.故作姿态   (英语六级单词)
  • auburn [´ɔ:bən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.赭色(的)   (英语六级单词)
  • indignantly [in´dignəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.愤慨地,义愤地   (英语六级单词)
  • affectionately [ə´fekʃnitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.热情地;体贴地   (英语六级单词)
  • calling [´kɔ:liŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.点名;职业;欲望   (英语六级单词)
  • brilliantly [´briljəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.灿烂地;杰出地   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:01:19
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