酷兔英语



[Illustration: "Why, we're millionaires, Neale," Agnes declared.]

THE CORNER HOUSE GIRLS' ODD FIND

WHERE THEY MADE IT;

AND WHAT THE STRANGE

DISCOVERY LED TO

BY

GRACE BROOKS HILL

Author of "The Corner House Girls," "The Corner

House Girls Under Canvas," etc.

ILLUSTRATED BY

R. EMMETT OWEN

PUBLISHERS

BARSE & HOPKINS

NEW YORK, N. Y.--NEWARK, N. J.

BOOKS FOR GIRLS

The Corner House Girls Series

By Grace Brooks Hill

Illustrated.

THE CORNER HOUSE GIRLS

THE CORNER HOUSE GIRLS AT SCHOOL

THE CORNER HOUSE GIRLS UNDER CANVAS

THE CORNER HOUSE GIRLS IN A PLAY

THE CORNER HOUSE GIRLS' ODD FIND

THE CORNER HOUSE GIRLS ON A TOUR

(Other volumes in preparation)

BARSE & HOPKINS

Publishers--New York

Copyright, 1916,

by

Barse & Hopkins

The Corner House Girls' Odd Find

PRINTED IN THE U. S. A.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I A Find in the Garret 9

II "A Perfectly Savage Santa Claus" 22

III Dorothy's Burglar 30

IV The Family Album--And Other Things 36

V No News for Christmas 41

VI Treasure Trove 48

VII "God Rest Ye, Merrie Gentlemen" 55

VIII Where Is Neale O'Neil? 67

IX Ruth Is Suspicious 74

X What Mr. Con Murphy Did not Know 84

XI Some Excitement 95

XII Miss Pepperill's Disaster 105

XIII Agnes in the Woods 115

XIV Barnabetta 128

XV Agnes Shoulders Responsibility 137

XVI Several Arrivals 150

XVII At Cross Purposes 161

XVIII What Happened in the Night 171

XIX The Key to the Closet 183

XX Lemuel Aden's Diary 193

XXI "Everything at Sixes and at Sevens" 202

XXII Barnabetta Confesses 214

XXIII Who Was the Robber? 225

XXIV Neale O'Neil Flings a Bomb 237

XXV Agnes Is Perfectly Happy 247

ILLUSTRATIONS

"Why, we're millionaires, Neale," Agnes declared Frontispiece

And there was the baby, under a veil, sleeping as

peacefully as could be 106

"You think I'm a thief. I won't stay here" 167

"You'll break it!" gasped Agnes. "That's what I

mean to do," said Ruth 223

THE CORNER HOUSE GIRLS ODD FIND

CHAPTER I

A FIND IN THE GARRET

The fireboard before the great chimney-place in the spacious dining room

of the old Corner House in Milton had been removed by Uncle Rufus, and

in the dusk of the winter's afternoon the black pit of it yawned,

ogre-like, upon the festive room.

The shadows were black under the big tree, the tip of which touched the

very high ceiling and which had just been set up in the far corner and

not yet festooned. The girls were all busy bringing tinsel and

glittering balls and cheery red bells and strings of pink and white

popcorn, while yards and yards of evergreen "rope," with which to trim

the room itself, were heaped in a corner.

It was the day but one before Christmas, and without the gaslight--or

even the usual gas-log fire on the hearth--the dining room was gloomy

even at mid-afternoon. Whenever Dot Kenway passed the black opening

under the high and ornate mantel, she shuddered.

It was a creepy, deliciousshudder that the smallest Corner House girl

experienced, for she said to Tess, her confidant and the next oldest of

the four sisters:

"Of course, I know it's the only way Santa Claus ever comes. But--but I

should think he'd be afraid of--of rats or things. I don't see why he

can't come in at the door; it'd be more respecterful."

"I s'pose you mean respectable," sighed Tess. "But where would he hitch

his reindeer? You know he has to tie them to the chimney on the roof."

"Why does he?" demanded the inquisitive Dot. "There's a perfectly good

hitching post by our side gate on Willow Street."

"Who ever heard of such a thing!" exclaimed Tess, with exasperation. "Do

you s'pose Santa Claus would come to the side door and knock like the

old clo's man? You are the most ridiculous child, Dot Kenway," concluded

Tess, with her most grown-up air.

"Say," said the quite unabashed Dot, reflectively, "do you know what

Sammy Pinkney says?"

"Nothing very good, I am sure," rejoined her sister, tartly, for just at

this time Sammy Pinkney, almost their next-door neighbor, was very much

in Tess Kenway's bad books. "What can you expect of a boy who wants to

be a pirate?"

"Well," Dot proclaimed, "Sammy says he doesn't believe there is such a

person as Santa Claus."

"Oh!" gasped Tess, startled by this heresy. Then, after reflection, she

added: "Well, when you come to think of it, I don't suppose there _is_

any Santa for Sammy Pinkney."

"Oh, Tess!" almost groaned the smaller girl.

"No, I don't," repeated Tess, with greater confidence. "Ruthie says if

we don't 'really and truly' believe in Santa, there isn't any--for us!

And he only comes to good children, anyway. How could you expect Sammy

Pinkney to have a Santa Claus?"

"He says," said Dot, eagerly, "that they are only make believe. Why,

there is one in Blachstein & Mapes', where Ruth trades; and another in

Millikin's; and there's the Salvation Army Santa Clauses on the

streets--"

"Pooh!" exclaimed Tess, tossing her head. "They are only representations

of Santa Claus. They're men dressed up. Why! little boys have Santa

Claus suits to play in, just as they have Indian suits and cowboy

suits."

"But--but is there really and truly a Santa Claus?" questioned Dot, in an

awed tone. "And does he keep a book with your name in it? And if you

don't get too many black marks through the year do you get presents? And

if you do behave too badly will he leave a whip, or something nasty, in

your stocking? Say, Tess, do you s'pose 'tis _so_?"

That was a stiff one--even for Tess Kenway's abounding faith. She was

silent for a moment.

"Say! _do_ you?" repeated the smallest Corner House girl.

"I tell you, Dot," Tess said, finally, "I _want_ to believe it. I just

_do_. It's like fairies and elfs. We want to believe in them, don't we?

It's just like your Alice-doll being alive."

"Well!" exclaimed Dot, stoutly, "she's just as good as alive!"

"Of course she is, Dottie," said Tess, eagerly. "And so's Santa Claus.

And--and when we stop believing in him, we won't have near so much fun at

Christmas!"

Just then Agnes came in from the kitchen with a heaping pan of warm

popcorn.

"Here, you kiddies," she cried, "run and get your needles and thread. We

haven't near enough popcorn strung. I believe Neale O'Neil ate more than

he strung last night, I never did see such a hungry boy!"

"Mrs. MacCall say it's 'cause he's growning," said Dot, solemnly.

"He, he!" chuckled Agnes. "He should be 'groaning' after all he gobbled

down last night. And I burned my finger and roasted my face, popping

it."

She set down the dish of flaky white puff-balls on a stool, so it would

be handy for the little girls. Both brought their sewing boxes and

squatted down on the floor in the light from a long window. Tess was

soon busily threading the popcorn.

"What's the matter with you, Dot Kenway?" she demanded, as the smallest

Corner House girl seemed still to be fussing with her thread and needle,

her face puckered up and a frown on her small brow. "You're the slowest

thing!"

"I--I believe this needle's asleep, Tess," wailed Dot, finally.

"Asleep?" gasped the other. "What nonsense!"

"Yes, 'tis--so now!" ejaculated Dot. "Anyway, I can't get its eye open."

A low laugh sounded behind them, and a tall girl swooped down on the

floor and put her arms around the smallest Corner House girl.

"Let sister do it for you, honeybee," said the newcomer. "Won't the eye

open? Well! we'll make it--there!"

This was Ruth, the oldest of the four Kenway sisters. She was dark, not

particularly pretty, but, as Tess often said, awfully good! Ruth had a

smile that illuminated her rather plain face and won her friends

everywhere. Moreover, she had a beautiful, low, sweet voice--a "mother

voice," Agnes said.

Ruth had been mothering her three younger sisters for a long time

now--ever since their real mother had died, leaving Agnes and Tess and

Dot, to say nothing of Aunt Sarah Maltby, in the older girl's care. And

faithfully had Ruth Kenway performed her duty.

Agnes was the pretty sister (although Tess, with all her gravity,

promised to equal the fly-away in time) for she had beautiful light

hair, a rosy complexion, and large blue eyes, of an expression most

innocent but in the depths of which lurked the Imps of Mischief.

Little Dot was dark, like Ruth; only she was most lovely--her hair wavy

and silky, her little limbs round, her eyes bright, and her lips as red

as an ox-heart cherry!

The little girls went on stringing the popcorn, and Ruth and Agnes began

to trim the tree, commencing at the very top. Nestling among the pointed

branches of the fir was a winged cupid, with bow and arrow.

"That's so much better than a bell. Everybody has bells," said Agnes,

from the step-ladder, as she viewed the cupid with satisfaction.

"It's an awfullycunning little fat, white baby," agreed Dot, from the

floor. "But I should be afraid, if I were his mother, to let him play

with bows-an'-arrows. Maybe he'll prick himself."

"We'll speak to Venus about that," chuckled Agnes. "Don't believe

anybody ever mentioned it to her."

"'Venus'?" repeated Dot, gravely. "Why, that's the name of the lady that

lives next to Uncle Rufus' Petunia. She couldn't be that little baby's

mother for she's--oh!--_awful_ black!"

"Aggie was speaking of another Venus, Dot," laughed Ruth. "Fasten those

little candle-holders securely, Aggie."

"Sure!" agreed the second, and slangy, sister.

"I really wish we could light the whole room with candles, and not have

the gas at all," Ruth said. "It would be much nicer. Don't you think

so?"

"It would be scrumptious!" Aggie cried. "And you've got such a lot of

those nice, fat, bayberry candles. Let's do it!"

"But there are not enough candlesticks."

"You can get 'em at the five-and-ten-cent store," proposed Tess, who

favored that busy emporium, "because you can get such a lot for your

money!"

"Goosey!" exclaimed Agnes. "We don't want _cheap_ ones. How would they

look beside those lovely old silver ones of Uncle Peter Stower's?" and

she turned to look at the great candelabra on the highboy.

Just then the door from the butler's pantry opened slowly and a

grizzled, kinky head, with a shiny, brown, bald spot on top, was thrust

into the room.

"I say, missie!" drawled the voice belonging to the ancient head, "is

yo' done seen anyt'ing ob dat denim bag I has fo' de soiled napkins?

Pechunia, she done comin' fo' de wash, an' I got t' collect togeddah all

I kin fin' dis week. Dat fool brack woman," Uncle Rufus added with

disgust, "won't do but dis one wash twill happen New Years--naw'm! She

jes' got t' cel'brate, she say. Ma' soul! what's a po', miserble nigger

woman got t' cel'brate fo' Ah asks ye?"

"Why, Uncle Rufus!" cried Agnes. "Christmas is a birthday that

_everybody_ ought to celebrate. And I'm sure Petunia has many things to

make her happy."

"Just look at all her children!" put in Tess.

"Alfredia, and Jackson Montgomery Simms, and little Burne-Jones Whistler

and Louise Annette," Dot began to intone, naming the roll of Petunia

Blossom's piccaninnies.

"Don't! Stop!" begged Agnes, with her hands over her ears and sitting

down on the top step of the ladder.

"Ma soul!" chuckled Uncle Rufus, "if chillens come lak' Chris'mus

presents, all de rich w'ite folks would hab 'em an' de po' nigger folks

would be habbin' wot de paper calls 'race sooincide'--sho' would!"

"I haven't seen the laundry bag, Unc' Rufus," said Ruth, deep in

thought.

Here Dot spoke up. "I 'spect I know where it is, Unc' Rufus," she said.

"Wal! I 'spected some ob yo' chillen done had it."

"You know," said Dot, seriously, "my Alice-doll is real weakly. The

doctors don't give me much 'couragement about her. Her lungs are

weak--they have been, you know, ever since that awful Trouble girl buried

her with the dried apples."

"Dat Lillie Treble. Ah 'members hit--sho!" chuckled Uncle Rufus, the

Corner House girls' chief factotum, who was a tall, thin, brown old

negro, round shouldered with age, but "spry and pert," as he said

himself.

"And the doctors," went on Dot, waxing serious, and her imagination

"working over time," as Neale O'Neil would have said, "say it's best for

folks with weak lungs to sleep out of doors. So Neale's built her a

sleeping porch outside one of the windows in our bedroom--Tess' and

mine--and--and I used your napkin bag, Unc' Rufus, for a sleeping-bag for

my Alice-doll! I couldn't find anything else that fitted her," confessed

the smallest Corner House girl.

"Well! of all the children!" cried Agnes, having taken her hands down

from her ears to hear this.

"You shouldn't have taken the bag without permission," Ruth gravely told

Dot.


生词表:
  • savage [´sævidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.野蛮的 n.蛮人   (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)
  • disaster [di´zɑ:stə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.灾难,不幸   (初中英语单词)
  • responsibility [ri,spɔnsə´biliti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.责任(心);职责;任务   (初中英语单词)
  • closet [´klɔzit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.橱;私室;盥洗室   (初中英语单词)
  • robber [´rɔbə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.强盗;盗贼   (初中英语单词)
  • sleeping [´sli:piŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.睡着(的)   (初中英语单词)
  • whenever [wen´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  conj.&ad.无论何时   (初中英语单词)
  • delicious [di´liʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.美味的,可口的   (初中英语单词)
  • willow [´wiləu] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.柳树   (初中英语单词)
  • grown-up [´grəun-ʌp] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.成年人 a.成熟的   (初中英语单词)
  • reflection [ri´flekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.反射;映象;想法   (初中英语单词)
  • eagerly [´i:gəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.渴望地,急切地   (初中英语单词)
  • indian [´indiən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.印度的 n.印度人   (初中英语单词)
  • behave [bi´heiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.举止;表现;举止端正   (初中英语单词)
  • stocking [´stɔkiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.长统袜   (初中英语单词)
  • moreover [mɔ:´rəuvə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.再者,此外,而且   (初中英语单词)
  • winged [´wiŋd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有翼的   (初中英语单词)
  • cunning [´kʌniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.狡猾(诡诈)的   (初中英语单词)
  • gravely [´greivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.庄重地,严肃地   (初中英语单词)
  • celebrate [´selibreit] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.庆祝;表扬;赞美   (初中英语单词)
  • seriously [´siəriəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.严肃;严重,重大   (初中英语单词)
  • 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)
  • suspicious [sə´spiʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可疑的,多疑的   (高中英语单词)
  • spacious [´speiʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.广阔的,宽敞的   (高中英语单词)
  • shudder [´ʃʌdə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vi.震颤;发抖   (高中英语单词)
  • ridiculous [ri´dikjuləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.荒谬的;可笑的   (高中英语单词)
  • repeated [ri´pi:tid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.反复的;重复的   (高中英语单词)
  • salvation [sæl´veiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.救助;拯救   (高中英语单词)
  • sewing [´səuiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.缝纫;(书的)装订   (高中英语单词)
  • newcomer [´nju:,kʌmə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.新来的人;移民   (高中英语单词)
  • awfully [´ɔ:fuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.令人畏惧地   (高中英语单词)
  • complexion [kəm´plekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.肤色;情况;局面   (高中英语单词)
  • pantry [´pæntri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.食品室;餐具室   (高中英语单词)
  • napkin [´næpkin] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.餐巾;手帕;尿布   (高中英语单词)
  • garret [´gærit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.阁楼,顶楼   (英语四级单词)
  • burglar [´bə:glə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(入室行窃的)盗贼   (英语四级单词)
  • cheery [´tʃiəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.愉快的;活泼的   (英语四级单词)
  • evergreen [´evəgri:n] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.常绿的,常青的   (英语四级单词)
  • reindeer [´reindiə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.驯鹿   (英语四级单词)
  • busily [´bizili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.忙碌地   (英语四级单词)
  • laundry [´lɔ:ndri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.洗衣店;待洗的衣服   (英语四级单词)
  • festive [´festiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.喜庆的,欢乐的   (英语六级单词)
  • mantel [´mæntl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.壁炉面饰;壁炉架   (英语六级单词)
  • inquisitive [in´kwizitiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.好奇的,好问的   (英语六级单词)
  • heresy [´herisi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.异教,异端,邪说   (英语六级单词)
  • speaking [´spi:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.说话 a.发言的   (英语六级单词)
  • securely [si´kjuəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.安全地;无疑地   (英语六级单词)
  • treble [´trebəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.三倍(重)的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:53:24
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