酷兔英语



[Illustration: "Do you know, Miss Dum, you looked like Diana when you

stood on that rock?"--_Page 230._]

AT BOARDING SCHOOL WITH THE TUCKER TWINS

By NELL SPEED

AUTHOR OF "THE MOLLY BROWN SERIES," ETC.

_WITH FOUR HALF-TONE ILLUSTRATIONS BY ARTHUR O. SCOTT_

NEW YORK

HURST & COMPANY

PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1915,

BY

HURST & COMPANY

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. LEAVING HOME 5

II. ENTER THE TUCKERS 23

III. GRESHAM 36

IV. MY ROOMMATES 48

V. LETTERS 60

VI. THE FOUNDLING 69

VII. KITTY'S FOSTER-FATHER 88

VIII. ABOUT MATHEMATICS AND ME 102

IX. FOOTBALL 110

X. BOYS 123

XI. LETTERS AND SEVERAL KINDS OF FATHERS 137

XII. ANNIE'S MOTHER 147

XIII. THE CONCERT 167

XIV. THE SPREAD 176

XV. HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS 191

XVI. A VISIT FROM THE TUCKERS 201

XVII. DEER HUNTING 210

XVIII. THE MIGHTY HUNTER 227

XIX. A VISIT TO RICHMOND 241

XX. DINNER AT COUSIN PARK'S 259

XXI. THE DESPERATION OF DUM 274

XXII. MORE LETTERS 294

XXIII. ZEBEDEE'S VISIT 300

ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

"Do you know, Miss Dum, you looked like Diana when you

stood on that rock?" _Frontispiece_

They made such a racket that a sad, crooked face was

poked into the door 48

"From mother," exclaimed the girl, trembling with

excitement 156

Dum looked at me aghast. "Page, you here, and Dee" 271

At Boarding School with the Tucker Twins.

CHAPTER I.

LEAVING HOME.

Leaving home to go to boarding school was bad enough, but leaving on a

damp, cold morning before dawn seemed to be about the worst thing that

could befall a girl of fifteen. I have noticed that whatever age you

happen to be seems to be the age in which hardships are the most

difficult to bear.

Anyhow, there I was, only fifteen, facing the necessity of saying early

morning farewells, the first one of all to my comfortable bed, where I

had slept off and on, principally on, for those fifteen years. And now I

and my bed must part.

"Day done bus'ed, Miss Page. The doctor is stirrin' an' you'd better

rise an' shine," and kind old Mammy Susan leaned yearningly over me. "I

hate to wake up my lamb. I knowd dis day would come when dey'd take you

'way from me, but I nebber did think 'twould be 'fo' dawn wif all de

long day 'head er me to be studyin' 'bout you. What yo' mammy goin' ter

do 'thout you, chile?"

"Well, Mammy, we'll have to grin and bear it. I'll be home Christmas,

and that isn't so far off." I jumped out of bed and pulled my hat-tub

into the middle of the floor, ready for my daily cold sponge bath.

Probably I had inherited the habit of the cold bath from my English

grandfather along with the big hat-tub.

"Law, chile, can't you leave off punishin' yo'self jes' dis onct? You

can't be to say dirty, an' dis here water is pow'ful cold."

Mammy and I had had this discussion about my cold bath every morning

since I had been old enough to bathe myself. It was only after many

battles that she had stopped sneaking warm water into my big can. That

morning I let it pass, although the water was lukewarm.

"Y'ain't mad wif yo' ole Mammy, is yer, honey chile? Looks like I didn't

have de heart to plunge my baby lamb into sho'nuf cold water on sech a

dark chilly day, wif her a-leavin' an' all. 'Tain't ter say warm now. I

jes' tempered it a leetle."

"That's all right, Mammy. 'God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb' and

you, it seems, temper the water. They say there are lots of bathrooms at

Gresham, and I can have the water as deep and cold as I want it."

"Well, don't you go drown yo'self in any er dem new-fashioned plumbin'

tubs, an' fer de lan's sake, Miss Page, don't you let yo'self be drawed

down inter none er dem was'e pipes," and Mammy Susan hurried off to

bring in the all too early breakfast.

I dressed in my usual haste, putting on my nice blue traveling suit,

ordered by mail from New York. It was quite long, well down to my shoe

tops, and I felt very stylish and grown-up. I had never given any

thought to my appearance, and no one else in my life seemed to have

except Cousin Sue Lee and Mammy. I don't know just what Cousin Sue

thought about me, but Mammy thought I was the most beautiful creature

in the world and freely told me so. That morning as I put on the little

black velvet toque, also purchased by mail, I looked at myself very

critically in the mirror.

"Page Allison, are you pretty or not? I, for one, think not. You've got

freckles on your nose and your mouth is simply huge. I'd like to say

something about your eyes to take the conceit out of you, but they look

so like Father's that I'd feel just like I was sassing him if I did.

Anyhow, I'm glad your hair curls."

I had intended to sentimentalize over leaving my room and going out into

the world, but I forgot all about it, and grabbing my ready-packed

suitcase, also a mail order, I raced downstairs as Mammy Susan rang the

breakfast bell.

Father was already in the dining-room, standing with his back to the

little wood fire that Mammy had kindled to cheer us up with. Mammy

always seemed to feel that when we were in any distress she must warm us

and feed us whether we were cold and hungry or not. That morning we were

neither, but we warmed by her fire and tried to choke down a great deal

of her batter bread and roe herring to show her we appreciated her

efforts.

Father looked up as I came in and for a moment regarded me in speechless

amazement.

"Why, honey, you almost took my breath away! You look so grown-up in the

new dress and hat. I didn't know you were so like your Mother, child,"

and he drew me to him and kissed me.

Father and I were as a rule not very demonstrative, but I clung to him

for a moment and he held me close with his long, wiry arm.

"I wish I could take you to Gresham, honey, but old Mrs. Purdy is very

low and she expects me to be with her at the end."

"That's all right, Father, don't you worry. There are certain to be

other girls on the train who are going to Gresham and I'll butt in on

them," I answered much more bravely than I felt. It did seem terribly

lonely and forlorn to be going off and installing myself in boarding

school. "I think it's fine that you can drive me over to Milton and put

me on the train. Last night when I heard such a knocking at the door I

was afraid I wouldn't see you in the morning because you'd be off on

some life or death mission. What was the matter?"

"Oh, just Sally Winn's bread pills had given out and she was afraid she

would not last through the night without them." Father always took me

into his confidence about the bread pills he administered to the

hypochondriacs.

"Do you know, Father, I believe if you charged midnight fees for those

bread-pill and pink-well-water prescriptions, that Sally Winn and some

more just like her would at least wait until morning to die."

"Oh, well, little daughter, Sally's got lots of good in her, and trying

to die is the only excitement she has ever had in her whole life."

"Well, I won't begrudge it to her but I do hate to have your rest

broken. Mammy," I said to Mammy Susan as she came in bearing a plate of

red-hot flannel cakes, "don't you let Father be too late getting into

his heavy underwear; and make a row every time he drives the colt until

he will stop it from sheer weariness. And, Father, you make Mammy take

her tonic; and don't let her go out in the wet dew waddling around

after her ducks. She will catch her death."

"Susan, you hear Miss Page? Don't dare go in anything but dry dew. A few

inches on her skirt and her curls tucked up under her bonnet make her

think she's been taking care of us all these years instead of our taking

care of her."

"Law, ain't she the spit of her Ma, Doc Allison? 'Cep fer yo' eyes.

Ain't quite so tall; but she's young yit in spite er sich a long

trailin' skirt. I's sorry to be de one to break de news, but de colt is

out dere a-prancin' an' pawin', an' ef you's a-goin' you'd better go."

I had often pictured my going away and had always seen myself with

difficulty restraining my tears; but now the time had come and the colt

was cutting up, so I forgot to cry even when I told the dogs good-by;

and just as I was giving Mammy Susan a last hug, and if tears were ever

to come they must hurry, Father called to me to jump in, for he couldn't

hold the colt another minute. And in I was and away and not crying at

all but laughing, as we turned around on one wheel and went skimming

down the drive.

The sun was all the way up at last and it wasn't a cold, damp day at

all, but promised to be fair and clear. We had a six-mile drive to the

station at Milton and the colt saw to it that we got there in plenty of

time.

"Now, Page, be certain when you make the change at Richmond, if you have

to ask any questions to ask them of a man in brass buttons."

"Yes, Father," and I smiled demurely, remembering how I always acted as

courier when we went on our trips. Father, being the most absent-minded

of men except where his profession was concerned, was not to be trusted

with a railroad ticket.

Moving away on the train at last and waving good-by to his long, sad

face, made me realize that the knot was cut. What a good father he was!

How had we ever been able to make up our minds to this boarding school

scheme? Nothing but the certainty that my education was a very one-sided

affair and that I must broaden out a bit had determined Father; and as

for me, I longed to know some girls.

I, who yearned for friends, was growing up without any. Fifteen years

old and I had never had a real chum! I couldn't remember my mother, but

I am sure she would have been my chum if she had lived. Mammy Susan did

her best and so did Father, but a little girl wants another little girl.

We had neighbors in plenty, but our county seemed to be composed of old

maids and childless widows with a sparse sprinkling of gray-bearded men.

My mother's people were English and she had no relatives on this side of

the water. Father belonged to a huge family, all of them great visitors,

but so far as I knew, no children among them. All kinds of old maids:

rich and poor, gentle and stern, soft and hard, big and little, they all

managed once a year to pay their dear cousin, Dr. Allison, a visit at

Bracken. I did not mind their coming. The soft ones seemed to have been

little girls once, which was something. I used to think when I was quite

a little thing that the hard ones must have been little boys, because

of the statement in my Mother Goose that little boys were made of "Snaps

and snails and puppy dog tails,"--not nice soft collie pups' tails,

either, but the tight, hard kind that grew on Cousin Park Garnett's pug.

Cousin Park Garnett was the rich, hard one whom I visited in Richmond

the winter before. On her annualvisitation to us she had remarked to my

father:

"Cousin James, are Page's teeth sound? White teeth like that are, as a

rule, not very strong. Her mouth is so enormous you had better look to

it that her teeth are preserved," and she pursed up her own thin lips

and put on her green persimmon expression.

"Perfectly sound, I think, Cousin Park. Of course her teeth must be

preserved. As for her mouth being big, she'll grow up to it." But the

outcome of the conversation was that I had to visit Cousin Park and take

in the dentist. Think of the combination! Cousin Park took me to the

Woman's Club in the afternoon where we listened to a lecture on "The

Influence of Slavic Literature on the Culture of the Day." I was

longing for the movies but managed to keep my big mouth shut and listen

to the lecture, so I could tell Father about it and make him laugh. I

stayed in Richmond three days and did not speak to one single soul under

fifty. Even the dentist was old and tottering, so shaky that I was

afraid he would fall into my mouth.

I saw loads of nice girls my own age skating on the sidewalk or walking

arm-in-arm chattering away very happily, but Cousin Park didn't know who

they were or did know and knew nothing to their credit. I was glad to

get back to Bracken where there were no girls to know. There were at

least the dogs at Bracken that I could talk to and race over the hills

with. Even Cousin Park could not doubt their royal pedigrees.

It was dear little Cousin Sue Lee who persuaded Father and me both that

I ought to go to boarding school. Cousin Sue was the best of all

Father's female relatives. She was gentle and poor and had a job in the

Congressional Library in Washington. With all her gentleness, she was

sprightly and had plenty of what Father called "Lee spunk"; and with

all her poverty, she wore the sweetest clothes and always brought me a

lovely present every year and a nice shawl for Mammy or a black silk

waist or something or other to delight the old woman's heart. Cousin

Park never gave me anything,--not that I wanted her to. She would visit

us two weeks and then present Mammy with a dime, using all the pomp and

ceremony that a twenty-dollar gold piece would have warranted.

"Jimmy," Cousin Sue had said one day (she was the only one of all the

cousins who called Father Jimmy), "I know you and Page will think I am

an interfering old cat, but that child ought to go to school. I am not

going to say a word about her education. She has an excellent education

in some things. I have never seen a better read girl of her age. But the

time may come when she will regret knowing no French, and she tells me

she stopped arithmetic last year and never started algebra."

"Well, what good did algebra ever do you or me?" quizzed Father.

"Now, Jimmy, don't ask such foolish questions. It's just something all

of us have to have. What good does your cravat do you? None; it's not

even a thing of beauty, but you have to have one all the same."

"Oh, you women," laughed Father, "there's no downing you with argument."

"But as I was saying," continued Cousin Sue, "it is not dear little

Page's education I am thinking of. It's something much more important. I

want her to know a whole lot of girls and make a million friends. Why,

I'm the only young friend the child has, and I am getting to be nearer

fifty than forty."

And so we wrote for catalogues of schools and settled on Gresham. And

Cousin Sue sent for a bolt of nainsook and yards and yards of lace and

insertion and made up a whole lot of pretty underclothes for me.

"Girls need a lot of things in this day and generation," I heard her say


生词表:
  • hunter [´hʌntə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.猎人;猎狗;猎马   (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)
  • discussion [di´skʌʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.讨论;辩论   (初中英语单词)
  • plunge [plʌndʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.插进 n.投入;冲击   (初中英语单词)
  • chilly [´tʃili] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.凉飕飕的   (初中英语单词)
  • temper [´tempə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.韧度 v.锻炼;调和   (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)
  • freely [´fri:li] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.自由地;慷慨地   (初中英语单词)
  • velvet [´velvit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.天鹅绒(般的)   (初中英语单词)
  • downstairs [,daun´steəz] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在楼下 a.楼下的   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • distress [di´stres] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.痛苦 vt.使苦恼   (初中英语单词)
  • breath [breθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼吸;气息   (初中英语单词)
  • mission [´miʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.代表团;使馆vt.派遣   (初中英语单词)
  • midnight [´midnait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.午夜;漆黑   (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)
  • profession [prə´feʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.职业;声明;表白   (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)
  • enormous [i´nɔ:məs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.巨大地,很,极   (初中英语单词)
  • literature [´litərətʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.文学;文献;著作   (初中英语单词)
  • culture [´kʌltʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.修养;文化;饲养   (初中英语单词)
  • female [´fi:meil] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.女(性)的 n.女人   (初中英语单词)
  • poverty [´pɔvəti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.贫穷(乏,瘠);不足   (初中英语单词)
  • knowing [´nəuiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.会意的,心照不宣的   (初中英语单词)
  • mighty [´maiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强有力的 ad.很   (高中英语单词)
  • racket [´rækit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(网球等的)拍;球拍   (高中英语单词)
  • crooked [´krukid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.弯曲的;畸形的   (高中英语单词)
  • befall [bi´fɔ:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.降临;发表(于)   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • principally [´prinsəpli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.主要地;大体上   (高中英语单词)
  • sponge [spʌndʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.海绵(状物)   (高中英语单词)
  • hurried [´hʌrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.仓促的,慌忙的   (高中英语单词)
  • conceit [kən´si:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.自负;骄傲自满   (高中英语单词)
  • batter [´bætə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.乱轰;磨损(家具等)   (高中英语单词)
  • bravely [´breivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.勇敢地;毅然   (高中英语单词)
  • forlorn [fə´lɔ:n] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.被遗弃的;绝望的   (高中英语单词)
  • bearing [´beəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.举止;忍耐;关系   (高中英语单词)
  • bonnet [´bɔnit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.无边女帽;童帽   (高中英语单词)
  • concerned [kən´sə:nd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有关的;担心的   (高中英语单词)
  • certainty [´sə:tənti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.确实(性);确信   (高中英语单词)
  • sidewalk [´saidwɔ:k] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.人行道   (高中英语单词)
  • mathematics [,mæθə´mætiks] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.数学   (英语四级单词)
  • desperation [,despə´reiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.铤而走险,拼命   (英语四级单词)
  • herring [´heriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.鲱鱼;青鱼   (英语四级单词)
  • flannel [´flænl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.法兰绒   (英语四级单词)
  • weariness [wiərinis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.疲倦;厌烦   (英语四级单词)
  • composed [kəm´pəuzd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.镇静自若的   (英语四级单词)
  • dentist [´dentist] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.牙科医生   (英语四级单词)
  • gentleness [´dʒentlnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.温和,温柔   (英语四级单词)
  • arithmetic [ə´riθmətik] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.算术   (英语四级单词)
  • hunting [´hʌntiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.打猎   (英语六级单词)
  • aghast [ə´gɑ:st] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.吓呆的,吃惊的   (英语六级单词)
  • underwear [´ʌndəweə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.内衣;衬衣   (英语六级单词)
  • taking [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.迷人的 n.捕获物   (英语六级单词)
  • broaden [´brɔ:dn] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.(使)变宽;(使)扩大   (英语六级单词)
  • collie [´kɔli] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.柯利牧羊犬   (英语六级单词)
  • visitation [,vizi´teiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.访问;视察;检查   (英语六级单词)
  • cravat [krə´væt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.领带;围巾   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:22:50
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