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Crusoes of the Frozen North   By: (1840-1910)

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The Crusoes Of The Frozen North

From the Well known Story by Dr. Gordon Stables


"I'm sure of one thing," said Aralia to her little sister Pansy, as they sat together one lovely summer afternoon on the garden seat, and gazed away and away far over the North Sea. "I'm quite sure of one thing. Nobody ever could have so good an uncle as our uncle. Now, could anybody, Pansy?"

"Oh no!" answered Pansy, shaking her pretty head. Pansy was hardly eight years old, and always agreed with her older sister, who was nearly eleven.

"How I wish he were home again from his old ship," sighed Aralia, "and Tom with him!"

"Well, Ara, we can sit here hours and hours every day and watch the sea, can't we?"

"Yes, and we shall easily know the ship. As she goes by, shell set all her flags a flying, and, if Father isn't at home, Mother will send up our great red flag on the garden pole. Oh dear! I could nearly cry for joy to think of it!"

"And me too!" said Pansy.

"And me too!" Veevee seemed to say, as he gave a short bark, and, jumping down from the seat, ran round the garden, looking like a fluffy white ball.

The sea was very blue, only patched with green wherever a cloud shadow fell on it. Down beneath the cliff on which the cottage stood, the waves broke lazily in long white lines of foam. On the sea itself were vessels of almost every kind, from the little fishing craft with brown sails to great ships sailing away to distant lands.

Aralia knew what class of vessel each was by its rig; her best of uncles had taught her. And well could she use the spy glass too, which she now held to her right eye. It had been hard at first to keep the left closed, but she could manage it now quite easily without asking Pansy to clap a hand over it.

Soon she began to talk in little gasps:

"Oh, Pansy I think Oh, I'm nearly sure yes yes it must be! it is Uncle's ship! I can see the flags all a flying Hurrah! Come and look!"


Pansy sat on her sister's knee and peeped through the glass. Then both the children started up and waved their arms in the air at the far off ship. They were just about to rush off to tell Mother, when their cousin Frank came up. He was a lad of about thirteen or fourteen, but he was so tall and manly that he looked older.

Frank came into the garden with a rush and a run when he heard the girls call out. A fishing basket was slung over his back, from which the tails of fish stuck out, showing what good sport he had had.

"Hillo, Ara! Hillo, Pansy! What are you dancing and 'hoo laying' about? Been stung by a wasp, my little Pansy Blossom?"

"Oh, Frank," cried the elder girl, "look through the glass! Uncle's coming! Look at the ship, and all the flags."

The boy was almost as excited now as the girls themselves, and presently they were all running in a string through the pretty garden towards the cottage with the news, Veevee bringing up the rear and barking bravely.

Rat tat tat at the door next afternoon, and little Pansy ran to open it, expecting to see the postman, but the knocking was only a bit of Tom's fun. Frank had left for Hull the evening before to meet him, and here was Tom the sailor, tall and bonny and dark. Pansy jumped into his arms like a baby, Aralia rushed to meet him, and his mother came out, though a little more slowly. When the bustle was all over, and Tom had answered nearly a hundred questions, they all went in to tea.

"Yes, Aralia, Uncle is coming up from Hull with Father and Cousin Frank, and we shall stop here three whole days before we go back to clear ship and pay off"

"And," added Tom, "Uncle has something so strange and nice to tell you!"

"What is it, Tom?" said his two sisters, both in a breath as it were.

"I can't, won't, and sha'n't tell you, girls," cried Tom, laughing, "because that would spoil the fun when Uncle comes... Continue reading book >>

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