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A Flight with the Swallows Little Dorothy's Dream   By: (1830-1899)

Book cover

First Page:

A FLIGHT WITH THE SWALLOWS

Or, Little Dorothy's Dream

BY

EMMA MARSHALL

Author of "Poppies and Pansies," "Silver Chimes," etc., etc

[Illustration: Swallow]

LONDON S. W. PARTRIDGE AND CO 8 & 9 PATERNOSTER ROW

[Illustration: "YOU ARE THE YOUNG CANON." p. 13.]

Contents.

Chap. Page

I. DOROTHY'S DREAM 7 II. PREPARATION 12 III. OFF AND AWAY 20 IV. NINO 27 V. ONLY A DOG 35 VI. THE VILLA LUCIA 40 VII. VILLA FIRENZE 48 VIII. DOROTHY'S LESSONS 55 IX. LOST 66 X. IN THE SHADOWS 72 XI. WHAT FOLLOWED 82 XII. THE LOST FOUND 89

A FLIGHT WITH THE SWALLOWS.

CHAPTER I.

DOROTHY'S DREAM.

In a deep window seat, hidden by crimson curtains from the room beyond, a little girl was curled up, looking out upon a trim garden, where the first autumn leaves were falling one September afternoon. The view was bounded by a high wall, and above the wall, the east end of Coldchester Cathedral stood up a dark mass against the pale blue sky. Every now and then a swallow darted past the window, with its forked tail and whitish breast; then there was a twittering and chirping in the nests above, as the swallows talked to each other of their coming flight. Little Dorothy was an only child; she had no brothers and sisters to play with; thus she made playmates of her two fluffy kittens, who were lying at her feet; and she made friends of the twittering swallows and the chattering jackdaws, as they flew in and out from the cathedral tower, and lived in a world of her own.

The position of an only child has its peculiar pleasures and privileges; but I am inclined to think that all little girls who have brothers and sisters to play with are more to be envied than little Dorothy. To be sure, there was no one to want Puff and Muff but herself; no one to dispute the ownership of Miss Belinda, her large doll; no one to say it was her turn to dust and tidy Barton Hall, the residence of Miss Belinda; no one to insist on his right to spin a top or snatch away the cup and ball just when the critical moment came, and the ball was at last going to alight on the cup.

Dorothy had none of these trials; but then she had none of the pleasures which go with them; for the pleasure of giving up your own way is in the long run greater than always getting it; and it is better to have a little quarrel, and then "make it up" with a kiss and confession of fault on both sides, than never to have any one to care about what you care for, and no one to contradict you!

As little Dorothy watched the swallows, and listened to their conversation above her head, she became aware that some one was in the drawing room, and was talking to her mother.

She was quite hidden from view, and she heard her name.

"But how can I take little Dorothy?"

"Easily enough. It will do her no harm to take flight with the swallows."

"You don't think she is delicate?" she heard her mother exclaim, in a voice of alarm. "Oh, Doctor Bell, you don't think Dorothy is delicate?"

"No, she is very well as far as I see at present, but I think her life is perhaps rather too dreamy and self absorbed. She wants companions; she wants variety."

Dr. Bell knew he was venturing on delicate ground.

"Dorothy is very happy," Mrs. Acheson said, "very happy. Just suppose San Remo does not suit her, does not agree with her; then think of the journey!"

"My dear madam, the journey is as easy in these days as if you could fly over on the backs of the swallows easier, if anything. You ask my serious advice, and it is this, that you lose no time in starting for San Remo or Mentone."

"San Remo is best," said Mrs. Acheson, "for I have a friend who has a house there, and she will be there for the winter."

"Very well; then let me advise you to be quick in making your preparations. I shall call again this day week, and expect to find you are standing, like the swallows, ready for flight... Continue reading book >>




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