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Madge Morton, Captain of the Merry Maid   By:

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[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 perfectly miserable 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... Continue reading book >>




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