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The Motor Girls on Cedar Lake Or the Hermit of Fern Island   By:

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The Hermit of Fern Island



"Oh, Cora! Isn't this perfectly splendid!" exclaimed Bess Robinson.

"Delightful!" chimed in her twin sister, Belle.

"I'm glad you like it," said Cora Kimball, the camp hostess. "I felt that you would, but one can never be sure especially of Belle. Jack said she would fall a prey to that clump of white birches over there, and would want to paint pictures on the bark. But I fancied she would take more surely to the pines; they are so strong and, like the big boys always to be depended on. But not a word about camp now. Something more important is on. My new motor boat has just arrived!"

"Has it really?" This as a duet.

"And truly," finished Cora with a smile. "Yes, it has, and there is not a boy on the premises to show me how to run it. Jack expected to be here, but he isn't. So now I'm going to try it alone. I never could wait until evening to start my new boat. And isn't it lovely that you have arrived in time to take the initial run? I remember you both took the first spin with me in my auto, the Whirlwind, and now here you are all ready for the trial performance of the motor boat. Now Belle, don't refuse. There is absolutely no danger."

"But the water," objected the timid Belle.

"We can all swim," put in her sister, "and you promised, Belle, not to be nervous this trip. Yes, Cora, I'm all ready. I saw the craft as we came up. Wasn't it the boat with the new light oak deck and mahogany gunwale? I am sure it was,"

"Yes, isn't she a beauty? I should have been satisfied with any sort of a good boat, but mother wanted something really reliable, and she and Jack did it all before I had a chance to interfere."

"I wonder what your mother will next bestow upon you?" asked Belle with a laugh. "She has such absolute confidence in you."

"Let us hope it will not be a man; we can't let Cora get married, whatever else she may do," put in Bess, as she shook the dust from her motor coat, and prepared to follow Cora, who was already leaving the camp. Belle, too, started, but one could see that she, though a motor girl, did not exactly fancy experimenting on the water. It was but a short distance to the lake's edge, for the camp had been chosen especially on account of the water advantage.

"There she is! See how she stands out in the clear sunshiny water! I tell you it is the very prettiest boat on Cedar Lake, and that is saying something," exclaimed Cora, the proud possessor of the new motor craft.

"Beautiful," reiterated the Robinson twins.

"But what do you know about running it?" queried Belle.

"Why, I have been studying marine motors in general, and have been shown about this one in particular," replied Cora. "The man who ran it up from the freight depot for me gave me a few 'pointers,' as he called them."

She stepped into the trim craft and affectionately patted the shining engine.

"'It is much simpler to run than a car, and besides, there isn't so much to get in your way on the water," Cora went on.

"My!" exclaimed Bess as she stepped in after her hostess. "This is really scrumptious!"

"You take the seat in the stern, Belle, and Bess, you may sit here near me," said Cora, "as I suppose you will be interested in seeing how it works. Oh! There is the steamer from the train. Hurry! Perhaps there are folks aboard we know. Let us act at home, and pretend we have been running motor boats all our lives."

Cora took her place at the engine and before Bess or Belle had really gotten seated she was turning on the gasoline.

"You see this is the little pipe that feeds the 'gas' from the tank to the carburetor," she explained. "Now, I just throw in the switch: that makes the electrical connection: then I have to give this fly wheel it's stiff but I have to swing it around so! There!" and the wheel "flew" around twice slowly and then began to revolve very rapidly. "Now we are ready," and the engine started its regular chug chug... Continue reading book >>

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