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The Motor Girls on Waters Blue Or the Strange Cruise of the Tartar   By:

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The Strange Cruise of The Tartar

By Margaret Penrose



With a crunching of the small stones in the gravel drive, the big car swung around to the side entrance of the house, and came to a stop, with a whining, screeching and, generally protesting sound of the brake bands. A girl, bronzed by the summer sun, let her gloved hands fall from the steering wheel, for she had driven fast, and was tired. The motor ceased its humming, and, with a click, the girl locked the ignition switch as she descended.

"Oh, what a run! What a glorious run, and on a most glorious day!" she breathed in a half whisper, as she paused for a moment on the bottom step, and gazed back over the valley, which the high setting house commanded, in a magnificent view.

The leaves of the forest trees had been touched, gently as yet, by the withering fingers of coming winter, and the browns, reds, golden ambers, purples and flame colors ran riot under the hazy light of an October sun, slowly sinking to rest.

"It was a shame to go alone, on this simply perfect day," murmured the autoist, as she drew off one glove to tuck back under her motoring cap a rebellious lock of hair. "But I couldn't get a single one of the girls on the wire," she continued. "Oh, I just hate to go in, while there's a moment of daylight left!"

She stood on the porch, against a background of white pillars, facing the golden west, that every moment, under the now rapidly appearing tints of the sunset, seemed like some magically growing painting.

"Well, I can't stand here admiring nature!" exclaimed Cora Kimball, with a sudden descent to the commonplace. "Mother will be wanting that worsted, and if we are to play bridge tonight, I must help Nancy get the rooms in some kind of shape."

As Cora entered the vestibule, she heard a voice from the hall inside saying:

"Oh, here she is now!"

"Bess Robinson!" murmured Cora. "And she said she couldn't come motoring with me. I wonder how she found time to run over?"

Cora Hung open the door to confront her chum Bess or, to be more correct, Elizabeth Robinson the brown haired, "plump", girl she who was known as the "big" Robinson twin the said Bess being rather out of breath from her rapid exit from the parlor to the hall.

As might be surmised, it did not take much to put Bess out of breath, or, to be still more exact, to put the breath out of Bess. It was all due to her exceeding plumpness to use a "nice" word.

"Oh, Cora!" exclaimed Bess. "I've been waiting so long for you! I thought you'd never come! I I "

"There, my dear, don't excite yourself. Accidents will happen in the best of manicured families, and you simply must do something take more exercise eat less did you every try rolling over and over on the, floor after each meal? One roll for each course, you know," and Cora smiled tantalizingly as she removed her other glove, and proceeded to complete the restoration of her hair to something approaching the modern style which task she had essayed while on the porch.

"Well, Cora Kimball, I like your !"

"No slang, Bess dear. Remember those girls we met this summer, and how we promised never, never to use it at least as commonly as they did! We never realized how it sounded until we heard them."

"Oh, Cora, do stop. I've such a lot to tell you!" and Bess laid a plump and rosy palm over the smiling lips of her hostess.

"So I gathered, Bess, from your manner. But you must not be in such a hurry. This is evidently going to be a mile run, and not a hundred yard dash, as Jack would say. So come in, sit down, get comf'y, wait until you and your breath are on speaking terms, and I'll listen. But first I want to tell you all that happen to me. Why didn't you come for a spin? It was glorious! Perfectly 'magnificent!"

"Oh, Cora, I wanted so much to come, you know I did. But I was out when you 'phoned, and mamma is so upset, and the house is in such a state really I was glad to run out, and come over here... Continue reading book >>

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