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The Outdoor Girls at Rainbow Lake Or, the stirring cruise of the motor boat Gem   By:

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The Outdoor Girls At Rainbow Lake


The Stirring Cruise of the Motor Boat Gem

by Laura Lee Hope, 1913



"Girls, I've got the grandest surprise for you!"

Betty Nelson crossed the velvety green lawn, and crowded into the hammock, slung between two apple trees, which were laden with green fruit. First she had motioned for Grace Ford to make room for her, and then sank beside her chum with a sigh of relief.

"Oh, it was so warm walking over!" she breathed. "And I did come too fast, I guess." She fanned herself with a filmy handkerchief.

"But the surprise?" Mollie Billette reminded Betty.

"I'm coming to it, my dear, but just let me get my breath. I didn't know I hurried so. Swing, Grace."

With a daintily shod foot a foot slender and in keeping with her figure Grace gave rather a languid push, and set the hammock to swaying in wider arcs.

Amy Stonington, who had not joined in the talk since the somewhat hurried arrival of Betty, strolled over to the hammock and began peering about in it that is, in as much of it as the fluffy skirts of the two occupants would allow to be seen.

"I don't see it," she said in gentle tones everything Amy did was gentle, and her disposition was always spoken of as "sweet" by her chums, though why such an inapt word is generally selected to describe what might better be designated as "natural" is beyond comprehension. "I don't see it," murmured Amy.

"What?" asked Grace, quickly.

"I guess she means that box of chocolates," murmured Mollie. "It's no use, Amy, for Grace finished the last of them long before Betty blew in on us or should I say drifted? Really, it's too warm to do more than drift to day."

"You finished the last of the candy yourself!" exclaimed Grace, with spirit. If Grace had one failing, or a weakness, it was for chocolates.

"I did not!" snapped Mollie. Her own failing was an occasional burst of temper. She had French blood in her veins and not of French lilac shade, either, as Betty used to say. It was of no uncertain color was Mollie's temper at times.

"Yes, you did!" insisted Grace. "Don't you remember? It was one with a cherry inside, and we both wanted it, and "

"You got it!" declared Mollie. "If you say I took it "

"That's right, Grace, you did have it," said gentle Amy. "Don't you recall, you held it in one hand behind your back and told Billy to choose?" Billy was Mollie's "chummy" name.

"That's so," admitted Grace. "And Mollie didn't guess right. I beg your pardon, Mollie. It's so warm, and the prickly heat bothers me so that I can hardly think of anything but that I'm going in and get some talcum powder. I've got some of the loveliest scent the Yamma yamma flower from Japan."

"It sounds nice," murmured Betty. "But, girls "

"Excuse me," murmured Grace, making a struggle to arise from the hammock never a graceful feat for girl or woman.

"Don't! You'll spill me!" screamed Betty, clutching at the yielding sides of the net. "Grace! There!"

There would have been a "spill" except that Amy caught the swaying hammock and held it until Grace managed, more or less "gracelessly," to get out.

"There's the empty box," she remarked, as it was disclosed where it had lain hidden between herself and Betty. "Not a crumb left, Amy, my dear. But I fancy I have a fresh box in the house, if Will hasn't found them. He's always snooping, if you'll pardon my slang."

"I wasn't looking for candy," replied Amy. "It's my handkerchief that new lace one; I fancied I left it in the hammock."

"Wait, I'll get up," said Betty. "Don't you dare let go, Amy. I don't see why I'm so foolish as to wear this tight skirt. We didn't bother with such style when we were off on our walking tour."

"Oh, blessed tour!" sighed Mollie. "I wish we could go on another one to the North Pole," and she vigorously fanned herself with a magazine cover... Continue reading book >>

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