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The Outdoor Girls at Wild Rose Lodge Or, the hermit of Moonlight falls   By:

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The Outdoor Girls at Wild Rose Lodge


The Hermit of Moonlight Falls

by Laura Lee Hope, 1921



"Did you ever see a more wonderful day?"

The four Outdoor Girls, in Mollie Billette's touring car and with Mollie herself at the wheel, were at the present moment rushing wildly over a dusty country road at the rate of thirty miles an hour.

Grace Ford was sitting in front with Mollie, while Betty Nelson and Amy Blackford "sprawled," to use Mollie's sarcastic and slightly exaggerated description, "all over the tonneau."

"You look as if you had never done a real day's work in your life," said Mollie, with a disapproving glance over her shoulder at the girls in the tonneau.

"We never have," returned quiet Amy, with a grin.

"And we are proud of it," added Betty, as she defiantly settled her feet still more comfortably on the foot rail. "Why should we be energetic when it is so much easier to be lazy?"

"There the proper spirit speaks," applauded Grace Ford from the front. "I think I shall have to change places with you, Betty. It's far too exciting up here with Mollie. She insists upon staging near collisions every few feet thus keeping me awake!"

"Great heavens!" cried Mollie, pressing an impatient foot upon the accelerator to which the great car responded with an eager purring, "did any one ever give us the mistaken title of Outdoor Girls, I wonder? They should have called us the Rip Van Winkle club, instead."

"Now she's getting sour castic," commented Grace lazily. "Have some candy, honey, and sweeten up."

She passed the ever present box of delicacies over to Mollie, to which overture the young driver responded with so indignant a stare that Grace quickly withdrew the box, tucked it behind her, and strove to look unconscious.

"Please, ma'am, I didn't mean to do it," she said meekly.

"Well, don't do it again, that's all," returned Mollie, uncompromisingly, her eyes once more on the road ahead. "I've eaten so many chocolates this week that I've had indigestion and mother threatened to cut down my allowance."

"Goodness, it's my allowance that suffers," retorted Grace, ruefully, "since it is my candy that you eat."

"Stop quarreling, girls, and answer my question," said Betty, sitting up straight and regarding delightedly a vista of flying hills and woodland greenery. "I asked you a few minutes ago if you had ever seen so wonderful a day?"

"Yes, plenty of 'em," returned Mollie, as she took a sharp curve on two wheels. "If you weren't too lazy to notice anything, Betty Nelson, you would see that there is a storm coming up. Look at those clouds over there in the east."

"Oh, you're a kill joy!" cried Betty, cocking an optimistic eye up at the sky. "It's only one teeny little cloud anyway, and who cares for clouds when the boys are coming home?"

Both Amy and Grace felt a breathless little tug at their hearts at the joyful challenge in Betty's words, but Mollie, with a perverseness that was sometimes characteristic of her, refused to be too happy.

"Who says they're coming home?" she asked. "Now you're only guessing."

"Guessing!" cried Betty indignantly. "What do you mean guessing? The war is over, isn't it?"

"Yes; and has been for quite a while," Mollie responded dryly. "But that doesn't say that the boys are coming home right away "

"We don't care about the right away," interrupted Amy, with a quiet happiness in her face that made Betty hug her impulsively. "We can wait patiently, now that we know they are safe."

"It's all right for you to talk about patience, Amy," retorted Mollie, throttling her engine and sliding at breakneck speed down a long hill without the thought of using a brake. A brake to Mollie meant something to be used at the last minute when she couldn't think of anything else to do. "You're an angel, but I'm not "

"No, indeed!" said Grace, so emphatically that the girls in the tonneau chuckled and Mollie looked at her threateningly... Continue reading book >>

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