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Peggy Stewart: Navy Girl at Home   By: (1861-)

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First Page:

PEGGY STEWART NAVY GIRL AT HOME

BY

GABRIELLE E. JACKSON AUTHOR OF "SILVER HEELS," "THREE GRACES" SERIES, "CAPT. POLLY" SERIES, ETC.

WITH FRONTISPIECE BY NORMAN ROCKWELL

1920

THIS LITTLE STORY OF ANNAPOLIS IS MOST AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED TO

H.W.H.

WHOSE SUNNY SOUL AND CHEERY VOICE HELPED TO MAKE MANY AN HOUR HAPPY FOR THE ONE HE CALLED "LITTLE MOTHER"

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. SPRINGTIDE II. THE EMPRESS III. "DADDY NEIL" IV. IN OCTOBER'S DAYS V. POLLY HOWLAND VI. A FRIENDSHIP BEGINS VII. PEGGY STEWART: CHATELAINE VIII. A SHOCKING DEMONSTRATION OF INTEMPERANCE IX. DUNMORE'S LAST CHRISTMAS X. A DOMESTIC EPISODE XI. PLAYING GOOD SAMARITAN XII. THE SPICE OF PEPPER AND SALT XIII. THE MASQUERADERS' SHOW XIV. OFF FOR NEW LONDON XV. REGATTA DAY XVI. THE RACE XVII. SHADOWS CAST BEFORE XVIII. YOU'VE SPOILED THEIR TEA PARTY XIX. BACK AT SEVERNDALE

CHAPTER I

SPRINGTIDE

"Peggy, Maggie, Mag, Margaret, Marguerite, Muggins. Hum! Half a dozen of them. Wonder if there are any more? Yes, there's Peggoty and Peg, to say nothing of Margaretta, Gretchen, Meta, Margarita, Keta, Madge. My goodness! Is there any end to my nicknames? I mistrust I'm a very commonplace mortal. I wonder if other girls' names can be twisted around into as many picture puzzles as mine can? What do YOU think about it Shashai!" [Footnote: Shashai. Hebrew for noble, pronounced Shash'a ai.] and the girl reached up both arms to draw down into their embrace the silky head of a superb young colt which stood close beside her; a creature which would have made any horse lover stop stock still and exclaim at sight of him. He was a magnificent two year old Kentuckian, faultless as to his points, with a head to set an artist rhapsodizing and a tingle to put it upon his canvas. His coat, mane and tail were black as midnight and glossy as satin. The great, lustrous eyes held a living fire, the delicate nostrils were a quiver every moment, the faultlessly curved ears alert as a wild creature's. And he WAS half wild, for never had saddle rested upon his back, girth encircled him or bit fretted the sensitive mouth. A halter thus far in his career had been his only badge of bondage and the girl caressing him had been the one to put it upon him. It would have been a bad quarter of an hour for any other person attempting it. But she was his "familiar," though far from being his evil genius. On the contrary, she was his presiding spirit of good.

Just now, as the splendid head nestled confidingly in her circling arms, she was whispering softly into one velvety ear, oh, so velvety! as it rested against her ripe, red lips, so soft, so perfect in their molding. The ear moved slightly back and forth, speaking its silent language. The nostrils emitted the faintest bubbling acknowledgment of the whispered words. The beautiful eyes were so expressive in their intelligent comprehension.

"Too many cooks spoil the broth, Shashai. Too many grooms can spoil a colt. Too many mistresses turn a household topsy turvy. How about too many names, old boy? Can they spoil a girl? But maybe I'm spoiled already. How about it?" and a musical laugh floated out from between the pretty lips.

The colt raised his head, whinnied aloud as though in denial and stamped one deer like, unshod fore hoof as though to emphasize his protest; then he again slid his head back into the arms as if their slender roundness encompassed all his little world.

"You old dear!" exclaimed the girl softly, adding: "Eh, but it's a beautiful world! A wonderful world," and broke into the lilting refrain of "Wonderful world" and sang it through in a voice of singularly, haunting sweetness. But the words were not those of the popular song. They had been written and set to its air by Peggy's tutor.

She seemed to forget everything else, though she continued to mechanically run light, sensitive fingers down the velvety muzzle so close to her face, and semi consciously reach forth the other hand to caress the head of a superb wolfhound which, upon the first sweet notes, had risen from where she lay not far off to listen, thrusting an insinuating nose under her arm... Continue reading book >>




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