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What Two Children Did   By:

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WHAT TWO CHILDREN DID

BY CHARLOTTE E. CHITTENDEN

NEW YORK HURST & COMPANY PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1903, BY GEORGE W. JACOBS & CO. Published, September, 1903

Contents

I. ON THE WAY II. AT THE SHORE III. BETH AND HER DOLLS IV. THE WEDDING V. THE NEW WAY VI. A PLAN VII. THE SECRET VIII. THE REWARD IX. ONCE A YEAR X. BETH'S BIRTHDAY XI. THE DAY AFTER XII. SUNDAY XIII. THE FOUR TOGETHER XIV. THE WEDDING AND THE VISIT XV. THE LOST INVITATION XVI. THE MAIL AND ETHELWYN'S VISIT XVII. OUT AT GRANDMOTHER'S XVIII. HOW THEY BOUGHT A BABY XIX. BOBBY'S GRANDFATHER XX. THE VISIT TO THE HOME

What Two Children Did

CHAPTER I On the Way

In the train we're watching Outdoors speeding by: Endless moving pictures, Framed by earth and sky.

"Mistakes are very easy to make, I think," said Ethelwyn, with an uneasy look at her mother who sat opposite, thinking hard about something. The reason Ethelwyn knew her mother was thinking, was because at such times two little lines came and stood between her eyes, like sentinels.

"Do you think God made a mistake when He sent us here?" asked Beth.

They were in a Pullman car which was moving rapidly along in the darkness. Inside it was very bright and beautiful, and would have been most interesting to the children, had it not been for those two lines in their dear mother's face.

"She is thinking about the naughty things we have done," said Ethelwyn to Beth in a tragic tone, at the same time taking a mournful bite out of a large, sugary cooky. They had eaten steadily since starting, and any one who did not understand children, would have been alarmed at possible consequences.

On the seat between them there was a hospitable looking basket with a handle over the middle and two covers that opened on either side of the handle. Underneath the covers and the napkins the children, entirely to their joy, had found sandwiches without limit. Some were cut round, others square, and all were without crust; inside they found minced chicken, creamy and delicious, also ham and a little mustard, and best of all were the small, brown squares with peanut butter between.

"It's like Christmas or a birthday, having these sandwiches," said Ethelwyn. "They're all different and all good, and each one seems better than the others."

Then they began on the cookies, and bit scallops out of the edges, while between times they thought about their last mistake and their mother's forehead lines.

Sitting up straight against the velvet cushioned seat, the two children looked about the same age; the two heads were nearly on a level, as were both pairs of feet stuck out straight in front of them; but Ethelwyn's came a little farther out than Beth's, and her golden head came a little farther up on the seat than Beth's dark one.

Just now there was a small cloud on their horizon. Although they found the interior of their palace car, the porter, and the passengers, fascinating, and the luncheon an endless feast, they both felt that before they slept they must straighten things out; hence their first question.

Mrs. Rayburn came back presently to a realizing consciousness of the two anxious faces opposite hers, and with a smile dismissed the sentinel lines.

"God never makes mistakes," said she, with refreshing faith and emphasis. "It is we who do that."

"I think," said Beth, slowly pondering on this, "that the old surplus in the garden of Eden who bothered Adam and Eve has something to do with it."

"Serpent, child," said Ethelwyn crushingly, beginning on cake.

"Surplus, I mean," said Beth, getting out a piece of cake for herself. "I'd give a good deal, sister, if you wouldn't always count your chickens before they're hatched!" Whereupon she climbed down and went over to sit by her mother, where she glared indignantly at her sister... Continue reading book >>




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