Madge Morton, Captain of the Merry Maid by Amy D. V. Chalmers


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Page 2

Madge had a letter from this cousin in her hand while she gave herself
up to the luxury of despair. She had not yet read the letter, but she
knew exactly what it would say. It would contain a formal invitation
from Cousin Louisa, asking Madge to pay her the necessary visit. It
would suggest at the same time that Madge mend her ways; and it would
doubtless recall the unfortunate occasion when Mistress Madge had set
fire to the bedclothes by her wicked habit of reading in bed.

It was the study hour at Miss Tolliver's school, and all of the girls
except Madge were hard at work. Eleanor had slipped across the hall to
the room of their two chums to consult them about a problem in algebra.
Madge at that moment was far too miserable to be approached in regard
to a lesson, though at other times she would have done anything for

Finally Madge raised herself to a sitting posture. It struck her as
rather absurd to have collapsed so entirely, simply because she was not
to spend the first part of her summer as she chose. She knew, too,
that it was high time she fell to preparing her lessons.

With a little shiver she opened Cousin Louisa's letter. Suddenly her
eyes flashed, the color glowed in her cheeks, and Madge dropped the
note to the floor with a glad cry and ran out of the room.

On the door of her chums' room was a sign, printed in large letters,
which was usually observed by the school girls. The sign read:
"Studying; No Admittance." But to-day Madge paid no attention to it.
She flung open the door and rushed in upon her three friends.

"Eleanor, Phyllis, Lillian," she protested, "stop studying this very
minute!" She seized Eleanor's paper and pencil and closed Lillian
Seldon's ancient history with a bang. Phyllis Alden had just time to
grasp her own notebook firmly with both hands before she exclaimed:
"Madge Morton, whatever has happened to you? Have you gone entirely

Madge laughed. "Almost!" she replied. "But just listen to me, and you
will be nearly as crazy as I am."

Madge had dark, auburn hair, which was curly and short, like a boy's.
To her deep regret her long braids had been cut off several years
before, when she was recovering from an attack of typhoid fever, and
now her hair was just long enough to tuck into a small knot on top of
her head. But when Madge was excited, which was a frequent occurrence,
this knot would break loose, and her curls would fly about, like the
hair of one of Raphael's cherubs. Madge had large, blue eyes, with
long, dark lashes, and a short, straight nose, with just the tiniest
tilt at the end of it. Although she was not vain, she was secretly
proud of her row of even, white teeth.

Phyllis Alden was the daughter of a physician with a large family, who
lived in Hartford, Connecticut. Phil was not as pretty as her three
friends, and no one knew it better than Phyllis. She was small and
dark, with irregular features. But she had large, black eyes, and a
smile that illuminated her clever face. Put to the vote, Phyllis Alden
had been declared to be the most popular girl in Miss Tolliver's
school, and Phyllis and Madge were friendly rivals in athletics.

Lillian Seldon was perhaps the prettiest of the four boarding school
chums, if one preferred regular features to vivacity and charm.
Lillian was of Madge's age, a tall, slender, blonde girl, with two long
plaits of sunny, light hair, a fair, delicate skin and blue eyes. She
was the daughter of a Philadelphia lawyer and an only child. A number
of her school companions thought her cold and proud, but her chums knew
that when Lillian really cared for any one she was the most loyal
friend in the world. Eleanor, who was the youngest of the four school
friends, looked like the little, southern girl that she was. She had
light brown hair and hazel eyes, and charming manners which made
friends for her wherever she went.

The three girls now waited with their eyes fixed inquiringly on the
fourth. They were not very much excited; they knew Madge only too
well. She was either in the seventh heaven of bliss, or else in the
depths of despair. Yet this time it did look as though Madge had more
reason than usual for her excitement. Eleanor wondered how she could
have changed so quickly from her recent disconsolate mood.

"What has happened to you, Madge?" Lillian inquired. "Eleanor said you
were upset because you are obliged to spend the first of your vacation
with your hateful Cousin Louisa."

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Fri 28th Feb 2020, 13:07