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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesJudy - Chapter 22. The Castaways
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Judy - Chapter 22. The Castaways Post by :docsic Category :Long Stories Author :Temple Bailey Date :May 2012 Read :999

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Judy - Chapter 22. The Castaways

CHAPTER XXII. THE CASTAWAYS

"Judy--" shrieked Tommy, and suddenly the answer came in a choking cry of joy.

"I can touch bottom, Tommy, I thought I was sinking, but it isn't over our heads at all. We must be near shore."

Tommy put his feet down gingerly. He had hated to think of the untold fathoms beneath him--depths which in his imagination were strewn with shipwrecks and the bones of lost mariners.

So when his feet came in contact with good firm sand, he giggled hysterically.

"Gee, but it feels good," he said. "Are you all right, Judy?"

But Judy had waded in and dropped exhausted on the beach.

"I don't know," she said, feebly, "I guess so."

"Where are we?" asked Tommy, splashing his way to her side.

He surveyed the land around them. In the moonlight it showed nothing but wide beach and back of that stiff rustling sea-grass and mounds of sand like the graves of sailors dead and gone. Not a house was in sight--not a sign of life.

"I don't know where we are," Judy raised her head for a second, then dropped it back, "but we are safe, Tommy Tolliver, and that's something to be thankful for.

"I knew the sea wouldn't hurt me," she went on--a little wildly, perhaps, which was excusable after the danger she had escaped. "I knew it wouldn't hurt me."

"Oh, the sea," whined Tommy, disgustedly, "this isn't the ocean, and if just an old bay can act like this, why, I say give me land. No more water for me, thank you. I am going home and plow--yes, I am, I am going to plow, Judy Jameson, and take care of the cows--and--and weed the garden," naming the thing he hated most as a climax, "and when I get to thinking things are hard, I will remember this night--when I was a shipwrecked mariner."

In imagination he was revelling in the story he would tell at home. Of the adventures that he would relate to the eager ears of the youth of Fairfax. "Yes, indeed, I will remember the time when I was a shipwrecked mariner," he said with gusto, "and lived on a desert island."

"Oh, Tommy," in spite of faintness and hunger and exhaustion, Judy laughed. "Oh, Tommy, you funny boy--this isn't a desert island."

"How do you know it isn't?" asked Tommy, stubbornly.

"There aren't any desert islands in the bay."

"I'll bet this is one."

"I hope not."

"Why?"

"We haven't anything to eat."

"Oh, well, we will find things in the morning."

"Where?"

"On the trees. Fruit and things."

"But there aren't any trees."

"Oh, well, oysters then."

"How will you get them--"

"And fish," ignoring difficulties.

"We haven't any lines or hooks."

"And things from the wreck."

"The boat tipped over," said Judy, with a little sobbing sigh for the capsized "Princess," "and anyhow there was nothing left to eat but some lemons and a box of crackers."

"Don't be so discouraging," grumbled Tommy, "you know people always find something."

They sat in silence for a time, and then Judy said:

"I hope they are not worrying at home."

"Gee--they will be scared, when they wake up in the morning and find you gone," said Tommy, consolingly.

"I left a note for Anne in the library, telling her where I had gone--but I thought I would get back before she found it," said Judy--"poor little Anne."

"I think it is poor Tommy and poor Judy," said the cause of all the trouble.

"But we deserve it and Anne doesn't. And that's the difference," said Judy, wisely.

"Aw--don't preach."

"Couldn't if I tried," and Judy clasped her hands around her knees and gazed out on the dark waters, and again there was a long silence.

"Well, what are we going to do?" demanded Tommy as the night wind blew cold against his wet garments and made him shiver.

"Do?"

"Yes. We can't sit like this all night."

"Guess we shall have to."

Another silence.

"Gee, I'm hungry."

"So am I."

"But there isn't anything to eat."

"No."

Silence again.

"Gee--I'm sleepy."

"Find some place out of the wind and go to sleep. I'll watch."

"All night?"

"Perhaps. You go to sleep, Tommy."

"Won't you be lonesome?"

Judy smiled wearily. "No," she said, "you go to sleep, Tommy."

And Tommy went.

But it was not until the cold light of dawn touched the face of the waters, that the sentinel-like figure on the beach relaxed from its strained position, and then the dark head dropped, and with a sigh Judy stretched her slender body on the hard sand, and she, too, slept.

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