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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Outdoor Girls On Pine Island - Chapter 11. A Jolly Trip
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The Outdoor Girls On Pine Island - Chapter 11. A Jolly Trip Post by :joebiff Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :1258

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The Outdoor Girls On Pine Island - Chapter 11. A Jolly Trip


The girls and the boys, laughingly driving Mrs. Irving before them, fairly tumbled down the shallow steps in their eagerness to feel the soft grass under their feet. As Betty said, it was a glorious day, a typical day in early August, when a soft breeze tempers the heat of the scorching sun, and sets the trees to murmuring.

The spicy air, sweet with the intoxicating scent of damp, moist earth and blossoming flowers, went to their heads like wine and they danced down the path that led through the woods on feet that scarcely touched the ground.

Soon they emerged from the dense shadows of the wood into the small clearing which was thick and mossy under foot, and there, nestling among the trees, were the two tents the boys had so laboriously constructed.

"Oh, it is ideal!" cried Mollie, delightedly, as they stopped for a moment on the outskirts of the clearing to survey the scene.


_The Outdoor Girls on Pine Island._)

"Glad you like it," said Frank, then advancing toward the nearer of the two tents, he paused, turned, and made a low bow. "Enter, fair damsels," he said.

"He thinks he is reading 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court,'" drawled Grace. "However, we will deign to honor you with our presence." And she swept past him with a queenly air that elicited amused laughter from the others.

For more than an hour the Outdoor Girls and their friends roamed about the clearing inspecting the tent critically, inside and out, and picking flowers in between times. It was Will who first suggested a change.

"Why not take a walk about the country?" he asked. "I guess we have seen all there is to be seen here. Come on, everybody. I want to get a bigger appetite for lunch."

"All right; where shall we go?" Betty agreed readily. "Your aunt must have told you about this part of the world, Mollie. Where can we find excitement?"

"Well, there is the summer colony at the other end of the island," Mollie began doubtfully. "But it is rather a long way off. The steamer touches there from here."

"Too far to go before lunch," Mrs. Irving said.

The party spent the rest of the time until one o'clock visiting the wharf and roaming the country in the immediate vicinity of the pretty bungalow.

True to her promise, Betty turned out at the appointed time a panful of the most appetizing biscuits, and let it be said here that the boys did them full justice--to say nothing of the girls.

It was well on toward three o'clock before the girls had changed their morning middies and skirts for dainty afternoon dresses, and had made all other necessary preparations for a trip to town. Mrs. Irving declined to go, saying she wished to write letters.

It was in the best of spirits that the party of young people stood on the end of the dock, waiting to hail the little steamer as it chug-chugged its way from the summer colony at the far end of Pine Island to the mainland.

When finally it did come in sight, the girls and the boys found themselves convulsed with laughter. If the shabby little craft had appeared grotesque in the mist of the night before, how much more forlorn did it look in the full, dazzling glare of the sun! As it came nearer they saw that the decks were crowded with people, the gay dresses of the girls mingling with the white flannel trousers and dark coats of the men.

"It's a wonder," said Frank, "that with all that crowd of people paying good money to be towed ashore, they couldn't get something a little more modern. My! it looks as if it had come out of the ark."

"Oh, well, as long as it is seaworthy, I suppose they think it will do as well as any other," said Roy. "The more some people make the less they like to spend."

By this time the clumsy ferry had plowed its way to the wharf, and had come to a stop, while the people on board eyed the waiting young folks curiously.

"Guess they will know us the next time they see us," whispered Allen. "We ought to hang out a placard: _Don't stare. We don't look it, but we are human._"

Betty laughed gaily. "They do need a few lessons in manners."

The bungalow party thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the mainland. The scenery was as beautiful as it had been pictured, and when they got tired of looking at the sky, the water, and the mainland, they had plenty to occupy their attention in the people about them. Everybody seemed ready for a good time, and the old ferryboat was filled with shouts and laughter.

"I shouldn't mind knowing some of those people," Roy confided to Allen, as they leaned against the shaky, old rail. "There's certainly nothing slow about them."

"Well, there is no reason why we shouldn't know them," said Allen. "From what Mollie says, they are pretty close neighbors. In fact, the girls said something about going over there this afternoon."

"Well," returned Roy, "we can't go too soon to suit me."

"If you are thinking of girls," said Allen, as Mollie and Grace came up to them, "it is my opinion that they have nothing half so good to offer us as we have already."

"I guess you are right," Roy admitted, as they joined the rest of the party. "Just look at all those dudes, staring at Betty and Grace! Say! I'd like to teach them manners!" and he glowered at the unconscious boys from the summer colony with a ferocity that should have terrified the most hardy.

"Come away," said Allen. "You can't blame them for doing just what we have done for the last two years," he added, dryly.

"Here we are, almost ashore," cried Amy, a little later. "Have you got the list of the things we need, Allen? Let's see--butter and sugar and baking powder and eggs and--oh, we mustn't forget the meat."

"Chocolates," murmured Grace.

"Don't worry so soon, Amy," laughed Will. "There will be plenty of time for that when we get back to the island and find that we have forgotten half the things."

"Well, if we think of them now," said usually quiet Amy, "there won't be any excuse for our forgetting them later."

"Well, but perhaps we shall need an excuse," reasoned Will. "You would never make a good diplomat, Amy."

Betty put her arm protectingly around the younger girl. "There is no reason why you should want to be that, is there?" she questioned. "Amy thinks that as long as she feeds you boys well there is no need of----"

"Oh, Betty, do stop," begged Amy, her face flushing scarlet. "It isn't fair."

"I know it," said Betty soothingly, while the boys looked on, curious to know the meaning of this mystery. "I won't do it again, dear, I promise."

"I wish you would tell us----" Allen began, but once more Mollie interrupted.

"We had better get down near the front," she said, "or we'll not be able to get ashore in half an hour. Did you ever see such a mob?"

"It is considerable of a crowd," Frank admitted. "I think Mollie's suggestion is a good one, fellows. Let's try to make an opening while we can."

The boys managed so well that when the little boat scraped against the wall, their party was almost the first to set foot upon the land.

"That was pretty good work," said Will, with an air of satisfaction as they made their way to the shore, followed by a stream of laughing humanity. "I hope the girls didn't mind getting their dresses mussed. Say, fellows, if any one should ask me, I'd tell them it was one peach of a day!"

There being no disputing this fact, no one tried. The eight young people swung down the shaded street, feeling in tune with the whole world.

They succeeded in finding the general store.

"Now get out that list, Allen," said Betty, as they entered the wide doorway. "It would really be a shame to forget anything."

Allen began to search through his pockets, calmly at first, then in frantic haste. Seven pairs of eyes followed his panicky movements anxiously.

"You have never gone and forgotten it?" cried Mollie, in the awed tones of one announcing the end of the world. "Oh, Allen! you haven't?"

"Guess I have," he returned grimly, and, having searched through every pocket, began all over again. "It's strange--I could have sworn----"

"You're a nice one----" Grace began, but Roy interrupted her with a shout that made their nearest neighbors turn and look at them curiously.

"I have it!" he cried. "Don't you remember, Allen, that you gave it to me just before we left, while you ran back to get something for Betty? Behold," and he dangled the precious list before their eyes.

"Oh," sighed Mollie in relief, "now if we girls had done anything like that----"

"Hands up, don't shoot!" cried Roy. "We admit everything."

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