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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Palace Beautiful: A Story For Girls - Chapter 39. The Journey
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The Palace Beautiful: A Story For Girls - Chapter 39. The Journey Post by :Bonuses Category :Long Stories Author :L. T. Meade Date :May 2012 Read :1563

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The Palace Beautiful: A Story For Girls - Chapter 39. The Journey

CHAPTER XXXIX. THE JOURNEY

Poppy went away presently, and the moment she was gone Daisy began to make some hasty little preparations.

"I'll take the Pink with me," she said to herself. "I'll empty all the things out of my little work-basket, and my darling Pink can sleep in it quite snugly, and she'll be great company to me, for I cannot help feeling very shaky, and I do start so when I see any one the least like Mr. Dove in the distance. I mustn't think about being frightened now--this is the least I could do, and if I'm terrified all over I must go through with it."

Then Daisy wrote a tiny note--a little note on half a sheet of paper--which she tore out of her copy-book. It was blotted with tears and almost illegible. This was what she said:--

"Primrose, darling, I and the Pink, we have gone away for a little bit. Your money is lost, Primrose, and I cannot look you in the face until I get it back again. Don't be a bit frightened about me--I and the Pink will come back when we have got the money.


"Your loving little
"DAISY."

This note was left open on the table to greet Primrose when she came in, and then Daisy buttoned on her little jacket, and put on her strongest pair of boots, and the neat little hat which Primrose had trimmed for her the week before, and popping the Pink into her work-basket, she stole softly downstairs and out of the house without old Bridget, who was busily engaged in the back kitchen, hearing her.

The poor little maid got into the street just when the shades of evening were beginning to fall. She had the Pink in her basket, and fifteen shillings clasped tightly inside one of her gloves. Fifteen shillings paid for a third single to Rosebury, and she was going to Rosebury--so far her plans were definite enough; beyond this broad fact, however, all was chaos.

Daisy knew very little more about London than she had known nine months before, when first she and her sisters arrived in the great city. She had gone out much less than the other two, and she had never gone alone. Whenever she had walked abroad she had gone with a companion.

Now her only companion was the Pink, and the poor little heart felt very lonely, and the little feet trembled as they walked along the pavement.

She had been so terrified about Poppy finding out what she really wanted to do with the fifteen shillings that she had been afraid to ask her any questions about Rosebury. She had not an idea from what railway station she was to go, and she feared, as she walked through the streets, that she might have to walk many miles.

At first she walked very rapidly, for she was anxious to get out of Mr. Dove's neighborhood, and she also thought it just possible that she might meet Primrose or Jasmine returning home. Besides the fifteen shillings which were to pay for her ticket she had threepence of her own in her pocket. When she had walked about half an hour, and thought that she had gone a long way, and felt quite sure that she could not be very far from the railway station which led to Rosebury, the Pink awoke, and twisting and turning in her narrow basket began to mew loudly.

"Oh, poor Kitty Pink," said Daisy, "she must be wanting her supper, poor dear little kitty! I'm not at all hungry myself, but I think I ought to buy a penno'th of milk for my kitty. I'll just go into that shop over there--I see that they sell bread and milk. Perhaps they'll give me some bread and milk for kitty for a penny, and oh, perhaps they will know if I am near the right railway station for Rosebury."

Summoning up all her courage, for Daisy was naturally a timid child, she ventured into the shop, and having asked for some bread and milk for her cat, which was given with a little stare of amusement by a good-natured looking woman, she put her important question in a very faltering voice.

"Rosebury, my little dear?" said the shopwoman; "no, I never heard of the place. Is it anywhere near London, love?"

"No," said Daisy; "it's miles and miles away from London. I know the county it's in--it's in Devonshire and a third single costs fifteen shillings, and I have got fifteen shillings in my glove. Now, perhaps, you'll know where it is."

"In Devonshire?" repeated the woman. "And a third single costs fifteen shillings? Surely, miss, you are not going all that long way by yourself?"

"Yes," said Daisy, in a dignified little tone. "I'm obliged to go. Thank you very much for Pussy's milk. How much am I to pay? Oh, a penny? Thank you. Good evening."

The Pink was once more shut down into her basket, and Daisy hurried out of the shop. The good-natured woman stared after her, and felt half inclined to call her back; but, like many another, she reflected that it was no affair of hers. The child went on to the end of the long street, and then stood at a corner where several omnibuses came up. A conductor, seeing her wistful little face, jumped down from his stand, and asked her if she wanted to go anywhere.

"To Rosebury, in Devonshire," said poor little Daisy. "It's fifteen shillings a single third."

The man smiled at the anxious little face.

"You want to get to Devonshire, missy," he said. "Then I expect Waterloo's your line, and this here 'bus of mine goes there. Jump in, missy, and I'll put you down at the right place."

"I've only got two pennies," said Daisy, "Will two pennies pay for a drive to Waterloo for me and kitty?"

The man smiled, and said he thought he might manage to take her to Waterloo for that sum.

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