Marion berkley a story.., p.1
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       Marion Berkley: A Story for Girls, p.1

           Amanda M. Douglas
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Marion Berkley: A Story for Girls

  Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Mary Meehan and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team at





  Copyright, 1870, by A. K. Loring.






  "Come on, Mab! the carriage is round; only fifteen minutes to get to thedepot."

  "Yes, I am coming. O mamma! do fasten this carpet-bag for me. Dear me!there goes the button off my gloves. Was there ever any one in such aflutter?"

  "Never mind, dear; it is too late to sew it on now. Here is your bag;come, we must not stop another moment; there is Fred calling again."

  "I say, Mab," shouted the first speaker from the bottom of the stairs,"if you're coming, why don't you come? I shan't leave until you bid megood-by, and I know I shall lose the ball-match. You do keep a fellowwaiting so eternally long!"

  His sister was downstairs, and had her arms around his neck before hehad finished speaking, and said to him, in a tone of mock gravity, "Now,Frederic, don't get excited; always follow my good example, and keepcool. There now!" she exclaimed, as she gave him a hearty kiss; "beoff. I forgot all about your ball-match, and all the amends I can makeis to hope the Isthmians will beat the Olympics all to pieces."

  "Come, come," called Mrs. Berkley from the inside of the carriage, "wehave not a moment to lose."

  "Good-by, Hannah. One more kiss for Mab, Charlie. Good-by, all;" then tothe coachman, as she whisked into the carriage, "Drive on, John, just asfast as you can."

  The carriage-door was shut with a snap; off went the horses, and Mrs.Berkley and her daughter were soon at the Western depot, where thelatter was to take the cars for B----, a little New England town, whereshe attended boarding-school. They were very late at the depot, and Mrs.Berkley had only time for a fond kiss and a "Write often, darling," whenthe bell rung, and she was forced to leave the car, feeling a littleuneasy that her daughter was obliged to take her journey alone. Just asthe cars were starting, Marion put her head out of a window, and calledto her mother, "O mamma! Flo is here; isn't that jolly? No fear nowof--" The last part of the sentence was unintelligible, and all Mrs.Berkley got was a bright smile, and a wave of the hand, as the trainmoved out of the depot.

  "Now, Flo, I call this providential," exclaimed Marion; "for, I can tellyou, I did not relish the prospect of my solitary ride. Just hand meyour bag, and I'll put it in the rack with my budgets. This seat isempty; suppose we turn it over, and then we shall be perfectlycomfortable. Now I say this is decidedly scrumptious;" and she settledherself back, with a sigh of satisfaction.

  "Why, Mab, what made you so late? I had been here fifteen minutes beforeyou came, all on the _qui vive_, hoping to see some one I knew; but Inever dreamed you would be here. I thought you were going up yesterdaywith the Thayers."

  "I did intend to; but Fred had a sort of spread last night for theIsthmians, so I stayed over. I expect Miss Stiefbach will give me one ofher annihilators, but I guess I can stand it. I've been withered so manytimes, that the glances of those 'eagle eyes' have rather lost theireffect."

  "Well, I only wish I had a little more of your spirit of resistance.What a lovely hat you have! Just suits your style. Where did you getit?"

  "Why, it's only my old sun-down dyed and pressed over, and bound withthe velvet off my old brown rep. I trimmed it myself, and feel mightyproud of it."

  "Trimmed it yourself!--really? Well, I never saw such a girl; you can doanything! I couldn't have done it to save my life. I only wish togracious I could; it would be very convenient sometimes."

  And so the two girls rattled on for some time, in true school-girlfashion; but at last they each took a book, and settled back into theirrespective corners. Before very long, however, Marion tossed her book onto the opposite seat; for they were coming to Lake Cochituate, andnothing could be lovelier than the view which was stretching itselfbefore them. I do not think that half the people of Massachusettsrealize how beautiful this piece of water is; but I believe, if they hadseen it then, they surely must have appreciated its charms.

  It was about the middle of September, and the leaves were just beginningto turn; indeed, some of them were already quite brilliant. The day wassoft and hazy,--just such a one as we often have in early autumn, andthe slight mist of the atmosphere served to soften and harmonize thevarious colors of the landscape. The lake itself was as clear and smoothas polished glass, and every tree on the borders was distinctlyreflected on its clear bosom; while the delicate blue sky, with the fewfeathery clouds floating across it seemed to be far beneath the surfaceof the water.

  Marion was at heart a true artist, and had all a true artist's intenselove of nature; she now sat at the window, completely absorbed in thescene before her, her eye and mind taking in all the beauties of form,color, and reflection; and as the cars bore her too swiftly by sheuttered a sigh of real regret.

  Perhaps there will be no better time than the present for giving myyoung readers a description of my heroine. My tale will contain nothrilling incidents, no hairbreadth escapes, or any of those startlingevents with which ideas of heroism are generally associated. It will bea simple story of a school-girl's life; its fun and frolic; itstemptations, trials, and victories.

  Marion Berkley was a remarkably beautiful girl; but she owed her beautychiefly to the singular contrast of her hair and eyes. The former was abeautiful golden color, while her eyes, eyebrows, and lashes were verydark. Her nose and mouth, though well formed, could not be considered inany way remarkable. When in conversation her face became animated, theexpression changed with each inward emotion, and her eyes sparkledbrilliantly; but when in repose they assumed a softer, dreamier look,which seemed to hint of a deeper nature beneath this gay and oftenfrivolous exterior.

  Mr. Berkley was very fond of his daughter. He had a large circle ofacquaintances, many of whom were in the habit of dining, or passing theevening, at his house, and it pleased him very much to have them noticeher. Marion was by no means a vain girl; yet these attentions from thoseso much older than herself were rather inclined to turn her head.Fortunately, her mother was a very lovely and sensible woman, whose goodexample and sound advice served to counteract those influences whichmight otherwise have proved very injurious.

  And now that I have introduced my friends to Marion, it is no more thanfair that I should present them to her companion. Florence Stevenson wasa bright, pretty brunette, of sixteen. She and Marion had been friendsever since they made "mud pies" together in the Berkleys' back yard.They shared the same room at school, got into the same scrapes, kepteach other's secrets, and were, in short, almost inseparable. Florencehad lost her mother when she was very young, and her father's house wasruled over by a well-meaning, but disagreeable maiden-aunt, who, by herconstant and oftentimes unnecessary fault-finding, made Florence sounhappy, that she had hailed with delight her father's proposition ofgoing away to school. For three years Florence and Marion had beenalmost daily together, being only separated during vacations, when, asFlorence lived five miles from Boston, it was impossible that theyshould see as much of each other as they would have liked.

  About four in the afternoon, the girls reached their destination; rathertired out by their long ride, but, nevertheless, in excellent spirits.Miss Stiefbach, after a few remarks as to the propriety of being a daybefore, rather than an hour behind time, dismis
sed them to their roomsto prepare for supper, where for the present we will leave them.

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