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       Amy in Acadia: A Story for Girls, p.1

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Amy in Acadia: A Story for Girls

  Produced by Heather Clark, Sharon Joiner, Carol Ann Brown,and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This book was produced from scannedimages of public domain material from the Google Printproject.)

  Amy in Acadia

  "From a drawer behind the counter she drew a small fan." FRONTISPIECE. _See_ p. 25.]

  Amy in Acadia

  _A Story for Girls_

  By Helen Leah Reed

  Author of "The Brenda Books" "Miss Theodora" "Irma and Nap"

  With Illustrations by Katharine Pyle

  Boston Little, Brown, and Company 1905

  _Copyright, 1905_, BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY. _All rights reserved_

  Published October, 1905




























  List of Illustrations

  "From a drawer behind the counter she drew a small fan" _Frontispiece_

  "'Madame Bourque,' she cried, 'I asked him to come to see me'" _Page_ 71

  "'Hello! hello!' she shouted" " 170

  "'Why, what is the matter, child?' she asked affectionately" " 246

  "After one ineffectual effort to pry open the lock, the other one had thrown down the scissors" " 282

  "Behind Lucian stalked Malachai, flourishing his cane after the fashion of a drum-major" " 320

  _Amy in Acadia_



  "No, Fritz, I cannot--"

  "You _will_ not."

  "Well, then I _will_ not ask mother to invite you to go on with us."

  Amy spoke decidedly, but Fritz was not ready to give up.

  "Oh, Amy, do be reasonable! I cannot say anything more to your mother,for you are in an obstinate mood, evidently determined to persuadeyourself that you do not wish us to travel with you."

  "That is true; I do not wish you to go on with us."

  "But you and I are _such_ friends."

  "So we are, and so we shall continue to be. Because we are such friends,I am sure that you will forgive me for being so--"

  "So unreasonable."

  "No--reasonable. Now just look at the whole thing sensibly. Here weare--mamma and I and two girls."

  "What do you call yourself? Aren't you a girl?"

  "Don't interrupt; perhaps I should have said two _school_girls. We havecome away partly for rest and change, partly for study. So it would onlyupset all our plans to have you and your friend with us. You'd bedreadfully in the way."

  "In the way! I like that. Why, you could rest, or study all day, for allwe'd care, and we'd afford you the change that you would certainly needonce in a while. Only--if you'll excuse my saying so--who ever heard ofany one's resting or studying on a pleasure-trip? Just look at the funnyside of it yourself, Amy--and smile--please."

  Whereupon, quite against her will, the smile that twitched Amy's lipsextended itself into a laugh, in which Fritz Tomkins joined heartily.

  "Ah, Amy, that laugh makes me think of old times. So now perhaps you'llcondescend to explain why two lonely youths may not visit the historicAcadia in company with you and your mother, not to mention the othermembers of your party."

  Amy made no answer, and Fritz continued:

  "Just think what we shall lose! It always benefits me to be with yourmother, and you are so full of information, Amy, and you so love toimpart what you know, that by the end of the journey I should be awalking guidebook. To go with you would be better than attending asummer school."

  "There, Fritz," interrupted Amy, with rising color, "you are gettingback at me for what I have said. But we really mean to make this animproving trip."

  "So I should judge. Improving only to yourselves."

  "Well, then I'll explain, since you find it so hard to understand. Yousurely know that mamma has been overworking, and yet she does not wishto waste the whole summer. So, after resting a little, she expects tofind good sketching-material in Nova Scotia. Then I need more strengthbefore the beginning of my Senior year."

  "I'll be a Senior, too, in the autumn," murmured Fritz; but Amy, notheeding the interruption, continued:

  "Then there's Priscilla; she has been rather low-spirited since herfather died. She is generally in Plymouth in the summer, and this willbe a change. Besides, she is to read a little English with me for herRadcliffe examinations."

  "_Rest_--and _change_--and _study_, for three of you. Well, I do hopethat the other girl is to get some pleasure out of the trip. Didn't youtell me that she comes from Chicago?"

  "Oh, Martine finds amusement in everything--even in study. She was at aboarding-school last year on the Hudson, and she made life there soentertaining for herself and her classmates that she had to leave. Herparents then decided to have her visit relatives in Boston this spring.Next year she's to go to Miss Crawdon's. She's especially in mother'scare, and I do hope she'll enjoy the summer, for she is worried abouther mother, who is ill at some baths in Germany."

  "Thus far, Amy, you haven't offered a single reason for your desire tobanish us from your side. Neither Taps nor I will stand in the way ofyour mother's sketches, except to pose for her when she asks. Wecertainly won't deprive the air of its invigorating qualities; and wemight even study--"

  "No, Fritz, you'd simply be in the way."

  "I won't admit that, Miss Amy Redmond, and if I should ask your mother,she would probably say that you are quite wrong in your opinion. Infact, that's why you won't let me talk with her. However, as you'veextorted a promise from me, Taps and I will go as far away from you aswe can--in Nova Scotia. We'll travel in the opposite direction fromAcadia, for Nova Scotia is large enough to contain us all without acollision. But mark my words, many a time in the next few weeks you'llsigh for a manly arm to pull you out of your difficulties. _Then_ you'llremember me."

  "I'm not afraid. Acadia has no dangers. Even the Micmacs are tamed. TheFrench and Indian wars are over."

  "That reminds me,--please excuse me for interrupting,--you will findDigby, where you are
going to-morrow, very tame compared with Pubnico."


  "Yes, Pubnico, a wonderful French village, with Acadians and descendantsof the old noblesse, and with many interesting things that you'll missaltogether in your misguided course. Then we shall go to the desertedLoyalist town, Shelburne, which is full of history and haunted houses."

  "You seem to have digested a whole guidebook, Fritz. As Shelburne is onthe opposite side of the peninsula, I suppose that you really have notintended to travel with us."

  "Oh, I had two strings to my bow, and when I heard of the Frenchvillages, I decided that to visit them would be the next best thing todo." Then, looking at his watch, "But now I really must say good-bye;it's past my time for meeting Taps."

  "Good-bye, Fritz." Amy held out her hand amicably. "You are not angry,are you?"

  "No, not angry, only--I may never forgive you. Certainly I shall notforget."

  Before Amy could reply, Fritz had wheeled away, and, turning a corner,was soon lost to sight. As Amy walked a few steps along the hotelpiazza, suddenly she met her mother face to face.

  "Where's Fritz?" asked Mrs. Redmond. "I expected to find him with you."

  "Oh, he's gone. It's settled that the boys are not to come with us."

  "But, my dear, I hope you have not sent him off. Sometimes you are tooabrupt."

  "Why, mother, I thought that you did not wish them to come with us."

  "I was certainly surprised to see Fritz on the boat last evening. But heis like my own son, and if he has set his heart on going to Digby, wemust not keep him away."

  "Oh, he's going around on the other coast, he and his friend."

  "Did you meet his friend?"

  "No, I heard Fritz call him 'Taps'--a perfectly ridiculous name. Do youknow anything about him?"

  "Only what Fritz told me last evening--that he was a Freshman who hadtaken a violent fancy to him. Fritz said that he had agreed to travelwith the boy this summer from a sense of duty."

  "A sense of duty!"

  "Yes; 'Taps,' as he calls him, has been trying to shake off someundesirable friends. He gave up a trip to Europe that he might avoidrunning across them, and Fritz, knowing the circumstances, thought thathe could do no less than agree to take some other trip with him. It wasonly on the spur of the moment that they decided to come with us."

  "Fritz was terribly cut up to find that we did not care to have them."

  "Naturally--and indeed, Amy, if I had had a chance to talk frankly withhim, we could have had them with us part of the time. His friend was abright, honest-looking lad, hardly more than a schoolboy."

  "Oh, mamma, I thought him so dandified!--just the kind to be a nuisancein a party that intends to rough it."

  "Do you realize, Amy, that you use much more slang than before you wentto college?"

  "That's another reason for not having Fritz with us; it is not _my_college, but _his_, that twists my vocabulary."

  "Possibly, but I only hope that he is not offended. Well! well! Why,Priscilla, why, Martine, where have you been?"

  As she spoke two young girls came running up the steps, and one of themwith a bound flung herself upon Mrs. Redmond's neck.

  "Oh, isn't it a perfect morning, so cool and salt-smelling! and it'salmost as good as Europe to see a foreign flag floating from thehotel--even if it is only English. And isn't Yarmouth a dear sleepy oldtown, though it's said to be so American! Some one told me that it wasthe only place in Nova Scotia where they hustled. My, but I wish theycould see Chicago! Then they'd know what 'hustle' means."

  "Yes, my dear," gasped Mrs. Redmond; "but would you move your arm--justa little? You almost choke me."

  "Please excuse me, but I feel so excited that I must hug somebody, andPriscilla and Amy never let me hug them."

  "Why, I'm sure--" began Amy.

  "Oh, no, you haven't said a word, that's quite true, and I've never eventried to embrace you, yet I'm perfectly sure that you would hate it, andso Mrs. Redmond--"

  "Is the victim," rejoined Amy. "Well, mamma _is_ amiable. Only, while weare travelling, do be careful not to squeeze too tightly; it rumples herstock. Mamma, you'll really have to put on a fresh one before we startout."

  During this conversation Priscilla had been silent. She was shorter thanMartine, and fairer, and her expression was sad, or querulous,--at firstglance it was hard to say which. Yet her half-mourning costume--theblack skirt, and the black ribbon at her throat--suggested what wasreally the case--that Priscilla had had some recent sorrow.

  "What have you been doing, Priscilla?" asked Mrs. Redmond, noticing theyoung girl's silence.

  "Doing!" interrupted Martine, before Priscilla could speak. "Only thinkhow silly she's been. This beautiful morning--and in a new place--shehas spent writing letters. Isn't she a goose?"

  "Oh, Martine!" and Amy shook her head in reproof.

  Priscilla colored deeply as she turned apologetically to Mrs. Redmond."I promised mamma to write as soon as I could. She will get my letterday after to-morrow."

  "You were very considerate to write promptly. Your mother will bedelighted to hear so soon. But where have _you_ been, Martine?"

  "Oh, rambling a little; I just couldn't stay in the house."

  "It's strange, Martine," added Amy, "but a while ago, when I took astroll down the road, I saw a boy and a girl wheeling down a side streettogether who looked so like you."

  "Which, the boy or the girl?"

  Disregarding Martine's flippancy, Amy continued: "I realized that itcouldn't possibly be you, as you know no one in Yarmouth."

  "And didn't bring my wheel with me," added Martine. "So please, Miss AmyRedmond, don't see double, or else before I know it you'll have all myfaults magnified to twice their size."

  While Martine was speaking, Priscilla looked at her closely. ButMartine, if she felt Priscilla's eye upon her, showed no embarrassment.Instead, she burst into a peal of laughter that woke from his slumbers aquiet old gentleman dozing over his newspaper in a piazza chair.

  Martine's laughter quickly degenerated into a giggle, and with only an"Excuse me, I can't help it," she rushed into the house.

  "There, mother," said Amy, "I fear that Martine will be a greater careto us than we expected. If she hadn't run off I was going to suggestthat we all go for a walk, to see what there really is to be seen in thetown. We'll have plenty of time before dinner."

  "I'll get my hat and bring Martine with me;" and Mrs. Redmond leftPriscilla and Amy by themselves.

  A little later the four travellers were walking up the broad street,partially shaded with trees, through which they had many glimpses of theblue harbor.

  "Isn't it strange," said Priscilla to Amy, "to think that this timeyesterday we were half-stifled with Boston heat! They said that it wasthe hottest day of the season, and it is probably as hot there to-day;and here we are--"

  "Ready to shiver," interposed Amy. "You should have brought a coat,Priscilla, for I almost feel an east wind."

  "Oh, the air is soft. There's no danger of catching cold. Do you noticeall the flowers in these little gardens? It's a pleasant air, like theShoals, and those hawthorn hedges make me think of England,--at least,what I've read of it, for I've never been there. We must ask Martine."

  "You are almost as eloquent as Martine herself." Amy turned towardPriscilla with a smile. "You were so quiet at breakfast, and indeed allthe morning, until now, that I feared you were not enjoying the trip."

  "Well, to be honest, I felt homesick at first. You see, I have neverbeen away before without any of my family, and then I hadn't got themotion of the boat out of my head. But now I feel perfectly well, andperhaps--" but here Priscilla's voice was not quite steady--"perhaps Ishall not be homesick."

  Amy drew Priscilla's hand within her arm.

  "Of course not. Naturally, you will miss your mother and the children.But you'll go back to them with such red cheeks, and so many interestingthings to tell, that you will be glad you had courage to come away. Youmustn't be homesick."
  "Oh, I won't be," said Priscilla,--"that is, if I can help it; but if Ididn't know you much better than Martine, I think that I'd have to gohome."

  Whereupon Amy, perceiving that Priscilla was not yet herself, strove todivert her by telling her little incidents of early Nova Scotianhistory. Her device was successful, and by the time they had overtakenMrs. Redmond and Martine, Priscilla was quite cheerful again.

  In their walk they had turned aside from the main street, and hadreached a point on the outskirts where elevated land gave them a goodview of the water. Mrs. Redmond and Martine had found a large flat rock,on which they seated themselves, and Mrs. Redmond was already at workwith her sketchbook before her.

  "I'm glad that you've come, Amy,--I mean Miss Redmond," began Martine."I've been trying to tell your mother about some kind of a queer stonethat I heard some people talking about at the breakfast-table to-day,but I haven't it quite clear in my mind, and so I'm waiting for you tohelp me out."

  "Oh, the runic stone?" asked Amy. "There isn't so very much to tellabout it, except that it was found more than seventy years ago, and isthought by some people to be a memorial of the Norsemen."

  "The Norsemen in Nova Scotia? But why didn't they discover the stonebefore?"

  "It was found by a Dr. Fletcher in a cove on his own property. Theinscription was on the under side, and showed signs of great age. There,I believe I have something about it here;" and pulling a small notebookfrom her pocket, Amy refreshed her memory.

  "Yes, it weighed about four hundred and fifty pounds, and someantiquarians have translated the inscription, 'Harki's son addressed themen.' It seems that there was a man named Harki among those Norsemen whosailed along the coast of America in 1007."

  "That is certainly worth knowing," said Mrs. Redmond, "and I hope thatwe can see the stone before we go."

  "Well, it's only fair," continued Amy, "to tell you that some learnedpeople do not believe in the Norse theory."

  "Perhaps it's like the inscription on the Dighton rock," interposedPriscilla, "that they now think was made by Indians."

  "Yes," added Amy, "but the strange thing is that a few years ago asecond stone was found about a mile away from the other, and theinscription on it was almost the same."

  "Well," exclaimed Martine, "it doesn't matter whether the Norsemenreally were here or not, as long as we can imagine that they may havebeen. I like the romantic part of history, if it gives you somethingentertaining to think about. It's all the same whether or not it istrue."

  After which heretical sentiment, Priscilla, Plymouth-born Priscilla,felt herself to be farther away than ever from Martine.

  When Priscilla nestled down beside Mrs. Redmond to watch the growth ofher sketch, Martine became impatient.

  "Let us go back. We've seen everything there is to see in this part ofthe town, and perhaps I shall have time for a letter or two beforedinner."

  "I'll go with you," responded Amy. "I have some packing to do."


  "Oh, just to rearrange some of my things."

  "Very well," said Mrs. Redmond. "Priscilla and I will wait until thissketch is finished, and then we'll return by the electric car."

  "Any one would know that you and your mother are from Boston," saidMartine, turning to Amy with a laugh. "I have heard my father say thatBostonians are the only people in the world who take the trouble to say'electric cars.'"

  "What do others say?"

  "Why, trolley, of course. They'd laugh at you if you said anything elsein Chicago."

  "You're pretty rapid in Chicago."

  "And you are rather--well, rather slow in Boston."

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