Page:A Girl of the Limberlost.djvu/291

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273
MOTHER LOVE IS BESTOWED

a maple in the west woods, from which he serenaded the dinner party with a joyful chorus in celebration of his freedom. Ammon's eyes strayed to the beautiful cabin, to the mixture of flowers and vegetables stretching down to the road, and to the singing bird with his red-splotched breast of white, and he said, "I can't realize now that I ever lay in ice packs in a hospital. How I wish all the sick folks could come here to grow strong!"

The grosbeak sang on, a big Turnus butterfly sailed through the arbour and poised over the table. Elnora held up a lump of sugar and the butterfly, clinging to her fingers, tasted daintily. With eager eyes and parted lips, the girl held steadily. When at last it wavered away, "That made a picture!" said Ammon. "Ask me some other time how I lost my illusions concerning butterflies. I always thought of them in connection with sunshine, flower pollen, and fruit nectar, until one sad day."

"I know!" laughed Elnora. "I've seen that, too, but it didn't destroy any illusion for me. I think just as much of the butterflies as ever."

Then they talked of flowers, moths, dragon-flies, Indian relics, and all the natural wonders the swamp afforded, straying from those subject to books and school work. When they cleared the table Ammon assisted, carrying several tray-loads to the kitchen. He and Elnora mounted specimens while Mrs. Comstock washed the dishes. Then she came out with a ruffle she was embroidering.

"I wonder if I did not see a picture of you in Onabasha.