Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/131

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"Come out, or I'll fire!"

"Mio Dio! is it only you?" answered a familiar voice, as Amanda, shrouded in a water-proof, sprang up and lit a match.

"What are you prowling about for?" demanded Mat.

"To blow your brains out, apparently," answered Mandy, lowering her arms. "Why are you abroad?"

"To stab you, I fancy," and Mat sheathed her dagger balked of its prey.

"I heard a noise."

"So did I."

"Let's see what it is," and lighting a candle, the fair Amazons looked boldly about the shadowy room.

Lavinia lay wrapt in slumber, with only the end of her sarcastic nose visible beyond the misty cloud that enveloped her venerable countenance. The outer door was fast, and the shutters closed. No booted feet appeared below the curtains, no living eyes rolled awfully in the portrait of the salmon-colored saint upon the wall. Yet the rustling and rasping went on, and with one impulse the defenders of sleeping innocence made for the table in the corner.