Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/159

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A lovely day's journey up the valley of the Rhone, and a short night's rest in the queer little town at the foot of the mountains.

Before light the next morning they were called, and, after a hurried breakfast in a stony hall, went shivering out into the darkness, and, stumbling through the narrow street, came to the starting-point. Lanterns were dancing about the square, two great diligences loomed up before them, horses were tramping, men shouting, and eager travellers scrambling for places. In the dimly lighted office, people were clamoring for tickets, scolding at the delay, or grimly biding their time in corners, with one eye asleep, and the other sharply watching the conductor.

"Isn't it romantic?" cried Matilda, wide awake, and in a twitter of excitement.

"It is frightfully cold; and I don't see how we are going, for both those caravans are brimful," croaked Lavinia, chafing her purple nose, and wishing it had occurred to her to buy a muff before going to sunny Italy.

"I have got through-tickets, and some one is bound to see us over these snow-banks, so 'trust in