Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/170

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roads that wound so sharply round corners, it was a wonder the airy passengers did not fly off at every lurch. Rattling into quiet little towns with a grand "tootle-te-too" of the horn was an especial delight, and to see the people gather so quickly that they seemed to spring from the ground. A moment's chatter, a drink for the horses, a soft "Felice notte," another toot, and away thundered the diligence for miles more of moonlight, summer air, and the ecstasy of rapid motion.

What that dear, brown driver with the red vest, the bobtailed, buttony coat, and the big yellow tassels dancing from his hat brim, thought of those two American damsels we shall never know. But it may be imagined that, after his first bewilderment, he enjoyed himself; for Amanda aired her Italian and asked many questions. Matilda invited him to perform national airs on all occasions, and both admired him as openly as if he had been a pretty child.

Lavinia always cherished a dark suspicion that she narrowly escaped destruction on that eventful night; for, judging from the frequent melody, and the speed of the horses, she was sure that either Amanda tooted and Matilda drove, or that both so bewildered