Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/196

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first happened the day after they arrived. The girls went forth early to look about them, and to see if they could find a little apartment where all could be more comfortable than in the breezy rooms at the hotel. Following the grassy road that winds down the valley below the viaduct, they came to a lovely garden, and, finding the gate open, went in. A queer old villa was perched on the hill above, and a manly form was observed to be leaning from a balcony as if enjoying the fine view from the height.

"I fancied that house was empty, or we wouldn't have come in. Never mind: we won't go back now, and if any one comes after us we will apologize and say we lost our way going to Ajaccio," said Amanda as they went calmly forward among the posy-beds that lay blooming on the hill-side.

It was well they prepared themselves, for the manly form suddenly disappeared from the balcony, and a moment afterward came swiftly toward them through the shrubs.

A comely young gentleman, who greeted them with Italian grace, accepted their apology smiling, and begged them to walk in his garden whenever they liked. It was always open, he said, and the