Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/34

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Then was Amanda sublime, then did her comrades for the first time learn the magnitude of her powers, and realize the treasure they possessed. Stowing Matilda and the smaller traps in the bus, and saying to Lavinia, "Stand by me," this dauntless maid faced one dozen blue-bloused, black-bearded, vociferous, demonstrative Frenchmen, and, calmly offering the proper sum, refused to add one sou more.

Vainly the drivers perjured themselves in behalf of the porters, vainly the guard looked on with imposing uniforms and impertinent observations, vainly Mat cried imploringly, "Pay any thing and let us get off before there is a mob," still the indomitable Amanda held forth the honest franc, and, when no one would take it, laid it on a post, and entering the omnibus drove calmly away.

"What should we do without you?" sighed Lavinia with fervent gratitude.

"Be cheated right and left, and never know it, dear," responded Amanda, preparing for another fight with the omnibus driver.

And she had it; for, unwarned by the fate of the porters, this short-sighted man insisted on carrying the ladies to a dirty little hotel to dine, though