Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/90

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Matilda's bundle consisted of sketch-books, a trifle of haberdashery, a curling-stick that was always tumbling out at inopportune moments, yards of blue ribbon, and a camp-stool strapped outside in company with a Japanese umbrella, a gift from the stout doctor, destined to be cursed in many languages by the unhappy beings into whose backs, eyes, and stomachs it was poked before its wanderings ended.

Lavinia confined herself to a choice collection of bottles and pill-boxes, fur boots, a gray cloud, and several French novels,—the solace of wakeful nights. A scarlet army blanket, with U. S. in big black letters on it, enveloped her travelling medicine-chest, and lent a cheerful air to the sombre spinster, whose black attire and hoarse voice made the sobriquet of Raven most appropriate.

With these imposing bundles in one hand, little pouches slung over the shoulder, plain travelling-suits, subdued hats, and resolute but benign countenances, our three errant damsels set forth one bright June day, to wander through France at their own sweet will. Not a fear assailed them; for all men were civil, all women friendly, and the world wore its sunniest aspect. Not a doubt perplexed