Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/97

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79
FRANCE.

am a proficient in that, ma'am," said Mat, roused by these efforts to deny her the right of free speech.

"You are welcome to it, dear," and Amanda departed to buy tickets and despatch the trunks, with secret misgivings that they would never be found again.

"Now we are fairly started, with no more weighing of luggage, fussing over checks, or packing of traps to afflict us. What a heavenly sense of freedom it gives one, to have nothing but an independent shawl-strap," said Matilda, as they settled themselves in a vacant car, and stowed away the bundles.

What a jolly day that was to be sure! Whether it was the air, the good coffee, or the liberty, certain it is that three merrier maids never travelled from St. Malo to Le Mans on a summer's day. Even the Raven forgot her woes, and became so exhilarated that she smashed her bromide bottle out of the window, declaring herself cured, and tried to sing "Hail Columbia," in a voice like an asthmatic bagpipe.

Mat amused herself and her comrades by picking up the different articles that kept tumbling down on