The Enchanted Barn (Chapter X, page 2 of 8)

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"Of course not, mother!" put in Shirley. "And there's nothing of that sort. It's all perfectly respectable, and the few neighbors are nice, respectable people. Now, mother, if you're willing to trust us, we'd like it if you'll just let us leave it at that and not tell you anything more about it till we take you there. George and Carol and I have all seen the place, and we think it will be just the thing. There's plenty of room, and sky, and a big tree, and birds; and it only costs ten dollars a month. Now, mother, will you trust us for the rest and not ask any questions?"

The mother looked in bewilderment from one to another, and, seeing their eager faces, she broke into a weary smile.

"Well, I suppose I'll have to," she said with a sigh of doubt; "but I can't understand how any place you could get would be only that price, and I'm afraid you haven't thought of a lot of things."

"Yes, mother, we've thought of everything--and then some," said Shirley, stooping down to kiss the thin cheek; "but we are sure you are going to like this when you see it. It isn't a palace, of course. You don't expect plate-glass windows, you know."

"Well, hardly," said Mrs. Hollister dryly, struggling with herself to be cheerful. She could see that her children were making a brave effort to make a jolly occasion out of their necessity, and she was never one to hang back; so, as she could do nothing else, she assented.

"You are sure," she began, looking at Shirley with troubled eyes. "There are so many things to think of, and you are so young."

"Trust me, mudder dearie," said Shirley joyously, remembering the fireplace and the electric lights. "It really isn't so bad; and there's a beautiful hill for Doris to run down, and a place to hang a hammock for you right under a big tree where a bird has built its nest."

"Oh-h!" echoed the wondering Doris. "And could I see de birdie?"

"Yes, darling, you can watch him every day, and see him fly through the blue sky."

"It's all right, mother," said George in a businesslike tone. "You'll think it's great after you get used to it. Carol and I are crazy over it."

"But will it be where you can get to your work, both of you? I shouldn't like you to take long, lonely walks, you know," said the troubled mother.

"Right on the trolley line, mother dear; and the difference in rent will more than pay our fare."

"Besides, I'm thinking of buying a bicycle from one of the fellows. He says he'll sell it for five dollars, and I can pay fifty cents a month. Then I could go in on my bike in good weather, and save that much." This from George.

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