The Enchanted Barn (Chapter VII, page 1 of 13)


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Carol and Elizabeth got on very well together. Shirley was amazed to see the ease with which her sister entered into this new relation, unawed by the garments of her hostess. Carol had more of the modern young America in her than Shirley, perhaps, whose early life had been more conventionally guarded. Carol was democratic, and, strange to say, felt slightly superior to Elizabeth on account of going to a public school. The high-school girls were in the habit of referring to a neighboring boarding-school as "Dummy's Retreat"; and therefore Carol was not at all awed by the other girl, who declared in a friendly manner that she had always been crazy to go to the public school, and asked rapid intelligent questions about the doings there. Before they were out of the city limits the two girls were talking a steady stream, and one could see from their eyes that they liked each other. Shirley, relieved, settled back on the comfortable cushions, and let herself rest and relax. She tried to think how it would feel to own a car like this and be able to ride around when she wanted to.

On the front seat George and Graham were already excellent friends, and George was gaining valuable information about running a car, which he had ample opportunity to put into practice as soon as they got outside the crowded thoroughfares.

They were perhaps half-way to the old barn and running smoothly on an open road, with no one in sight a long way ahead, when Graham turned back to Shirley, leaving George to run the car for a moment himself. The boy's heart swelled with gratitude and utmost devotion to be thus trusted. Of course there wasn't anything to do but keep things just as he had been told, but this man realized that he would do it and not perform any crazy, daring action to show off. George set himself to be worthy of this trust. To be sure, young Graham had a watchful eye upon things, and was taking no chances; but he let the boy feel free, and did not make him aware of his espionage, which is a course of action that will win any boy to give the best that is in him to any responsibility, if he has any best at all.

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