A Bicycle of Cathay (Chapter 10, page 1 of 11)


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Chapter 10

I think I did not have to wait ten seconds after her departure, for a
stable-man had seen us approach and immediately came forward. I jumped
down from the cart and looked in the direction of the road. I thought
if I were to make a cross-cut over the lawn and some adjacent fields I
should get back to my bear much quicker than if I returned the way I
had come. But this thought had scarcely shaped itself in my mind when
I heard the approach of hurrying feet, and in the next moment a little
army had thrown itself upon me.

There was a tall, bright-faced man, with side whiskers and a flowing
jacket, who came forward with long steps and outstretched hand; there
was a lady behind him, with little curls on the side of her head; and
there were some boys and girls and other people. And nearly in front
of the whole of them was the young lady I had brought to the house.
Each one of them seized me by the hand; each one of them told me what
a great thing I had done; each of them thanked me from the bottom of
his or her heart for saving the life of his or her daughter or sister,
and not one of them gave me a chance to say that as I had done all the
mischief I could not be too thankful that I had been able to avert
evil consequences. From the various references to the details of the
incident I concluded that the young lady had dashed into the house and
had given a full account of everything which had happened in less time
than it would have taken me to arrange my ideas for such a recital.

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