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answer. But if I, too, must select, I would say the place where the road runs through that garden, of which the one half belongs to earth, the other to heaven.”
“Ah, the second spot we visited ?" exclaimed Dot.
“Where the parrot and the cows were ?” asked Trixie. “The same," replied Great-heart.
The little heads were hardly on the pillow ere the children slept.
THE THREE CROSS THE CHANNEL EN ROUTE TO
THE CITY OF PLEASURE.
HE next morning broke bright and cloudless,
the morning that ushered in that never-to-beforgotten day on which the children and Great-heart were to cross the sea to another continent. Little sleep did Trixie get after dawn. Yet she lay quietly in bed until her sister should wake. Then, in converse, would she find a vent for all those wonderful fancies that filled her busy brain.
Almost before Dot's eyes were opened, and she could fully grasp the nature of the surroundings, Trixie had pounced upon her, hugging her in her arms, and nearly smothering the poor little thing in her excitement.
" It's all right, Dottie !” (a term of endearment used only on occasions of great emotion.) “It's all right. We are sure to go.
The weather's lovely." Dot had for the moment forgotten the particular event on which the weather was to exercise so marked an influence. When breath had in some
degree come back to her, she opened her eyes and murmured innocently,
“What is all right, Trixie dear? I do not quite understand.”
The elder child seized the baby-face between her hands, and stared into it in wonder, then addressed it thus, emphasizing each word with a gentle tap on “ Dottie's" cheek :
"Are you indeed my sister, that you can look at me in that senseless, almost idiotic, fashion, and put that noodleish, noodleish question ?" (Here the taps became quite little blows.) “Oh, child, I have done with you!” and Miss Trixie, in mimic pantomime, sank back, closed her eyes, and, lifting her hands, murmured, with mingled pity and sorrow at her sister's indifference,
“Oh dear! oh dear! was there ever such a baby? What will become of her ?”
Dot had by this time recalled to memory the proposed trip. So she said,
"I remember now, of course. We are to go abroad, across the sea. Forgive me if I vexed you, sister dear. I was but half awake when you jumped
Trixie had not yet recovered sufficiently to speak. She could only lie there listlessly, and solemnly repeat her lament over Dot's shortcomings.
Presently, with an effort, she shook off her fit of dejection, jumped up, and exclaimed,
"We waste time over such childish folly. He will be here soon. We must dress now. I wonder when we start.”
"He” was there already, standing at the head of the bed. How could that man always manage to creep up there without the children hearing him ? It was very puzzling.
Trixie started back, as she wondered how much he had seen and heard.
"Most irrepressible of maidens, you must really curb your excitement,” he said, smiling, “or you will fall ill or something. There would be a sad ending to your visit. Then, indeed, you could not go on further. See how quiet little Dot here is about it all."
“But we are going, dear Great-heart?” cried the child, as she rushed at him.
“My dear Trixie, that is our intention, on the conditions I have named to you."
The elder child laughed hysterically; then executed a pas de seul over the floor in honour of the occasion. She would willingly have made a pas de deux of it, with Dot for a partner, had not Greatheart restrained her.
“What time do we start ?" she cried at length, quite out of breath with her exertions.
“We have plenty of time; not until eleven. Now dress quietly and bear in mind what I have told you."
All the man's endeavours to make that skittish maiden eat a good breakfast that day were of no avail. She was perpetually running to the window, ostensibly to see how the little trees were getting on, but in reality to look at the weather. She need not have been so anxious. It was quite "set-fair," indeed. Dot, in her quieter way, was excited also ; but her more thoughtful disposition toned down her spirits, especially as she saw how Trixie's peculiarities troubled her guardian.
The time for departure came at length. Again that pile of luggage stood in the hall; once more did the brown-faced fisherman wheel it up to the station and sit there coatless and perspiring, until the party joined him. The leave-taking was quite affecting. Had the children remained in that inn for long, goodness knows what would have happened. As it was tears were distinctly visible in the eyes of the proprietress, who was herself childless, and consequently had an overwhelming affection for children. Possibly, had she been blessed with them, her feelings would have been more under control.
Trixie was filled with so great a dread, almost