“I haven’t the least idea of going, either,” Eurie said, sitting on a stool, balancing her stockinged feet against Ruth’s rocker. “Not that I mind the rain, or that it wouldn’t be fun enough if I were not so dead tired. But I tell you, girls, I have had to work like a soldier to get ready, and having the care of such a set as you have been all day has been too much for me. A religious meeting would just finish me. I’m going to save myself up for morning. You are a goosie to go, Marion. It is as dark as ink, and is raining. What can you see to-night?”
“I tell you I’ve got to go,” Marion said, as she quietly unstrapped her shawl. “I earn my bread, as you are very well aware, by teaching school; but my butter, and a few such delicacies, I get by writing up folks and things. I’ve promised to give a melting account of this first meeting, and I have no idea of losing the chance. Flossy Shipley, you may wear my waterproof every minute if you will go with me. It is long enough to drag a quarter of a yard, and a rain drop can not get near enough to think of you.
“But it is so damp,” shivered Flossy, looking drearily out into the night, “and so dark, Marion, I am afraid to go.”
“Plenty of people going. What is there to be afraid of? We go down from here in a carriage.”
“I wouldn’t go, Flossy,” chimed in a voice from the rocker and one from the ottoman.
“It will be very damp there,” pleaded Flossy, who did like to be accommodating.
“You may have ten thicknesses of my shawl to sit on,” urged Marion. “Come, now, Flossy Shipley. I didn’t have the least idea of coaxing those other girls to go, for every one knows they are selfish and will do as they please; but I did think you would keep me company. It really isn’t pleasant to think of going alone.”
The end of it was that Flossy, done up in a cloak twice too large for her, went off looking like the martyr that she was, and Eurie and Ruth staid in their room and laughed over the ridiculousness of Flossy Shipley going out in the night and the rain, in a lavender cashmere, to attend a religious meeting!
It was not so very dark after all, nor so disagreeable as she had imagined. She sat curled up in a heap on the deck of the Col. Phillips, looking with interested eyes on the groups of people, who, despite the rain and darkness, were evidently on their way to Chautauqua. Marion had gone to the other side of the boat and was looking over into the water, rested and interested in spite of herself by the novelty of the scene around her. The fellow-passengers seemed not to be novices like themselves, for as their talk floated to the girls it had sentences like these:
“Last year we stopped in the village, but this time we are going to be right on the ground.”
“Last year it rained, too; but rain makes no difference at Chautauqua.”