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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about Walter Harland.
subject to a prolonged stare from the two young misses, and we distinctly heard one of them address the other, saying with a sneer, “I wonder how much that old lady’s bonnet cost, when new, I would ask her only it must have been so long ago, I am sure she has forgotten by this time.”  Aunt Lucinda was not one to let this pass unnoticed.  Touching the young lady lightly on the shoulder, to attract her attention, she said in a voice loud enough to be heard by several of the other passengers near us, “I believe, miss, you are anxious to learn the price of my bonnet when new, I have forgotten the exact sum, but you may be sure of one thing, I paid more for it than your good sense and good manner are worth both together.”  These two ladies had made themselves so disagreeable by their silly and vain manners that this “cut up” from my aunt was greeted by a burst of laughter from all near enough to hear it, and the laugh was evidently not against my aunt.  The two girls blushed crimson, but made no reply, and as soon as possible changed their seat to a distant part of the car, possibly they might, for the remainder of their journey, be more mindful of the courtesy and respect due to a fellow traveller.

As the dear old village of Elmwood rose to my view in the distance, I could hardly contain my joy.  I had written to my mother, informing her of the day she might look for my arrival, but at the time I knew not that Aunt Lucinda would accompany me, and her visit was certainly a joyful surprise.  Quite a number of my young companions had accompanied my mother and sister to the depot.  Charley Gray, of course, was there, having returned to Elmwood two days earlier than I. It is needless for me to say that, to all, the meeting was a happy one.  My mother was almost overjoyed at thus unexpectedly meeting with the sister she had not seen for so long a time, and the sight of her elder sister recalled to her mind many almost forgotten incidents of her childhood’s days.  “You see Ellen,” said Aunt Lucinda, addressing my mother, “I have brought your boy home to you safe and sound, and I believe half a head taller than when he left you.  I don’t know as I should have come only I couldn’t trust him away from me so long.”  “I should say by Walter’s appearance, that he has not missed a mother’s care very much, and thanks from me would poorly express my gratitude.”  Charley Gray had remained with me the last night I spent at home, and he also gained permission to remain this first night of my return.  It was a happy, and I might add a merry party which surrounded my mother’s tea-table that evening, which, to please me, was spread under my favourite tree in the garden.  So happy was I to be once more at home that I almost felt afraid to go to sleep that night lest I should awake in the morning and find it all a dream.  “If you were as tired of the cars as I am,” said Aunt Lucinda “you would think this journey no dream, but an awful reality, for my head is all in a whirl yet, and I shall feel no better till I got a good night’s sleep.”

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