New National Fourth Reader eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 258 pages of information about New National Fourth Reader.

    please pleasant pleasantly unpleasantly

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dag’ger, a short sword.

spell, a feeling which prevents one from moving.

bran’dished, raised, and moved in different directions.

in spir’ing, making one feel.

awe, deep fear.

de mand’ed, asked as a right.

punct’u al, always on time.

ro mance, a story of surprising adventures.

bur’glar, one who breaks into a house at night.

cus’tom, a way or a manner of doing things.

reigned, ruled; held power.

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This was a start, not a scare—­for the new visitor was a human foe, and I had little fear of such, being possessed of good lungs, strong arms, and a Roman dagger nearly as big as a carving-knife.

The step that I had just heard broke the spell, and creeping noiselessly to the window, I peeped out to see a dark figure coming up the stem of the tall tree close by, hand-over-hand, like a sailor or a monkey.

“Two can play at that game, my friend; you scare me, and I’ll scare you.”  And with an actual sense of relief in breaking the silence, I suddenly flung up the curtain, and leaned out.

I brandished my dagger with what I intended to be an awe-inspiring screech; but, owing to the flutter of my breath, the effort ended in a curious mixture of howl and bray.

A most effective sound, nevertheless; for the burglar dropped to the ground as if he had been shot, and, with one upward glance at the white figure dimly seen in the starlight, fled as if a thousand ghosts were at his heels.

“What next?” thought I, wondering whether this eventful night would ever come to a close.

I sat and waited, chilly but brave, while the strange sounds went on within the house and silence reigned without, till the cheerful crow of the punctual “cockadoo,” as Margie called him, told me that it was sunrise and laid the ghosts.

A red glow in the east drove away my last fear, and I soon lay down and slept quietly, quite worn out.

The sun shining upon my face waked me, and a bell ringing warned me to hurry.  A childish voice calling out, “Betfast is most weady, Miss Wee,” assured me that sweet little spirits haunted the cottage as well as ghostly ones.

As I left my room to join Margie, who was waiting for me, I saw two things which caused me to feel that the horrors of the night were not all unreal.

Just outside the back bed-room door was a damp place, as if that part of the floor had been newly washed; and when led by curiosity, I peeped through the keyhole of the haunted chamber, my eye distinctly saw an open razor lying on a dusty table.

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New National Fourth Reader from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.