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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 156 pages of information about Madge Morton, Captain of the Merry Maid.

Madge glanced at their chaperon, then at the artist.  He was evidently a gentleman, and she recognized that he was possessed of a keen sense of humor.  It would seem rude and ungrateful to run away and leave him just as their luncheon was announced, when he had raced all the way across the meadow to assist in the rescue of their Miss Jenny Ann.

“Won’t you come and eat luncheon with us?” asked Madge boldly, fearing their chaperon would be dreadfully shocked.

The artist shook his head.  “I’d like to accept your invitation if Miss Jones will second it,” he replied, looking at Miss Jenny Ann.

“You would he delighted to have Mr. Brown take luncheon with us, Miss Jenny Ann, wouldn’t you?” Madge turned coaxing eyes upon their teacher.

“I should be very ungracious if I were not,” laughed their chaperon, the color rising to her brown cheeks.  “Mr. Brown will be a welcome guest.”

And five minutes later Mr. Brown was triumphantly escorted aboard their beloved “Merry Maid.”

CHAPTER XI

AT THE MERCY OF THE WAVES

“Don’t you think it would be perfectly lovely to have a mother as rich and beautiful as Mrs. Curtis?” asked Madge, as she tied a black velvet ribbon about her auburn curls and turned her head to see the effect.  She and Phil were dressing for Tom Curtis’s sailing party, to which he had invited them the day before and which was to start within the next hour.

“Almost any mother is pretty nice, even if she isn’t rich or beautiful,” answered Phil loyally.  She was wearing a yachting suit of navy blue while Madge was dressed in white serge.  Eleanor, Lillian and Miss Jones, clad in white linen gowns, were ready and waiting on the houseboat deck for the arrival of the sailing party.  True to his word, Tom Curtis had brought his mother to call on the four girls the afternoon of the day before.

“I know,” answered Madge slowly.  “But sometimes, when I was a very little girl, I liked to think that perhaps I was a princess in disguise, and that Uncle and Aunt had never told me of it.  I used to look out of the window and wonder if some day a carriage would drive up to hear me away to my royal home.  That doesn’t sound very practical, does it?  But, when one has no memory of father or mother, one can’t help dreaming things.  Don’t you think Mrs. Curtis is simply beautiful?” Madge abruptly changed the subject.  “Her hair is so soft and white, and she has such a young face, but she looks as though she were tired of everything.  Persons who have that wonderful, world-weary look are so interesting,” finished Madge, with a sigh.  “I am afraid I shall never have that expression, because I never find time to get tired of things.”

“Come on, Madge,” laughed Phil.  “You can mourn some other day over not having an interesting expression.”

“Girls,” called Lillian, “the Curtis’s boat is coming.”

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