Madge Morton, Captain of the Merry Maid eBook

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

“Ought I to tell?” she faltered, looking at Phyllis.  “Don’t you think Mrs. Curtis ought to tell Tom?”

“If you have bad news for me speak quickly!” returned Tom.  “I would rather hear it from you than anybody in the world.  You are almost like a sister to me, Madge.”

The little captain went forward and put her hand gently on Tom’s arm.  “You won’t need me for a sister now, Tom,” she said gently.  “Phil and I do not understand what has happened.  Your mother will have to explain to you.  But our Mollie is not Mollie at all.  Her name is Madeleine.  Her memory has come back to her.  She thinks your mother is her mother.  And Mrs. Curtis called her daughter!”

The cabin door opened.  Mrs. Curtis walked out, moving like a woman in a dream.  “Don’t speak loudly,” she said.  “Madeleine has gone to sleep.”  She crossed over to Tom.  “Tom,” she explained quietly, “the girls have found your sister after twelve years; my baby is a young woman.”

Tom put his arm about his mother.  Mrs. Curtis spoke rapidly now, as though she feared her voice would fail her.  “Miss Jones, years ago my little daughter, who was ten years old, fell from our steam yacht.  She had been left alone by her nurse for a few minutes.  When the woman came back the child was not to be found.  No one saw or heard her fall overboard.  The boat was searched, but Madeleine had disappeared.  We were off the coast of Florida.  For months and months we searched for my daughter’s body.  We offered everything we had in the world for news of her.  No word came.  I used to think she would come back to me.  Long ago I gave up hope.  Now, when I saw this poor Mollie, I thought I recognized my child, and when she opened her eyes her memory returned to her.  She knew I was her mother, in spite of my white hair.  I think it is because she now remembers nothing of her unhappy past.  She thinks she was hurt only a short time ago.  She must not learn the truth until she is stronger.  Will you keep me here with you until I can take my daughter home?”

Mrs. Curtis staggered slightly and grew very white.  It was Madge who sprang to her side and led her to a chair.  “You have found what you want most in the world,” she whispered, “I am so glad for your sake.”

CHAPTER XXIV

FAREWELL TO THE MERRY MAID

“Miss Jenny Ann, I can’t get all these things packed in this barrel,” protested Madge despairingly.  “I don’t see how they ever got in here before.”

Miss Jenny Ann laughed from the depths of a large box, where she was folding sheets and placing them in neat piles.  “Remember, we have added a number of tin pans to our store since we came aboard the houseboat.  But don’t worry, dear.  We will get all the belongings packed in time.”

“Isn’t it too awful that the houseboat has to be left to its poor dear self for the rest of the summer?  Just think, we have had over six weeks’ holiday, and, if it weren’t for Madeleine, it would seem like six days.”

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Madge Morton, Captain of the Merry Maid from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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