Queen Hildegarde eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 139 pages of information about Queen Hildegarde.

“But you kin spell the hull of it?” asked the boy anxiously.

“Yes, certainly!” Bubble’s eager look subsided into one of mingled awe and admiration.

“Reckon ye must know a heap,” he said, rather wistfully.  “Wish’t I did!”

Hilda looked at him for a moment without speaking.  Her old self was whispering to her.  “Take care what you do!” it said.  “This is a coarse, common, dirty boy.  He smells of the stable; his hair is full of hay; his hands are beyond description.  What have you in common with such a creature?  He has not even the sense to know that he is your inferior.”  “I don’t care!” said the new Hilda.  “I know what mamma would do if she were here, and I shall do it,—­or try to do it, at least.  Hold your tongue, you supercilious minx!”

“Bubble,” she said aloud, “would you like me to teach you a little, while I am here?  I think perhaps I could help you with your lessons.”

The boy looked up with a sudden flash in his blue eyes, while his face grew crimson with pleasure.

“Would I like it?” he cried eagerly.  But the next moment the glow faded, and he looked awkwardly down at his ragged book and still more ragged clothes.  “Guess I ain’t no time to l’arn that way,” he muttered in confusion.

“Nonsense!” said Hilda, decidedly.  “There must be some hour in the day when you can be spared.  I shall speak to Farmer Hartley about it.  Don’t look at your clothes, you foolish boy,” she continued, with a touch of Queen Hildegardis’ quality, yet with a kindly intonation which was new to that potentate.  “I am not going to teach your clothes. You are not your clothes!” cried Her Majesty, wondering at herself, and a little flushed with her recent victory over the “minx.”  The boy’s face brightened again.

“That’s so!” he said, joyously; “that’s what Pink says.  But I didn’t s’pose you’d think so,” he added, glancing bashfully at the delicate, high-bred face, with its flashing eyes and imperial air.

“I do think so!” said Hilda.  “So that is settled, and we will have our first lesson to-morrow.  What would you—­”

“Hilda!  Hilda! where are you, dear?” called Dame Hartley’s voice from the other side of the currant-bush-hedge.  And catching up her basket, and bidding a hasty good-by to her new acquaintance and future scholar, Hildegarde darted back through the bushes.

Zerubbabel Chirk looked after her a few moments, with kindling eyes and open mouth of wonder and admiration.

“Wall!” he said finally, after a pause of silent meditation, “I swan!  I reelly do!  I swan to man!” and fell to weeding again as if his life depended on it.

CHAPTER V.

THE BLUE PLATTER.

     “Merry it is in the green forest,
      Among the leaves green!”

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Project Gutenberg
Queen Hildegarde from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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