“Geography is very nice,” said Lucy; “here are our maps. I will show you where you live. This is Constantinople.”
“I live at Stamboul,” said Amina, scornfully.
“There is Stamboul in little letters below—look.”
“That Stamboul! The Frank girl is false; Stamboul is a large, large, beautiful place; not a little black speck. I can see it from my lattice. White houses and mosques in the sun, and the blue Golden Horn, with the little vessels gliding along.”
Before Lucy could explain, the door opened, and one of her brothers put in his head. At once Amina began to scream and roll herself in the window curtain. “A man in the harem! Oh! oh! oh! Were there no slippers at the door?” And her screaming awoke Lucy, who found herself at her Uncle Joe’s again.
“I liked the mountain girl best of all,” thought Lucy. “I wonder whether I shall ever get among the mountains again. There’s a great stick in the corner that Uncle Joe calls his alpenstock. I’ll go and read the names upon it. They are the names of all the mountains where he has used it.”
She read Mount Blanc, Mount Cenis, the Wengern, and so on; and of course as she read and sung them over to herself, they lulled her off into her wonderful dreams, and brought her this time into a meadow, steep and sloping, but full of flowers, the loveliest flowers, of all kinds, growing among the long grass that waved over them. The fresh, clear air was so delicious that she almost hoped she was back in her dear Tyrol; but the hills were not the same. She saw upon the slope quantities of cows, goats, and sheep, feeding just as on the Tyrolese Alps; but beyond was a dark row of pines, and above, in the sky as it were, rose all round great sharp points—like clouds for their whiteness, but not in their straight, jagged outlines. And here and there the deep gray clefts between seemed to spread into white rivers, or over the ruddy purple of the half-distance came sharp white lines darting downwards.
As she sat up in the grass and looked about her, a bark startled her. A dog began to growl, bark, and dance round her, so that she would have been much frightened if the next moment a voice had not called him off—“Fie, Brilliant, down; let the little girl alone. He is good, Madamoiselle, never fear. He helps me keep the cows.”
“Who are you, then?”
“I am Maurice, the little herd-boy. I live with my grandmother, and work for her.”
“What, in keeping cows?”
“Yes; and look here!”
“Oh, the delicious little cottage! It has eaves and windows, and balconies, and a door, and little cows and sheep, and men and women, all in pretty white wood! You did not make it, Maurice?”
“Yes, truly I did; I cut it out with my knife, all myself.”
“How clever you must be. And what shall you do with it?”