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Page:A Garland for Girls (1893).djvu/120

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WATER-LILIES.

A party of people, young and old, sat on the piazza of a seaside hotel one summer morning, discussing plans for the day as they waited for the mail.

"Hullo! here comes Christie Johnstone," exclaimed one of the young men perched on the railing, who was poisoning the fresh air with the sickly scent of a cigarette.

"So 't is, with 'Flucker, the baddish boy,' in tow, as large as life," added another, with a pleasant laugh as he turned to look.

The new-comers certainly looked somewhat like Charles Reade's picturesque pair, and every one watched them with idle interest as they drew nearer. A tall, robust girl of seventeen, with dark eyes and hair, a fine color on her brown cheek, and vigor in every movement, came up the rocky path from the beach with a basket of lobsters on one arm, of fish on the other, and a wicker tray of water-lilies on her head. The scarlet and silver of the fish contrasted prettily with the dark blue of her rough dress, and the pile of water flowers made a fitting crown for this bonny young fish-wife. A sturdy lad of twelve came lurching after her in a pair of very large rubber boots, with a dilapidated straw hat on the back of his head and a pail on either arm.