Open main menu

Page:A Garland for Girls (1893).djvu/136

This page has been validated.
110
A GARLAND FOR GIRLS.

yet to come. When I know it, I'll tell you; perhaps next summer, if we meet here again."

"Then you know the girl? What is she doing now?" asked Miss Ellery, who had lost a part of the story as she sat in a shadowy nook with the pensive Fred.

"We all know her. She is washing a coffee-pot at this moment, I believe;" and Mr. Wallace pointed to a figure on the beach, energetically shaking a large tin article that shone in the moonlight.

"Ruth? Really? How romantic and interesting!" exclaimed Miss Ellery, who was just of the age, as were most of the other girls, to enjoy tales of this sort and imagine sensational dénouements.

"There is a great deal of untold romance in the lives of these toilers of the sea, and I am sure this good girl will find her reward for the care she takes of the old man and the boy. It costs her something, I've discovered, for she wants an education, and could get it if she left this poor place and lived for herself; but she won't go, and works hard to get money for Grandpa's comfort, instead of buying the books she longs for. I think, young ladies, that there is real heroism in cheerfully selling lilies and frying fish for duty's sake when one longs to be studying, and enjoying a little of the youth that comes but once," said Mr. Wallace.

"Oh dear, yes, so nice of her! We might take up a contribution for her when we get home. I'll head the paper with pleasure and give all I can afford, for it must be so horrid to be ignorant at her age. I dare