soon as he was able, Papa got him in there, and he was glad to go, for that seemed the proper place, and a charity the proudest man might accept, after risking his life for his country.
"There is where I used to be going when you saw me, and I was so afraid you'd smell the cigars in my basket. The dear old boys always want them, and Papa says they must have them, though it isn't half so romantic as flowers, and jelly, and wine, and the dainty messes we women always want to carry. I've learned about different kinds of tobacco and cigars, and you'd laugh to see me deal out my gifts, which are received as gratefully as the Victoria Cross, when the Queen decorates her brave men. I'm quite a great gun over there, and the boys salute when I come, tell me their woes, and think that Papa and I can run the whole concern. I like it immensely, and am as proud and fond of my dear old wrecks as if I'd been a Rigoletto, and ridden on a cannon from my babyhood. That's my story, but I can't begin to tell how interesting it all is, nor how glad I am that it led me to look into the history of American wars, in which brave men of our name did their parts so well."
A hearty round of applause greeted Marion's tale, for her glowing face and excited voice stirred the patriotic spirit of the Boston girls, and made them beam approvingly upon her.
"Now, Maggie, dear, last but not least, I'm sure," said Anna, with an encouraging glance, for she had discovered the secret of this friend, and loved her more than ever for it.