Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/153

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No one ever knew, and all the artful questions put to the young Spaniard, who played croquet with the girls, were unavailing. Nothing was discovered, except that little Mirandola had a title, and might be sent back to Spain any day to lose his life or liberty in some rash plot, which circumstance made the black-eyed boy doubly interesting to the free-born Americans. Lavinia bewailed his hard lot, Amanda taught him whist and told his fortune, and Matilda put him in her sketch-book done in the blackest India-ink. It is also to be recorded that the doomed little Don was never seen to laugh but once, and that was when the girls taught him the classical game of Muggins. The name struck him; he went about saying it to himself, and on the first occasion of his being "mugginsed," he was so tickled that he indulged in a hearty boy's laugh; but immediately recovered himself, and never smiled again, as if in penance for so forgetting his dignity.

A bashful Russian, who wore remarkably fine broadcloth and had perfect manners, was likewise received into the good graces of the ladies, who taught him English, called him "the Baron" in