Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/165

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lowing the wild stream that had worn its way between the immense cliffs, they drove rapidly clown toward Italy, feeling that this was a fit gateway to the promised land.

At Iselle, on the frontier, they enacted a little farce for the benefit of the custom-house officers. Lavinia and Amanda had old passports, and had been told they would be needed. Mat had none, so she was ordered to try the rĂ´le of maid. Before they arrived, she took out her ear-rings, tied up her curls under a dingy veil, put on a waterproof, and tried to assume the demure air of an Abigail.

When they alighted, she was left to guard the wraps in the carriage while the others went with the luggage, expecting to have much trouble; for all manner of hindrances had been predicted owing to the unsettled state of the country. Nothing could be simpler, however; no passports were demanded, a very careless search of luggage, and it was all over. So Matilda threw off her disguise, and ascended the diligence in her own character, for here, alas! they left the cozy little carriage with the affable driver and the jingling bells.

Only two places could be found in the crowded