A month of plans, vicissitudes, and suspense followed, during which Amanda strove manfully, Matilda suffered agonies of hope and fear, and Lavinia remained a passive shuttlecock, waiting to be tossed wherever Fate's battledore chose to send her.
"Exactly two weeks from to-day, we sail with a party of friends in the French steamer 'Lafayette,' from New York for Brest. Will you be ready?" demanded Amanda, after a protracted wrestle with aforesaid adverse circumstances.
"But that is exactly what we didn't mean to do. It's expensive and fashionable, France and not Italy, north and not south."
"That's because I'm in the party. If you take a Jonah nothing will go well. Leave me behind, and you will have a charming trip," said Lavinia, who had an oyster-like objection to being torn from her bed.
"No matter, we are going, live or die, sink or swim; and I shall expect to meet you, all booted and spurred and fit for the fight, April first," said the unwavering Amanda.
"A most appropriate day for three lone women to start off on a wild-goose chase after health and