Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/33

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15
OFF.

American Express had put little leaden stamps here and there for some unknown purpose. Not even in her hest French could the irate lady make the thick-headed men understand that it was not a high crime against the nation to undo a strap till some superior officer arrived to take the responsibility of so rash a step.

If they had comprehended the dire threats, the personal remarks, and unmitigated scorn of those three fair travellers, the blue-coated imbeciles would have been reduced to submission. Fortunately the great man came in time to save them from utter rout; for the ladies were just trying to decide whether to go and leave the luggage to its fate, or to haul it forth and depart vi et armis, when a stout old party came, saw, said, "It is nothing; pass the trunk; a thousand pardons, Madame," and peace was restored.

Instantly the porters, who till then had stood back, eying the innocent, black ark as if it was an infernal machine liable to explode at a touch, threw themselves upon it, bore it forth, and heaving it atop of an omnibus returned to demand vast sums for having waited so long.