Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/74

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SHAWL-STRAPS.

the little son, to whom she was a very tender mother.

Pleasant days those were in quaint old Dinan; for spring's soft magic glorified earth and sky, and a delicious sense of rest and freedom gave a charm to that quiet life. Legends of romance and chivalry hung about the ruins of castle and ch√Ęteau, as green and golden as the ivy and bright wall-flowers that tapestried the crumbling walls, and waved like banners from the turret tops. Lovely walks into woods, starred with pale primroses, and fragrant with wild hyacinths; down green lanes, leading to quaint cottages, or over wide meadows full of pink-tipped daisies, and dear familiar buttercups, the same all the world over.

Sometimes they took gay donkey-drives to visit a solemn dolmen in a gloomy pine-wood, with mistletoe hanging from the trees, and the ghosts of ancient Druids haunting the spot. The cavalcade on such occasions was an imposing spectacle. Matilda being fond of horses likewise affected donkeys (or thought she did, till she tried to drive one), and usually went first in a small vehicle like a chair on wheels, drawn by an animal who looked about the