Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/98

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her head from her badly built bundle; while Amanda scintillated to such an extent that the others laughed themselves into hysterics, and lay exhausted, prone upon the seats.

They ate, drank, sung, gossiped, slept, read, and revelled, till another passenger got in, when propriety clothed them as with a garment, and the mirthful damsels became three studious statues.

The new-comer was a little priest; so rosy and young that they called him the "Reverend Boy." He seemed rather dismayed, at first; but, finding the ladies silent and demure, he took heart and read diligently in a dingy little prayer-book, stealing shy glances now and then from under his broad-brimmed hat at Amanda's white hands, or Matilda's yellow locks, as if these vanities of the flesh had not quite lost their charms for him. By and by he fell asleep, and leaned in his corner, making quite a pretty picture; for the ugly hat was off, his boyish face as placid as a child's, his buckled shoes, and neat black-stockinged legs stretched comfortably out, his plump hands folded over the dingy book, and the little bands lay peacefully on his breast.

He was quite at their mercy now; so the three