Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/55

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A JOLLY FOURTH

for admiring friends and neighbors with infantile dignity.

A social, sensible time, and when sunset came all turned homeward to make ready for the evening festivities. It was vaguely rumored that the pretty rustic bridge was to be illuminated, for the older people had taken up the idea and had their surprises ready as well as the young folks. A band was stationed by the river-side, a pretty villa on the hill blazed out with lines of light, and elms and apple-trees bore red and golden lanterns, like glorified fruit. The clerk of the weather was evidently interested in this novel entertainment, for the evening was windless, dark, and cool, so the arch of light that spanned the shadowy river shone splendidly. Fireworks soared up from the hill-top beyond, fire flies lent their dancing sparks to illuminate the meadows, and the three bridges were laden with the crowds, who greeted each new surprise with cries of admiration.

Higher up the stream, where two branches met about a rocky island, elves seemed gathering for a summer reve'.