Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/59

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A JOLLY FOURTH.

revels got it up as no one else could; and Maud laughed to herself as the floating tableau went under the bridge, and she heard people rushing to the other side, waiting eagerly to see the "lily maid" appear and glide away, followed by applause, as one of the prettiest sights seen that night.

There were eighty boats in all, and as the glittering train wound along the curves of the river smooth and dark as a mirror, the effect was truly beautiful, especially when they all congregated below the illuminated bridge, making an island of many-colored light. An enchanted island it seemed to lookers-on, for music and laughter came from it, and a strange mixture of picturesque faces and figures flitted to and fro.

Elaine sat up and ate bonbons with the faithful dwarf; Ellen Douglas ducked the Harper; the Chinamen invited Cleopatra to tea; the mermaids pelted the pirates with water-lilies; the gallant gondolier talked art with the Venetian ladies; and the jolly little tars danced hornpipes, regardless of danger; while the three Indians, Fred, Herbert, and Elly, whooped and tomahawked right and left as if on the war-path.