CHAPTER IV: Gypsy Has a Dream
" Do what? "
" You know as well as I do."
" What did you observe? "
" Tom Breynton ! "
" That's my name."
"Will you, or will you not, come down to the pond and have a row ? "
" Let's hear you tease a little."
"Catch me! If you won't' come for a civil request, I won't tease for it."
" Very good," said Tom, laying aside his Euclid; "I like your spunk. Rather think I'll go."
Tom tossed on his cap and was ready. Gypsy hurried away to array herself in the complication of garments necessary to the feminine adventurer, if she so much as crosses the yard; a continual mystery of Providence, was this little necessity to Gypsy, and one against which she lived in a state of incessant rebellion. It was provoking enough to stand there in her room, tugging and hurrying till she was red in the face, over a pair of utterly heartless and unimpressible rubbers, that absolutely refused to slip over the heel of her boot, and to see Tom through the window, with his hands in his pocket, ready, waiting, and impatient, alternately whistling and calling for her.
"I never did!" said Gypsy, in no very gentle tone.
" Hur-ry up! " called Tom, coolly.
" These old rubbers! " said Gypsy.
"What's the matter?" asked her mother, stopping at the door.
" It's enough to try the patience of a saint! " said
Gypsy, emphatically, holding out her foot.
"Perhaps I can help you, " said Mrs. Breynton, stooping down.
"Why, Gypsy! your boots are wet through; of course the rubbers won't go on."
"I didn't suppose that would make any difference," said Gypsy, looking rather foolish. "I got them wet this morning, down at the swamp. I thought they were dry, though: I sat with my feet in the oven until Patty drove me off. She said I was in the bread."
' ' You will have to put on your best boots, " said her mother.
" Oh, Tom! " called Gypsy, in despair, as the. shrillest of all shrill whistles came up through the window. "Everything's in a jumble! I'll be there as soon as I can."
She changed her boots, tossed on her turban, whisked on her sack, and began to fasten it with a jerk, when off came the button at the throat, and rolled maliciously quite out of sight under the bed.
" There! " said Gypsy.
" Can't wait!" shouted Tom.
"I mended that sack," said Gypsy, "only yesterday afternoon. I call it too bad, when a body's trying to keep their things in order, and do up all their mending, that things have to act so!"
' ' I think you have been trying to be orderly," said her mother, helping her to pin the offending sack about the throat, for there was no time now to restore the wandering button. "I have noticed a great improvement in you; but there's one thing wanting yet, that would have kept the button in its place, and had the boots properly taken off and dried at the right time."
"What's that?" asked Gypsy, in a great hurry to go.
"A little more thoroughness, Gypsy."
This bit of a lesson, like most of Mrs. Breynton's moral teachings, was enforced with a little soft kiss on Gypsy's forehead, and a smile that was as unlike a sermon as smile could be.
Gypsy gave two thoughts to it, while she jumped down stairs three steps at a time; then, it must be confessed, she forgot it entirely, in the sight of Tom coolly walking off down the lane without her. But words that Mrs. Breynton said with a kiss did not slip away from Gypsy's memory " for good an a'," as easily as that. She had her own little places and times of private meditation, when such things came up to her like faithful angels, that are always ready to speak, if you give them the chance.
Tom was still in sight, among the hazel-nut bushes and budding grape-vines of the lane, and Gypsy ran swiftly after him. She was fleet of foot as a young gazelle, and soon overtook him. She had just stopped, panting, by his side, and was proceeding to make some remarks which she thought his conduct richly deserved, when the sound of some little trotting feet behind them attracted their attention.
" Why, Winnie Breynton! " said Gypsy.
"Where are you going?" asked Tom, turning round.
"Oh, nowheres in particular," said Winnie, with an absent air.
"Well, you may just turn round and go there, then," said Tom. "We don't want any little boys with us this afternoon."
" Little boys!" said Winnie, with a terrible look; "I'm five years old, sir. I can button my own jacket, and I've got a snow-shovel ! "
Tom walked rapidly on, and Gypsy with him. A moment's reflection seemed to convince Winnie that his company was not wanted, and he disappeared among the hazelnut bushes.
Gypsy and Tom were fast walkers, and they reached the pond in a marvellously short time. This pond was about a half-mile from the house, just at the foot of a hill which went by the name of Kleiner Berg-a German word, meaning little mountain. There were many of these elevations all along the valley in which Yorkbury was situated. They seemed to be a sort of stepping-stones to the great, snow-crowned mountains, that towered sharply beyond. The pond that nestled in among the trees at the foot of the Kleiner Berg was called the Kleiner Berg Basin. It was a beautiful sheet of water, small and still and sheltered, and a great resort of pleasure- seekers because of the clouds of white and golden lilies that floated over it in the hot summer months. Mr. Breynton owned a boat there, which was kept locked to a tiny wharf under the trees, and was very often used by the children, although Tom declared it was no better to fish in than a wash-tub; as a Vermont boy, used to the trout-brooks up among the mountains,, would be likely to think.
" What's that ? " asked Gypsy, as they neared the wharf.
"Looks as much like a little green monkey as anything," said Tom, making a tube of his hands to look through. "It's in the boat, whatever it is."
"It's a green-and-white .gingham monkey," said Gypsy, suddenly, "with a belt, and brown pants, and a cap on wrong side before."
"The little-, he may just walk home anyhow," observed Tom, in his autocratic style. "He ought to be taught better than to come where older people are, especially if they don't want him."
' ' I suppose he likes to have a boat-ride as well as we do," suggested Gypsy.
' ' Winthrop! " called Tom, severely.
Winnie's chin was on his little fat hand. and Winnie's eyes were fixed upon the water, and Winnie was altogether too deeply absorbed in meditation to deign a reply.
"Winnie, where did you come from ?"
"Oh!" said Winnie, looking up, carelessly; " that you ? "
"How did you get down here, I'd like to know ? " said Gypsy.
Winnie regarded her impressively, as if to signify that his principles of action were his own until they were made public, and when they were made public she might have them.
"You may just get out of that boat," said Tom, rather crossly for him. Winnie hinted, as if it were quite an accidental remark, that he had no intention of doing so. He furthermore observed that he would be happy to take them to row. " Father said whoever took the boat first was to have it."
Tom replied by taking him up in one hand, twisting him over his shoulder, and landing him upon the grass. At this Winnie, was characteristic in his wrath as in his dignity, threw himself flat, and began to scream after his usual musical fashion.
"It's too bad! "said Gypsy. "Let him go, Tom-do."
"He should have stayed where he was told to," argued Tom, who, like most boys of his age, had a sufficiently just estimate of the importance of his own authority, and who would sometimes do a very selfish thing under the impression that it was his duty to family and state, as an order-loving individual and citizen.
" I know it isn't so pleasant to have him," said Gypsy, ' ' but it does make him so dreadfully happy."
That was the best of Gypsy;-she was as generous a child as poor, fallen children of Adam are apt to be; as quick to do right as she was to do wrong, and much given to this fancy of seeing people "dreadfully happy."
I have said that people loved Gypsy, I am inclined to think that herein lay the secret of it.
Then Gypsy never "preached." If she happened to be right, and another person wrong, she never put on superior airs, and tried to patronize them into becoming as good as she was. She made her suggestions in such a straightforward, matter-of-fact way, as if of course you thought so too, and she was only agreeing with you; and was apt to make them so merrily withal, that there was no resisting her.
Therefore Tom, while pretending to carry his point, really yielded to the influence of Gypsy's kind feeling, in saying,-
" On the whole, Winnie, I've come to the conclusion to take you, on condition that you always do as I tell you in future. And if you don't stop crying this minute, you sha'n't go." This rather ungracious consent was sufficient to dry Winnie's tears and silence Winnie's lungs, and the three seated themselves in the little boat, and started off in high spirits. It was a light, pretty boat, painted in bright colors, and christened The Dipper, it being an appropriate and respectful title for a boat on the Kleiner Berg Basin. Moreover, the air was as sweet as a May-flower, and as warm as sunshine; there was a soft, blue sky with clouds of silver like stately ships sailing over it, and such a shimmering, bright photograph of it in the water; then Tom was so pleasant, and rowed so fast, and let Gypsy help, and she could keep time with him, and the spray dashed up like silver-dust about the oars, and the bees were humming among the buds on the trees, and the blue dragon-flies, that skipped from ripple to ripple, seemed to be having such a holiday. Altogether, Gypsy felt like saying, with famous
little Prudy, -
"Oh, I'm so glad there happened to be a world, and God made me! "
After a while Tom laid down his oars, and they floated idly back and forth among the lily-stems and the soft, purple shadows of the maple-boughs, from which me perfumed scarlet blossoms dropped like coral into the water. Tom took off his cap, and leaned lazily against the side of the boat; Winnie, interested in making a series of remarkable faces at himself in the water, for a wonder sat still, and Gypsy lay down across two seats, with her face turned up. watching the sky. It was very pleasant, and no one seemed inclined to talk.
"I wish I were a cloud," said Gypsy, suddenly, after a long silence. "A little white cloud, with a silver fringe, and not have anything to do but float round all day in the sunshine,-no lessons nor torn dresses nor hateful old sewing to do."
" S'posin' it thunder-stormed," suggested Winnie. "You might get striked."
"That would be fun," said Gypsy, laughing. " I always wanted to see where the lightning came from."
"Supposing there came a wind, and blew you away," suggested Tom, sleepily.
" I never thought of that," said Gypsy: "I guess I'd rather do the sewing."
Presently a little scarlet maple-blossom floated out on the wind, and dropped right into Gypsy's mouth (which most unpoetically happened to be open).
"Just think," said Gypsy, whose thoughts seemed to have taken a metaphysical turn, " of being a little red flower, that dies and drops into the water, and there's never any fruit nor anything,-I wonder what it was made for."
" Perhaps just to make you ask that question," answered Tom; and there was a great deal more in the answer than Tom himself supposed. This was every solitary word that was said on that boat-ride. A little is so much better than much, sometimes, and goes a great deal further.
It seemed to Gypsy the pleasantest boat-ride she had ever taken; but Tom became tired of it before she did, and went up to the house, carrying Winnie with him. Gypsy stayed a little while to row by herself.
"Be sure you lock the boat when you come up," called Tom, in starting.
" Oh yes," said Gypsy, " I always do."
"Did you bring up the oars?" asked Tom, at supper.
"Yes, they're in the barn. I do sometimes remember things, Mr. Tom."
"Did you-," began Tom, again.
But Winnie just then upset the entire contents of his silver mug of milk exactly into Tom's lap, and as this was the fourth time the young gentleman had done that very thing, within three days, Tom's sentence was broken off for another of a more agitated nature.
That night Tom had a dream.
He thought the house was a haunted castle --(he had, I am sorry to say, been reading novels in study hours), and that the ghost of old Baron Somebody who had defrauded the beautiful Lady Somebody-else, of Kleiner Berg Basin and the Dipper, in which it was supposed Mrs. Surly had secreted a blind kitten, which it was somehow or other imperatively necessary should be drowned, for the well-being of the beautiful and unfortunate heiress, --that the ghost of this atrocious Baron was going down stairs, with white silk stockings on his feet and a tin pan on his head.
At this crisis Tom awoke, with a jump, and heard, or thought he heard, a slight creaking noise in the entry. Winnie's cat, of course; or the wind rattling the blinds;-nevertheless, Tom went to his door, and looked out. He was exceedingly sleepy, and the entry was exceedingly dark, and, though he had not a breath of faith in ghosts, not he,-was there ever a boy who had ?-and though he considered such persons, as had, as candidates for the State Idiot Asylum, yet it must be confessed that even Tom was possessed of an imagination, and this imagination certainly, for an instant, deluded him into the belief that a dim figure was flitting down stairs.
" Who's there ?" said Tom, rather faintly.
There was no reply. A curious sound, like the lifting of a distant latch by phantom fingers, fell upon his ear,-then all was still.
"Stuff and nonsense!" said Tom. Nevertheless, Tom went to the head of the stairs, and looked down; went to the foot of the stairs, and looked around. The doors were all closed as they had been left for the night. Nothing was to be seen; nothing was to be heard.
"Curious mental delusions one will have when one is sleepy," said Tom, and went back to bed, where, the reader is confidentially informed, he lay for fifteen entire minutes with his eyes wide open, speculating on the proportion of authenticated ghost-stories;-to be sure, there had been some; it was, perhaps, foolish to deny as much as that.
After which, he slept the rest of the night as soundly as young people of sixteen, who are well and happy, are apt to sleep.
That night, also, Gypsy had a dream.
She dreamed that Miss Melville sailed in through the window on an oar, which she paddled through the air with a parasol, and told her that her (Gypsy's) father had been hung upon a lamp-post by Senator Sumner, for advocating the coercion of the seceded States, and that Tom had set Winnie afloat on the Kleiner Berg Basin, in a milk-pitcher. Winnie had tipped over, and was in imminent danger of drowning, if indeed he were not past hope already, and Tom sat up in the maple-tree, laughing at him.
Her mother appeared to have enlisted in the Union army, and, her father being detained in that characteristic manner by Mr. Sumner, there was evidently nothing to be clone but for Gypsy to go to Winnie's relief. This she hastened to do with all possible speed. She dressed herself under a remarkable sense of not being able to find any buttons, and of getting all her sleeves upon the wrong arm. She put on her rubber-boots, because it took so long to lace up her boots. Her stockings she wore upon her arms. The reason appeared to be, that she might not get her hands wet in pulling Winnie out. She stopped to put on her sack, her turban, and her blue veil. She also spent considerable time in commendable efforts to pin on a lace collar which utterly refused to be pinned, and to fasten at her throat a velvet bow that kept turning into a little green snake, and twisting round her fingers.
When at length she was fairly ready, she left the house softly, under the impression that Tom (who appeared to have the remarkable capacity of being in the house and down in the maple-trees at one and the same time) would stop her if he heard her.
She ran down the lane and over the fields and into the woods, where the Kleiner Berg rose darkly in front of her; so, at last, to the Basin, which rippled and washed on its shore, and tossed up at her feet- an empty milk-pitcher!
A horrible fear seized her. She had come too late. Winnie was drowned. It was all owing to that lace collar.
She sprang into the boat; she floated away; she peered down into the dark water. But Tom laughed in the maple-tree; and there was no sign nor sound of Winnie.
She cried out with a loud cry, and awoke.
She lifted up her head, and saw-
CHAPTER V: What She Saw
GREAT, solemn stretch of sky, alive with stars.
A sheet of silent water.
A long line of silent hills.
She had acted out her dream! When the
truth came to Gypsy, she sat for a moment like
one stunned. The terrible sense of awakening
in a desolate place, at midnight, and alone, instead of in a safe and quiet bed, with bolted
doors, and friends within the slightest call,
might well alarm an older and stouter heart
than Gypsy's. The consciousness of having
wandered she did not know whither, she did
not know how, in the helplessness of sleep, into
a place where her voice could reach no human
ear, was in itself enough to freeze her where
she sat, with hands locked, and wide, frightened eyes, staring into the darkness.
After a few moments she stirred, shivered a
little, and looked about her.
It was the Basin, surely. There were the
maples, there was the Kleiner Berg rolling up,
soft and shadowy, among its pines. There
were the mountains, towering and sharp -- terrible shadows against the sky. Here, too, was
the Dipper beneath her, swaying idly back and
forth upon the water. She remembered, with
a little cry of joy, that the boat was always
locked; she could not have stirred from the
shore; it would be but the work of a moment to
jump upon the wharf, then back swiftly through
the fields to the house.
She looked back. The wharf was not in
sight. A dark distance lay between her and it.
The beds of lily-leaves, and the dropping
blossoms of the maples were about her on
every side. She had drifted half across the
She understood it all in a moment-- she had
not locked the boat that afternoon.
What was to be done ? The oars were half
a mile away, in the barn at home. There was
not so much as a branch floating within reach
on the water. She tried to pull up the board
seats of the boat, under the impression that
she could, by degrees, paddle herself ashore
with one of them. But they were nailed tightly
in their places, and she could not stir them.
Evidently, there was nothing to be done.
Perhaps the boat would drift ashore somewhere; she could land anywhere; even on the
steep Kleiner Berg side she could easily have
found footing; she was well used to climbing
its narrow ledges, and knew every crack and
crevice and projection where a step could be
taken. But, no; the boat was not going to
drift ashore. It had stopped in a tangle of lily-leaves, far out in the water, and there was not
a breath of wind to stir it. If the water had
not been deep she could have waded ashore;
but her practised ear told her, from the sound
of the little waves against her hand, that wading was not to be thought of. To be sure,
Gypsy could swim; but a walk of half a mile in
drenched clothes was hardly preferable to sitting still in a dry boat, to say nothing of the
inconvenience of swimming in crinoline, and
on a dark night.
No, there was nothing to be done but to sit
still till morning.
Having come to this conclusion, Gypsy gave
another little shiver, and slipped down into the
bottom of the boat, thinking she might lie with
her head under the stern-seat, and thus be
somewhat shielded from the chilly air. In
turning up her sack-collar, to protect her
throat, she touched something soft, which
proved to be the lace collar. This led her to
examine her dress. She now noticed for the
first time that one stocking was drawn up over
her hand,--the other she had probably lost on
the way,--and that she had put her bare feet
into rubber-boots. The lace collar was fastened by a bit of green chenille she sometimes
wore at her throat, and which had doubtless
been the snake of her dream.
Lonely, frightened, and cold as she was,
Gypsy's sense of the ludicrous overcame her at
that, and she broke into a little laugh. That
laugh seemed to drive away the mystery and
terror of her situation, in spite of the curious
sound it had in echoing over the lonely water;
and Gypsy set herself to work with her usual
good sense to see how matters stood.
"In the first place," she reasoned, talking
half aloud for the sake of the company of her
own voice, " I've had a fit of what the dictionary calls somnambulism, I suppose. I eat too
much pop-corn after supper, and that's the
whole of it,--it always makes me dream,--only
I never was goose enough to get out of bed
before, and I rather think it'll be some time before I do again. I came down stairs softly,
and out of the back door. Nobody heard me,
and of course nobody will hear me till morning,
and I'm in a pretty fix. If I hadn't forgotten
to lock the boat I should be back in bed by this.
time. Oh dear! I wish I were. However,
I'm too large to tip myself over and get
drowned, and I couldn't get hurt any other way;
and there's nothing to be afraid of if I do have
to stay here till morning, except sore throat,
so there's no great harm done. The worst of it
is, that old Tom ! Won't he laugh at me about
the boat ! I never expect to hear the end of it.
Then when they go to my room and find me
gone, in the morning, they'll be frightened.
I'm rather sorry for that. I wish I knew what
time it is."
Just then the distant church-clock struck
two. Gypsy held her breath, and listened to
it. It had a singular, solemn sound. She
had never heard the clock strike two in the
morning but once before in her life. That
was once when she was very small, when her
father was dangerously sick, and the coming
of the doctor had wakened her. She had always somehow associated the hour with mysterious flickering lights, and anxious whispers
and softened steps, and a dread as terrible as
it was undefined. Now, out here in this desolate place, where the birds were asleep in
their nests, and the winds quiet among the
mountain-tops, and the very frogs tired of
their chanting, -- herself the only waking
thing,--these two far, deep-toned syllables
seemed like a human voice. Like the voice,
Gypsy fancied, of some one imprisoned for
years in the belfry, and crying to get out.
Two o'clock. Three--four--five--six. At
about six they would begin to miss her; her
mother always called her, then, to get up.
"Hum,--well," said Gypsy, drawing her
sack-collar closer, " pretty long time to sit out
in a boat and shiver. It might be worse,
though." Just then her foot struck some-
thing soft under the seat. She pulled it out,
.and found it to be an old coat of Tom's, which
he sometimes used for boating. Fortunately
it was not wet, for the boat was new, and did
not leak. She wrapped it closely around her
shoulders, curled herself up snugly in the
stern, and presently pronounced herself "as
warm as toast, and as comfortable as an
Then she began to look about her. All
around and underneath her lay the black, still
water,--so black that the maple-branches cast
no shadow on it. About and above her rose
the mountains, grim and mute, and watching,
as they had watched for ages, and would
watch for ages still, all the long night through.
Overhead, the stars glittered and throbbed,
and shot in and out of ragged clouds. Far up
in the great forests, that climbed the mountain-sides, the wind was muttering like an
Somehow it made Gypsy sit very still. She
thought, if she were a poet, she would write
some verses just then; indeed, if she had had
a pencil, I am not sure but she would have, as
Then some other thoughts came to Gypsy.
She wondered why, of all places, she chanced
to come to the Basin in her dream. She
might have gone to the saw-mill, and been
caught and whirred to death in the machinery.
She might have gone to the bridge over the
river, and thrown herself off, not knowing
what she did. Or, what if the pond had been
a river, and she were now floating away, helpless, out of reach of any who came to save
her, to some far-off dam where the water
roared and splashed on cruel rocks. Or she
might, in her dream, have tipped over the boat
where the water was deep, and been unable to
swim, encumbered by her clothing. Then she
might have been such a girl as Sarah Rowe,
who would have suffered, agonies of fright at
waking to find herself in such a place. But
she had been led to the quiet, familiar Basin,
and no harm had come to her, and she had
good strong nerves, and lost all her fear in five
minutes, so that the mischance would end only
in an exciting adventure, which would give
her something to talk about as long as she
Well; she was sure she was very thankful
to--whom ? and Gypsy bowed her head a little
at the question, and she sat a moment very
Then she had other thoughts. She looked
up at the shadowed mountains, and thought
how year after year, summer and winter, day
and night, those terrible masses of rock had
cleaved together, and stood still, and caught
the rains and the snows and vapors, the golden
crowns of sunsets and sunrisings, the cooling
winds and mellow moonlights, and done all
their work of beauty and of use, and done it
aright. " Not one faileth." No avalanche had
thundered down their sides, destroying such
happy homes as hers. No volcanic fires had
torn them into seething lava. No beetling
precipice, of which she ever heard, had fallen
and crushed so much as the sheep feeding in
the valleys. To the power of the hills as to
the power of the seas, Someone had said. Thus
far shalt thou go, and no farther.
And the Hand that could uphold a mountain in its place, was the Hand that had
guided her--one little foolish, helpless girl,
out of millions and millions of creatures for
whom He was caring--in the wanderings of an
uneasy sleep that night.
There was a great awe and a great joy in this
thought ; but sharp upon it came another, as a
pleasure is followed by a sudden pain,--a
thought that came all unbidden, and talked with
Gypsy, and would not go away. It was, that
she had gone to bed that night without a prayer.
She was tired, and sleepy, and the lamp went
out, and so,--and so,--well, she didn't know
exactly how it came about.
Gypsy's bowed head fell into her hands, and
there, crouched in the lonely boat, under the
lonely sky, she put this thought into a few
whispered words, and I know there was One
to hear it.
Other thoughts had Gypsy after this; but
they were those she could not have put into
words. For three of those solemn, human
syllables had sounded from the distant clock,
and far over the mountain-tops the sweet summer dawn was coming. Gypsy had never seen
the sun rise. She had seen, to be sure, many
times, the late, winter painting of crimson and
gold in the East, which unfolded itself before
her window, and chased away her dreams. But
she had never watched that slow, mysterious
change from midnight to morning, which is
the only spectacle that can properly be called a
There was something in Gypsy that made her
sit like a statue there, wrapped in Tom's old
coat, her face upturned, and her very breath
held in, as the heavy shadows softened and.
melted, and the stars began to dim in a pale.
gray light, that fell and folded in the earth like
a mist ; as the clouds, that floated faintly over
the mountains, blushed pink from the touch of
an unseen sun; as the pink deepened into crimson, and the crimson burned to fire, and the
outlines of the mountains were cut in gold; as.
the gold broadened and brightened, and stole
over the ragged peaks, and shot down among the
forests, and filtered through the maple-leaves,
and chased the purple shadows far down among
the valleys; as the birds twittered in unseen
nests, and the crickets chirped in the meadows,
and the dews fell and sparkled from nodding
grasses, and " all the world grew green again."
Gypsy thought it was worth an ugly dream
and a little fright, to see such a sight. She
wondered if those old pictures of the great masters far away over the sea, of which she had
heard so much, were anything like it. She also
had a faint, flitting notion that, in a world
where there were sunrises every day, it was
very strange people should ever be cross, and
tear their dresses, and forget to lock boats. It
seemed as if they ought to know better.
Just then Gypsy fell asleep, with her head on
the bottom of the boat; and the next she knew
it was broad day, and a dear, familiar voice,
from somewhere, was calling,--
"Gypsy !--Why, Gypsy! "
" How do you do ? " said Gypsy, sleepily, sitting up straight.
Tom was standing on the shore. He did not
say another word. He jumped into an old
mud-scull, that lay floating among the bushes,
and paddled up to her before she was wide
enough awake to speak.
" Why, Gypsy Breynton ! "
"I've been walking in my sleep," said
Gypsy, with a little laugh ; " I came out here
to save Winnie from upsetting in a milk-
pitcher, and then I woke up, and I did forget
to lock the boat, and I couldn't get ashore."
" How long have you been here ? " Tom was
" Since a little before two. There was a
splendid sunrise, only it was rather cold, and I
didn't know where I was at first, and I--well,
I'm glad you're come."
" Put on my coat over that. Lean up
against my arm--so. Don't try to talk," said
Tom, in a quick, business-like tone. But Tom
was curiously pale.
"Why, there's no harm done, Tom, dear,"
said Gypsy, looking up into his face.
" I can't talk about it, Gypsy--I can't, I
thought, I -- "
Tom looked the other way to see the view,
and did not finish his sentence.
" You don't suppose she's going to be a somnambulist ? " asked Mr. Breynton. This was
the first time he had remembered to be worried
over any of Gypsy's peculiarities all day. He
had spent so much time in looking at her, and
kissing her, and wiping his spectacles.
"No, indeed," said her mother; "it was
nothing in the world but popped-corn. The
child will never have another such turn, I'll
And she never did.
It is needless to say that nobody scolded
Gypsy for forgetting to lock the boat. She
was likely enough to remember the incident.
She had, perhaps, received a severe punishment for so slight a negligence, but the reader
may rest assured that the boat was always
locked thereafter when Gypsy had anything to
do with it.
On to chapters 6-7
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