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66

URRAH! We are going to have

such a jolly holiday!” shouted

Frank, suddenly bursting out of his imprisonment in the slate closet, to the great disturbance of his sisters, who were peaceably occupied with their lessons.

“ Frank,” said Miss Watson, “I must really at last report you to your Papa. I do not like to trouble him if I can help it, but I am afraid you will oblige me to do so. I desired you not to leave the book closet until you had made up your mind to sit straight on your chair, and

go through the multiplication table properly.” “We're to go to Sandbay for a month!”

by

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shouted Frank, capering about and clapping his hands.

“ To Sandbay, Frank! oh, how charming !" cried Celia and Florry, with one voice.

“We shall be able to collect so many shells, and perhaps to get some anemones!” said Celia.

“ I shall make such gardens and ovens in the sand!” cried Florry, opening her blue eyes as wide as possible. “I wonder what has become of my spade?”

“I'll leave Pa no peace till he takes me out for a sail,” said Frank, whose antics had not yet subsided.

“ I think you have all gone suddenly mad !” said Miss Watson. Celia, I am surprised at you! I have ceased to hope for quiet manners from Frank, and Florry is so little, she scarcely knows better ; but your giddiness is not usual.”'

“I beg your pardon, Miss Watson,” replied Celia, demurely; “only it was so nice to think of going to the Sea.”'

« But I don't understand the matter now," said poor Miss Watson, looking very mystified,

you knew nothing about this at breakfast, Frank, and how your companionship with the books and slates in the cupboard has enlightened you now, I don't know, nor can I give even a remote guess!

“Why, the store cupboard in the dining room is next to the book closet,” replied Frank, eagerly, “and just now, when I had got my hand on the lock of the door to come out and tell you I had had enough of solitary imprisoning, I heard Mamma come into the store cupboard (for some jam, I daresay !) and she said out loud to somebody, ‘I mean to take the children for a month to Sandbay this summer!' That's what made me rush out to tell the girls the good news !”

“Well, Frank, I never believed you guilty of the meanness of listening before,” said Miss Watson, rather severely.

“ I didn't listen,” said Frank, rather sulkily.

You can hear very plainly in the book closet, Miss Watson,” said Celia. “ When I have put away the books sometimes, I have heard Ellen laying the luncheon in the dining room from the store cupboard door being left open. I am sure we should not listen on purpose, and I don't think Frank could help hearing it, if Mamma spoke distinctly."

“It's very nice of you, Celia, to be always so ready to excuse your brother,” said Miss Watson, “and I do believe Frank above such mean, dishonest habits as that; and so I suppose I must overlook his boisterous conduct this once, as the news he heard by accident seems so exciting to you all.”

“Oh, Miss Watson, don't you like the sea too?” enquired little Florry; “it's so nice to stand on a heap of sand and let the waves come round you."

“Well, Florry,” replied Miss Watson, smiling, “there are many more pleasant things at the seaside than getting your feet wet through; but I suppose you like letting the waves chase you!”

“ Then there is the bathing,” said Celia, delightedly; “I do so love a dip in the cool, green salt water, and the dancing about in it, and waiting for a great wave to come over one!”

“Girls ought to learn to swim !” said Frank, very sententiously. “Suppose a big wave carried you out of your depth, and no one was near to fetch you out again but the old Molly of a bathing woman!”

“I have not the least doubt in the world,”

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