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A Tale of the Summer Holidays by Geraldine Mockler

Produced by Al Haines

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[Illustration: Title]

[Frontispiece: Fort]

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A Tale of the Summer Holidays

by

G. Mockler

Thomas Nelson and Sons.

1899

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CONTENTS

I. THE SECRET MEETING II. A FRIEND IN NEED III. HAL FINDS A FRIEND IV. DISAPPOINTED HOPES V. THE FORT IN THE WILDERNESS

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[Illustration: Drusie with balls]

ILLUSTRATIONS

"_Jim scribbled the word 'yes' on his piece of paper._"

"_Jumbo began to wash his face and ears._"

"_I suppose you will own that you really are out this time?_"

"_The boy had thrown his lasso with deadly aim._"

[Illustration: "_Jim scribbled the word 'yes' on his piece of paper._"]

[Illustration: Chapter I headpiece]

CHAPTER I.

THE SECRET MEETING.

Two days after the holidays began, the four younger members of the Danvers family received a note summoning them to a secret meeting at half-past seven the next morning in the summer-house. Drusie, who had written and delivered the notes, including one to herself, was the first to reach the appointed place; and when, a few minutes later, the other three arrived, they found her seated at the rustic table with a sheet of paper and a pencil before her, and a glass of water at her elbow.

"Good-morning," she said, rising and shaking hands with them all round. "Helen, will you sit facing me, and Jim and Tommy at either side?"

In a solemn silence they obeyed; and then seating herself again, she took a sip of water. Not that she was thirsty, but she was rather nervous.

It was so long since the last meeting, and hitherto Hal had always been the chairman. She stifled a sigh; it seemed so strange to hold a secret meeting without him.

"Go ahead," said Jim, encouragingly; "or would you like me to be chairman, Drusie?"

"Certainly not," she replied hastily. "I am the eldest here, and of course I must be chairman. And you must be serious, Jim, for we have got a lot to talk about this morning, and it won't do for Hal to come out and find us here."

"He is asleep and snoring," said Helen, in a tone of great contempt. "He has learned a lot of silly things at school, and one of them is never to get up until he is called."


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