The Girl Scouts' motor trip


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The Girl Scouts' motor trip

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Title:
The Girl Scouts' motor trip
Creator:
Lavell, Edith
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
A.L. Burt Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Girl scouts -- Fiction -- Juvenile works ( lcsh )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
020327827 ( ALEPH )
07225529 ( OCLC )
C21-00054 ( USFLDC DOI )
c21.54 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Youa~ ~ ' ' 8 ( ... ~~'-'::.:>Cc.0\,; 'It I. 'tcL..) \

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•

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"They gathered fo r the second time around the camp-fire , and smelled the delici o u s o d o r s arising fr o m baco n and h o t c offe e." (Page 5,) (The G ir l Scouts ' Moto r Trip. )

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THE GIRL SCOUTS' MOr-fOR TRI P B Y EDITH LA VE LL AUTHOR OF " T he Girl Scoitts at Miss Allen's School," "The G i r l S coi d s at C a , mp," " T he Girl S coitts ' Goo d Turn," "The Girl Scouts' Canoe T rip," "The Gir l S c outs' RivaJs," "The Girl Scou ts ' Vacation Adventi, res," "The Girl Scouts on the Ranch." A. L. BURT COMPANY Publishers New York

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THE GIRL SCOUTS SERIES A SERIES OF STORIES FOR GIRL SCOUTS By EDITH LAVELL The Girl Scouts at Miss Allen' s School The G irl Scouts at Camp The Girl Scouts' Good Tum The Girl Scouts' Canoe Trip The Girl Scouts' Rivals The Girl Scouts on the Ranch The Girl Scouts' Vacation Adventures The Girl Scouts' Motor Trip Copyright, 1924 By A. L . BURT COMPANY THE GIRL SCOUTS' MOTOR TRIP Made iA "U. S. A-''

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THE GIRL SCOUTS' MOTOR TRIP CHAPTER I . • A CHALLENGE. MARJORIE WILKINSON and Lily Andrews saun tered down the hall of the dormitory towards their r o om s , humming tunes and dra g gin g their hockey sticks along the floor behind them. They were enjoying a particularly jubilant mood, for their team had just been victorious ; the sophomores of Turner College had succeeded in defeating the juniors in a closely contested game of h o ckey. And Marjorie and Lily both played on the team. As they paused at the door of their sitting-room, Florence Evans, a member of the old senior patrol of Pans y Troop of Girls Scouts, and now a freshman a t c o llege, came out to meet them. She had run in for news of the game, and finding the girls away, h a d decided to await their return. 3

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4 T H E GIRL SCOU T S ' "Wh o won?" she de m anded, without any c ere mo n y . "We did!" anno unce d L ily, t ri u m p hantl y . "Nat urally with such a c apta i n ! " She nodded p ro u dly towards Marjorie. "Congratulati ons !" cried F l o rence , seiz ing b o th girls by the hands and leading them back to the room. "Now-tell me all about it!" Marjorie had sc a r c ely begun he r account of the thr illing match when she was interrupted by the abrupt entrance of Ali c e Endicott, another freshma n who had been a Girl Scout of the sam e troop, look ing as i f she carried the most startling news in the world . Naturally vivac i o us, he r cheeks glowed a n d her eyes shone with even greater brilliancy than usual. The girls sto p ped talking instantly, aware that her excitement was not due to any event s o ordinar y as a hockey game. "Girls ! " she flung out . "Guess what? " "What? " they all demanded at once . Alice waved an open letter before thei r ey es. "The most magnificen t thing has happe n ed-" "To you?" i nte r rup t e d F l orence, who al w ays w ante d to b e exp li cit. "To us-all o f us o f tne s e ni o r o a trol. A plan for this summer ! " "Th e sco u ts a r e n ' t to get t ogethe r agai n , are they?" crie d Marjo rie, jumping up and g o in g o v e r

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MOTOR TRIP 5 t owards Alice, as if s he wanted a t a s in g l e g l aric e to learn th e contents of th a t mysteri o us Jetter. "Havf! you found a baby, o r only a boot-legger ?" a sked Lily, laughi n g ly. " Be cau se it's too l a te to get our t ea-house back again, after the money's a ll spent!" "Neither of thos e things, " r ep lied Alice. "Only a rich r e lation . " " Why th e 'only ' ?" in quired Florence. "I think that's al most en o ugh . But tell u s about it. How d o e s it c o nc ern us?" "Just w a it till yo u hear!" lau ghed Alice, turning to h e r lett e r a g a i n . "We ll, d o l e t us hear!" begged Lily, impatiently. "We're w aiting." A lice seated hers e lf upon the couch and paused a mom ent before she sta r t ed upon her explan a tion, as if t o m a ke the situatio n m o re dramatic. At last sh e began. "Of cours e you know our family are all in mode s t circum s tanc e s, but it seems that ther e i s tnis o ne wea lthy relative -an elderly, maiden aunt on my fa t her's side . I h ave n e ver seen her, becaus e she h as lived in C a lifornia during all of my l ife, but naturally I had heard of her before. She never t o ok an y interest in u s , how e ve r, and alwa y s s ai d she wa s g oi n g to l e ave all of h e r money to her two nephews who m she is raising.

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6 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "Well, I hardly thou g ht she k n e w of my exi ste n ce, when s uddenly , out o f a clear s k y , I g ot this l etter fro m h e r with it s thrillin g prop o sit ion. She mu s t have le a rned s o m e where o f the w ork we did l a st summ er, and o f our r e as o n for doi ng it, and s h e w as impressed. She evidentl y ne ver kn e w . any Girl Scouts before, o r in fact any g irl s who wer e in tere s ted in anythin g so w orth w hile a s a sick moth e r or a tea-hou se. So, lo a nd b e h o ld, she writes t o me and tells me s he wants t o make m y acquaintance •-and not only mi ne, but that of the whole patrol!" "But we can't g o out we s t, A lic e !" interrupted Marjo rie, jumping at her meaning. "We couldn ' t po s sibl y aff or d it . " "No," ad de d Flo renc e , "I was thinking of look in g for a j o b fo r th e summer." "Wait till y o u hear the rest of it!" said Alice. "We won't need any m o ney. Aunt Emeline is offer in g to pay all our expenses, if we motor to Cali fornia!" "Motor!" repeated Marjorie. "We girls? By oursel v e s-?" "No ; we may, in fact, we must have a chap e rone. " "It would be a wonderful thing to d o !" exclaimed Florence , c ontras t i n g the pleasure s o f s uch a delight ful e x cursion with the routine duties o f an office p osi tion , s uch as she had planned for herself. "But is it p oss ible?"

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llOTOR TRIP 7 "Why not?" demanded Alice. "Lots of girls h ave done it before-I've even read accounts of their trips in the ma g azines, telling all about what to take, and how much it costs." "But they are always older girls than we are!" ob jected Lily. "Girl Scouts can do anything any other girls can do!" asserted Marjorie with pride. "I'm sure we could make the trip. Now, t ell me again, please, Alice: just which of us are invited?" "All the girls who took part in last summer's work at the tea-h o use," replied Alice. "That means us four, Daisy Gravers, Ethel Todd, Marie Louise Harris-and-Doris and Mae if they want to." " 'If they want to' is good!" laughed Marjorie. "Imagine those two brides leaving their husband s for a two months' trip!" "Of course y o u c o uld hardly expect Mae to," ad mitted Alice; "she 's quite too recent a bride. But Doris will have been married a year." "But she and Roger are just as spoony as ever!" interrupted Liloy. "No, I'm afraid we can't count on them. But the other three girls probably will." "To continue," said Alice: "you know that I told you my aunt is queer-a little 'off' we always con sidered her. Well, she goes on to add that we mu s t make the trip inside of six weeks, follow the Lincoln H,ghway, not spend more than a certain sum of

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8 THE GIRL SCOUTS ' money she is d e positing in my name, and-the l as t is worst of all-" "What?" demanded two or three of the scouts at once. "We are not to accept help of any men along the way!" The girls all burst out laughing immediately a t the absurdity of s uch a suggest i o n. Yet ther e was not one among them who doubted that she c o uld ful fill the con d itions. "And what happ ens if we do take assistance?" asked Florence, whe n the merriment had s ub sided. "Do we have to pay for our own trip ?" "No, but the guilty girls have t o go h ome," r e plied Alice. "Can't you jus t see u s dropping one by one 'by the wayside,' " r e mark ed Lily . "bec aus e we acc ept masculin e chivalry. Really, it will be hard-" "Oh, we can d o it!" said Marjorie, with her usual assurance. She put d ow n h e r h oc k ey stick and went over to the tea-table to m a ke tea. T he s ubject was too interesting to allow h e r gues t s to depart. "Tell us more," urg ed Florence. "The best is ye t t o come," said Alice, her eyes sparkling with pleasure, b ecause of t he furthe r r eve lation she was aboct to make. "There is a reward at the end!"

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MOTOR T RIP !) " A rewa r d ! " r e p ea t e d Marjorie . "As if the trip i t se lf wer e n ' t enough-" " Yes, th is i s t he mar v e llous par t. If w e ful fill all the c onditi ons , an d reach A u n t E m e lin e' s hou s e b y midnight of Aug ust firs t , each girl i s to receiv e a brand new runa b out, fo r he r v e r y own!" "What? What ?" d emanded all the g irls at t h e same time, unable to beli e ve thei r e.irs. "Shall we a c cept the offer ? " continued A l i ce . "Shall we?" c rie d Flo r e nc e . "As if t here wer e any doubt! S he jumped up and gave A l ice an e c static little sque e z e . The othe r gi r ls were jus t as enth u sias t i c , and the y dis cu s sed t h e affair fro m eve r y angl e , w h il e they d r ank Marjo rie's tea and ni b b l e d at s ome n ab i sco e s which L i l y produc e d fro m her cake box. Whe n they c ame t o the ~-l e cti o n of a chapero ne, t h e y were all unanimo us i n the i r d es ir e t o h ave M r s . R emingto n . " But w o uld sh e l e a v e her h u sb a n d for such a lon g time? " a sked Lily, d o ubtfull y . "It w ou l d n ' t be a q ue s t ion o f leaving him," answere d Marj o rie . " B ec a use he has to go to s om e s ort of Boy Scout c amp thi s summe r for the months o f July a n d A u g u s t s he t ol d m e about it in h e r last l ette r. So she might be very glad of the invitation." "The n tha t s e ttle s that," said Alice . "Marj, will you write imme diately?''

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10 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "I certainly will, and I'll write home for permis sion for myself at the same time." "Marj!" exclaimed Lily, suddenly. "What about the Hadleys? Didn't you promise that you'd go to the seashore-?" Marjorie blushed, remembering the time sh~ had told John Hadley that she would spend her vaca tion with him and his mother, and had disappo i nted him to go on: the ranch. Luckily, however, no definite plans had been agreed upon as yet for this sum~er. "No, thank goodness I didn't promise," she re plied. "But," she added teasin g ly, "how can y o u ever exist all that time without seeing Dick Roberts?" Her room-mate only laughed good naturedly at the thrust; she was used to being tauntec! ab out the frequency of this young man's visits. "I can get along very well without any young man," she replied, boastfully. "I'm not Doris-or Mae Van Horn!" "Mae Melville, you mean," corrected Alice, for they all had difficulty in calling the girl by her new name, of which she had been in possession only a month. "Wasn't it funny," she added, "that Mae caught Doris's bouquet at the wedding, and sure enough was the first to get married! Just as if

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MOT OR TRIP 11 there were somethin g t o th e o l d s upe r s tition after all !" "It was , and it wasn't, odd," reasoned Marjorj e; " b e c a u s e after all it wa s very natura l for Doris and Mae t o b e the fir s t gir1s married fro m our patro1. They d i d n ' t hav e so m uch to k eep them occupie d as we c olle g e girls ha ve a nd th ey h a d more time t o think ab o u t s u c h thin g s . " "Imp l y i ng," remarked Florence , "that if you we ren't bu s y h ere , y o u 'd b e marry in g J o hn H a dle y , and Lily, D i ck R oberts , and-" " T ha t w ill do , Flo s !" remonstrat e d Marjorie. "You d o n ' t hav e to apply every g e ner a liz a t i on per sonally. But, seri o usly , it i s a fact t ha t college girls us u ally m arry later in life than those who just stay a t h o m e like Doris." "Bu t M a e d i d n ' t stay home! She had a job." "No w d o n ' t l et's h a v e an argument on a c o llege g irl ' s c h ances ver s u s those of a busine s s woman I" protes ted Lily. "And by the way , wasn ' t it t o o bad that we couldn ' t any of u s be at Mae's wedding to see w h o would c a tch the bride ' s b o uquet! We won't k now who w ill b e the next victim!" "Maybe we'll all be old maids, " laughed Marjorie. " A t any rate, I don ' t think a ny of us will be running o ff s o on, since we're a11 six in c o lle ge . And that re m inds me, haven't we four been mean to go on talk-

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13 THE GIRL SC OUTS' ing abo u t thi s m a rvellou s p roposi ti on, and no t make any attempt t o go get Daisy--" "I'll go for h er t h i s ins tant!" volunteered A l ice , jumping immediatel y t o he r feet. "It i s a shame-" She was off in a m o m ent, ski p pin g d own the h all l ike a h a p p y child. It was no t l o n g befor e sh e returned with D a i s y Grav e rs , ano th e r Girl Sco ut of the pa trol, an d t he su b j e ct w a s d i sc u ssed all over again wi th a thoro ugh nes s that omitt ed n o det ~ s . The g irls' onl y r eg r et w a s tha t Ethel T o dd , a junior at Bry n Mawr, c ould not be pre sent t o hear all ab out it. "I'll write t o h er," s a id Alice. "Then, i f we can all six go--and M rs. Remin g ton " "And maybe Marie L o u i se," put i n D aisy . "We'll n eed several cars," concluded L i ly , who always d i d thin gs sum p tu o u s ly . " T w o o u g ht t o be en o u gh," s aid Florence. "But s ay, girls, why c o ul dn't w e l ea ve our p la nnin g until D oris's h o use -party? Then w e'll all b e togeth e r , and will know de finit e l y whether or n o t we can g o." " B u t the boys w ill be suc h an interrupti on!" si g hed Lily. "You c a n ' t get a t hin g done with them arou n d. " " Oh, we'll s hu t the m out of our c onfe r ences," an nounced Marjorie , c o olly. "We mus t a c cu s t om our-

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MOTOR T RIP 13 sel v es to ge ttin g a l ong wit h o ut the o ppos ite se x if w e are to make a suc ces s o f our t rip . " "And yet it i s a p it y," r e ma rked A l i ce, "after all t hey d id for us l as t summer at the tea-hous e !" " Yes, maybe if it wer en't for them we wouldn't hav e b e co m e famo us a n d received this s crumpt i ous i nv it a tion," surm i s e d D a i s y . "What I can ' t un d er s tand , " mused F l orence, who had been c a re fully c o n s iderin g every a s pec t of the offe r, "is why your aunt s hould wa nt u s t o make the t rip inde p endent of all mas c uline assist a nce . Es peci al l y w h e n , a s yo u say, A lice, she s hows such pref . e ren c e for h e r two nephews." "Oh, it's just a n idea o f he r s a notion that she ' s take n , I su ppose, " re p lied A lice . "Wh e n you' r e awfu ll y rich a nd aw full y old , you s o m et imes do crazy tbin gs j u s t fo r the nove l t y o f it." "My, wha t a p hiloso p her y o u are ! " j o ked Flor• e nc e . "Yo u sound a s if yo u h ad been both old and ric h !" "My theo ry," put in Mar jorie , "is that it has s o m ething t o do w ith the n ephews. She has p r ob ably b o a s ted of our work l as t s ummer, and p e rhaps th e b oys belittl ed it. S o I thi nk thi s mi ght be a ki nd of wa g er . " "That s o u nd s plausible !" exclaimed Lily. "Well, l et 's do a ll in our powe r to make the old lady . " wm.

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14 T H E GIRL SC OUTS' "And ye t," i n t e rpo s ed Flo r e nc e, "she may b e on the other si de, h o p in g w e d o n ' t live up to t he c on dition s . It w o u ld cert a i n l y be cheaper fo r her if we f e ll d own-" "Girls , I think you're a ll wro n g," said Daisy. "I think she i s jus t a l ove l y old lad y , who has read ab out our work, a n d wants t o r eward us . But she thinks we ' ll a ppreci ate our car s more if we earn them , and tha t ' s the reason s he put on all the s e c o nditions." "Come, we're not g ettin g a n ywhe re! " i n terrup te d Florence, "and the ti m e 's p ass in g . " A gl a nce at her watch assure d her that the supper h our was imminent . "Meet here day after tomorrow," sugg e s t ed MarJorie, as the girls rose to tak e thei r leave; "and try to have your parents' permi si on by then . " "We'll have it!" cried two or three of the g i r l s . " .We wouldn ' t miss this chance for the world!"

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MOTOR TRIP. 15 CHAPTER II. TOGETHER AGAIN. Two weeks after Alice Endicott had received her startling invitation to visit her aunt at the latter's expense, Doris Harris sat in the living-room of her cozy little Philadelphia hou se, awaiting the arrival of all the girls concerned. The party was fo be a week-end one, half of the girls staying at her h ouse, and half at the home o f her sister-in-law, Marie Louise Harris, with whom they had lived during the preceding summer while conducting the tea room. Doris looked about the attractively furnished room, with its shining white paint and snowy cur tains, i ts delft blue hangings and upholstery, and smiled contentedly to herself. It would have been pleasant, she thought, t o go to coll ege, along with the majority of the girls of the senior patrol; but it could not have been nearly so wonderful as to be married to the best man in the world, and to possess such a dear little home of her own. And, after all,

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16 T H E GIRL SCO UTS' there would always be occa s i o ns like this when she could manag e to be with the girls again. She heard a light step on the porch but she did not put d own her fancy work t o go t o the door, for she recognized it a s b e l o n g in g t o h e r si s ter-inlaw. The girls were s o inti mate tha t n either c o n s i dered sto ppin g to ring the bell at the oth e r ' s h ome. A moment later Marie Louise opened the do o r . "Anybody here yet?" sh e a s ked, cross i n g the room t o give Doris her customary kiss . "No, not y et," re p lied h e r hostess. "I so r t of expect that the five g irl s from Turner Colle g e will c om e t o gethe r . But Ethel T od d w ill c ome by her self." Marie Louise di s a ppeared into the diningroom for a m i nute a n d r eturne d c arry ing a vase o f r os es, which she had arrange d m os t art i stically in a wide blue china b owl. S he s e t it d ow n u po n the t a b l e , hard ly l i st e ni n g t o D o ri s' s t han ks fo r th e flowers , so e ager was she to talk o f t h e la t es t d e ve lop m ent. "Tell me more ab out t h i s n ew i dea-is it A lic e' s or Marjor ie 's ? I h ave n ' t got t h e g i s t of it yet. Ethel T odd c alled me up on the teleph o ne, but t he c onnect ion was s o poor" " I r ea ll y d o n ' t know myself," r eplied Doris; "ex c ep t that i t i s a tri p of some s ort, and A lice ' s aun t i s pay ing the expenses . None of the g i rls wrote t o

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MOTOR TRIP 17' me i n d e t ai l, b e cau s e they all assum e d that I c o ul dn't g o." "'vVell , y o u w ouldn't, w o ul d y ou?" "No , of c ou r s e n ot, " r e pli ed Doris, lau g hin g ly. "I'd be too home s ick. But h ow ab out y o u, Mar i e Loui se ?" "Un fortuna t e l y I'v e arrange d to g o o n stu dyi n g all summer. Y o u k n o w I s po k e o f so m e s u c h pla n well, I had already m ade my a rran ge m ents b e fore Ethel ca ll e d me u p . But I a m cr a zy to see: the girl s and h ea r all about it. She sea t ed h erself up o n the wide wi ndow-sill so that she m ight c a t c h t h e first sight of h e r fri ends when the y arri ved. But she d id no t have long t o , wait; i n l ess t ha n t e n m inutes E t h e l T o d d p u t in an appearanc e . B o t h g irls jumped up joyfully and hurried t o t he d oo r. "Aren't; the othe r s here yet?" a s ked Ethel, a s . s o o n a s t he greetin g s had s u bs ided . "No , n o t ye t, " r e p l ie d D o ris. " But the y won't b e long a n d t h ey're a ll c omi n g tog ethe r . N owcome o n u psta i rs, Ethe l , and put your hat a n d c oa t a way, fo r I want yo u t o s t a y h e re. Y o u know, " s h e e x p lained l a ughin g l y, "I h a v e o nl y ro o m e n o u g h to put u p three of th e g irl s , so thre e will h ave t o stay a t Mari e L o uise 's." She led the way up the mahogany and white staircase to the dainty littl e guest room at the rear of

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18 THE GIRL SCOUTS' the second story, a boudoir such as any girl would love, furnished in cream-colored painted furniture, with pink floral decorations and pink and cream curtains at the windows. Ethel admired it profus e l y . "And did you work that bed-spread yourself?" she asked, examining closely the app lique work in a flower design, u po n unbleached muslin. "It's simply too pretty to s leep on." "Oh, it will wash!" laugh e d D or is. "Yes, I did make it myself . I l o ve to do fancy-work." Then, in the same breath, "Now tell us all about the trip. I'm tremendou s l y interested." • "I'm afraid I don't know a whole lot myselfjust the bare facts that you know. But wait till Marj and Alice ge t h e r e-they'll tell us e ve r ything. By the way, i s everyb o dy coming?" "Everybody but Mae, " r epl i e d Doris . "Yo u c o u l d hardl y expect so r e cent a bride. In fact," s h e added, "I didn't ev en inv ite h e r. I kn ew it would be of n o use." "And she's too far away-way out there in Ohi o,'' said Ethel. "I'm afraid we won't see much of h er any more." They descended the staircase just in time to see, through the glass d oor, a taxi stop in front of the house . A moment later five merry, laughin g gi r l s jumped out of the machine and skipped up the p o rch steps. Marjorie Wilkinson, the last to enter th e

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MOTOR TRIP h o use on account of the delay in paying the , driver , decided t o make up for lo s t time, and s eized Ethel, Doris, and Marie Louise aII at once in one inclusive hug. "We're all here!" she cried, joyfuIIy. "Together now-and together all summer I Isn't it marvel lou s ?" "Yes, if only Mae were here," said Lily, who never c o uld forget the absent members. "And if Doris and I could go with you," si g hed Marie Louise. "You can ' t g o ?" asked Alice, her face clouding. "Oh, why not, Marie Louise? Are you g o in g to get married t oo ?" "No, indeed," replied the other girl, laughingly. "But I am keeping on at art sch o ol this summer. " ''What a shame!" cried several of the others at once. They were all genuinely fond of this girl who was the latest addition to their number. Without even removing their hats, the girls all dropped into chairs in the living-room and continued to talk fast and furiously about th eir proposed trip. It seemed that all of the college girls were planning to go; and Marjo rie's announcement of Mrs . Rem ington's acceptance added another cause for reJo1cmg. Their only regret was that their two hostesses and Mae Melville could not go. "I honestly feel sorry for you married people!"

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20 THE GIRL SCOUTS' teased Florence. "To think that you have to miss all th e fun-" "But there are c o mpensat ions," Doris reminded her. "Maybe w e fee l sorry for you!" "Now Doris, we won't stan d for that!" retorted Alice. "And anyhow-" "Anyhow what?" demanded the other, as Alice paused in the middle of her remark. "Any how some of us may have gone over t o your side by the time we c om e back. I expect some of the girls to fall for my c ousins-" But Marjorie put an end to their bantering by a call to the practical. "That makes s e ven of u s to go," she said, using her fingers for the calculat i o n. "I should think that two machines w o uld r eally be enough." "Yes," answered Alice , "because we are to trave l light. I forgot to tell you that one of my aunt's stipulati ons is that we wear our Girl Scout uni fo rms all the time . We can e xp re ss our trunks ahead, packed with the clothing we want to wear after we get to California." "Then everybody will know we're scouts?" aske d Florence. "Yes; you don't mind, do you?" "I'm proud of it!" replied the other, loyally. "If you take a big seven passenger car," said Lily,

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MOTO R TRIP 21 " wouldn't it b e p ossible t o t a k e my R o lls as a se c ond ? I t r eally runs w o n de rfull y." "It• would do b eaut ifull y," answer e d Marjorie; and all t he others approved he r de c ison. "Do we c amp a long t he way, or do we expe c t t o stop at inns and hotels?" ask e d Ethel. "Both," repli e d Alice. "You see we have t o be a l ittle bit economical b eca use Aunt Emeline is only allowing us a certain amoun t for our trip; and i f w e spend any m o re, , even tho ugh it is our own money, we forfeit our reward. So we must be rather thrifty. " "I think it's more fu n t o camp, anyhow," said' Marjorie. "Imagine Girl Scouts running to hotels all along the way ! Though it will be nice t o s top every once in a w h ile a n d ge t a r eal bath !" "Oh, you'll have to go t o a hote l in the big c iti es," put in D o r is, who t oo k as muc h int e re s t in the affair as if she were going herse lf . "The funniest thing is going t o be r e fus ing a n y h elp from men we happen to meet along the roa d," remarked Daisy . "I'm afraid some of them may t hink we're terribly rud ~." "And suppose we get in s uc h a tight p l ace we s i m ply can' t ge t o u t," s u gges t ed E thel. "What a re we t o do?" "Vv a lk m iles to a garage , o r trus t t o some wom e n t o u r i s ts t o g i v e u s a li f t , " an s w ere d Marj o rie, fir mly .

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22 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "Trus t us! Girl Scou t s d o n ' t gi v e up ea sily . " "But rem e mber," put in Dais y, w ho w as s till a littl e dubi o us a s t o the succe s s of the undertakin g, "that we always had our own Boy Sc o uts t o help u s before. And now we'll be miles away !" she sig he d re gretfully . "We wouldn't call on t h em if the y w e re ri ght b e h i nd u s !" a s sert e d Marjorie. "Oh, it's go in g t o b e great fun-so much m o re than if we were all wealthy, and c o ul d just t a ke the trip a s w e ple ase d , w ith out any terms b eing d i ct a te d ! It m ea n s t ha t w e'v e g o t one more chance to show what Girl Sc o u ts ca n do!" "Well, your aunt certainl y mu s t be a queer one t o t hink up all these c o nditions," obser v ed D o ris. "Oh, s he hasn't much t o do , " said Alice , "ex cept to t h ink about those two n e phews w ho are her h e ir s . I guess we've g iv e n her a new intere st." "\i\Th a t doe s she l o ok like?" a s k ed Florence. "I don ' t know; the only picture w e hav e is one of those old-fa s hion e d things i n a famil y a lb um. She was eig hteen then, and l ook ed thirty -ei gh t. You kn o w the k i nd that I mean. B ut I ha v e alw ays imagined that she r e sembled th a t fak e lieute na n t those bo ys we m e t on the train fix ed up for o u r benefit the summer we went on the ranch . " "Speaking of boys , " interrupted D o ris, "they w ill soon b e here . And you girls won't even hav e yo u r

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MOTOR TRIP 23 hats off-let alone be dressed. Don't you think we had better adjourn to our rooms, especially the girls w ho have to go over to Marie Louise's?" "Right you are, Doris!" exclaimed all of her gm~sts, hastening to carry out her suggestion. But if Doris thought that the presence of the b o y s at dinner that evening would put a damper upon the discussion of the project, she was mistaken. The b oys, among whom were Jack Wilkinson , John Hadley, and Dick Roberts-all intimate friends of t h e girls-already knew something of the plan s and sh o wed their interest by a succession of questions. John and Dick both looked anything but pleased. "Why couldn ' t you do something in Philadelphia?" asked Dick , sulkily . "We had such a bully time fast summer!" "Wh . don't you take a motor trip to the coast?" retume1' 'J\lorence. "Last year we came to youthis year y ou come with us! Turn about is fair play-!" . -'. . "Don't suggest it!" protested Alice, alarmed at the very ~e~tion of such a thing. "We'4 never earn our cars with the boys following in our trail." "Pe ople!" exclaimed Marjorie, suddenly struck b y a n inspiration. "J kn o w something fine i It has .i ust occurred to me that Mae lives in a town on the !.i n coln Highway-the way we will undoubtedly go to the coast. And she has urged us all to visit her

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:24 THE GIRL SCOUTS ' -so couldn't we sto p on our way out, and maybe y o u b oys j o in us fo r a wee k end?" "Whe re d oes she live?" a sked J ack , d o ubtfully. H e w as n o t sure of b e in g able to get a w a y fro m t he offi ce whenever he desired. "Limain Ohio," replied Dor is . " I t isn't awfully fa r. " "But wo ul d it be right fo r a big crowd l i k e this to d e sc e n d up o n her a ll a t o nce?" in qui r ed Daisy. "Mae wou ldn't mind, " Dori s h a s tened t o assu r e her. "Yo u kno w s he has a rather larg e house-and two servants fo r Tom M e l v ille has p l enty o f this worl d ' s goods. In fact, I think s he may be a li ttle l o n ely , and would b e overjoye d to see y o u." "The n that se ttle s it! " cried Marjo r ie . "I'll writ e tomo r row and in v ite o u r s e l ves." "But h ow do you know when t o se t the elate for?" aske d F l o r e nce. "We'll h ave to w ork it a ll o u t by mathemati cs, " replied the latte r. "Ther e's a l o t of p lanning to b e d o ne, and eq u i pment t o be bough t. We' ll have to name a c o m m itte e." " I propos e y o u as ch a irman , " sai d Lil y, imme diate l y . " B e cau s e y o u ' r e our l ieute nant-and y o u can p ick your ow n c ommittee." "I se c ond tha t mo tion! " excla i med Ethel. Jus t at this p o int Marjori e ' s b rothe r commenc e d

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MOTOR TRIP 25 tc chuckl e to himself, as if he were enjoying some priva te joke. "Tell us, Jack, so we can have some fun," sug gested Ethel. "Oh, it's n oth in g !" replied Jack. "Only-well, I don't want t o b e a kill-joy, or anyth in g like that , you know; but I just couldn't h e l p but think how funny it would be i f somebody were playing a prac tic a l joke on you all." "vVhat do yo u mean?" demanded Marjorie. "Vlhy, suppose you went ahead and made all y our plans and bought a lot of thin gs, and the n found out in the end tha t t he letter was all a j oke-" "You m ean that you don't believe that I have an Aunt Emeline?" interrup ted Alice. "No, n o t that. \i\Tith due respect to your aunt, yo u must admit it' s a mighty unu s ual proposal fo r her to make t o a bunch of girl s she never saw, no matter if she is as rich as all get out. The p r oposi tion's wild enough, but the idea of her giv in g each g irl a runabout as a r ewar d if she w ins through t liat's wha t gets me." " A nyone rich enough and crazy enough to pay our expenses wou l d be crazy enough to do any thi n g," said A l i c e . "And she probably d o esn't expect us to win," put in Floren c e . "Well, I'd wait till I saw a ch eck for tho se ex-

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26 THE GIRL SCOUTS' penses, if I were you; then, if it turned out to be a joke, you wouldn't be so much out of pocket. That's what I mean!" "Silly! As if we haven't thought of those things!" exclaimed his sister. "I've been pinching myself every day, expecting to wake up from a dream-until Alice wrote a letter saying we could go, and then received that check by return mail. Thing up some other excuse to keep us home, Jackie; that one won't work." "You needn't worry about the money, Jack," exh plained Alice. "It's safely deposited in bank to my account!" "Well, anyway," Jack replied, "I object to this party's being turned into a business meeting. Let's forget it-and dance!" "Jack is right," agreed Doris. Then, turning to her husband, "Put on a record, Roger, and let's begin." The remainder of the evening passed entirely to the boys' satisfaction.

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MOTOR 7BIP. 27 CHAPTER III. PLANNING THE TRIP. IF talkin g ab out the summer's excursi o n could have h as tened the d a te o f the event, th e w e eks w o uid hav e pas se d in r a pid succe s sion, for the Girl Sc o uts n e ve r grew tired of discussing its every aspect. W henever t w o or three of them were together ' the co n v er s ation drifted inevitably to this one all im portant t o pic ; at other times , when lessons were put asi de for the e v eni n g or a Sunday afternoon offered a n o pp ortunit y fo r r e st , the five sco uts w o uld g ather t o gether in Marjorie' s sitting-room to talk of their p lan s . S o metime s they would discu ss the country through wh i ch the y were to motor , and read descrip t i o ns from bo o k s ab out the scenery; at other times the y would be c;:oncerned with the actual problems of the trip; but invariably they would end up with the c o ntemplation of their reward, giving expression to their dreams of owning motor cars of their own. To the poorer girls the idea was too entrancing ever to l ose its n ov elt y ; Florence and Daisy would talk for hour s o f t h e t rips the y meant to take , the peo ple

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28 THE GIRL SCOUTS' they would invite to go riding with them, the pl e a s ure and the service they intended to g i ve. Had it not been for these hours of happy anticipation the time would have seemed to pas s slowly; all of t he girls e v en Marjo rie, who was usually t o o bu sy to be bored-grew impatient of the months that i n terve ned . But at last the colle g e term n e ared its clo s e , and the scout s beg a n to make d e finite prep arati o n s fo r t h eir excursi o n. Marjorie s el e ct ed h e r c o mmitte e and planned to buy the equipment in Phi l a de l p h ia, a we e k or s o before the tim e to start. She had commis s ioned J o h n H adley to order t he othe r automobile--a seven pass e n ger tourin g carand had thereby won an invitation for herse lf and Alice and Lily ( the other two members of her c o m mittee) to stay with Mrs. H a dler. while the y we re in Philadelphia . R e calling the pl e asure a nd the c onvenience of a s imilar vi sit the p rec e ding summer, when she was buy in g e q uipment for the tearoom, she acce p ted the invitcJtion grate fully fo r h er self a n d her com p anions. "I'm so glad I'm a member of this committ e e , " rem a rked Lily as t hei r train pulled into Phila d e -phia; "so that we will have this week together. For I think it i s g o ing to be l ots of fun." "If it's anything like last yea r it will," r eturn ed Marjorie.

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MOTOR TRIP 29 "Ah, but remember that we had the boys then to make things lively," observed Alice. "Well, we have them now. Aren't we staying at John's home-and isn't my brother Jack working right here in Philadelphia-and ready to help us at any minute? And-" Marjorie glanced slyly at Lily-"I dare say Lil might be able to locate Dick Roberts if we needed him !" "It's time t o get our gloves on!" was all the reply her jest drew from Lily. "We're slowing up al ready." Five minutes later the girls were seated in John Hadley's Ford, driving through the city to the suburb s where his mother 's home was located. M a r j o rie as usual was in high spirits, but a g ain John ex perienced that intangible sensation of j ea l o usy be cause her hap p iness seemed to be caused ra ther by her bright e xpectations than by his mere presence. While she was a sk ing him about the n ew car, he suddenly sigh ed audibly; somehow he f elt that as long as the Girl Scouts c o ntinued to plan these novel undertakings , he would never hold anything but sec ond place in Marjorie's interest. The girl noticed the sigh , and asked him whether she -were boring him. "Of c o urse n ot!" he declared emphatically. "As if yo u ever c ould-" "Then what is it?" she asked sympathetically.

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30 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "Only that I wish that I were a Girl Scout-to merit more of your attention." Marjorie laughed merrily; she did not beli e ve that the young man was in earnest. "You didn't answer my question," she persisted . "Has the car come yet?" "Yes; it's in our garage." "Oh, goody! Drive fast then, John. It seems as if I can't wait a minute to see it!" Obedient to her command he put on all his power , in defiance of the speed laws in the cit y , and reach e d home in an incredibly short time for a Ford. Mar jorie waited only to pay her respects to Mrs. Had ley; then without even removing her hat, sh e fol lowed John's machine out to the garage. The r e she found the new possession, shining and bright and handsome with its fresh paint and poli s hed metal. "Let's get in and drive it immediately!" she cried. "I think it's the most beautiful car I ever saw!" "Not the most beautiful," corrected Lily. "At least I wouldn't admit it could compare with m y Rolls-Royce-" "Or my Ford!" put in John, and the girls all laughed. "It will be great to drive into town every day t o

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MOTOR TRIP 31 do our shopping," remarked Alice. "Won't we feel grand-?" "I'm afraid that won't be very satisfactory," said John. "On account of the parking rules. You can't leave a machine alone, you know; you would have to put in into a garage." "We can easily do that," remarked Alice, airily. "Money is scarcely a con s ideration with us now!" "Doesn't that sound fine?" laughed Marjorie. "I guess it's the fir s t ti m e in our lives that we were ever able t o say that." "And prob a bly the last time," added Lily. "Unless so m e of u s marry those rich heirs of your aunt, Alice!" J olm glanced up ap p rehensively at this su g ges tion . "What's thi s about ri c h heirs? " he asked , with so much concern that all three of the girls burst into laughter. " Y ou 'll pro b a bly never see Marjorie again!" t e a s ed A l i c e . "When we meet these two cousins of m in e wh o are destined t o inherit all of Aunt E melin e 's money , Marj will jus t fall for them. And o f course they 'll fall for her!" "Oh, of cours e ! " sai d Marjorie, s arcastically. "Mayb e s om e of us fellows had better take the trip in m y tin Lizzie after all," ob served John. "Nothing doing! " protested Marjorie, em-

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32 THE GIRL SCOUTS' phatically. "We'd be sure to brea k our rule n o t to accept help from men alo n g the way. And then w e'd forfeit ou r trip, and our reward a t the end, t oo." "Well, I hope you d on't have any a cci dents al o n g the way," said J o hn. "Though I do hate t o think of you girls all b y yourselves, s o far away!" "Oh, y o u needn't worry," Alice r eassured him . "Don't forget we're not just ordinary girls. We're Girl Scouts!" By dint of much persuasion, Marjorie was induc ed to leave the garage and g o into t he h o use. Here she found new sources of interest; M rs. Hadle y had coll e cte d catalogues of sporting goods and books of advice upon motoring and crossin g the country, and had piled them all upo n the table in the living-room. The girl s literally dived for them as soon as they rea liz ed what they were. "Of c ourse we'll need tents," said Marj o r ie, turning immediatel y to the fascinating displays that were shown by the various dealers represented in the catalogues. "And look at these cunning little folding stoves!" cried Lily, pointing to an illustration tha t captured her eye. "Don't forget dishes!" put in Alice. "They ought t o be tin or aluminum-" "You better carry a revolver ap i ece , " cautioned John.

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MOTOR TRIP 33 "I don't know about that," remarked his mother. "The books and articles that I have read on the sub ject say that it is not necessary to carry that sort of protection. There is usually an unfailing courtesy to be found along the road, particularly in the west." "But we have to go through the east to get to the west," sighed Lily; "and it will be just our luck to encounter all sorts of obstacles-ghosts, or boot leggers, or bandits-just because we want so des perately to get there safely." "But that only makes it so much more fun!" re turned Marjorie. "Yes, I know you love danger, Marj. But one day you'll love it too much. Sometimes it seems as if you almost court difficulties." "Still, we always gain by them in the end!" she re plied, triumphantly. "I'm more concerned about the little troublessomething going wrong with the car, for instance," said Alice. "And I'm so afraid we'll some of us be weak, and accept help, and-" "And be sent home like bad children!" supplied Marjorie. "Wouldn't it be funny," observed John, "if you would come home one by one until only Alice was left to return the car to her aunt! I'm afraid that I would just have to laugh!" "Vlell, if you did, you never need come around us

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TH E GIRL SCOU T S' again ! " sn a pped Ma rj orie. "Girl S c o ut s would n ' t want t o see you " "Then I promise to shed tears!" i n terrupte d the y oun g m an, hasti ly. " However, n o thing lik e that i s going to happen , " said M arj o rie, conclusively . "We're going a c r o s s the continent with flyin g colors , as all Girl Scouts c o uld, if the y had the c hance. I t 's the opportu n ity of a life-time ! " The girls turned again to their catalogues, and made l o ng lists of articles, stopping every f e w minutes to discuss flashl ights, spare-tires, khaki b reech e s, in fact anythin g that came into th eir mind s or to their notice. Alic e' s aunt had told them t hat she would stand the e xp enditures for the e quip ment, and they were only afraid that they wo u ld buy more than they could comfortably carry. Nor did this danger grow any less during the n ext few days when the y actually beheld the t hin gs themselves in th e store s . Alice and Lily both wan t e d ito s p end l avishly; it was Marjori e who laid the rest r aining hand upon them. 'At t he e nd of three days their purch a sin g wa s comp l eted; there yet remained the more diffic ult task of mapping out th e trip . Auth o ri ties seemed ge nerally fo recommend the Lin c oln Hig h w ay as a good route across the continent, so the g ir l s were g l ad that their benefactor had stipulated thi s r o a d .

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MOTOR TRIP 35 They planned t o s tart from Philadelphia on the fi teen th o f J une, aim ing t o reach t heir destinati o n by the fir s t of August. "Provided we travelled one hundred m iles a day , whi ch really i s not a tiring di sta nce, we ou ght to be able to make the trip in thirty days," Marjorie esti m ated. "And that will give us fifteen day s sur plus." "We can surely afford three days at Mae 's," a nnounced Lily. "And p e rhaps we cou ld v isit some other school or c ollege friends along the way." But Marjorie sh o ok he r head decidedly. "No," she s aid ; "I am willing to visit Mae , but nobody else. We shall need every one of those twelve r emain ing days. Suppose we have to stop for rep a i rs, or get lo s t, or are held up by a bad storm-" "That will do , Cal amity Jane!" exclaimed Alice, putting her hand ove r Marjo rie's mouth. "We don't expect any misfortunes at all ! " "No, we don't expect them, bu t we 'don't w ant to lose our cars just because we didn't allow e n ou gh time . " "Marj!" exclaimed John, sudde nly. "I h ave it! If you get in trouble, wire for u s, and we 'll put o n skirts ! We us ed that disguise e ffectivel y last year -wh y not now?" T h e girl gazed at him mournfuUy.

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36 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "Too bad, John, but it couldn't be done! Unfortunately we'll be on our honor now, and we'd know you were boys. Unless-" she smiled at the idea"unless you were clever enough to deceive us!" "Nobod y 's clever enough to deceive you, Mar jorie! Not that I want to , but-" "Speaking of deception," interrupted Alice, "I have been wondering how my aunt is going to be sure that we do live up to her conditions. She doesn't know us , or anything about our characters .'' "Maybe she wrote to college for references , " suggested Marjorie. "Or maybe she knows the high standards of all Girl Scouts." "Let us hope so!" said John. "But perhaps she knows about Alice, and judges you all from her." "Anyhow," concluded Marjorie, "we'll send her a detailed plan of our trip, so she can check us up if she wants to. Then we'll go ahead, with the motto of 'do or die'!"

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MOTOR TRIP 3T CHAPTER IV. THE MYSTERIOUS CAR. THE night before the party was to start upon the e x cursi on, the r e st of the girls arrrived at Mrs. Had ley's. Their ho s tess had insi s ted upon entertaining th e m all at her house, and had prepared a dinner worth y of the occasi on. With the exception of her son John , none of the boys was invited until later in the evening. As soon as the others-including Daisy Gravers, Florence Evans, Ethel Todd, and Mrs. Remington -put in an appearance, Marjorie led them out to examine the new car. Lily's, too, was there , all re a dy for the journey, in the best of shape, both in s ide and out. "It just seems a:s if nothing could go wrong," said Mrs. Remington , as the party turned back into the house. "The cars are in A Number One con dition . Now , how about the drivers?" "We three have beeen driving all week , " replied Alice ; " s o we're quite experienced by now. And you'll find both cars easy to manage."

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38 THE GIRL SCOU'l.'S' "How much equipment h a ve y o u bought?" con tinued Mrs. Remingt o n. _ Marjorie op e n ed up the rear of the cars where most of the thin gs had been packed in r eadin e s s for the morrow, an d displayed their purchases, talk in g enthu s i astically on t l eir me rit s until the dinner bell s ummone d t hem into t h e dinin g-roo m. Then she began on the trip, and m apped i t out to the new-c o mers as sh e and her commi ttee had planned it. "It certainly sounds w o nderful," remarked Florence Evans. "But I wonder how nearly we shall follow your schedule." "Why shouldn't we?" a s ked Marjorie. "What do you mean, Flos ?" "Nothing special-only I have a presentment that things aren't going so smoot h ly as you have planned." "Oh, nonsense!" laughed A lice , l ightly. "Don't be pes s imis tic. Be sides we have twe lve extra days, not c ounting the three we e xpec t to spe nd at Mae's, in cas e we are delayed by stor ms and flat tires. " "I dare say we'll need them," concluded Florence, determ ine d to ha ve the la s t wo r d . The b oys too showed the sam e spirit of doubt. One a nd all they an nounc e d that they did not bel i eve the sco uts c o uld m a k e the trip on scheduled t im e . Perhaps this was b e cause they h ated to adm it their

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, MOTOR TRIP 39 abi l ity to get along without masculine assistance, and perhaps it was becau s e they did not want the gir l s to go. It was Jack who finally came forth with a suggestion . " W hy n o t show your good sense, Sis," ~e bega11, addres s ing Marjo rie, al though he meant his r emar k s for all the scouts , " an d giv e the thing up! Really, i t ' s wi l d; yotdl t ire you rselv e s all out, a nd won ' t win your r e w a r d in the en d o r anyt hi n g e l se for that matter. It w as lots m or e fun to h ave you running a t e a-ro o m, and hunting sp ooks . Why not do that again, a n d bu y your own cars w ith the pro c eeds? " "But w e ' d n e ver h av e the good fortune to find another h aunte d house, " r e turned Marjorie. "And think how dull it w o uld be without the spooks! " "Good fort u ne? " rep e a te d Lily. "Dull without them! Now, Marj, y o u know it kept us in a con s tant torment. No, thanks ; I for one prefer the calm of a m otor tri p . " "vVait till yo u 've had your motor trip," said Jack, signifi cantly. "Th en m aybe you can talk more about t he c al m of it. From w ha t I hea r, it's a nything but calm." "But think of the r eward!" Marjorie remind e d him. "You mean meetin g those cousins of Alice?" asked J ohn , j ea lously . ._ "Mercy no! I mean the motor-cars we're to get,

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40 THE GIRL SCOUTS' and the fun of seeing California, and the chan~e to be together as Girl Scouts-when we're so nearly grown-up." "But we're not going to act grown-up this sum mer," protested Alice. "Except where strangers are concerned. We're jus t going to be the same Girl Scouts of dear old Pansy Troop-" ' "Who don't care about meeting wealthy young men or-" began Dick, but he was stopped by a protest from Marjorie. "Enough of that!" she commanded. "The time is too short to waste. We must plan our visit to M a e ' s . Now tell me which of you boys are expecting to go." As it was a subject in which the boys and girls alike were interested, for they were all hoping to go, they were willing to discu s s it as long as the party lasted. Their conversation , however, was cut short; at ten o'clock Mrs. Hadley served light refreshments and informed the boys that they were expected to leave immediately afterward, to allow the girls to get some rest for their early start in the morn ing. It seemed indeed a good omen that the following day was bright and clear, and the sco uts, true t o their resolution, arose early and made their final preparations. They lingered awhile over breakfast, making a hearty meal of jt, so that they would be

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MOTOR TRIP 41 satisfied at noon with a light luncheon. They kept rehearsing their program for the d a y, and talking over their schedule as to drivers and stops and mileage. Marj orie r emin d ed Lily t o turn her speedo meter back to zero, b eca u se, as she said, they want e d to be very exact abo ut the i r trip. "Vv e must n eve r be willing to turn in at night," she added, "unless we have covered our one hundred miles." "And yet, " put in Lily, "you decided that we wouldn't travel at ni ght! Now how can you make those t wo rules consistent?" Marj orie smiled good-naturedly at the other girl's lo gic, admitting that perhaps she had been a trifle incon s i s t e nt. "It's ten minutes to eight," interrupted Florence; "don't you girl s think we had better start?" "No," repli e d Marjorie, tho ughtfully. "It would never do t o start at ten minutes of the hour. Let's leave on the very stroke of eight." "Then we ought t o get our hats on and be all read y-and give Mrs. Hadley her good-bye kisses." "And don't forget mine!" added John, hdpe fully. They were off at last, Marjorie at the wheel of the big c a r, and Lily in the driver's seat of her ow n, d irecting their c o urse through the Park. Here they foll owe d the \i\Tissahickon, past all the spots

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42 l THE GIRL SCOUTS ' where Marjorie had l ooked so eagerly for a loca t i on for the tea-room the year before; and as they saw i t in all its natural l oveli ne ss more than one gi rl experienced a passing sen sation of homesickness a t the th ought of leaving so much b eauty behind. But by the time they l eft the Park at the City Line, and climbed the long steep hill o ve r the river, th e joy of t r avelling, the lure of the open road had tak en hold of them, and m ade them anxious to pre s s on. B oth machines took the sha rp i ncli n e on high, and sped on to the succeeding hills; then , when they came to the churc h at t he cross-roads, where t hey met the Lincoln Highway, both drivers stopped for a minute . "Here is the red, white, and blue mark!" c ried Marjorie . "The mark that we'll be looking for all the way out to the c o ast." "Here's hoping we neve r miss it!" exclaimed Alice, fervently. "Shall I c onti nue to l ead?" aske d Mar j o rie, t u rn in g to Lily. "Yes, yes, go on," urg e d the other. "The large car o ught to go first." "That i t can see tha t all is well for t he little one!'' e xplained Dai sy. Marjorie released her b rakes, and again both car s made a start. They were on a beautifu l ro ad now,.

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MOTOR TRIP 43 shade d by tall trees, and lined with impo sing dwell ings. "If it's all l ike thi s, 1.he trip will be mor e than delightful!" exclaimed A1icc , as she shifted her gaze from one side of the road to the other, in admi ration of the beautiful lawns and love l y houses. "Why, I'd be sati sfied with one o f the l odge keepers' houses to live in!" "Well, I'm afraid it's not all quite so nice as this," replied Marjorie. "You know Pennsylvania is on e of the state s that is noted for its wonde r ful scenery." "That rem inds me," said Daisy, "don't we pass through the town where Ethel's college is located?" "Bryn Mawr? I should say we do . You know the town is c alled by the same name. It's right after we pass t hrough Haverford" "Where the men's college i s ?" i nqu ired Alice. "Yes; the Quaker college. We'll keep a watch out for it. " The girls were reducing their s peed now in com pliance with the fif teen miles an h our regulatiou en forced in the towns, and they found amp l e oppor tuni t y to lo o k about them . It was no won d er, there fore, as they were just about to enter the most con gested part of Haverford, that they n o tice d a small , bright red racing car flash b y them at a prohibitive pace. " I wonder what their hurry i s , " remarked Mar-

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THE GIRL SCOUTS' jorie. "I noticed that car behind us quite a while ago. " "Maybe they are college students, " said Alice, "out for a j o y ride. They lo oked young." "My gracious, Alice, did y o u eve n n o tice their ages," teased Florence. Then, turning to their chaperone, "Mrs. R emington, I s e e y o u will have to keep your eye on this young lady during the trip." "Now, Flos, that i sn't fair!" protes ted the accus ed . "You know there was something unusual-likely to attract attention-about that car. You girls pro b ably all noticed it, and most of you would look at the young men too, if you got the chance!" "Guilty !" admitte d Marjorie, in self-accu s ation. "Well, it serves them right if they get arrested, " said Alice. "I only ~ope they don't have any ac c idents." She spoke lightly, and yet s he c o uld n o t di s miss the young men from her mind. The y r eally were very s trikin g lookin g a lm os t di s tingui shed-and they had l oo ked at the g irl s as t hey p a s s ed the m. Indeed it seemed to Alice that they had g iven h e r in particular an especial amount of atte ntion. By the time they had been riding for a n h our o r two lon g e r , and had seen hundre d s of machin es, Alice had almost forgotten them, and p roba bl y would never have thought of the m a gain, exce p t fo r an incident which occurred while the girls were eat-

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MOTOR TRIP 45 ing lunch. They drew up in front of a little tea room, and were just preparing to get out when Alice caught a glimp s e of a bright red car, coming from the opposite direction. She grasped Marjorie's arm. "Look, Marj! That must be our friends!" she exclaimed. "What friends?" demanded Marjorie, who had totally for g otten the incident of the morning. "Why, the young men you people teased me about. Don't you rem e mber?" The ca r w a s in full s ight now, and was slowing down in front of the tea-room. It was evident that Al i ce's surmi s e was correct. "They're comin g "in"here to lunch, too!" whispered Marjorie . "I b e lieve you did make a hit, Alice!" But Alice sh o ok her head. "No, M arj; I have another idea." "What?" "I'll tell you after lunch. Only-watch them!" "You sound mysterious! What-?" "Sh! I'll e x pl a in later." The scouts were no sooner seated af two tables by the window than the young men entered with an air of unconcern. Without apparently noticing the girls, they selected a place on the opposite side of the room. While the girls gave their 9rder, and later when they were eating their luncheon, they

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46 THE GIRL SCO UTS' ventured now and then a c asual glan ce at their neighb o r s ; b ut ne ver onc e did they catch the young men look ing at them. "I w onde r wh i ch one of you is the attr action," m uttered Li ly, l ook ing a roun d the party . " Notice s h e says 'yo u' and no t 'u:,' !" remarked Flo r enc e . "Of cou rse y ou c onside r yo urself out of it, Lil! But e m em ber , they d on' t k now you 've al rea dy found the ' o n e and onl y m an'." " Nonsense, Flos ! Y o u ta1k a s i f I were enga ge d an d I'm far from it . But I d on ' t t h ink I am the attrac tion . " "\i\Tell, I hope not. And I hope it isn't Marj, either , for they ' d be sadly di s a p pointed after they found out ab out J o hn Hadley." "Girls," put in Marjorie. "You b etter be ca re fu l about what you say. Let's save our discussion till we get out of her e." In accordance with her wish, Alice let the matter drop until they were on their way again. Then she expounded her theory. "Girls," she b ega n very solemnly , in a t one loud en ough for the other occup ants of the large car to he ar, "I think I know who our mysterious friend s are-and wha t the y a r e doing!" . "Who? What?" demanded Marjorie and Florence at once. "Are they boot-leggers ?" as ked Dai sy , with an in-

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MOTO R T RIP 47 volunt a r y s hu d d e r at the idea of meeting with t roub l e again. "No, " re plied Ali ce . "Hasn' t a nybody gue ss e d it?" "No! No!" sa i d Marjorie. "Do tell us , Alice ! " "I'll wage r E t hel h as guess e d," sa i d Alice, en j oy in g t he i r curiosity. " She has such a go o d detectiv e m in d." "But Mar j h as to o, and she do e sn't know wha t y o u ' r e t a lk ing a b o u t, sai d F l o r e nce . "So yo u might a s well t a k e u s o u t o f o u r agony!" A l ice m ad e her s t ate m e nt slowly : "I think those t w o 3•oun g m e n a r e my cou s i ns , s ent by my Aunt E m eline to sp y o n u s, and se e w h eth e r we fulfill all our c o nd i tio n s !" T he gi rls sim p l y gasped a t th e novelty of the i d e a ; i n v o untari l y Marj o rie s l o w e d the car s o that t h e y c o u l d talk m ore ea s i l y . "But why wo uld they m a ke t hem s e lves so o bvi ou s ? s h e asked . "Spi e s u s u a lly w o r k i n secr et-" "No, A u n t Emel i ne w ould n ' t s t o op t o t hat sort of thing," repl i ed A lice. "Do y ou k now your c o usins names, Alice?" asked D a i sy. " Yes : M ilton and V a ughn Crow ell." "No t t he s a me l a s t name as your aunt?" "No, Aunt Emel i ne is a Miss Vaughn. The

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48 THE GIRL SCO UTS' younger nephew took his mother's maiden name for a first name." "Have you ever seen their pictures?" asked Flor ence. "No, never." "Then how shall we know whether you are right?" "We can't know-till we get to California." "Oh, I simply can't wait all that time," said Marjorie, impatiently. "Let' s make a vow that if they pass us once more, we'll lay a trap for them to dis cover their identity." "All ri g ht. But how?" "We'll think of something later. Someb o dy will probably get an inspiration." "But do wait , girls, and be sure," urged Mrs. Remington. "After all, the chances are sm all-" "Only that m y aunt knows our exact route---and -well-she seems to be that sort of person." Late that afte rnoon when their speed o meters regis tered the required hundred miles, and the girls had stopped at an attractive spot for their camp, the bri ght red car with its two y o ung occupants pa s sed b y them twice. But on neither occasion did the youn g men make any attempt to establish an ac quaintanceship.

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MOTOR TRIP 49 CHAPTER V. _ FLAT TIRES. WHE N the bright red c a r passed the g irl s for the s econ d time s i nce their encampment, th e y one and all stoppe d e a tin g to watch it until it was out of s ight. Alice Endicott was the first to speak. " Now d o y o u b e lieve me?" she challenged . "Be l i eve that they are your c ousins, jus t because we h av e passed them four times?" asked Marj orie , skeptical! y. "The y have passed us," correc ted the other; "no t we them. Doe sn' t it look to you as if we were being s pied on?" "No, it doesn't," returned Marjorie. "If it i sn't coincidence, it is becau se t hey admire our lo oks!" "But it's too often to be c oin cidence," persisted Alic e . "No it isn't either! Once Lily and I were going som ew h ere for lun c he on-a place in the country, where we had to inquir e our way-and do you know we went back and forth past one miserable little

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56 THE GIRL SCOUTS' house four times, just following mistaken direction!" "And did you finally get there?" inquired Daisy. "Need y o u ask?" flashe d Lily. "Aren't we G irl Scouts?" "Well, these young men don't look to me lik e the sor t who get lost," said Alice. "What do you think, Mrs. Remington?" "I think it's because I am cha peron in g an exceed ingly attractiv e party of girls!" re p lied their leader . "You flatterer!" laughed Marjorie. "Well , all we can do is wait and see. Probably they ' ll never turn up again." "But if Mrs. Remington is right, and they like our looks," r easoned Lily, "they are probably watching for some chance to make our acqu2.intance, and we'll see them again." "On the contrary, have you noticed that they haven't made a ny attempt to talk to us!" Alice re minded them. "Even in the tea-room, • • . However, if they ever do, let's make a violent effort to get h old of their visiting cards, to see whether they are my cousins ." "I'll agree to that, " said Marjorie, "if you'll all agree to turn in early. I'm dead, myself!" The scouts needed no persuading, and as soon as the twilight had faded the y made their preparations for the night. Nor did the problem of the young

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MOTOR TH.IP 51 men in their possible pursuit disturb their dreams; they all slept soundly until the sun came up. Mar jorie was the fir s t to awake. "Me for a swim!" she cried, after she had suc ceeded in arousing the other girls. "Lil, where did you put my suit?" "All the way in the bottom of the bag, I'm afraid," came the sleepy reply. "Why not wait till tomor row, Marj?" "And there may be no stream near!" returned the other. "No indeed, I'm going into every single fish-pond I can find here in the east, because I under stand that we don ' t come across them so frequently west of the Missis s ippi." The argument was conclusive, and, with the ex ception of Mrs. Remington, who offered to start breakfast, the girls all took advantage of their op portunity and plunged in. They found the water cool and delightful, and, as they swam about , they almost imagined themselves at one of the scout camps again. At first they tried to keep their hair from getting wet, but at last they abandoned the effort in favor of having a really good time-and in cidentally washing their hair as well. "The only thing that bothers me," remarked Ethel, "is that I spent a perfectly good dollar for a shampoo day before yesterday, and here I could have a free one today!"

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52 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "Too bad about you!" l a u g hed Florence. "But don't you r emember, Ethel, that we are so rich n o w that we don't need to let me re money c ares worry us?" "Very true-I had fo r gotten," admited Ethel. "It's a sort of shock to be c ome fabulously rich over night, isn't it?" "How about when we become fabulously poor again?" asked A lic e . "Won't that be a jolt?" "I guess we'll surv i ve," observed Marjorie, making her way t owa rds the bank of the stream . Well, girls, I'm through-I wan t my breakfast! I'm going back to dress, so that I can help Mrs. Remington." Half an hour later, when they gathered for the second time around the c amp -fire, and smelled the delicious odors ari sing from bacon and hot coffee, they were subtly con scious of the return of that old spirit of comrade ship which meant so much to them all. It was so pleasant to be together again-and under such happy cir cu mstances . "If everything goes as well as it has begun," remarked Lily, "we cert a inly will hav e a lov e ly trip . " "And it's going to go well," said Marjorie with assurance. "There's n othing to worry us, unless it is a little rain. But who cares for that?" "Nobody!" cried two or three of the girls at .once.

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MOTOR TRIP 53: ' "Our c ar' s are c erta inly the pink of p erfec ~ :on , " added L i ly. "Both o f t hem a re i n such good con d i ti o n that n o t h ing s hort of a n acci de n t cou l d mak e the m go wrong. " "And even the t i res a r e b r a n d n ew, so w e needn' t e xpe c t any punctures," put in Ethel. "Wouldn't it be funny," c huckled Alice, "if those young men really are spies sent by Aunt Emeline , and if they find that we do everything like clock work, and have to give her an even better re p ort than we would care to g i ve ourselves!" "Then let's b e starting again," urged Marjorie,. r ising with a sudde n disp lay of energy. "And keep u p our good b eginning. " They changed shifts no w , Florence taking the driver's seat in Lily's roadster, and Ethel as suming c ommand of the larger car. Again the weather was bright and clear, and a smooth r oad stretched b e fore them . T he girls l ooked for ward to another delight fu l day. " I wonder whe t her we s hall get tired o f r i ding," remarked Marjori e, who was e njoying the luxury o f a seat in the t onnea u . " I do n ' t belie v e I s h all, e ve n afte r three thousand m i les . " " I don't b e lieve any o f u s will i f we d o n ' t try fo rus h t oo much , " r epl i ed Mrs. Rem i ngton. "If we res t o n Sundays , an d don't a ttemp t to g o too far i n a day, a n d s to p o ff a t Mae's-"

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THE GIRL SOOUTS ' "Won't that be delightful!" exclaimed Alice . "Aren't you girl s all crazy to s ee her new ho me ? Chauffeur-" She touched Ethel on the sh o uld er"drive fast so t hat we can get there by S a tu r day. " "There's no da1:g e r about th at," Marjo rie rea s sured her, consul t ing her schedule for perh a ps the fiftieth time. "We' re s u rer than a r a i lroad " "Sh! Marj! Don't boast!" warned L i ly. "Don't tempt Providence! I too am wild to se e Mae 's home." "It s ounds as if it is very g o r g eou s," said Alice. "Do you suppose she is as happy as D oris?" "I guess so , " replied Lily. "Say, Marj, don't you remember what I said l ast year about lo sing one girl by marriage every ye ar? It looks as if my prophecy were coming true, doe sn't it?" "No, I won't admit that," answ ered Marjorie. "Just because we have had two weddings is no sign we'll have more. The other six of the p a trol are all college girls, and, as I remarked befor e , I don't think that any of us are planning on getting married before we graduate. How about it g i rl s ? " The other two girls in the machine insta n tl y agreed with her, and Marjorie turned triumphantly again to Lily. "You see, Lil, nobody will ob l ige you by getting married next year-unless you do it yourself , just to carry out your theory.. But I don't think that would

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MOTOR TRIP 5 5 'be fa ir , after you promised to room with me af c o llege." "Oh, y ou needn ' t worry about me," laughed Lily. "I'm safe . " The loud blowing of a horn behind them attracted 1the i r attenti o n a nd caused Ethel to pull her car sharp l y o v e r to the right. A second late r , to their a s t on i she d eyes , the bright red car with its two male o ccu p ant s we n t whizzing by. "There!" cried Alice, excitedly. "Doesn't that prove it? " But the others were too much amazed to make an atte mpt to answer the question. "But why , I wonder," .::lemanded Lily, "should they a lwa ys insist upon passing us at such a tre m e n d ous rate of speed?" "I know!" exclaimed Alice. "They have to get to the n ex t telegraph office to send Aunt Emeline her report on our progress." "Well , I'm sorry t o s p oil your story, Alice," said Marjorie; "but I'm afraid that I don't believe a word of it. These young men are probably boot legger s-" "Then we'd better get the boys on their trail, as w e d i d la s t summer!" "Oh, girl s , let's for g et them," said Ethel. "As long as everything goes well, what do we care about

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5 G THE G I R L SCOU TS' the other travellers along the road? They're not hurting us! " "No, n othing's g oin g to hurt us!" boasted Marjorie, but ha r d l y w e re the wo r d s out of h e r mo u t h than t he fir s t u n mist akab l e s i gna l o f di st r ess ap p e ared . A dull, omino u s kn ock ing in the rear o f t h e c a r, so unded dis tinct a b ov e the n o i se of their con ver sa ti o n , and t he whir o f t he m ac hin ery . E t h e l st opped th e a u to m o b ile imme d i a t e ly , and the girl s l ooked at eac h othe r i n d i sm ay. "It's a punct ure, I'm sure !" pronounced Lily. "That o l d famil iar so un d-" "But h ow c ould it be wi th s uch l o v e ly new tires?" d emanded Ali ce, r esen tfully. N o one a n swe r ed her qu e sti o n , for a mome n t while the g i rl s all jumped out of the car. "Two p uncture s! " Ethel flung out. "Both back tires fla t ! " " But how-?" insisted Alice, still more incredu lou s ly. "I've found one cause!" announced Marjorie. She h e ld up a lar g e tack, which she had just ex tracted from the le f t tire. "The n the re mu s t be one in the right, also," commented Ethel. " Well , g irl s , l e t's d on't l o se any time, for the tires m ay be stiff-the c ar's new , you know-and they've n eve r be e n ch a n ged. We'll need every single per s on t o help! "

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MOTOR TRI P 5 7 "If we o nl y had a c o u p l e of the b oys!" sighed Alice . "And forfeit o u r trip, and the cars w e are to win?" demanded Marjori e. " C ome, ch eer up, A lice., It's not such a bad job; y o u o nl y think so b e c a u s e you have never d one it. I'm g oing t o show y o u how. " But a s Ethe l had intimated, the task was m ore difficult tha n they had anticipated, and n ea rl y an hour went b y before i t was c ompleted . In t hat time a good many mac h ines passed t hem, a n d a n umbe r stoppe d to offer assi s tance . But the g i r ls res o lutely; r efuse d them all. It was only after t he t oo ls wer e all put away, and the party ready t o set off again that Marjorie sudde nly realized tha t the Rolls -Roy ce , whi c h had continued to trave l be h ind them, h ad n o t p a s sed them during the preceding h o ur. "What do you suppose co u l d have h appened?" she aske d. "Probably, punctur es, l ike u s," surmised Ethe l " T acks, yo u know." "But my car's tire s a r e eas y t o change , " o bjecte d Lily. "Not easy for novic es, " s a i d Mrs . R emington. "Do you think that pe r haps w e had b e t te r turn b ack?" "Oh, no, " repli e d Ethe l ; "we're too liable to run

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58 THE GIRL SCOUTS' over the same tacks a g ain. A nyway , the girls hav e to learn. I'll drive slowly, and probably they will catch up to us." "If they haven't been kidnapped by the occupants of the red car," observe d Alice. "No, " said Marjorie , s lowly, straining her ey es in t h e di stance; "because the red car-is-coming tow ards u s now !" A m i nute later the mysterious car passed them again, amid a cloud of smok e . ..J

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llOTOR T1tIP. 59 CHAPTER VI. NEW ACQUAINTANCES. WHEN Florence and Dai s y learned that in ac cor d ance with Marjorie's system they were t o drive t ogether in the smaller car, they both appeared somewhat distre ss e d . For, of the six g irls in the party, the se two were undoubtedl y the most inexperi en ced. "Shall we ask Marj to rearrange the plan?" s ug ge st ed Daisy. "Because if anything should happen-" "Oh, nothing will h appe n , I g uess !" replied Florence, reassurin gly . "Eve rything so far has been going so smoothly." "Yes, and I suppose we might as well learn to rel y on ourselves if we want to get any fun out of our own ca r s when we get them," added her c o m panion. Nevertheless the girls decided fo go slowly, taking ever y precaution, even though it put them quite far behind the othe r car. They did not talk much, in order that they might better keep their minds upon

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6 0 THE GIRL SC O UTS ' the d ri ving; as n o vic es t h ey t oo k the ir r espons ibility seri o u s l y . "I've a l ways he a r d that beginners grasp the steer in g whee l t oo tightly," remarked Florence, after an in te r val. "Do you noti c e the air of unconcern I'm putting on ? " "You've been doing very we l l," Daisy assured her. "We've been going p r etty straight. " "Yes,-until now. But I just can't seem to keep away from the gutter. Look, Daisy! It insists on g o ing crooked ! " Her c ompanion regarded attentively t he c ou rse that the car was taking. "I believe you're right, Flos, " she admitted, r e l uctantlJ1. "Cou ld anything be wrong with the wheel?" A troubl ed expressio n came over t he youthful driver's face, as she made the experiment agai n . T his time she was certain, something assuredly was in need of repa i r . S he pulled up t o the side of the road and stopped. " I haven't an i dea w h a t t o l ook foro r where the trouble m ight be," she said. "But I think we had bette r investigate. " Both g irl s got u p anxiou sly, and stepped around in front o f the c a r . A g l ance informed them im m e di a t e l y of th e c a u se of t hei r d i stress; t h e front tire w as as flat as a burs t b a l o on.

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MOTOR TRIP 61 "A puncture!" exclaimed Daisy, woefully. "Yes, here is the tack!" cried Florence . "No, wonder that the wheel wouldn't go straight!" They surveyed it for a moment in dismay, wondering whether they would be able to r epair it. "Did you ever fix a puncture, Daisy?" asked Florence, although she was almost sure that the reply would be in the negative. "Never!" replied the other. "Did you?" "No, sad to relate!" "And we don't know where Lily keeps her things -that's the worst of it. Still, I've often seen i t done . And, as Marj always says, what other girls can do, Girl Scouts can surely do!" They began to rummage in the t oo l box, taking out every sort of tool which they thought might be necesasry. Finally Florence found the j ack. "This is the first thing to do!" she cri e d, ho ldin g it up triumphantly. "If we can ge t it under the car, and make the car rise up in the air, the hardest part will be done." Daisy p laced the tool upon the ground under the front axle, and began to work the l eve r. But the attempts at rai sing it into the higher notches proved all in vain; each time she lifted it up, it slipped back again the minute she released her hold. She gazed at F l orence in despair.

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i2 THE GINL SCOUTS' "It won't work!" she exclaimed, re s igning her po sition to the other girl. "I wish you'd try it!" "Maybe it's broken," remarked Florence dole fully. "No, I don't believe so. Only there's some trick to it-" Florence took Daisy's place now , and began to manipulate the ob s tinate t o ol, and found it just as disobli g ing for h e r as it had been for her companion . She did not even attempt to conceal her distress; in fact she looked so mournful that the occupants of a passin g car would not have been human had they not stopped to off er assistance. "Puncture?" inquired a pleasant voice behind them, and a middle-aged man drew up his car be side the r o ad. "Perhaps I can help?" Both girl s looked up eagerly and noted with bit terness that this man was just the sort from whom one might accept assistance, had it not been fo r the conditions of the journey . Florence hesitated a mo ment, as if she could not decide how to word the re fusal, so as to make it seem courteous. At last she determined to tell the truth. "I'm awfully sorry," she explained, "but we are crossing the continent with a party of girl s who have pledged themselves not to accept help from men along the road. It's--it's hard, too, for we

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MOTOR TRIP 63 don't know much about automobiles!" There was a little catch in her voice as she concluded. A whimisical smile came over the face of the stranger and he glanced stealthily at the woman be side him. "Then I suppose we must drive on," he began, when Daisy abruptly interrupted him. "Could-could-does the lady know how fo fix punctures?" she asked, her eyes lighting up with hope. The woman shook her head regretfully. "I'm awfully sorry," she repl ied, "but my husband has never taught me anything about the car, and I've always been c onten t to let him do it all. I'm afraid that I'd know much less than you do y o urselves." Daisy's smile faded, but she pulled her s elf together sufficiently to thank them and to bid them drive on. "But can't I just tell you how to work that jack?" asked the man. "Not do it for you, you understand; just give you a pointer?" "No, thank you just the same," replied Florence, resolutely, "that wouldn't be fair. We're grown-up Girl Scouts, and we have to be trustworthy. So--" she made a violent effort to appear cheerful, "please don't let us waste any more of your time!" As the machine drove away the girls turned again to their work, this time with renewed energy; finally

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64 THE GIRL SCOUTS' after about ten minutes' sustained effort, they suc ceeded in raising the car to the desired level. Wit hout waiting to rest even a moment, Flor~ce seized the wrench and began feverishly to turn the bolts. But here again she encountered difficulty, apparently they grew tighter instead of looser . "I can ' t imagine what is the matter," she said. "It isn't as if Lily's car were new and stiff like the other. I'm sure all the s e tires have been chang ed before." Daisy stood behind her, regarding her thou g ht fully. "Do you know, Flos," she said slowly, "I believe that you're turning those nuts the wrong way!" Florence ' stopped for a moment and frowned. "I believe you're right, Daisy," she acceded. "Yes I guess I am!" Then both girls laugh ed unrestrainedly. "Let me try," suggested Daisy. "You're all worn out." But try as they did for the next fifteen minutes, they could not unlo ose n all of the bolts that held the tire rim fast. At last the y sa t down in des pair on the step of the car, and ~iped the perspiration from their foreheads . "I'm about ready t o give up," admitted Daisy. "I'm all in . "

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MOTOR TRIP ' , 65 /' "So am I," agreed Florence. "Shall we ask the next man that com e s along." "I certainly hate to give in, but I'd almost be tempted to accept an offer if we got one." "And forfeit our hope of winning the machines?" Florence reminded her. "Oh, surely , Daisy, we're too go o d sports for that." "\i\Tell, we would have our trip, anyhow. We wouldn't be expected to turn back just for that." "I d on't know," answered Florence. "Let's rest for a while, and attack it later on. Maybe a woman will come along-" "Or maybe the girls will miss us and come back to help." "Or-maybe-maybe-" Florence strained her eyes-"yes ! Daisy! Here comes the red car!" "Nat the one Alice has been so excited about?" Daisy jumped to her feet in her emotion. "Yes , it is! And what's more, they're slowing down!" "Oh, Flos, let's let them help us! I'm so tired. And the rules that old lady made are so ridiculous -she must be crazy!" "Yes, I'd agree she was sort of crazy; who else would pay the expenses of six unknown people across the continent, just for the pleasure of presenting them with automobiles? We may never see the cars, anyway !-Still-I al11_1ost believe this may be

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66 THE GIRL SCOUTS' some sort o f trap , as Alic e think s . Maybe the boys a re going t o try to tempt us." " W ell, the n w e won't give in!" announced Daisy, with sud de n en ergy. "I'm no t go in g to accept their help if I h ave t o s tay h ere a m onth!" "That's the spirit!" cried Flo r e nce. Both girls turned to their wheel again, and pre tended to be deeply ab s orbed i n their task a s the brightly c o lored car drew up be s ide the m. N e ither looked up until o ne o f the y oun g men spoke . "Pardon me," he be g an, in a soft, d ra wling t o ne, "but i sn't there some way we could assist you y oung ladies? " Florence and Dai s y now had an opportun ity to obtain a good l oo k at these t w o youths, who h a d been so much in their minds during the previous day. Both w e re o f bl o nd compl e x i on, with light eyes, w hich were covered by goggles; both w e r e ex ceedingly w ell dre ssed in c orre ct m otor attire , t h eir clothin g bearin g the un m i s takable mark of th e e x pensive tai lor. In s pite of themselves the girls were impressed. "I'm awfully sorry, " replied Florence as graciously as she could, "but we a re not all o wed to accept help from any m e mber s o f the o pp o s i te sex. You se~" she smiled a s she saw a puzzled expression on the strange rs' fac es-"you see w e are trave lling

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MOTOR TRIP 67 across the country with a party, and that is one of the regulations!" "How queer!" exclaimed the other young man, who up to this time had not spoken. "It sounds like nuns in a convent-" "No, not nuns," returned Daisy; "only Girl Scouts." "Then you mean to say that we can't even fix your puncture for you?" continued the stranger. "What utter nonsense! .Why do you put up with any such fool rule ?" "Because the old lady who made it has arranged it to be worth our while to keep it," explained Flo rence. She watched the young men narrowly to see whether they would show any signs of knowl edge of the affair, as Alice believed. But they ap peared only politely curious. "We're to receive run-abouts if we make the trip as our sponsor dictated," she added. "So yoU better believe that we won't let a little puncture stop us . " While this conversation was going on, Daisy was racking her brain for a method of learning the young men's names, so that she might put Alice's theory to test. She could think of no way which was not abrupt; nevertheless she meant to risk any t h ing for the sake of information. "We have seen your car before," she remarked, glancing over at the red racer beside them. "It is

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68 THE GIRL SCOUTS' su c h a brilliant c o l or-and-well-you have passed us se vera l times ! " Both y oung men smiled in amusement. "It did l ook rather strange, I guess," admitted the taller, better l o o king man; "if y o u didn't kn o w our reason. We really aren't follow ing you, though it might seem so. Vve're travelling across the c o ntinent toer-and stoppin g in the principal to w ns to look up fraternity brothers. In fact," the youn g man concluded, "we a re r ounding up as many a s we can for a convention in September." "Oh, I see," said Florence, turning again to the wheel, and this time, to h e r extreme de l ight, suc ceeding in unloo sening a nut. "The n perhaps we shall meet you again!" "That w ou1d be deli g htful," he murmured cour teou s l y ; then, l e anin g down, he almos t took the wren ch from Florence's hand . "Just let me d o this one-it's a tough one, I see!" he pleadel "Nobody will see, and we 'll never tell.' t "No, no!" cri ed Florence, impetuously. "No, Mr.-?" She stopped, questioningly. "McDaniel," supplied the young man, stra igh tening u p again and search ing in his p oc;ket fo r his card. His companion followed his example and a m oment later each gi rl had in her p o ssession the m e ans of identifying both men. The names which the y read w ere :

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an d MOTOR TRIP "Clyde Rutgers McDaniel" : "Vincent S . Cryton, Jr." 69 Alice's theory was ab ru pt l y smashed to pie ces! Still the you n g men made n o movement to go . "Flos, you a re worn-out!" exclaimed Daisy, with c on cern. "Let's allow Mr. McDaniel and Mr. Cry ton to finish, since they in sis t. After all, I don't care so awfully much about owning a car. It would be a dreadful nui s ance , with it s punctures and things-" Mr. McDaniel m ade a m otion to comply with the request and threw off his c oat. Florence looke d up, her face flushed with the effort, and caught sight of another mach ine with two m ore yo un g men slowly approaching. But a sudden resolu tion took p o s s es sion of her, and her eye s fla shed defiantly. "No! I am gettin g it n o w," she replied. "And -I don't want to seem rude, but I'd really rather that you people would go on. We'll work faster-" "Oh, certainly!" agreed Cryton, humbly. "We d on't want to intrude-" "And we thank you just the same," added Daisy . "You're sure that we can't h e lp?" asked Mc Daniel , for th e la s t time , as he went toward s his ow n car. Then, rememberin g tha t he still had n ot lea rned the girl's names, he turne d about abruptly and ask ed them .

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70 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "Florence Evans and Daisy Gravers , " replied the latter, immediately. "We haven't our cards-" "Oh, we won't forget them!" returned McDaniel, as he started the engine. "Goodbye-till we see you again!" "Goodbye!" called both girl s together. As soon as the machine w a s out of hearing distance, the girls b eg an to discuss the visit, and to laugh over Alice's mistake. "I knew her theory was a wild one," remarked Florence. "Alice d oes fly off the handle, you know. Maybe she takes after that aunt of hers." "And aren't you crazy to see the others and tel1 them all about it?" asked Daisy. "Our puncture did one good thing, anyhow. Now, let's work fast." The rest and the fresh impetus to work gave the girls new courage, and they attacked the remainder of their tas k with a d d e d en e rgy. In a very few minutes they succeeded in getting the tire off; after that it was a simple matter to adjust the spare, gather up their tools and go on. After this rather extended delay, they naturally :
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MOTOR TRI P 71 up al ong s i d e of her car. A moment later they were comp a ring experi e nces. "And did our fri e nd s of the bri ght red car stop a nd off er to help you?'' ask e d Florence , casually, ca r e ful however to keep h e r eyes fastened upon Alice. The l a tter s t arte d vis ibly. "No!" she cried . "Did they to you?" " Y es-and we refuse d them." "Naturally," replied Marjorie. "But did you get t heir names?" Florence handed the cards to the girls in the other machine , while she told of their reason for such zizag d ri v in g as they were engagin g in. "I don't beli e ve in any fr a ternity story!" exclai m ed Alice . "Those are assumed names I They're -they're-" But the others interrupt e d her with their laughter. " All the same , " r e marked Marjorie, as Ethel start e d her m otor again , "I c an't help thinking that may be A lice i s on the ri g ht track! M ay be they had so m e thin g to d o with scattering th o se tacks!" A nd th e g i rl s g a ve some thought to the conjec t u re, for it was Marjorie Wilkinson who had uttered it.

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72 THE GIRL SCOUTS' CHAPTER VII. THE VISIT TO MAE'S. FoR the next few days everything went serenely . The weather was fine , and the scenery b eau t ifu l ; with the exception of one thunderstorm and the spoiling of so me rather goo d food, the girls m e t with no misfortune whatever. Nor did they see the red c a r aga in until they st opped at a hotel in Pittsburg. Then they met the young m en in the lobby, jus t a s they were about to g o in to din ner. Florence an d Daisy both nod ded graciously , a nd Alice squ eez ed Ethel's arm so hard that she exclaimed aloud. "Now's our chance to pump them , " the exci t ed girl whispered. "Make Flos and Daisy introduce them!" "You still really cling to the theory that they are on the look-out for us?" asked Ethel. "Why, certainly; Aunt Emeline could hire other spies besides my cousins . " "Yes, but would she? P e rsonally , I believe their own sta tement about their business, thou g h they may be detectives or-"

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MOTOR TRIP 73 "Do hurry ; g i rls ! " int errup t e d Marjorie, b e ckon ing to them to follow h e r. " Eve ryb od y is waiting!" A s s oon as they were s e a t ed a t the t a ble, Alice re p eated her des i re to be int roduce d t o the t w o young men . F lo r ence, h o weve r , was s cornful of her rea son. "Do n ' t be so impulsive, A lic e !" s h e said. "The r e' s n ot h i n g a bit unusual a bout tho se t wo men . It's e as y to u nderstand now w h y they go b a ck an d fort h, fir s t in o ne direction and t hen in anoth e r , wh e nev e r they ge t news of ano th e r fraterni t y brot h e r t o loo k up. H o we ver, y ou may as well meet t hem i f you want to; after all they are r a the r stunn ing. " "Yes , in l ooks , " a d mit t ed Marj orie . "Bu t there i s s omethin g a bo u t t h e m t ha t I do n ' t like-I d on't kno w j u s t what" "Th ey're not J o hn Hadle ys ! " s u pplied F lorence. "We ll, w ait till yo u m e e t t hem . I'll se ize any o ppo r tunity tha t c om es." But unfo r tun a tely for Alice, no opportunity d i d c ome , for the y oung me n l ef t th e h o t e l imme d iat e ly after su p per, n o t to retu rn a g a i n . F o r t he ti m e b e ing they were forg ott e n ; i nd e ed, the o nly ev ent th a t l oomed larg e b e for e t he m was the ir vi s it to their old c h um at Lima. " A nd now for Mae's ! " cried Marjorie , a s s he ~ga in t o ok comm a nd of th e w h eel o f the l a r ge r c a r ,

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74 THE GIRL SCO UTS' and directed it through the city, back to the Lincoln Highway. "That will be something like a stop," said Ethe l , who happened to be riding be s ide her. "FridaySaturday-Sunday-three whole days! We haven't been gone long, and yet I'll be glad for the re s t. " "It will be nice," replied Marjorie. "But we can make little week-end s tops all along the way , if we continue to run on s cheduled time without any d e lays. We have two wh o le week s extra, d on't for g et!'' "Still , we mustn't be too extravagant," Ethel r e minded her. And yet, in spite of their forebodings, they foun d no more difficulties in their path as the time pro gressed; indeed, they began to feel as if luck w o u l d be with them all the wa y . They drove into Lima on scheduled time, and went directly to Mae's new home. They found it without any trouble, situated on the wide main street , farther out from the traffic and t he places of business. The width of the avenue , t h e height of the lovely old shade trees, the di g nity o f the green and white hou s e it s elf , surrounde d by beds of flowers, to o k them somewhat b y s urpris e ; they had not expected to find anything so prep<>sses s ing in so small a town. Carefully l o cking their machine s , but leaving their baggage until later, they ran lightly up the hedge-

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MOTOR TRIP 75 borde red w a ! k t o t he porch . The pros p ect of se e ing o ne of t he ir mi ssin g c o m rades fille d the m all wit h d elight , anci mad e th e m a ct lik e chil d ren aga i n . "I'm goi n g t o b e the fir s t t o g ive Mae a big hug!" e x claim e d Alice , pu s hing r i g h t u p t o the d o ors t ep. "No, m e !" prote s ted Daisy, as i f she were a six y e a r-o l d . "Her e s he c o mes!" announced Mrs. Remingto n , and bot h g irl s j os tled e a ch oth e r toward s the door. A m o me n t l a ter it was t h ro w n o pen fr o m the in s id e ; but i n s t ea d of Mae ' s sm i ling co unten a nce they beheld the imm o vable fac e o f a butler! "Oh!" gas ped A l ice ; but Mrs . Remington saved the s it u a ti o n by ask in g for Mrs . Melville . " S he i s e xp ectin g y ou , " answered the serv a nt, q ui e tly. "Pl e a s e s tep in . " T h e in teri o r of t he h o use proved to be just a s c h a rm ing a s the ext e rio r . The wide, square h all with its l o vely curv e d st a irc as e , the bi g rooms on e ither s ide , now appearing cool an d deli g !?tful w it h t hei r s u mmer h a n ging s and g rass rugs , the big s creened wind o ws r e achin g fro m the flo or to the cei l ing see med s o re s tful , so inviting to the g irls after t heir ho t trip. The whole hous e was much more s umptu o u s than anything they had pictur ed; for a m om ent they felt a lm o st awes truck , a s i f they w e r e ab o u t t o p ay a fo rmal c all upon some older w oma n i ns te a d of being there to spend the week-end with

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76 THE GIRL SCOUTS ' one of their chums. But as soon as Mae entered, the y forgot their embarrassm ent. "Don't you fee l terribly di g nified in thi s wonder ful house?" ask e d Alice. "So grown-up-?" "Only whe n the minister calls, or I am engaging a servant," Mae repl i ed. "But jus t with Tom o r my own fri en ds, I still feel like a kid." " A nd n o w tell u s all ab out the wedding, " p l ead e d Lily, unwiIIing to w a it even until they h a d r emove d their h ats. This of cou r se was a subject up o n which Mae was well versed a nd she glady went into detail s , descr i b ing every t hin g she c ould thi nk of t o h e r intere sted lis tener s . Finally s h e rose with the suggest i o n tha t the g irls go to their rooms. "And you re a lly h ave a place for u s all?" a s ked Alice, inc redu l ously . "Yes, indeed , " l aug hed Mae. "My on e regret is that we couldn't put the boys up. There are four of them, besides Mr. Remington-" "When are they c o min g ?" int e rrupted Lily. "Not till t o morrow aternoon . I am planning a little dinn e r-d a nce, just with the crowd and two extra young men T o m is invitin g to make the num ber s com e out even." "Oh, Mae!" exclaimed Marjo rie. "You are mak ing it s o a ttractive that we will never want to g o any further."

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MOTOR TRIP 77 "Suits me ! Why not stay here for th e re s t o f t he summer?" " I t wo uld b e l o vely," si g hed Daisy, who was a little weary from the trip . Supp e r that even ing was to be out of dobrs , in a charmin g little summe r h o use overrun with ramb l e r roses . T he girl s s a t dow n o n the rus tic ben c hes wi t h deep sigh s o f c ont e nt; they were glad to be still for a w hile, g l a d to b e a ble to drop their s e nse of r espo n sib i lit y for the time b e in g, and to kn o w th a t th e y c o uld en j o y t his e v e nin g al o ne. It was Ethel wh o voi c e d t he sentimen t of the crowd. "The part y w i t h th e bo y s will be lovely tomo rrow e vening," s h e said , " but isn ' t it nic e n o w j ust t o b e a l o ne! " "It cer tain l y is," agreed Marjor ie. " A nd I h a ve s uch a f erocious a ppe t i te , Ma e ; I'm a fraid I'm going . to eat y o u out of ho us e an d h om e . " "No f ear of t h at," r e tu rned h e r host e s s . "Now girls, s o mebod y has go t t o t ell me all a bo u t your trip-I wa n t e v e ry s ingl e d e t ail!" "Oh, it' s been te r r i b l y une v entful," comp l a i ned Alice . "Exce p t fo r t h e re d c a r , with the two g o od loo k in g y ou n g men , it's been t oo monot o n ous." "Wha t t wo young men?" ask ed Mae. "Oh, n o b o d y s pe c ial, " a ns w er ed Lily, ligh tl y . " O f cou r se Flos a nd D ais y do think the y're pretty

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78 THE GIRL SCOUTS' nice--" Then she went into detail about the story, insignificant as it was. "Do you really think," inquired Mae, after Lily had finished, "that you are going to earn those cars at the end of the trip?" "We're certain of it," said Marjorie, with the same assurance she had displayed all along. This very positivene s s was a source of great com fort to the more timid girls; in fact, all of the scouts had so much c o nfidence in her that they rejoiced to find her so optimistic. It was only the boys who secretly experienced a feelin g of dismay at her attitude. John Hadley in particular, though he liked to see Marjorie succeed in everything she unde r took, had been hoping that she would give up this trip, which at the same time was so dangerous and so tiring. Besides, he hated to have the girl so far away, and so inaccessible to m ail. In his inmost heart he had been cherishing the longing that some thing would happen to bring them nearer to home for the summer. However, he decided not to let any regrets disturb the enjoyment of this week-end . The boys had arrived late in the afternoon, an h our or so before dinner; but T om and his two guests had not yet put in an a ppearan c e . It was Alice who seemed most eager for th em to come; perhaps this was b e cause among the four young men now present -Jack Wilkinson, John Hadley, Dick Roberts, and

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MOTOR TRIP 79 Bill Warner-she was not anyone's particular favorite. "What are their names, Mae?" she asked. "I forgot their first names," replied her hostess. "Their last names are McDaniel and Cryton. They're fraternity brothers of Tom." "What?" cried Florence, with a start. "Not really? Are they strangers in town?" "I believe so. Why? Do you know them?" "I should say we do! Why, they're the mys terious men Alice wa!, telling you about! Tell us about them, Mae!" "I'm sorry," replied the bride, "but I never heard their names menti o ned before. Evidently they are not intimate friends of Tom's. He said that they pra ctically invit e d themselves; I helieve the y dro p p ed int o h i s office a bout s ome frat business, and told him he had to find the m s o me amusement for Saturday night. Luckily, he hadn't asked anybody else yet for the dance, so h e invited them to the party." "And do they know that we are touring-I mean that the girls they are to meet are crossing the con tin ent in a car?" a s ked Daisy, in an animated tone. "And that we are Girl Sc outs-?" "Yes, I believe Torn did mention something like that." " T hen they'll probably not be surprised to find out who we are!' exclaimed Daisy.

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so THE GIRL SCOUTS' ' ' G irls!" interrupt e d Alice . "The r e ' s so mething mo re t ha n c o inci d enc e to this. Thos e y o un g men a re sta lkin g us! I'm su r e of it n ow." "Alic e , I tho u g ht w e c o n v ince d y o u tha t there w a s n o thin g t o that theor y , " prot este d F l o r e nce. "Won' t you pl e ase for ge t it?" "I'll try to," murmure d the girl, meekly. "Still, I am cra z y to me e t them." She did not have t o wait long , for a few minutes later the y oung men arri ved. They d i d n o t ap pear in th e l east sur p rise d at s e e in g t he girl s again, and greeted Dais y and Florence a s old friends. "Co m pa nion s of the road!" cried MacD a niel , s h aking hands heartily. "Here's ho p in g we can keep this up!" added Cry ton. "It's mi g htl y pleasant-" "We didn't know you bel o n g ed to Tom's fra ternity till Mae t o ld us , " said Dai sy. "Well, it's a ver y large organization," replied McDaniel; "in fact, the second largest in the United States." "Maybe you know my cousins, " ventured Alice ; "you seem to know so many people . " "What are their names? " inquired Cry ton . "Crowell-Milton and V a u g hn, o f San Francisco." She watched the youn g men narrowly. "Yes, indeed!" replied both of them without the least hesitation.

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MOTOR TRIP. "And my Aunt Eme line?" "No, we have never met her." 81 Alice's face clouded; it was unlikely that the boys w e re carrying out a mission for a woman whom they did not know. They pro bably were not lying, or they would have conceal e d their acquaint a nce with her cousin. Alice heaved a sigh of disap p oint-' ment. Mae, v,ho had noticed both Daisy's and Florence's interest in the young men, contrived to seat them next to each other at the table ; and during the wh o le meal they so succeeded in absorbing the g i rl s ' atten tion that it was noticeable to the other m e mbers of the party. Marjorie even made a remark to this ef fect to John Hadley. He hesitated a moment, choosing his words care fully before he ventured a reply. "Marjorie," he said, almost under his breath, "I don't like those two young men." Marjorie, who had been thinking the same thing herself, was surprised at his opinion. "But why?" she asked . "I can't explain it-but-well-they just look de ceitful. And I don't like to see Daisy and Florence so interested." "Oh, well," said the girl, lightly, "we probably won't see them again. So I guess it's no serious. matter."

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82 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "Then you don't think that there is anything to this theory of Alice's?" "Absolutely nothing! Except that both the young men are rather fresh, and think it smart to make themselves con sp icuous." "Just the same," observed John, "I wish that they were not travelling your direction across the con tinent." But Marjorie only laughed at his fears, and be fore the discus s ion had a chance t o go any further, the party adjourned to the porch. There the other groups were broken up, but Daisy and Florence, with the two young strangers, sought a corner by them selves, and, much to Marjorie's dismay, re mained there until the music started. Even then , they did not dance much with the other boys; by the time the evening was over, Marjorie had begun to take John's words seriously . It was not, however , until Sunday night that she was honestly worried. Then she overheard D a i s y come to Mrs. Remington with the request that they be allowed to stay in Lima another day. "Without us?" asked the older woman, in astonishment. "Yes-and' go on later with the little car. Mae will be delighted to put us up another night. 0 "Have you any special reason?" inquired Mrs. Remington.

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MOTOR TRIP 83 "Yes, we want to go on a picnic with the boys. They know of the loveliest little stream-" But Mrs. Remington shook her head. "I couldn't let you, Daisy, unless the whole party stayed." Marjorie frowned as she heard this suggestion, but Daisy jumped at it eagerly as the solution of her problem. "Then you all stay too!" she pleaded. In the end Mrs. Remington consented, and much to the delight of their hostess, the scouts remained until Tuesday morning. "Three days gone out of our surplus of fourteen!" sighed Marjorie, when the time of the visit was up, and they took to the road again. "But such happy days!" added Daisy, her eyes shining with the memory. ,

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THE GIRL S COUTS' J CHAPTER VIII. lN THE NIGHT. I T was with sincere reluctance that Florence a n d Daisy made their adieus to their new friends; in deed, i t seemed almost as i f they we re willin g t o aband o n their t r ip to extend t h eir visit a t Mae 's. Marjorie, however, who could not for ge t J o hn's estimate of the yourig men's ch aracters, breathed a sigh of relief wh e n t h ey left Lima for good . "How soon do you e x p e ct to meet your new friends a gain?" ask ed Ethel of D aisy . "Not very soon," r e plied Daisy . "They are going to b e off t h e Lincoln Highway for a while-going north to round up some frat brothers in Toledo." "Then we won't have the fun of watching for the red car any more!" s i ghe d Alice . "It's not much fun, now the mystery i s e x plained! " remarked Lily peevishly . "The m ys ter y of their int ere s t be ing D aisy a nd Flos," teased Ethel. "Se ri ous ly, tho u gh, piease t ell

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MOTOR TRIP 85 us when your next date is-for we know that you have one!" "Well, I have t o admit that we did make o ne," said D ai sy, blus h i n gly . "They're going to look u s up at our hotel in Chicago." Marjorie, who happened to b e r iding with M rs. Remington in the little car, did not hear the r emark at the time, but later when Lily repeated it to her, she frowned darkly. "I almos t wish that something would happen t o d e lay us," she sa id . "I'd b e willing to sa crifice one of ou r elev e n extr a day s j ust t o k eep the girls from seein g those young men!" "Not e l even any more, Marj!" corrected Lily. "We're not travelli n g this Sunday again, so that m eans another day c o u nted out." "Sure enough," agreed Marjorie. "But what is a day or so when everything is going so p e rfectly?" "Sh! Don't boast, Marj! We have a long dis tance to go yet. Oh, won't it be great when we co me back , and c a n take our own sweet time about it?" "Yes, but the excitement is half the fun. Sti l l , I would l ike to go and see Mae, and stay a littl e while longer this time . She invited us to stop on the way back, you know." "Yes, I'd l i ke to stop too," ad ded Lily. "Oh, h ow I wish that this summer would l as t forever!"

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86 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "You've said that every summer, Lil-and we still continue to have good times!" Marjorie r e minded her. The days that followed seemed onl y to prove t h e truth of Marjorie' s statement. The weather c on tinued fine, and the ro a d go od; each evenin g th e girls made their camp an d st o pped for the n i g ht . The rain obligin g l y held off until the w e e k-en d, whe n the party w as comfortably e s t a blished a t a little inn . "And tomorrow ni ght we have to camp a g a i n, " observed Marjorie, as s he w a tched the sun try ing to peep throu g h the clouds at s unset. "I hop e t he ground gets dry." "The only thing that worri e s me is food, " r e marked Mrs. Remin g ton. "We'll have to cam p several days, and there may not be many store s along the way. We must buy plenty." "If we only had more room to pack it!" sighed Lily. "That one hamper isn't very big." Nevertheless , they packed it scientifically and succeeded in storing enough to supply a much larger party for a week. Then they set off early in the morning to make their daily hundred miles. The sun, which had appeared early in the day, vanished under the clouds by noon , and a l ight rain fell during the afternoon. The prospect of makin g camp under th ese cond i tions was not alluri n g . a n d

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MOTOR TRIP 87 the girls began to look for houses. But the few that they saw were mean and tumble-down, ob viously unfitted to afford accommodations for a party of seven. At last, however, the rain ceased, and Marjorie suggested that they make camp. They were in a flat open space now, where only a few groups of trees dotted the landscape here and there. The ground itself looked damp and uninviting. The girls surveyed it with dismay. "I d on't care much about sleeping on this I" remarke d Marjorie, as she looked about her. "Maybe we could sleep in the cars," suggested Lily. "I'm afraid not," answered Mrs. Remington. "There's too much baggage, and too little room. But I think we really might as well eat our supper here. Can we get along without cooking much?" "Yes, indeed , " answered Ethel, who had superin tended the bu y ing. "We have plenty of delicatessen stuff. But d on't you think we oUght to have some thing hot to drink?" "And a fire would be awfully welcome," added Lily. "How about coffee?" inquired Alice, already starting up o n her search in the hamper. "No, cocoa," advised Mrs. Remington. "We don't want to take any chances of staying awake on a night like this."

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88 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "And we want to turn in early," put in Ethel. "At least if we can find a spot-" began Marjorie, squinting her eyes in all directions for a suit able location . "How about that little grove of trees over there ?" "Way over there?" demanded Alice incredulously, fixin g h e r eyes upon th e only tree s anywhere near them. "That's too far from the road-" "You mean that you're afraid?-" "No, Marj-not for ourselves. But suppose the mach ines should be stolen!" "Nonsense!" laughed the young lieutenant. "W c could hear if they were. Besides, nobody steals cars out here--everybody own s them. And we have good loc ks." "All right! I'm game if everybody else is." The girls all pressed into the larg e r machine when supper was ready, and succeeded in finding some sort of places to sit. Alice and Daisy, it was true, were obliged to curl up on the floor. "I'm glad that we b ought plenty of food , " re marked Ethel. "We ought to have some left over." "Wait till you see how much I eat!" warned '.Alice. "I'm simply starved !" "I guess that we didn't take long enough for our lunch," reasoned Mrs. Remington. "We were t oo anxious to get along." "Well, we certainly have covered ground today ,"

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M OTOR TRI P 89 asserted E th e l , p ro udly. "The b a d weather didn't b ot h e r u s ! " "How m any mil e s did we m ake?" a s ked Marjorie. "A hundred and six teen." "Now if we only had a goo d c o mfort a ble bed-" b ega n Lily, but s h e was i n t errupte d immed i at e ly by M a rjorie. "Just w ait t ill I fin d y ou a p l a ce! I have a noti o n that it w ill be as fine as the W a l d o rfAstoria-" "Where?" demanded two o r t h re e at once. " A f te r supper I'll sho w you!" As soon as the m e a l was c o nclud e d a nd the food pac k ed again i nto t he h amper, t hey fo l l owe d Marjorie t o t h e spo t she had sel e ct ed for t he c a mp. It w as s o m e fift y ya r ds fro m the road ; a little, seclude d grove of t re es, ove r g r ow n wit h v i n e s . Underne ath t he ground was compa ra tive l y dry ; it would b e t he bes t possible l o c a ti o n for t h e ir c a mp. " D o y ou r eally think we ca n all sq u e eze into the re?" inquir e d Lily d o u bt fully. "Yes, i f w e all o t each g irl so much sp a ce and no more," calc ulated Marj o rie . " And we hardly need to put u p our te n ts !" "Sup p ose it pours ? " as ke d Alice. "Alice, you ' re always brin g in g up too many ob jection s ! " cried Ethel. "We have to take chances on a trip l ike this."

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90 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "But suppose we can be seen from the road, " persisted the other. "I'd hate to have the tourists watch me snore I" "No one can possibly see us! And besides , we can use our tents to cover the ground, and keep us dry." In the end Marjorie's common sense prevailed as it usually did , and the girls locked their cars and prepared for sleep. They managed to stretch m o s quito netting over them s elves, from tree fo tree, and settled down to the sp o ts w hich the y were a ssi g ned. Marjorie slept nearest to the o p ening, with her re~ vol ver at her s id e . It w a s so me tim e b efo re sh e wa s a ble to go t o sleep ; b esi de s the occa s i o nal s ou n d o f a p as s in g c a r , she imagined that she c o uld hear fo o t s teps, and s h e k ept li s t ening intently. The s k y had entir e l y cleared now, and the st a rs were s hining; a s s he lay there on the canvas she k ept o pening h e r e y es and gazing up at them. She did not f eel in the lea s t afraid, camping out there in the o pen , but she sincerely h op ed that nothing w o uld h a ppen for the other girls' sake. Anything out of the ordinary might throw some of them into a nerv o u s s t a te, which up to the present the y had be en a ble t o avo i d . Once this calm were dis turbed , it m i ght be v e r y difficult to induc e them to camp in the l o n e l y pl a c e s alon g th e r oa d . And Marjorie preferred them t o the regular s it es.

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MOTOR TRI P 91 S o she con~inued to listen intently; once she was almost sure that she heard a machine stOp out on t h e road. Not wishing to arouse the other s , she cautiously raised herself to a sitting po s ition and peered out through the trees. But she dis tinguished only the two r eds lights of the sil ent c a rs by the side of the road . She wa s jus t a bout to lie down again when she thou ght that s h e heard a faint scuffiin g noi se , which seem e d to c o me fro m the direction of t h eir cars, and she mad e up her mind t o in v esti gate. Manag in g to cree p thro u g h the enclo sure w ith out c a u s ing any di s turbance, she ste pp e d o u t clear o f the trees. Accu s t o med n o w t o the d arkness, s he looked d o wn towards th e road, a nd to h e r s udden alam,1, ident i fied the shad owy ou t lin e of a third car , be hind both of theirs, and c arry in g no lig ht. A sen se of fear took posse ssio n of h e r , a n d s he gras ped the tree to steady herself; the n , i n another m o ment t h e car started quietly, an d dro v e a wa y . When it was almo s t out of si ght sh e saw it fla sh on its lights. The tree branch at h e r si de ru s tl e d sli g htly , a nd she turned sharp l y around. Ethel Todd stood at th e o p ening be s ide her. "What's the matter, Marj?" she demanded, m a wh i s per. "Nothing, " re p lied Marjorie. "I jus t thought t h a t I heard s omething."

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92 THB G I R L SC OUTS' ''And did you?" "Evidently not. I didn' t see anything to cause alarm." "Positively?" Marjorie hesitated; she did not want to lie, and she f elt that there would be no danger in giving Ethel the little she di d know. " Well, I did s ee a c a r stopped by the roads i de . But it's gone now." "A p u ncture, I suppose," Ethel s urmised. "What kind of car ?" "A sm all one--I cou ldn't see very well. It didn't have any l ight." "Didn't have any l i ght!" r e p ea te d the other girl. "Tha t looks s u spicious . Did it stop very near to ours?" "Yes, right behind it." Marjorie took a few st eps away from t h e trees, in order n o t to wak en t he othe r s by t h eir whi s pe ring. "And," she added, "it r emin d e d m e o f the racer!" "Not the red car?" demanded Eth el. "You m ea n our friends?" " Yes . I thought of them." "But they'r e n o t anywhere n ea r here," said Ethe l l i ghtly. "Bes id e s, wha t would they want?" "Oh, I don't know-ma y be some foo l practical j o ke. I had a sort of feelin g that they meant to

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MOTOR TRIP 93 hang around. And I d on't like them. They seem like adv enturers or fort1.me-hunters, or something of the sort." "But we have too much sense to let them 'adventure' with us, and we have no fortunes!" protested Ethel. "S~ why worry?" "I guess there really is nothing to worry about," replied Marjorie . "Still, yo u kn o w Daisy and Flos are so youn g, and they do seem smitten." " Well, the youths may be all right at that. You take John:s opin i ons too serious l y, Marj. Come on, let's go b a ck t o bed!" Although Marj orie was able to forget the inci den t for the time being and t o go to sleep, she was reminded of it again the next morning the mi nute that she opened her eyes . For she was awakened by the announcement that they had been robbed the previous ni g h t . "Robbed?" she cried, jumping up and running '.down to the b i g c ar, where most o f the o t he r g irls were already gathered. "How much? What?" "Not of any money," re plied Mrs . Remi n gton. "I had tha t beside me, and I would have wake ned up if anyb ody had come near. Butsome of you gi rls may think that it's a worse loss tha n money all our rood's gone ! They to ok hamper and all!" Marjorie look ed from one to the other, agh ast

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94 THE GIRL SCOUTS' at the news, which by this time was familiar to the rest of the scouts. She glanced questioningly at Ethel, and saw by her expression that she had said nothing of their alarm in the night. But no doubt this was the explanation of the halted car. "But what are we to do?" demanded Alice, al most hysterically. "We'll have to go back," replied Mrs. Reming ton, quietly . "For there may be no stores farther on, and we know of the one we left yesterday." "But that will mean a whole day lost!" wailed Florence. "Two days, Flos," Ethel corrected her. "One day going back, and another day coming forward . What's the matter with your mathematics?" "Two, out of our surplus of ten-that leaves u s eight." Marjorie calculated rapidly. "Yes, it will be our best pla n to spend our time as Mrs. Remin g ton suggests-it will be the most economical i n t he end." "Couldn't we beg or buy a meal at one of t h e s e shacks that we're always passing?" sugge s ted F l o r ence. "No, we'd be running too big a chance," answer e d their chaperone. "The food might not be goodwe mi ght all get sic k. Be s i des, we h a ve severa l days of camping ahead, and we must store up."

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, MOTOR TRIP 95 "But who do you suppose did it?" persisted Alice. It was then that Marjorie told her story, omitting, however, the fact that she had noticed a resem blance to the red car. "What kind of people could they be to want to steal food?" asked Florence. "Why food in par-ticular?" "That is just what puzzles me," answered Mrs. Remington. "They must be campers, like ours elves." "I have an idea"!'' cried Alice. "Suppose we steal so me from the next machin~ that comes along! If w e only weren't Girl Scouts " "Come, let's s top this talking and do something!" s aid Florence, who wa s beginnin g t o f eel the pangs of hunger. "Shall we try to catch the car? Would you know it again, Marj?" "Hardly. It wa s too dark. I m e rely saw that it was a l o w , small car without a top, and that it carrie d no l ig hts. I'm afraid we can ' t hope to catch it." She cast a significant glance at Ethel. "Well, there's not much harm done," . declared Mrs. Remington cheerfully, as she began to make preparations for departure. "We have plenty of money left, and we can afford to lo s e a little time . So let's hurry and be on our way again. At least vre can have a drink of water for breakfast."

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9 6 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "If only we c o uld catch the thieves! " sighed Alice, a s she walked back to the grove. " Maybe we will yet! " Marjorie muttered under her breath to Ethel.

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MOTOR TRIP) 1 97 CHAPTER I X . 1 NO MAN'S LAND. RE-ENFORCED again with fo od and supplies, the girl s set out up o n the road which by thi s time had become familar. But they decided not to ri sk camping in the spot which h ad proved s o unlucky; in stead they preferred to avail them s elves of the public grounds s e t aside for the purpose. They c o ntinued t o foll o w the Lincoln Highway until it was time to turn north to Chicago, for in this c i t y they were to rest for a day or two and do a l ittl e shopping. Of all the party Marjorie alone was in favor of limitin g their stay t o one ni ght; _ the majority however prevailed, and two of their e i ght surp1u's d ays were t o b e sacrificed. Dais y and Florence were both enthusiastic supporters of the proposition . They arrived in Chica go late in the afternoon and drove immediatel y to the ir hotel , where they ha d arranged b y t eleg r a m for roo ms. Hardly had they settled themselves and their belongings before Florence was summoned to the tel e phone. She was

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98 THE GIRL SCOUTS' gone nearly fifteen minutes; tlien sne returned in high spirits to the group assembled in Marjo rie's room. "We d on't need to a s k who i t wa s who want ed y ou!" t ease d A lice. Flo r e nce blushed sli g htly. Then, turning t o their chaperone: "Mrs. Remin g ton, do you think it would be all ri ght for u s to g o to dinner with Mr. McDaniel and Mr. Cry t on ? You know they are takin g us all t o the th e atre a fterward s." "Why yes," assented the older woman . "I don ' t se e an y o bjection." Marjorie fr o wned imperceptibly; it was ev i dently to be a case of these two y o un g men morning, noon, and ni ght as l o n g a s they remained in Chicago. "How long are your friends to be in this city?" she inquired. "Oh, ind e finit e ly," replied Daisy. "They d o n ' t expect fo s t art w est for a week or s o." "Then we s han't see the m a g ain after this v isit?." asked Ethel, with out r egre t. "I hardly think s o ," answered the other. This piece of information, h o wever, made Mar-5orie decide that s h e w o uld m a k e an opportunit y to question them about their wh e reabouts on M o n d a y night. It was not that s he re a lly expected to learn anything definite; nevertheless she felt that if the y

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MOTOR 'rR I P 99 had played a practical joke on the girls by stealing t he food, she might be able to embarrass them a nd t hus conclude that the y were guilty. Accord i n g ly , s he manag ed to secure a seat next to McDaniel at the theatre that evening , and when Daisy, wh o w a s next to him o n the other side, was bu s y talking to Cryton , she seized her chance. "Have you heard about our robbery?" she asked ~ watching him clo s ely . She thou ght that there was the least perception o f a start in her comp a ni o n 's facial expres s i on. "Yes, Mi ss Evans told us at supper. It certainlyr was too bad." "The part that p uzzles us, " she c o ntinu ed, "is why anyone wealth y enou g h to own an autom o bile w ould steal such a cheap article as food . " "Your thi e ves were probably hungry!" l a u g hed the youn g man. "I've kno w n time s in coll e ge w h e n I felt so starved that I'd h ave been willing t o s t eal!" "But n o t fr o m h e lpless g irl s!" Marjor i e prot e sted. "I should s a y not! I wish instead th a t w e h a d been near en o u g h t o c o me t o y our re scue. Here we were comfort a bl y enj oy in g ourselv e s at a s m o k er! recall the ni g ht, it had b e en such a dis a g r e eable day-and we-" The ri s e of the curta i n put an abrupt end t o hi s s enten c e . "I hope th e s h o w is go od , " he c o ncluded, turning his atte ntion t o the stage .

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100 T H E GIRL SCO"GTS' when Marjorie l a ter repeated the conversati on t o Eth el, she admit ted that s he had abandoned the ide a o f t hese y oung men b e i n g guilty . T hey might be silly and friv olo us, but at leas t they h ad n o t se t ou t to be mean. The alibi of the smoker was conclu s ive proof. But although she di sm i s sed her susp ici on c on cerr , i n g the two young men, s he did not find that she l iked them any better a s the time pa s sed. And much to her di sm a y the concensus of opinion was to d elay the stay in the c ity another da y on account of in clement weat her . Marjorie and Ethel wer e the on l y ones oppo sed to the plan. " B ut it brings our surplus t im e down to five da ys !" she pro tested. "And we ' ve only gone half way . " "But nothin g will go wrong, " argu e d Florence. "And that is what we h ave our extra time for -to rest d uring bad weather." "But t h e weath e r isn't v e r y b ad," remarked Ethel. "It may b e Jot s worse than t his farthe r on. " "Well, no m atte r wha t it is lik e we w ill start o n our wa y tomorr ow." "Tha t rem i n d s me, " said Dai sy, " Mr. Cryton told me o f a n ew sho r t -cut t o t h e Linc o l n Hig hway. If we follow hi s di rec t i ons , we can save fr om t wo to three h o urs." Marjorie loo k ed up h ope fully at this piece o f

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MO'fOR TRIP 101 n e ws; indee d it seemed n o w as i f her main object in life were t o save t ime. If these young m e n s ug g ested t he means to accomplish this, fhey were not so useless after all. "Did you get the exact directions?" she asked of Daisy. "Yes, Flos did. She made a little map and put it all down. Mr. Cryton sa id that about half a mile of the ro ad was poor, but except for that little stretch, it is even better than th e Lincoln Highway . " The others were all heartily in favor of following t b e directions, and early the next morning the party started off again. The weather had cle ared again and the sun was shining bri ghtly ; but on t he grass and in the r oa d there wa s still evidence of the recent rain. Dai sy sat beside the driver on th e front sea t of the larger car, and h e ld the plan open in her ha nd s, for all the scouts were anxi o us to make no mistake which mi ght end in a delay. They followed a good mac a d a m street for several miles to the o utskirts of the city, then came to their first turning. It proved to be a dirt ro ad-a r ather narrow one at thatwhich sloped graduall y down hill. "This mu s t be the stretch of bad road which the b oys mentioned," remarked Marjorie. "It looks rather doubtful to me."

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102 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "Yes," returned Daisy, consulting her diagram. "This is the poor part." "Had we better risk it?" asked Marjorie. "Surely!" cried two or three of the others. "Nobody can say that Girl Scouts are poor sports!" added Florence, from the rear seat. Accordingly, Marjorie turned into it, and threw on the gas. The road, which would have been unin viting in dry weather, appeared as they advanced to be almost a sea of mud after the recent rains. But the brave driver went resolutely ahead. Three or four minutes passed without anyone's uttering a . word, each was so busy silently watching the ruts and the road ahead. For a short distance the car proceeded reluctantly in high gear, but as they continued to descend, the accumulated rain water caused the road to become heavier, and Marjorie was forced to shift successively from high gear to second, and from second to low. It was with great difficulty that she kept the car going straight ahead; every time she steered out of the natural ruts in an attempt to find more solid ground, the rear of the car slithered around in first one direction and then another, till it looked at times as if they were about to slide into the ditches on either side of the road. Afraid to stop, for fear of being unable to start again, Marjorie kept the engine racing, yet they were making but little headway; the

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MOTOR TRIP 103 rear wheels revolved in the slippery mud as if up o n a tread-mill. The girls sat there, fascinated and helpless, watch ing Marjorie's efforts. They w e re powerless to help her, and knew it; for she was by far the best driver among them. Daisy was the first to break the silence; it was she who felt re s ponsible for bringing this mi s fortune upon the others . "It can't be much farther , " s he said. "At least, if this map i s true to proportions . " Marjorie said nothing; all of her energy was directed in keeping the car in the middle of the road. T he engin e was exceedingly hot now , and the mud, instead of l e ssening, seemed to become even thicker, and s he could feel the car s l o wing down under the s t rain as if it were giving out. She looked ahead and beheld , to her immense delight, that they had reached the l o west point o f the road , and presumably the wo st; for in the distance she could see that it a s cended gradually, and in doing so, looked more sub s tantial. The sight fired Marjorie anew. It was such a sh ort di s tance to g o! If she could only make it! She bra c e d her aching s houlders and tired arms for a renewed eff o rt. Ethel saw the look of determination on her face, and enc o uraged her. "Hang on, Marj, old scout!" she urged. "Don't

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104. THE GIRL SCOUTS' give up the ship! Get us out of this and we'll invent a new merit badge to r e ward you with!" But the car, despite Marjorie, had made as much progre ss as it could; whether it was because the m otor was overheated, or because they encountered an unu s ually deep rut, the engine, after a spasmodic pant or two, stopped dead , and the car settled b a ck c o mfortably in the ooze. The girls let out a distressing g roan. There was a moment of deep silence after the labored chugging of the engine had ceased, and then they heard Lily's car churning behind them. "Can't y o u even pull over a little?" demanded Florence. "To let Lily's car pass?" But it was t o o late. In turning out, Lily's engine had also stalled, and the car came to a stop six or eight feet behind the other. The girls looked at each other in dismay. "Now this is a pretty muddle to get into !" called Lily , from the rear. "Mud-dle is good!" remark e d someone; "but how are we to get out ?'' "Let her cool a while," Ethel advised; "and then fry her again." "Some more of our precious time!" mutte red Marjorie, peev i s hly , as s he mopped the persp i rati o n from her face . She c o uld not help holding it against Daisy and Florence.

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MOTOR TRIP. 105 :Accordin g ly, they set themselves to the unpleasant t as k of wait i n g . A f ter five minutes' time, Marjorie decided to try a ga in . But althou g h the en g ine starte d b ravely e n o u g h , t h e c a r stubb o rnly refuc;ed t o mo v e fo r ward. The r ea r w h e els, turnin g in the rut, sent forth a showe r of m u d, and s i nce t h ey wo uld n o t t a ke hold, o n ly dug th e m in deeper. Rep eated atte mpts pro v ed fruitless , a nd w e re finally abandoned . "We'll have to b e t owed out!" remarked M a r jorie, grimly. "By whom? " a s ked E t hel. Marjorie shrugged he r s h o ul d er s ; sh e c o uld n o t see muc h ho p e . "Maybe one of t he fa rm-h o uses has a hor se-" she began. "Girls!" cri e d A lice, abrup tly. "Look who are c om ing t owards us ! " "Who?" demanded everyo n e in s tantl y . All e yes strained in the dire c t i o n o f t h e g ood roa d, far ahead o f t he m. "I do be l ieve it's the b oys!" cri e d Daisy, g leefully. "The mysterious car ! " l a u g h e d A lice. "They had be tter not c o me n e a r u s !" muttered E thel. "They are n o t in high fav o r . " "But if they can help u s " s u gges ted D a isy. "We c ouldn't accept i t , a nd we wouldn 't!" an-

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THE GIRL SCOUTS' nounced Marjorie, decisively. "Don't forget our regulations!" "My gracious , I had forgotten , " Daisy admitted. The young men were near en o ugh to wave t o the girl s now , and they stopped th e ir car close to the muddy piece of road and got out. Then, cautiou s ly picking their way , they advanced to the standing machines. "I should think you two would be ashamed fo show your face s ! " Flo renc e c a lled, accusin g ly, as so o n as the y were within hearin g di s tance. Instantly b oth men were all apolo g ies; th ey ex plained that they knew the r o ad o nly i n dry w eather, when it had not been impa s sible; then, wh e n th e y had c o m e a cross an o ther mudd y ro a d that morni n g , they realized what thi s one c o u ld be , an d ha s tened with all speed to the scouts' rescue, should they be need ed. "But we told you before that we c o uldn't accept help from men , " Florence explained. "I know-but this is different! " protested Cryton. "This is serious." "Please let us try to tow you out !" urged Mc Daniel. "Our engine is a mighty powerful o ne." "No!" replied Marjorie, stubbornly. "Never! I'd rather leave the cars and go b ack home." And from the expre s sion on her face, the men knew that she meant what she said.

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MOTOR TRIP 107 "But you can ' t wait here all d ay, " objected Cryton. "No," answere d Marjorie, openin g the door of her car. "I am going to the n eares t farm hou s e." " And I'm goin g with you!" cried Ethel, alway s on the alert fo r action . The girls picked their way throug h the stic ky mud, often sinking ankle deep into it s de p ths. But their shoes were stout and their stockings of wool, so they did not mind. Meanwhile the men took their seats in the car, and used every argument they could think of to induce the scouts to change theit minds. But they might as well have saved their breath; fifteen minutes later when Marjorie and Ethel returned, they had n o t made any progress. "What succe ss ?" demanded Alice, expectantly. "None!" replied Marjorie, with a dismal smile. "You 'didn't find a farm house?" "Yes, we did." "But they had no big horses?" "Yes, they had some splendid horses.'; "Marj, tell us!" cried Flo rence, in exasperation. "Wouldn't they come out and help us?" "Yes, they would," answered Marjorie sadly. "That's the worst of it. They were b oth willing and capable of helping. But they were men!" The girls all groaned at the mention of this re-

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108 THE GIRL S C OUTS ' stri c ti o n , w h ich seem e d t o thwart th em at every p o int. McD an i e l a nd Cr y t o n w e r e unfee l ing e n ou g h t o laugh ou t l o ud . " A nice pla c e to cam p-here in t h e m u d !" re mar ked t he l atte r, sar c ast i call y . "And just s i t aroun d and w ait for dry w eat h er-" " H u sh!" r e m onstra t e d Flore n ce, in i r ritati o n. It w as b ad en ou g h t o be i n suc h a plight with o u t be ing tau n t ed about i t . " T he n y o u will ac cept o u r hel p ? " a s ked M cDan i e l se r iously . " Yo u mi ght as well l e t u s d o som et h ing as t o all ow stran g ers. " "No," r e p lied Marjorie , firmly ; "beca use we're goin g to h elp ourselves ! " The men opened the ir eyes w i de in a s t onish ment. " But h ow ? " d e mande d Cryton, i n cr e d u l o u s l y . "I w o u ld prefe r t o h a v e y ou peop l e drive o n first, " said Marj ori e , c o ldly , i n stead of ans w e r ing t h e y o un g man 's q uest i o n . " I woul dn't w a n t it e ven to l ook as if you wer e help ing us." "Certa i n ly," an swe r ed M cDaniel, w h o s eem e d t o be the more c ourteou s of t he t wo. M arjo rie re s um ed h e r sea t i n the c a r and said nothin g m o r e u n til the red r acer wa s o ut o f si g h t. Then s he explain ed h e r plan briefly . "Do yo u s ee t ha t b roke n f e nc e o ver there?" s he asked. "I m ean t o t a k e t wo of tho se r ails, put the m

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MOTOR TRIP 109 under the back wheels, and start the engine. If everything works as I thin k, we'll be out of here in l ess than five minutes." Without any further delay t he girls obtained their rails, all of them remaining out of the car until the experiment was over. Marjorie took her seat at the wheel and started the engine. T o the sup reme delight of all the s couts the car gave a mighty lurch and started forward! Two minutes later it reached the solid ground . "Now to help Lily!" cried Marjorie, jumping out of her machine. The smaller car proved equally easy to move; a s the girl had promi s ed , they were on their way again in l e ss than five minutes' time. "And I hope we pass the red car again!" cried Alice, triump hantly . "Just so we can tell those young men-" "Something tells me," remarked Ethel, enigmatic ally, we are due t o hear from t hem again!" "I agreed with you!" added Marjorie, stonily.

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110 c , THE GIRL SCO UTS' CHAPTER X. AN APPEA L F O R HELP. I I IT was the fift e enth o f Jl'l y whe n the Girl Scouts of Pansy Troop left the town of R a wlins, i n Wyo-1 ming, and struck out t o w ards th e d ese rt. A ll h ad been going well sinc e their en c o u n t e r with t h e m ud outsid e of Chic ago; the y had t ravelle d o n s ch edu l e time, meeting with no d e l a y s of an y sort. Nor had they seen a n ythin g of the r ed car s ince that la s t encounter; perhaps t h e men w er e r eally n o where in the v icinity, a s the y h ad said; o r per hap s they kne w that they were in hi gh d i s favor . Even Dai s y and Flo rence forb o re to m e nti o n t h eir name s to the other girls . Now only two w eek s more o f their time re maine d, ' but, a c cordin g to all th e ir calculat i o ns the y b e lie ved that the y could cov er the g round in ten d ays. Even Ethel and Marjorie felt extremel y optim isti c wit h their five days to the good. They ca m e t o th e desert-a vas t e xpan s e o f gray a nd b r own s and , where water was so scarc e th a t it was so m e times s o ld at t h e railr o ad st a t i o ns. TJ,P, ,

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MOTOR TRIP 111 was very little of interest to be seen along the way; now and again they noticed the dried-up carcasses of sheep and cattle which had probably been killed in the s e vere storms tha t raged in the winter. Once they had to s top for a long frei ght train, who s e con du ctor wav ed friendl y greetings , pleased it seemed, to see some hum a n beings in this lon e ly place. And many times the girls noticed the remains of former c a m ps. Food and water were b oth s carce, so the y held o n t o wh a t the y had, fearful le s t their former mis fo rtun e mi ght be re p eated . But, when they had bee n travelli n g s tead i l y fo rward for two days a cross t he desert without a ny s i g n s o f b e in g molest e d , t hey bega n t o fet;l that they would go the rest of the way i n s a fety. "Wou ldn't i t b e great if we c o uld drive up to the ranc h, " obs er v ed Marjo rie , a s the y p a ssed over the ground n ea rl y south of it. " O n l y t wo year s ago--' ' " A h , if we o nl y had the time!" si g hed Ethel. "How I sho u l d love t o see my old horse!" "Well, we h ave five d.ay s ,'' Alice reminded them. "Why n ot us e them?" "Be c a u s e s o methin g tell s me that we shall need every single o n e of them yet , " responded Marjorie. "Whethe r i t is fate, or wh ether A unt Emeline actually ha s arranged ob s tacles for our path , it just s e ems as if we have so many delays to meet-"

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112 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "But how could Aunt Emeline do anything?" :interrupted Alice. "Remember her age!" "Well, anyway, we're not was ting any time! We've kept all the other regulations-not taken help from any men , and liv e d within our allowance, a n d worn our uniforms all the tim e-we mu stn't slip up on our time. So let's go as straight as we can t o San Francisco!" "Marjo rie," put in Mrs. Remington, "don't you think we had better stop soon? It's g etting d a rk , and you know how hard it is to make camp without being able to see what we are doin g." "Besides," added Alice , "I'm about starved." Marjorie glanced at her speed o m e ter before re plying. "But we have only made seventy-two miles toc:lay," she saiid. "And you know our resolution to cover a hundred!" "Remember that this is the desert!" Florence re minded her; "And we can't expect-" She stopped abruptly, her attention drawn by the loud sobs of a woman , coming from an abandoned wagon by th e side of the road. Marjo rie too heard the weeping and instinctively stopped her car a few feet bey o nd. The scouts looked at each other in doubt as to the ir proper course of action. "As k her whether we can help," whispered Alice to Mrs. Remington . .

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MOTOR TRIP 113 "Maybe the child is hurt, " s uggested Florence. "There is a child beside her, i s n ' t there?" "Yes, I think so," replied Mrs. Remington. "And perhaps I had bett e r get out.'! The girls watched their leader in admiration as she walked back to the stranger and offered assis tance in her t a ctful, reas s urin g t o ne . The woman's sobs ceased, and th o u g h the scouts were too polite t o l ook around, the y knew that Mrs. Remington had ma de h e rself welc o me. "But you're goin' the wrong wa y !" protested the woman. "And it' s gettin' awful dark now." A s s he uttered the se w o rds the smaller car pulled u p behind the wagon and came to a stop. Mrs . Remington nod ded briefly to the girls and went on with h e r c o nver sa tion. "But I d o wish y o u would tell me your trouble," sh e pleaded. "Is-your little girl hurt?" The stranger bent tenderly over the sleeping form at her side. "No, not hurt," she answered; "but sick. She's got a fever." "But how do you happen to be here?" "Our h os s up and died on us, and me husband started to walk to our shack-about forty mile on a p i ece. That was yesterday noon. But we have so little food, and less water-" ''We can help you out!" cried Ethel, who had

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114 • THE GIRL SCOUTS' been listening from the driver's seat of the small car. "We have lots-" "But me child may die before me husband gets back with an o ther bo s s! It's a doctor we want-" She broke into sobs again-"or a comfortable bed-" Mrs. Remington's heart was sincerely t o uched; she he s itated n o longer, for she knew that the sc o uts would be with h e r t o a girl. The y w o uld s a crifice some of their surplus time and m o ney to drive the child to safety. "We will take you to your hu s band," she volun teer e d; "at least if you are willin g to leave y our wag o n h e re." A look of intense gratitude crossed the woman' s face. "Yon mean to say you would g o forty mile out of yer w ay, just to help a woman y ou have never seen before? " she asked , incr e dulously. "Why c e rtainl y !" e x claime d Lily . "We're G i rl Scout s , and they have t o do good turns ever y d ay." "And what are Girl Scouts?" inquired the wom a n, wearily, but the g irl s k n e w fro m her t o ne that she was n o t reall y de s i ro u s o f an explanation. Instead , Marjorie su g gested a cti on. "Let's start immediately," she said. Then turning to the other girls, she added, "It ought t o

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MOTOR TRIP 115 cost us only one day, and you kn o w we have five to spare." B oth cars turne d about and started again towards the east. Travelling at night, which was never a pleasu re to the girls, seemed doubly difficult in the deser t ; yet Marjorie f e lt that the y did n ot dare wait until the morning; for, even though they might be able to afford the time, she understood the neces sity of ge ttin g the sick child to , s afety. So she p re ssed resolutely on, and said nothing of her hunger pangs. Afte r the y had been driving an hour or so, how eve r , Mrs. Remington felt that it w o uld be u n wise t o go further without food, and suggested th at they st o p and make a ha sty meal. The scouts were all heartily in favor of this proposition . "How about you?" a s ked Mrs. Remington, turning to the stranger. "A b i te t o eat would taste mighty good," she responded, wearily. T he y pulled up the cars by the road side, and. took out their folding stove . If they were to con tinue on th eir way during the night, t hey would need c offee and s ubstanti a l food to re-enforce th em. While Lily and Marjo rie were unpackin g the hamper , Alice spread a blanket on the seat for the sleeping child. To her surprise, however, the little

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116 THE GIRL SCOUTS' g irl awo k e a n d immed i a t e l y b eg a n to m a ni f est a r emarkable inter es t in the w h o le procee d i n g . It wa s Mrs . Re min g t o n w h o firs t b ega n t o d ou b t the truth of the w oman's sto r y . "I don ' t b elie v e that you r l i tl e g i rl h a s any f ever, M rs.-?" S h e s t o ppe d for the stra n ge r to su p plJi her n a me. "Hoo k , " a ns w e red t h e l a tt e r , bri efly . "But I'IJ get m y t he r m o m eter-,it's right here iti the k it," s he conti nued . S h e w i ped t he little in strument o ff, a nd inser t ed i t bet ween the c hil d 's l ips . A minute l a t e r s h e a nnounced t ha t h e r temp e r a ture w as n o rmal. " Are y o u h u ngry ?" she a s ked the lit tle g i rl. "Yo u b et ! " r epli ed t he child, w i th out t h e sl igh t es t hesit a tio n . It was a fter the mea l was o v e r tha t Mrs. R eming ton c onfide d h e r su spi c ions to Marjo ri e . "Tha t l ittle girl i s n't s i c k at all," sh e whi s pered; "it w as mer e l y a ruse t o ge t u s to d r'ive the m ba ck. Still, I'm no t sorry that we are d o i n g it-" "No, a n i g h t alo n e in t he d e s ert isn't p articul a r l y . enviable , " r em a rke d the y oung lieut e nant. " A nd be sides, she seemed awfull y p oor." L e s s than an h our h a d elap se d before the gi rls were back in their cars a ga : in, resigned t o the un der taking they had a ss umed. The weary mon o t ony of the desert stretched before them , but they did not

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MOTO R TRIP 117 flinc h. E a ch g i r l took he r turn at tht whe el, dro v e fo r a n h o ur, and wakene d th e next in turn. Mar j o rie a l one h a d be e n k eep ing w atch on the spe ed ome t er; s he di d n o t wa n t t o pass the shac k t hat was to b e t hei r destinat i on w ithout kn o wing it. She was d riving herse lf when the thirty-five mile mar k w as p assed, and she be g an t o scan the d i s t a nce eagerly for some sign of a st r u c t ure. Yet sh e con tinued t o see nothing except the monoto n o us expa n se of gray s a nd i n every d i r ection . Tired as s h e was, she b egan t o question the ex iste nce o f s u ch a shac k as the woma n h ad me n tion ed. How w o uld it be pos s i ble, s he tho u g ht, for a fam ily to live in the d ese r t , t o o wn a shack onl y forty miles away fro m the p l a c e w he r e the wago n w a s standing ? G r a du a l l y a s t h e sp e edom e t er c r e p t on t o t he forty m a r k, h e r s u spicions became verified; there was n o struct u re o f a n y sort within sight. Nevertheless s h e re sol ved to aro u se t he s t ranger an d ask h e r for i n formati o n . She w a it e d un t i l th ey ca me to a station of t h e r ai lroad-a l on e ly , fo rs a k e n buil ding a nd brou ght h e r ca r to a stop . "Is this wh e re you want e d to g o ? " she asked _ . leaning back and touching Mrs. H oo k ' s kne e . "We have g one forty -th r e e mi l e s . " T h e w oman raised her hea d and lo ok e d abou t wea ri l y .

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118 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "Land! No! Tliis a'int half way! There must be somethin' ailin' your clock." "No there isn't!" replied Marjorie. "How much farther is it?" "Not so very far, I reckon. I'll watch and tell you!" With a tired sigh , Marjorie turned to the wheel again, and drove until her time was up . Then she resigned her place to the next in turn, and she to the next, until the darkness faded into a gray, and the gray into dawn . If the g irls had not been so utterly worn-out, they might have been thrilled .at the sight of the sunrise; as it was, they scarcely noticed it. At six o'clock Lily stopped the big car. "We'll have to get some sleep!" she declared"Before it gets too hot-or we'll be dead!" "You're right," agreed Mrs. Remington, wearily . She had long ago begun to doubt the wisdom of their proceeding. The g irls climbed out of the car and stretched themselves on their blankets in its shadow. But they could not sleep long; the heat soon grew too intense, and they began to feel hungry . While Alice and Lily were preparing a hasty breakfa s t , Mrs. Remington and Marjorie and Ethel took coun cil together. "It's my opinion , " observed Ethel causticall y,

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MOTOR TRIP 119 "that this woman is making a good thing of us-for free passage across the desert!" "I wouldn't be a bit surprised," said Marjorie. "And yet you can't blame her. She's poor and deserted-" "Marj, would you make a pun at a time like this!" remonstrated Ethel. "Why, you're almost talking in your sleep!" "And the child isn't a bit sick," added Mrs. Rem ington, with an attempt to bring the girls back to the subject in question. "And yet-what can we do? Not leave them here in the middle of the desert-?" "It's where we found them!" flashed Ethel. "But at least they had a wagon!" put in Marjorie. "No, let's take h e r all the way-wherever it is-" "She expect s to g o a1l the way back to Rawlins!" remarke d Ethel. "That's her scheme-" "I know-but-well, if she didn't have a child it woul d b e different. No, let's take her back to civilization." In the end Marjorie won . All day long they con tinued to drive ea stward at a greater rate of speed, c ontenting the mselves with crackers and fruit for luncheon in order to save time. At nine o'clock that evening they pulled into Rawlins, and went straight to the hotel. In spite of her feeling that Mrs. Hook had been deceiving them, Marjorie invited her and her child to remain there all night at her expense.

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120 THE GIRL SCOUTS' Mrs. Hook, however, refused to take advantage of the offer. "I expect to find some money waiting for me here, thank you," she replied, stepping up to the desk. "Money!" gasped Marjo rie , scrutinizing the w o man in amazement. "Then it was Rawlins where you expected to come to all the time-and not a shack in the desert ?" Mrs. Hook nodded, shame-facedly. "And you did mean to deceive us?" Again the woman acquie s ced. Marjorie lo o ked ch a grined, and said noth ing more; but s he remained at her side while she w aited for the clerk. "Any mail for Mrs. Hook?" she asked. The young man produced an envelope, which , however , b o re no s tamp or postmark, and she open e d -it eagerly, yet cauti o usly, and peered inside. But she was not quick enou g h, for before she had slipped -it into her bag , Marjorie had id e ntified the cont ents as a one-hundred dollar bill! The girl was never so puzzled in her life. Turning hastily away, she joined the rest of t h e party just as they were entering the dining-ro o m, and managed to secure a seat next to Ethel. As soon as her opportunity came, she confided the news to her.

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MOTOR TRIP 121 "There's somethin g q ueer about that woman , " remarked h er c omp a ni o n w h en s he had heard Marjori e 's s t o ry. "I guessed all alon g that she wasn't strai ght." " W h a t I w ould like t o find out," s aid M a rjorie, "is whe the r s h e i s jus t a n so mebody set o n our tra ck. mys t e rie s to so l ve-this and food!" o rdinary s po n ge r , or N o w , we have t wo the one of the sto len "Pe rhap s," r ema r k e d Ethel , "when we me e t Aunt E meline she'll h ave som e th i ng t o say." "If o nl y w e get ther e on ti me !" s i g h e d Marjorie. "Three m o re o f our e xtra days a re gone!" "And y e t," a d ded Eth e l , " w e still have two to the good!"

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122,. THE GIRL SCOUTS',,/ CHAPTER XL SALT LAKE CITY. THE weary monotony of the ride across the desert was to be broken; the Girl Scouts had decided to use one of their surplus days at Salt Lake City. They wanted to get more than a fleetin g glimp s e of the picturesque beauty of which they ha d heard so much , and they l o nged to swim in Great Salt Lake, where, according to all accounts, one could n o t sink. The girls gave over their morning to sight-seeing , and, though they were making use of the lovely shady camp grounds provided by the city, they de termined to eat their noon meal at a hotel, in order that they might eel rested for the afternoon ' s swim. They stopped at the post-office to -inquire for mail , and were not disappointed, for the clerk handed them a sizeable bundle. Florence and Daisy ex pressed particular eagerness. "Well, when do you see them again?" asked

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M OTOR TRIP 123 A lice, watching Daisy's countenance as she perused a fa t letter. "See whom?" demanded the girl, blushing. "You know-the occupants of th e red car." "When we get to California-proba bl y the se c ond of A u g u s t . I sn't that w h a t your letter s ay s , Flos ?" "Yes, Mr. Cryton i s goin g to be waitin g on the doo r s t e p whe n we t a k e the milk b ottles i n i n the m ornin g, " lau g hed Flo rence, readin g an extr a ct from her letter. "But s a y , won't it be great to h av e t hem help us with our new cars when wet g et th e m! For I don't put much s tock in tho s e tw o neph ews ! " "Neither d o I" agreed Alice ; "they sound a s if they were sort of wishy-washy-the k i nd that wait around for somebody el s e ' s money! But do you really think we're going to g e t there in time?" "I hope so . But both Marj and Ethel seem wor ried, and that's a b a d si g n." "What's a bad sign?" questioned Marjorie, looking up from her letter at the mention of her own name. "That you don't like our friends of the red car!" returned Florence. "Because you know that you don ' t , Marj!" "No, I'll admit that I don't care a lot about them , " replied the other truthfully. "My brother d idn't like them much either-he a s ked about them

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, 124 THE GIRL SCOUTS' in this letter , and hoped that you hadn't allowed them to get too intimate." "I can't see that it concerns him-or John Hadley either!" flas h e d Florence, angrily. "Why they should the y take it upon them selves-" "Please don't play grandma!" put in Daisy, im ploringly. " All ri ght-anything so that you hurry and give us plenty of time at the l ake." It was not l ong before the g irls we re in t hei r tents again, preparing for the excur s ion of t h e afte r noon. Marjorie was the fir s t to be dre s sed, and she took the time to surve y her uniform while she waited for the others. "Girls," she rem a r ked dis mally, "don't you think this is a sorry sight? Ou gh tn ' t we to be washing them again ?" "Mine is awfully dirty," agreed Lily; "I'm ready to join you!" "You don't mean to wash them in the Lake?" d e manded Alice. "No," laughed Marjo rie; "I only meant we had better do them soon." "Yes, because we'll have to wear them when we meet Aunt Emeline!" "We b e tter have them on th en!" put in Florence. "Well, let' s do it after our bath." "No, we may be too tired then , " said Marjori e .

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MOTOR TRIP 125 "Let's w as h them now , before we go, and hang them out to dry. Then we'll have them ready, in case it should r ain toni ght." The resolution was adopted by all meinber s of the party, and one by o ne the gi rl s appeared from the tents and se t about their self a p p o i nted t asks . In half an hour the y w ere finished, and Gir l Scout uni forms hung about on all sides , t estifying to their labor. They surveyed the re s ult in amu s em ent. "Nobody would need to a s k who we were," re marked Daisy. "We're c ertainly carrying out Aunt Emeline's orde rs to th e let ter," added A lic e . "We're displaying our uniforms all the t ime , one w a y or another -even when they're wet!" Mrs. Remington a n d Dai s y had volunteered to stay at ho me and take care of the tent s while the party went to the lake, for b oth s a id that they were t ir ed and wou l d be glad of the opportunity to rest. Therefore , dismissing worry from their minds, the. other five girls drove off in the larger car and spent a most enj oyab le afternoon, floating and swimming in the extremely salt water. They returned refreshed and invigorated. "We'll have to do some ironing tonight," ob served Marjorie as they returned to the camp. "Because we can't all use the iron tomorrow."

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126 THE GIRL SCO UTS' "But we're staying here all night tomorr o w , aren't we?" asked Ethel. "Yes, that's true. I wonder whether the uni forms are dry. " "The y must be , " replied Alice , sha d i n g her eyes with her hand in order to get a view o f the ir tent. "I see our tents , but n o t any un iforms!" "Mrs. Remington mus t have taken them in, " c on clud e d Marjorie. "We ll , t h ey w e ren't so ver y orn a ment a l." "Ev identl y s h e didn't t a ke mu c h of a n a p , " re mark e d Ethel. They w e re sur p ri s ed, t h er efore, as they entered the tent , to find t h eir ch ap ero n e s till asle ep on h e r cot. Naturally inferrin g that it was Daiisy wh o had looked after their uniforms, they went in s e arc h of her. But she too was asleep in her tent. "Let's get dressed fir s t , " s u gges t e d Marjo r ie; "and find out ab ou t them l a ter. It w o uld be a s hame to waken Mrs. Remington-" "What's this? " call e d the latter, from within t he adjo ining tent. "I am awake-I just heard you come." "Good!" exclaimed Alice. "It certa i nly was nic e of y o u to take in our uniform s-" "Your uniform s ?" r e peated Mrs. Remingt o n, questioningly. "But I didn ' t t o uch them! I've b een asleep ever since you left!"

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MOTOR TRIP "Then Daisy did," said Marjorie. Dais!" "Yes ?" came a sleepy voice. "Did you t a ke in our uniforms?" "No--I've been asl e ep!" 127 "Oh-0-"But the y're g o ne! " cried Ethel, in dismay. The girls look e d at each other in obvious c o n s tern a ti on. This was a ca t a strophe which t he y had n ever dre a med of-a nd a serious one . For if the y travelle d in civilia n dress ~ he y would be break i n g one o f t he regulatlions that Miss Vaughn had so c a r efully st i p ulated. "Wh at c o u 1 d h av e h ap pene d t o them?" deman d ed Alice, hys t e rically. "Who would w ant to st eal t hem ? " " N ob o d y but a troop of Girl Scouts, and they w ouldn ' t," r eas on e d Marjo rie. "Or a rag-man! " s u gges t e d E thel. " A nd t h e y coul d ha r dl y blo w away," continued Marjorie; "the r e i s n ' t a n y w ind! " " Still , w e didn't have a n y clo t h espins , " observed F lor en ce , s olemnly. " I knew you forgot something, Marj-" "Come , g irls , we'll have to hurry and dre s s , and d o s omethin g !" c o mm a nded Ethel. "Let's e a ch take a direction and inquir e all o ver the grounds!" The girls l o st no time in carrying out this sug gestion; but an hour later they returned without

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128 THE GIRL SCOUTS' any information. Mrs. Remin g ton realized h o w tired and discouraged they were, and urged that all discussion of plans b e d eferred until dinner. They went to the same h ote l at which they ha d lunched , and ordered an ela b o r a te dinner. T he spaciousness of the dining-room, the calm, lei s ure ly attitude of the other diner s , and the delicacy of the food and the service, rest ed a nd refreshed them; by the time that the sal ad c ourse was brought in. they felt ready to consid e r their disa s ter and to plan a way out. Marjo1•ie was the first to offer a solution. "Of course we can ' t buy n ew uniforms, since this is Friday night, and the store s are closed all day Saturday; but can't we borr ow som e from anothe r troop? There must be Girl Scouts in Salt Lake City." This idea, however, did not meet with instan taneous approval Several of the girls looked doubt ful, and Florence lau ghed harshly. "Marj, have you for go tten tha t we're grownups?" she demanded. "And that most Giri Scout s are ten or twelve years of age! Their suits would come to our knees!" "We could let out the hems-and select the lon g est ones," protested Marjorie. "It c o uld be done." "Yes," said Mrs, _ Remington thoughtfully, "and I

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MOTOR TRIP 129 think it is the only thing that could be d o ne to save us. We'll have to find the near e st troo p." "There ought to be some of them meeting tonight,'' remarked Alice. "Friday is usually popular." "But how to find them?" "We won't give up till we d o ! We'll ask everybody we see!" In spite of the opposition at first, the plan was adopted, and as soon as the meal was concluded, the girls hastened to try it out. It proved to be much less difficu1t than they had anticipated; the very first person of whom they inquired-the clerk at the hotel desk-told them that his daughter was a Girl Scout, and that her troop met on Friday evenings. Marjorie and Ethel both wrote down the directions he gave them for finding its meeting place. Without even waiting to return to their camp, the girls set out immediately on their quest, which led them fo a remote part of the city, off the main roads. Carefully following their explicit directions, they pulled up at last in front of a little church, and saw by the light in the basement that a meeting was in session. In less than a minute the girls were out of both cars, running down the step s to the entrance. The door was open and the scouts, who happened to be seated in patrols, and busy with some kind of

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130 THE GIRL SCOUTS' h a nd-c raft, l o oked up excitedl y a s the girl s filed in. J'he c aptai n came fo r ward smi ling. In a f e w words, but with infinit e tact, Mrs. Rem i ng ton t o l d the st o r y a n d p ut forth her plea for t heir h e lp. Sh e off e r e d , of c ourse, a g ood pric e for the un ifor m s s ufficient t o compen sat e th e s couts for the b ot her of pu r cha s in g new o n es. To the travel l o r s ' i nt ense r elie f , the scouts acc e p te d the propo s i tion immedia t e ly . " O f c o u r s e we are g la d to help our sister s co u ts," r epli e d th e ca ptain. "But do you think the un!iforms will be l o n g enou g h ? " " H a v e you a s eni o r p a trol? " inquired Mrs. Rem i ngton. "Yes-gi rl s over fourteen ' !" "Well , let u s try t hem. Could the girls run h ome a n d ge t some oth e r clo th i n g ?" "Why certa i n l y," agre e d th e ca ptain, nodding to the scou t s to go. " R u n along q uickly!" "Wa • it ! " inte r po s ed Marjorie. "We h a v e t w o ca rs o ut t here ! We can dri ve you and s a ve time." "But it's hard l y mo r e than across the s treet,'' replie d th e pa trol l ea der graciously. "And we ' ll onl y b e a min ute." Har d l y we r e they out of the door before tliey ret urned to the room . " D idn't you sa y that you had two cars?" asked t he pa trol leader , ad d ressing Marjorie.

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MOTOR TRIP "Yes. Why?" "There is only one out there now!" "Which one?" dem a nded Lily, in alarm. "A bi g one-seven passen ger!" 131 "And mine is go ne? " gasped the distressed own e r. "You are sure?" Alice s uddenly let out a shriek. "It's all m y fault , Lil-I for got to lock it, in my haste to get in! Oh, I'm so sorry-" "Will yo u want our uniforms jus t the same?" in terrupted th e patro l l eade r, realizing that tim e w ou ld now be too precio u s to waste. "Yes," repli e d Marjori e with determination . "This d o e sn't a lter ou r desire to win. We'll go at it even hard er " The patrol l ea der did not wa i t to hear the en d of t he sente n c e , but hurried h er girls back for their dresses , while the t o uri s t s rushed out to make s ure that the othe r car was safe. "We can st ill finish our trip , in the one big car ,'~ said M rs. Remington, "provided that we put out all our campin g ou tfit , and stay at hotels every night till we re ac h the coast." "Then let' give our camping things to this n i ce little troop , " suggested Lily, who had decided to accept her loss phil oso phically. "And start tomorrow instead of waiting over an• other day , " added Marjorie.

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1:::2 TIIE GIRL SCOUTS' Half an hour l ater the girls dressed a g ain in. the sco ut unifo rms, the fit of which was better than the y had a nticipated, all got into the big ca r and waved goodbye to their new friends, reminding them to c ome t o th e grounds ~arly in the m o rning for the outfit. They drov e back to their tents , somewhat subdued in s pi rits; th e victory in gaining the s uits was balanced by t he defeat in losin g the car. But, as Ethel r eminded them, there was one compensa ti on : for the re s t of the trip they could all travel together !"

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MOTOR TRIP, 133 CHAPTER XII. GENTLEMEN OF T H E ROA D. C ALIFORNIA at la s t ! T o mo s t of the g irls , wh o had n e ve r been fa r t her west than W y omin g, thi s state , w ith it s r enown e d d imate and it s be a utiful scene ry, ap peare d e v en l o ve l ier than the y h a d pictured it . T he mo untai n s and cany ons , the wo nderful Y osemite Vall ey with its tall t r e e s ; the great s tretches o f smooth road , s eeme d lik e heaven afte r the de ser t . For a time t he travel l ers for g o t th eir l osses, th eir anxi e ty, and ev e n their re wa r ds in t heir a d m ir a tion of t he c ountry. It wa s Marj o r ie wh o fir s t brou g h t their tho u ghts bac k t o the practica l s ide o f l ife . "Girls , how man y of yo u wo ul d be willin g to k e e p on going fo r a c o u ple o f h o urs afte r sup p er? It doesn ' t g et c;Ja r k for a g o o d w hile, and s in c e we have n ' t any c am p t o pit h , w e mi g h t as well m a k e use of e ver y m i nu t e . W e c an't afford to wast e a n y tim e , you know I " "That's a s pl e ndid id ea!" cri e d Ethel. "Only o ni;

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]34: THE GIRL SCOUTS' thing I beg-let's be sure to ge t the car into a garage for the night!" "Maybe we better insure it," suggested Lily. "For if this one were stol en. we would be left. " "We wouldn't be left," returned Ethel. "Because we'd manage fo get there somehow, even if we had to hike !" "But then we wouldn't earn our automobiles!" "So we 'd have to walk b a ck , " conclud e d Marjorie . "Well, girls , we'll see to it that we don't lose this car. Now-to go back to my first suggestio n, what do yo u say to a little ride after supper?" To he r joy she found all the others heartily in favor of the propositi on; so after a good substantial meal , the y set off again in the early twilight. "How l ong shall we drive?" a sk~d Alice, who was taking her turn at the wheel. "Till about nine o'clock I should suggest," said Mrs. Remington . "The first good-lookin g hoteI after that-" "With a garage!" put in Lily. "Yes, with a garage. At least if we find that we can secure rooms. And if we can't , we'll drive on." "Just as long as we don't have to drive all night," remarked Marjorie . "Like that night we met the woman and the sick child." "The child that wasn't sick, you mean," corrected Alice.

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:::\IOTO R TRIP 135 The girls drove al ong merrily; indeed , it seemed almo s t as if the theft of the smaller car ha d not been a misfortune, so enjoyable it was never to be sep arated. They watched the sun set b e neath the horizon; then, in a few minutes, the cars which they passed began to show lights , and they realized that evening was c o ming on. A little after dark they came to a broken piece of the r oad where a detour was neces s ary. Alice stopped short in time to let the g irls make a decision. "Shall we go on?" she asked. "It just dep e nds," observed Marjorie, "upon how fa r the detour l a sts. If it keeps up off the main road for a good distance, I should say that we had better turn back to that hotel we jus t passed . " "No! No!" protested Alice . "Don't let's do that --when t i me is so precious!" "But if we don't know where we are going-" o bjected Lily. "On! On!" cr i ed Florence, dramatically . "We want to get to the coast!" "And what care we for danger?" challenged Alice. A daring spirit o f adventure seemed to have taken possession of the l i ttle party, for they one a nd alt agreed that they wanted to press on . Alice gladly turned t o the wheel again , and released her brakes. They continued on the same road for about fif -

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1 3 6 THE GIRL SCOUTS' teen minutes; all the while the cars which they passed became fewer and fewer, and the road m ore narrow and rough. Then they began to look anxiously for detour signs, or for a hotel; but neither appeared. Finally Alice declared that she knew that they we r e lost. "Here's a building with a light-let's stop here and inquire!" she sugge s ted. "Probably they can ~1irect us back to the Linc o ln Highway." "But we won't all go in and leave the car alone this time," remarked Florence, with a significant glance at Alice. "The same thief might come along again!" "I'll go and ask," volunteered Mrs. Remington. She disappeared into the building, and the girls f ell to discus s ing their misfortunes, and the possi bility of regaining any of th e ir l o st property. They had reported the theft of the Rolls-Royce at Salt Lake City, but the y hardly e x pect ed t o h ear of it again; the food and the uniforms they counted as g one forever. The conversation dragged, for the girls were growing tired; they could think of n othing but their desire to find lodging for the night. They began to look impatiently for Mrs. Remington. "I do wish sh e'd hurry !" yawned Florence. "I'm beginning to feel pretty sleepy!"

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MOTOR TRIP 137 "If only we had our c a mpin g outfit!" mourned Alice. "We could go t o b ed ri ght here!" "Girls, Mrs. Remington is coming out now!" Marjorie infor med them. "Look-and some children are with her!" "These g irls don't know a thing about the Lin~o1n Hig h way," sa id Mrs. Remington when she reached the c ar, "but the y are s o anxious to hear something ab out the Girl Scouts that I thought may be we c ould go in and let them see our uniforms, and d o a littl e s ignalling-" "But we ' re dirty, and tired," grumbled Florence. "We can give them the Headquarters' address--" "Do a good turn daily!" murmured Alice, under her breath. "We'll be deli ghted!" announced Marjorie, immediately. "At l e ast , if you girls can assure us of finding some place to stay for the night." "Oh, somebody will surely take you in!" their leader told them. "There is a boarding house about half a mile up the road." "Then let Lil y and me stay and watch the car," urged Florence. "The rest of you go in-we don't dare take any chances!" Putting aside their ow n sense of fatigue , the girls followed the ch ildr e n back to the building, and gave them a thorou g h demo nstration of scouting, exp1aining as the y proceeded. Their audience w a s

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138 THE GIRL SCOUTS' thrilled; with shining eyes they followed every aetail, and showed such intense gratitude that the girls forgot all about their weariness. It was after ten o'clock when they finally left the building and climbed into the machine once more. Florence had turned it around , and sat at the wheel in readiness. They all felt that it would be be st to get back to the Lincoln Highway again, and there hunt for a place to spend the night, instead of risking the unknown boarding-house the children had mentioned. It was not, however, such an easy task as they had hoped; in the darkness they failed to rec o gnize any of the land-mark s which they had noted in the twilight, and because of the roughness of the road they were forced to proceed slowly and carefully. "I think we have passed it , " remarked Florence, after they had been drivin g for some time. "But we couldn't have!" protested Alice. "Even in the dark we would be able to see any road crossing this." "Then we've strayed on to another road. I'm sure we weren't so far from the highway; we sh o uld have crossed it long ago." "And I'm sure there was no road leading from this that we could stray into," insisted Alice. "Then why don't we come to it?"

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MOTOR TRIP 139 "Maybe Aunt Emeline had it moved back a few miles, just t o annoy us," s u gges ted Ethel. "I think y ou're all w rong," said Lily. "I've noticed before, when driving at night, that if you're looking for a ro ad it always seems farther away." "Lily's right," agreed Marjorie. "Of c o u r se we came out lots faster than we a r e going back; we could see th e ruts then and avoid them. Don ' t you think s o , Captain?" "Very lik e ly," answered Mrs. Remington. "I do thin k we' re on t he ri gh t road, and we'll reach t h e highway if we only keep on going." "I see a l ight ahead!" a nnounced Ethel, who was sitt i ng in front with Flor ence. "So do I!" said Lily. "Two lights!" "That's an approaching car!" "At lea s t we can ask for directions , " declared the eve r -ready Marjorie. "Pull ove r to the right, Flos, a nd sto p when they get to us. " They could see by the b obb ing of the light s that the other car was approaching at a pretty rapid pace, regar dle ss of road. In another moment it was upon them , but showed no sig ns of turning out. "Now!" cried Marjorie; and Florence swung the car sharply to the side of the road and applied the bra k es. "Just in t i me to avoid a co1Iis ion," growled L i ly. "Where do they think they are driving like that-"

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14 0 THE QIRL SCOUTS' But even as they st op p e d, the othe r c a r came to an abrupt halt too , a fe w y ar d s a h e a d o f them, the bra kes s cre e chin g shrill y in the nigh t . With the full g l a r e o f th e other c ar's he a dli g h t s i n th e ir eyes, th e girl s c ould j ust ma k e o ut t h e t wo figur e s w hich desc e n ded fr om the ma chine. "Can you t ell u s, p l ea s e," called Marj o r i e, "whether thi s road will t ake u s t o the Linc o ln H i gh way?" The a ns wer, when i t c ame, was like a thunderbo lt out o f a clea r s ky. "Hand s u p !" ord ered a rough v oi ce; an d t w o me n a ppr o ach ed . The g irls were thro w n imm ed i a t e l y into h e l p l e s s , s peechl e s s panic . Sc, gre a t w a s their c ons te rnati o n that the y ev en fai l e d t o do a s the m a n c ommanded . " Hold u p y e r hands , I s a y ! " h e r oare d, a d v a ncin g to t he side o f the car , t hreat e nin g them with a revolver . O bediently , seven pairs of hands were elev ated. "Ye God s ! Bill," c a lled the ruffian t o hi s com• p ani o n . " 'tain't n othin ' but a c a rl oa d o f g irl s ! " "Easy pickins , I'll s a y ! " r emar ked the other . T he men now stoo d re veal ed i n the g l e a m of t heir own headli ghts . They w e r e cla d in s o il e d over all s and jump ers, and l o oked lik e o r dinary m e c h a n i c s , except fo r the masks wh i c h cov er ed th e ir faces co m pl etel y-rudely i mprovi s ed mas k s c o n s ist ing of

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MOTOR TRIP 141 nothing more than pocket handkerchiefs with' eye holes cut in them. But they looked weird enough, and it was no wonder the girls were frightened. "Ladies," said the man with the gun, who seemed to be the leader, "we hate to disturb you, and all that sort of thing, but we're badly in need of ready cash. So I just guess you 'll have to oblige us with some." "You mean you want to steal our money?" cried Daisy. "Yes, clearie, if you have t' put it that way. Shell out's the word," replied the man, laughing. With a sigh of resignation, Mrs. R e mington lowered her hands long enough to pro duce her purse, which she dropped reluctantly into the out stretched hands of the bandit, and the g i rls followed her example. Marjorie was among the last to sur render her purse. After the first moment of sur prise, she had quickly recovered h e r wits, and was casting ab out for some method of escape; for she noticed that the man with the revolver failed to keep them covered with it when he saw that they were all girls, and had even replaced the gun in his pocket. "If I can only get nold of my revolver without arousing his suspicions , I'll have the drop on him, and make him give the money back. The other man

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14 2 THE GIRL SCOUTS' won't dare do anything for fear I'll shoot his com panion." These thoughts fla shed through her mind with lightning rapidity, and she determined to t a ke a chance. Under pretence of r ea ching for her pur se, she calmly direc t e d her hand to the pocket where she alw ays c a rried h er rev o l v er, a gift from J o hn Hadley . Alas, the p o cket w a s empty! Then s he re called h a vin g put i t a way i n her bag the day the y had wa s hed their uniforms. It g a lled her excee di ngl y to hand o v er her p urse w i t h ou t resistance . If o n l y Jack and J o hn w er e with them! But she realize d that it was us e les s t o think o f resi s tance no w . She c o uld not h e l p sa y ing , however, as she submitted like the oth e r girls : "You ought to be ashamed of yourselves-two men robb ing a party of girls!" "We are, deari e , w e are. It almo s t breaks our hearts. In fact, you'd better hand o ver your jewelry to cons o le us!" "We haven ' t anything but our watches," re p lied Mrs. Remin g ton , quietly. "Girl Scouts in uniform don ' t wear jewelr y." "Wal, fork 'em over!" ord e red their persecutor . Each scout slipped off her w r i s t-watch and handed it to the b a ndit. The man surveyed the articles sull e nl y, and seeming sat i sfied returned to his own car. His companion had already started

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MOTOR TRIP 143 the engine, and without any other words the y drov e past the girls and sped away into the darkness. The girls' tongues were loosened now; they all began to talk at once. Anger was the predominating sentiment-anger at being so taken in; but there was also relief at being fre ed with their lives. "A pretty pair of cowards!" snapped Marjorie. They all turne d naturally to Mrs. Remington for the solution of their prob lem. "We have some travellers' checks in our trunk," she said. "\iVell, we needn't say a word about paying at the hotel until t omo row, " said Ethel. "Luckily, hotels aren't pay as-yo u-enter-contrivances. We can settle later." "That's so!" exclaim e d Marjo rie, joyfu lly. "But are you s u re t hat we have enough money to get us to San Francisco ?" "Yes, I'm sure , " replied the o l der w oman. Florence started the car again, and they turned their attention to watching for the Linc oln Highway. It was not long before they spied the det ou r sign in the distance, and knew that a hotel was n ot far off. "Here we are!" cried Marjorie, after they h a d proceeded about half a mi1e. "Here-on the right! ' ' "But it' s closed!" protested Florence.

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144 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "So is most everything now," put in Lily. "It must be nearly midnight. "Yes, we 'll have to rouse them," said Mrs. Rem i ngto n. "Marjorie , come on out w i t h m e while we see." It wa s an other fifteen minutes before they were rewarded with an answer. "Yes , w e can put y o u up , " r e plied the p roprietor sleepily, "but we haven ' t any ro o m in the garage for your car!" The girls, who had all heard thi s reply, looked at each other des pair i n gly. "Our car i s the only thing we have left!" wailed Alice; "we've be e n robbed of food, and clothing, and jewelry, a n d mone y-" "And a n othe r c a r , " added Lily. The propri e t o r regarded them sympathetically; if what they said was true, they certainly had been having a r o u g h time. "You must have enemies, " he remarked. "Nobody could have all those m i sfortunes just by chance!" "But we haven't any enemies!" protested Alice. "Only some bootleggers whom we prosecuted last year-and they're in jail!" "Well, I am sorry for you," the man concluded; "and I guess I can find a safe place for your c a r

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M OTOR TRIP u n der m y shed. Only, if the place burns d o wn I'll l o s e my insurance-but I guess I'll take a chance . . Y o u look pretty tired!" They put the car away where he indicated, and cre p t we a rily up the stairs to their rooms. The litt l e clo c k tha t M r s . Re m ington kept in h e r suit-case i nfo rm e d th e m that it w as o ne o 'clock in the m o rn in g-the b e ginning of a new day, the thirtieth of July. Yet t h ey went to be d with a sense of victory in their hearts; they still possessed one car, and en o u g h money to get them to their destination. M o re o ver, two days remained to complete their trip . to the coast !

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146 THE GI.NL SOOUTS' CHAPTER XIII. "FOLLOW THE LEADER." WHEN the Gi rl Scouts went to sleep that night, they had every intention of making the usual start at eight o'clock in the morning. Yet Mrs. Remington did not fee l justified in asking to be called; they were all tired-out, and needed what sleep they could get. Moreover, she did not anticipate any real delay. The surprise was therefo re very great when Marjorie awakened to hear the t ow n clock striking twelve. One g l ance at Lily t old h e r that her c o m panion had scarcely stirred during the night; a shout into the adjoining room ass ure d her that the other girls wer e still in bed . An overpowering sense of calamity hovered over her until she was ab l e to recall the events of the previous night, and remembe red that they had been robbed of all their ready cash. Just as sh e was about to arouse Lily, Mrs. Remington softly en te red the room. Instantly Marjorie discerned that some thin g further was wrong:

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M OTOR T RIP 14-7 " W h a t i s it , Mrs. Remington?" she a s ked with ou t a n y cer e m o n y . "My travelle r s ' checks are gone," replied her visi t o r , w i t h a sli ght tre m o r in her voice. "I did carry the m i n my s atchel , but yesterday I remember that I tra n sferred them t o m y purse. And of cou r se I h anded tha t ove r t o the ban d it s !" Ins te a d o f b e in g al a rmed at this piece o f inform atio n , Marjo ri e l ooked immen s ely relieved. "That's all r i g h t ! " s he excla im e d , g leefully. "It' ll be a g o o d j oke o n the t h ie v es, for we 'll telegraph the b a nk t o st o p pay m ent-" " Y es, yes," interrupte d Mrs. Remingto n. "All well and good. But that won't help us now . We h ave n ' t a n y m one y ! " " O h , h orro r s ! " g aspe d Marjorie, looking from L i l y t o M r s . R e min g t o n in di s tres s . "Don't yo u s u p p os e somebody will cash an ord inary check?" a s k e d Lil y , hop e fully. " N o b o d y kno w s u s here. No, there is no ch a nce except fro m the b a nk. We coul d wire home for m o ney-" Mrs . Remington s topped abruptl y, a cl o u d cros s in g her brow. "But we can't do tha t till 1 \fonda y-for all the banks close at noon on Saturi day." "Oh!" wailed Marjorie; "now we are in for it! And we have to be at Aunt Emeline's by midnight o n M onday."

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148 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "We can't possibl y !" cried Lily, bursting i nto te ars, an act which summoned the other s c ou ts fro m the adjoining rooms and n eces sitated a restatement of the facts as they now stood. "Maybe the p roprietor of t his hotel will cash a check for us," suggested Alice, op tim ist ically . "He might; but I don't think he would unless we had some means of i dentifica tion," said Ethel. "No, I guess we may as well make up our minds to stay until after nine o'clock on Monday morni ng." "Nevertheless we can approach the m a n on t he sub ject ," Marjorie remarked. "He can ' t do any worse than refuse." "He might put us out, " said Lily. With all possible celerit y, Mrs . Remington left the room to pu t the proposal to a test . When she returne d in fifteen minutes the girls knew in stantly by her expression that she had been unsuc cessful. However, the proprietor had extended the m the courtesy of an invitation to remain as long as the y wished. "Then," concluded Alice, "we have to stay over Sunday, and trust to luck that we can make Aunt Emeline's in one day. Let's don ' t worry any m o r e -there's simply nothing t o be done!" But Marjorie and Mrs. Remington decided to leave no stone unturned in their attempt to raise mon ey . First of all they went to the police authori-

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MOTOR TRIP 149 ti es with a full report of their misfortune ; then they so ught the pre s ident of the l o cal b ank, a Mr. Simp son , at his o w n home. Here they were rec eive d graciously, no t onl y b y the man himse1f, but b y his wife as well, and into their sympathetic ears they po ure d their disconcerting tale. Neither s eem ed to doubt i ts authent icity for a single in stant . "I can't do anything for yo u in the bank's name," the president i nformed the m when the story was finished, "but I will be glad to help you perso nally. I t won't inconvenience me in t he l eas t !" " You c a n telegraph our b a nk a t h o me, and g et a reply on Monday," Mrs . Remington suggested . "I don't n e ed any fur ther proof o f your h onesty, " answered M r . Sim p son, w ith a kindly smile; "your faces and your uni fo rms are sufficient!" Marj orie unceremoniously let out a shriek. "But we can't accept help from y ou splendi d as i t is of yo u to o ff e r it!" sh e objected. "Because our rules forbid us!" "What rules?" asked the man, in amazement. Marjo ri e has t ened to m ak e t he n ecessary exp l a na tion; and altho u g h Mr. S i mpso n protested that h e was not t o be class e d as " a m a n along the ro ad, " the g irl stuck to her re solutio n . "We don't wan t to le av e a loop-hol e of uncer tainty," she said; "we can't be too careful -it might disqualify us."

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150 THE GIRL SCOU'l'S' "Then I positively can't do anything to help you?" he inquired, in obvious disap p ointment. "No, you can't, dear," r e plied his wife, quietl y . "But-" she beamed all over her face, for she had taken a fancy to Marjorie-"but I can , and wi11 !" "Oh, thank y ou!" cried t h e girl, jumping u p in joy. "And let' s settle d o wn t o bu s iness right away -for there i sn't a moment to b e lo's t !" It was five o'cl o ck in the aftern o on when Marjori e and Mrs. Remington finally l e ft his house; t o o late, of course , to consider b e ginnin g to drive th a t night. They hurried b a ck to the hotel and found thre e of the g irls waiting for them on the porch. Daisy and Florence were missing. As soon as Mrs. Remington had told her story she inquired for the other two girls. Lily and Ethel exchanged amused g lances, and Alice informed her that they had discovered some friends at the hotel and had gone for a walk with them. "Friends!" repeated Marjorie. "Then they could probably have helped us out on the money question!" "Yes, I believe that they offered to;' remarked Ethel indifferently. "But I'm glad we don't have to accept their assistance." "What's the matter?" demanded Marjorie. "Who are they?" "Three guesses !"

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MOT O R T RIP 151 "Not those youn g men who o wn that red racer?" ' she asked , alm os t cont e mptuou s ly. "The very same," lau g he d Alice. "How did they get here?" inquired Mrs. Remington. "I don't kn ow--except that their car brought them , " return e d Ethel. "They cert a inl y d o follow us!" exclaimed Marj o rie. "And I tell y o u what ," she added emphatical ly, "I'm g etting s ick o f them ! Every time that there i s a m i sfor tune, the y are on hand. Something else w ill p ro bably go wro n g now!" "Someth in g els e h as go ne wrong, " ans wered Lily. "I want e d to m ove the car out to have it washed, an d I found that there wa s water in the carburator. I menti o ned it to the youn g men, and they wanted to fix it-" "You didn't, let them?" interrupted Marjorie sharpl y . "Mercy no! If we lose our rewards I want it to be for reason which we couldn't help-not becau s e w e w ere weak en o ugh to acc e pt assistance from men. " "Here they a11 come ! " announced Alice, suddenl y . "The g irls look h app y en o u gh!" "Too ha ppy !" grow l e d M a rjorie . "Well, I'm goin g in-I d on' t c are a b out meeting thes e men a gain . " Jus t as she disapp e ared within the doorway of the

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152 THE GIRL SCOUTS' '-----hotel, tlic four young people mounted the po r ch steps. "Perhaps we could help you,'' suggested Mc Daniel, graciously, after he had paid his respects to Mrs. Remington. "But if we do, we want to exact a promise!" "Yes?" queried Mrs. Remington. "You all stay here over tomorrow morning an d don't start until after dinner. Then we'll advance you enough money to get to San Francisco!" Ethel ' s lips curled ever so imperceptibly. "Many thanks, Mr. McDaniel," she said, c o ldly , without waiting for Mrs . Remington to speak; "but we already have secured what funds we need from the president of the bank. And," she added maliciously, "we are starting at seven o'clock to rnorow morning!" Both men looked crest-fallen at her words, and McDaniel turned im p loringly to Mrs. Remington. "Please stay just till after dinner tomorrow!" he begged. "We had made such a thrilling plan-" "As thrilling as winning seven automobiles?" in terrupted Ethel, sarcastically. Neither man made any attempt to answer this .question, and Ethel left the porch to join Marjori e . Finding her up in her room, she settled herself to repeat the foregoing conversation. "Marj !" she cried, her eyes still flas hing with I

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MOTOR TRIP 153 anger at the effrontery of the young men, "do you know that I a1most believe those people are in league against us. They just seem bent on de1aying us whenever it is possible!" "Yes, indeed," replied Marjorie, "I have been thinking that all along. Just wait till we get to San Francisco! Then I'm going to question Aunt Emeline pretty closely about it. If she has been mean enough to employ them-" "Oh, well , we'll win out anyhow, in spite of everything!" Ethel asserted triumphantly. "And we won't take their advice about roads, either!" said Marjorie. "We won't repeat our ex perience in Chicago!" There was no need, however, fo worry about which road to take, for the Lincoln Highway was in the best condition and stretched before them straight to the coast. They travelled all day Sunday, taking the precaution to select a hotel before sun-down. One day only remained before the stipulated time should expire; yet the girls felt confident that they could reach Mi s s Vaughn's house before midnight of the first of August. They awoke early on the morning of their last clay, eager to com p lete their long journey, and to receive their rewards. It was with a sinking sensa tion that they saw rain-drops on windows, and clouds in the sky , but they had no intention of al-

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154: THE GIRL SCOUTS' lowing the weather to defeat them. Deciding t o proceed cautiously rather than too speedily , the y made their way across the country to the city that is the gateway of the west. The journey was tire some and somewhat of a strain, in spite of the beau tiful scenery, but it was successful. At six o'clock that evening they reached the center of the city. "We can't walk in at this time of the night and surprise Aunt Emeline," said Marjo rie. "So hadn't we better go to a hotel for supper, freshen up a bit, and telephone to her that we are on our way?" "Then she could give us explicit directions about how to get there," put in Alice. "Are y o u sure that we have time enough?" asked Ethel. "It takes a long time to eat dinner in a h o t el. And midnight tonight-" "Oh, we have oceans of time!" exclaimed Dai sy, laughingly. "All our worires are over now!" Accordingly they stopped at one of the largest hotels, and Alice went immediately to the teleph o ne booth. What a shock she received when she di s covered that Miss Vaughn was not listed !" "Probably she doesn't want fo be bothered with charity solicitors, and keeps her name out of the book" suggested Lily. "Or perhaps she's too old-fashioned to have a phone," observed Alice, bitterly. "Hard luck for us!"

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MOTOR TRIP 1 5 5 "And yet she's up-to-date enough to be interested in Girl Scout s," s ai d Marjo rie. "And to present us with motor-cars!" put in Daisy. "She hasn't y et, " remarked Ethel; "and won't if we d o n ' t get th er e before m.idnight !" "Well, I al w a ys knew that she was as queer as they make 'em , " s aid Alice. "She's awfully old, you know, an d tho ugh she has made a will in favor of those two n e ph e ws, m other s ays they live in deadly terror lest sh e'll change it for some whim." "I believe it!" lau g hed Marjorie. "She certainly has kept us in fea r and trembling for the la s t f ew week s . But I reall y t h ink that we are going to g e t the best of her at la st!" At eight o ' clock they started on their way a g ain, in the general direction of the suburb in which Miss Vaughn lived. So jolly and ga y were th e girls that they lost all track o f time; only Marjorie and Ethel kept l oo king anxi o u s l y for the big school-hou s e that wa s t o mark the i r turni ng. When hou s e s b e came few e r a nd farther apart, a nd the landscape took on the app earance o f the country rathe r than o f the suburbs, Marjoire e x perienc e d growing appr e hen• sion les t they were l o st. At last s he stopped the car and turned to the o thers for consultation. "We're on the wrong track, I'm sure!" she de-

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1 5 6 THE GIRL SC OUTS' clared; "and I thin k tha t w e had better go b a c k t o the h o t e l an d start agai n. It's t en o ' clock. " "Ten o ' clo ck!" repea t ed Lily in disma y . " Sup p ose we w as t e two more hours ! "We'll neve r mak e it! " "I have an idea ," c onti nued Marjo r ie. "Vve w o n ' t t a k e an y chances. Two of you girls t ake a taxi an d give t he driver the address ; then we'll play foll ow t he l eader clo s e beh i nd with our mac h i ne." T h e plan was immedi a t e ly adopted, and a t e leven o'clock t hey were back a t the hotel wh ere they started . Lily and Mrs. Rem ington were elected to ride in the t axi, which, t o the gi rls' surpr ise, d r o ve off i n the opposit e directi o n from which they h ad jus t come. Marjorie turned about and traile d it for about h alf an h our; then , at prec i se l y twe nty-fi ve min u te s after eleve n , the y enter e d a n impressiv e gateway a nd drove u p the long, winding road which l ed to th e Vaughn m a nsion. The gi rls we re so a we struck by i ts g randeur that they almost neg1ect ed to pay t he taxi d r i ver. "I'v e n eve r b een in any p l ace so wonderful!" gasped D aisy , as she mou n ted the steps. "It l oo k s like t he m ovies," added Ethel. "I hard ly expect t o find r ea l p eop l e " "We had b etter not de l ay t oo long, " advise d Flo r en ce, calling them b a ck to the pract i cal. "We h av e

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M OTOR TRIP 1 5 7 only haif an hou r b e fo r e our ti m e i s up , and it m ay take t he m that long to answe r the bell!" "Especially if they have gone to bed ," r emar k e d Alice . " But surely they ' d wa it till m i d n ig h t ! " said Marjorie . A moment lat e r , in answer to their rin g, the d oo r was opened b y a butl e r , and the g i r l s en tered the mo s t m a gnificent house they h ad eve r s een . The y bel i eved that at last they were sa fe from de l a y and disaster; t hey had wo n their g oal! The grand fath e r ' s clock in t h e ha11 st ruc k the half hour as theY, pass ed jnto the drawing-room .

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158 THE GIR:i, SCOUTS' ..JI .I., CHAPTER X IV. SPIES. THE servant who admitted the Girl Scouts that night to the home of Miss Emeline Vaughn d i d n ot need to a s k who the visitors were. He led them im mediately to th e drawing-room, where an elderly lad y w as sittin g in a huge , u p holster e d arm-chair. The first impression that the g irls received of Alice' s aunt was of a ti n y s h rivelled old lady , with ver y bri ght, be a d y e yes, whi c h shone out from be neath her white eyebrows with all the greater bril liancy. It was evident that she was excited , and s he gave them a trium p h ant smile . "I knew that y o u'd make it!" she exclaime d, in a shrill , thou gh not a l o ud t one . "I've bee n t ellin g the boys all along. Now-which is Alice?" Her niece stepped forward instantly and gave her a autiful kiss upon the cheel<. "Let me introduce Mrs. Remington , our chaperone , first of all," the g irl s aid. " A n d no w the scouts. Not that you'll k eep u s all straight, or remember all our names--"

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MOTOR TRIP 159 "Don't you fool yourself! " interrupted the old lady . "I'm not decrepit yet , though I may look it. As it happens, I know all of your names already, and I'll soon put the m to the right people." Marjorie and Ethel exchanged meaning glances at this piece of i n formatio n . No doubt the woman was clever-clever enou g h even t o cause t h e obstacles which they had encountered to be put in their way. "Which one i s Marjorie?" she continu ed . "I understand that she is an officer of y our bando r whatever you c all it." "Lieutenant o f the troop," replied M arjorie, with a s a l u te. "\/\Tell, sit d ow n now and t ell m e all about it. I'll send fo r my n ephe ws -the y waited up for yo u." The g ir1s d"d a s t hey were bi d den and Mrs. Rem in g ton began a b r ie f r e cital of their experie nc es . Be fo re s he ha d g o ne very fa r, the two young men of the h o u s e ent e red. The y were both typic a l Ame ric ans of the better cla ss ; neat, w e11-g roo med, perfectly a t ease in any surroundin g s . Marjorie c o uld not h e l p n o ticing a certain s imilari ty of a ppearance to McDaniel a n d Cryto n , a s i mil a rity that was due rather t o e nviron m ent th a n t o any sp e cial re s emb lance. It was e v i ident that the y t o o were college men, and n o t surp r i s i n g that th ey sho uld be members of the same

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160 THE GIRL SCOUTS' fraternity. For some unknown reason she took a dislike to them. "We were so afraid that you wouldn't make it," drawled Milton, the older of the tw o . "And when eleven o'clock struck and still you didn't come, we felt sure you had lost the game." "And Auntie would have been so triumphant!" added Vaughn. "Because she really didn't want y o u to succeed!" "Vaughn CroweII, what a story!" exclaimed the old lady, resentfully. "I'm not the one that didn't want them to succeed!" "Only that you would get out of buying all those motor-cars," ventured Alice. "Maybe not, but what good would that have done me? Didn't I promise the whol e amount t o your fraternity house if the girls didn't succeed? But I'm mighty glad that they hav e been so plucky!" "What did you say, Miss Vaughn?" demanded Marjorie, sharply. "That the fraternity would have benefited by our failure?" she glanced significantly at Ethel. "You weren't supposed to tell that, Auntie!" re marked Milton, rather sheepishly. "It looks rather queer for us !" "It explains things," said Ethel, coolly. "Because if I understand rightly, Mr. McDaniel and Mr.

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M O T O R TRIP 161 Cry t o n b e lon g to th e s ame fr a t e rn i ty, d o n ' t t h ey , M r . Crowell?" "Yes do you kn o w them?" a ske d th e yo u n g m a n care lessly. "We met th e m on the way o ut , more tha n oncesevera l t i mes, in fac t. A nd eac h tim e t h ey s eemed be n t o n del ay ing u s whenever the y c o u ld!" "Psh aw!" excl ai m e d V a u g hn ; "they nev e r heard of Aun ti e ' s prom i s e . It wa s on l y m ad e j o kingly , and n ever menti o ne d to an yo n e." "No," put in Mi ss Vaug hn , wi t h s in c e r ity, "the b oy s re ally haven't s e e n a n y c ollege m en s i nce the term close d , and I hav e n ev er e v e n m et t h es e two. Now tell me truthfully-a r e y ou a b so lut e l y s ure that you d i d n ' t a ccept help fr o m any men a long the road? " " A b so lutely none! " declar ed Mrs. R e mington, with ass u rance. " I am g l ad t o h ear it ," r epea t e d the o l d l a dy. " You b rin g cr edi t to your se x as well a s t o your o rgan izat i o n . N ow, su p pose that w e h ave s ome t hing to e at, and go t o b ed . W e can talk about the a u tomob iles tom o rrow." The g irl s l os t n o tim e in o beying h e r ord ers , and s oo n were fa s t a sleep in th e b i g, hand some l y fur nish e d rooms o f this spac i o u s h o u s e . In thei r d r e ams the y saw themselves dri ving t h eir littl e road sters in their own home towns; for t o all of the m except

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162 THE GIRL SCOUTS' Lily, tne prospect of owning their own cars was a novelty. * * * * * * * Having given instructions that the Girl Scouts were not to be di s turbed the following morning, Miss Vaug hn bre a kfasted a s usual with her two nephews at nine o'cl o ck. After reading her mail , she established h e rself for a quie t m orning on the porch w ith some bo o ks a nd her knittin g , hardly ex pecting to hear anything further fro m the young people until luncheon. She wa s therefore quite sur prised wh en her nephew s s trolled toward s her about e leven o'clock, acc ompa nie d by two other young men with whom they had been pla y ing tennis. "You have met Jo and Ned , haven't you, Aunti e ?" asked Milton , as they mounted the s teps. "Oh , yes, of cour s e," replied Miss Vaug hn , cor dially. The young m e n all sat down on the steps, while the old lady could not help wondering what was ab out to h app en , and whether there was any particular reason for the vis it. "A pretty hot day for tennis," observed Vaug hn , as if to apolo gize for the halt in the game. "So w e thought that w e 'd t a ke it a bit easy." "Yes , " added the one wh om the boys addressed as "Jo"; "we're both out of practice. We've bee n as t all summer."

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MOTOR TRIP 163 "Indeed!" observed Miss Vaughn, wondering whether they were fishing for an invitation to meet the girls. If so , why had her nephews n o t i n vited them? Seldom did they show such deference to her wishes. "Did you motor?" she asked, casually. "Yes , part of the time," replied Ned. "It was great sport-" His voice died down, as if he had something more that he wished to say, yet did not possess the courage to utter it. "We saw your party of girls al o ng the way, " put in Jo. "At lea st, they must have been the same ones , for they were all in scout uniform, and were evidently touring." "Yes, I'd like to find out whether they were your Girls Scouts," added Ned, "just for the fun of i t. I am sure that I should recognize them immediately-" "In other words," snapped the old lady sharply. "you are hinting in every way possible for an in vitation . Well, I'll gratify you : come to dinner tonight!" "Oh, thanks," murm~tred both young men, grate fully. "But to call your bluff," continued Miss Vaughn, "how would you be able to identify people whom you merely saw in another machine-both probably going at a pretty good rate of speed?"

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164 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "But we weren't,'' objected Ned "Both the girls' cars were stopped, and we went s lowly; in fact, we practicall y stopped, so that we could offer as sistance. Both thei r cars were in hard luck." "Punctures?" "Y es--tho u g h the big one was fixed before we got there." "And the littl e one?" questioned Miss Vaug h n, with a triumphant glea m in her e yes. "Those girls turned do w n your offer for h e l p ? " "Yes, they did , " r eplied Jo, s tolidly. "I knew it! I knew th ey w o uld!" "Naturally,'' m utt ered Ned. "Very naturally! Those two frat bro the rs of Milt's were doing it all. \Ve recogni zed them and beat it pretty q ui c kly. Nobody has any chance with the ladies when they are around!" Miss Vau g hn suddenly sat up very straight in her chair, twirlin g her rin gs excitedly. "What? What was that?" she demanded, in her shrill voice. Ned and Jo looked a t ea ch other in o bvi o us amazement, as if they could not undersi. and th e c au se of her disturbance, and both the Crowell boys laughed scornfull y . "Let me explain , " sa id Milton, a s mile of amusement still playing about his m o uth; "my aunt is giving these girls cars for reaching the coa!>t, if

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MOTOR TRIP 165 they comply with certain conditions she has mad e . iAnd one of the most important of these condi t ions is that they do not accept any asistance from men along the road . She believes that they lived up to their contract; now you two come along innocently with a different story, and knock down their house of cards. Well, that's too funny!" His tone be came cynical. "I knew the girls couldn't do it, Auntie! And just think how near they came to putting it over on you!" By this time Mis s Vaughn's anger had reached the breaking point; she rose fr om her chair and stamped her foot impetuousl y , in spite of her seventy-odd years. "You are sure of what you say?" she demanded, hotly. "Sure of everything except the identity of the girls-and we'll know that when we see them," replied Ned. A sudden idea flashed into Miss Vaughn's mind. "You're not in th e boys' fraternity-the one tha t profits by the Girl Scouts' loss?" she a s ked shrewd ly. "No, certainly not," answered Ned. Why?" "Nothing !" She seemed to be thinking quickly. She took a f ew steps towards the h ouse, stop p ed as if to say s o mething, changed her mind, and went m.

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166 THE GIRL SCOUTS' At fir s t it was h er in tention to rush straight to the g irls' rooms, accuse th em of the deceit, 1earn to what extent they h a d lied, and m a k e all th o s e who had a part in it forfeit t heir rewards. But a little consid eration of the matter c aused h e r t o ch ange h e r mind; after all it w o uld be better t o w a i t unt i l their ident i ty had b ee n establis h ed and she was sure of her case. It was nearly one o'clock whe n the scout s , re freshed by the ir s l eep and clo th e d in their p retty dresses which had b een sent ahead in t runks, ap peared on the p o r ch. They found their ho ste ss alone; t he tennis p l ayers had 1ong s ince retu rned to their game. "Well, girls," she sa id cheerily, "how does i t feel to rest?" "Vl onderful !" cri ed Alice, gaily. "Almost t o o wonderful-for your sake, Aunti e ! I'm afraid that we'll want to s tay hei:e a good while!" "You're welcome to s tay all summer if you lik e," r epl i ed the old lady hospitably. "In fact, y ou will have t o be here some little time b e fore y our ca rs come. I haven't even put in the order yet!" "Then y o u didn't expect us all to win them?" asked Ethel. "No, frankly, I didn't. And I want to be sure that you deserve them before you get them!"

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MO'fOR '.l.'RIP 167 "The n y ou're n o t s ure y e t ? " flashed Alice, sus picio usly. "The re , d o n ' t get s o excit e d , my child!" said her aunt. "You need n o t w orry now-if your con sci e nce i s cle ar. N o r i s th e re , I take it, any hurry. Now let me t e ll you about the dinner party which I am arr anging in you r honor for tonight." Daisy and F l oren c e l ooked up e x pectantly, long in g to as k whe t he r t h e i r frien d s of th e road were included. T h e y w onder':d , t oo, whether they had c alled th a t m o rnin g as t hey h a d p ro mised. Miss V a u g hn an s wered their que s tion before they asked it. "Mr. C r yton and M r . McDa niel c alled thi s m o rn ing, b ut I sent word t h a t yo u gi rls w e r e re s tin g, an d invi ted t he m t o the p a rty ton ight. My two nephews will b e h e re , and two yo un g men with wh o m they have b e en pla y in g te nn i s all m orning." "Are t h ey m e m b e rs of this same fraternity?" as ke d Marjor i e , irre l e v antl y . "No, " l a u g hed the o l d lady; "they are eastern bo ys. B ut the y m o tored acro s s the continent , so the y oug h t to prove inte restin g to you." "I am s ure the y w ill , " murmure d Alice, as the party rose t o an swe r t he lu n cheon summons. The Cro well b oy s we r e a l ittle l a te to the mea.l, but the y ente r e d the ro o m w i t h the s ame assurance which the y had displa y ed on the previous evening ,

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168 THE GIRL SCOUTS' and Marjorie found her first feelings of dislike con firmed. As the luncheon progressed, she grew in creasingly ill at ease; the beautiful, spacious dining room, the noiseless servants, the delicious food went by unnoticed. Something was wrong, she knew; she could sense it before she could define it. She glanced over at Ethel, and recognized the same evidence of distress in her expression. Something in her eyes, too, said, "Trouble Ahead," and Marjorie looked away. Both girls knew that as yet the cars were still only potential!

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MOTOR TRIP 169 CHAPTER XV. THE ACCUSATION. As Marjorie dressed for dinner that evening she had a premonition that something unpleasant was about to happen. She had not felt comfortable in this house since her arrival; something about the Crowell b o ys made her uneasy in their presence; she could not define her reasons, but she longed to ge t away. "How l o n g do you think that we ought fo stay?'' sh e inquired of Ethel, as she clasped the buckle of her ecru slipper. "Not a minute longer than we have to, lo be po lite," returned her room-mate. "I don't care much for Aunt Emeline, and less than nothing for the nephews . " "But out of deferen~e to Alice, we must be cour teous . " "Yes, naturally. And-we must wait to receive our motors !" Marjorie looked up sharply. Was it possible that E thel too shared her apprehension?

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170 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "You don't think that th e re is any danger of our not getting them ?" she asked. Ethel half closed her eyes and looked thoughtfully into space. To another g irl she would not commit herself, but with Marjo rie she felt safe . "\i\Tell, I haven't any rea s on to d o ubt th e o ld lad y,'' she said, "and yet somehow I won't believe in those autom o biles till I see the m !" "But why?" insisted Marjorie. "Don't you think th a t she ha s the mone y ?" "Oh, yes ! But she has two scheming nephews who hate to see her part with it for anyone but them selves . " "Still, it's too fate to ao anything now. A promise is a promise." "I hope so!" sighed Ethel, as she finished her toilette. The girls left their room and descended to the porch. They found most of the other guests already assembled-among them Vincent Cryton and Oyde McDaniel. "We are glao to see you so s oon again," remarked McDaniel pleasantly as he shook Marjorie's hand. "We are in luck." Marjorie smiled coldly; she detested the way in which these young men bobbed up at every possible opportunity. "And you really made your trip according to alt

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MOTOR TRIP 171 regulations, and hav e e arn e d your rewards!" ex claimed Cryton. "Let m e c ongrat u la te you!" "You better n o t c o ngratulate us t oo soo n," put in Ethel, somewhat bitterly. "We haven't received t h e cars yet." She glanced slyly at Marjorie and then at Miss Vaughn, who sa t with her lips ti gh t ly clos e d a nd with anything but an amiable expre ss i o n up o n her face. Surely she was right: something was going to happen!" "But we're going to order them tomorrow!" laugh ed Daisy, r eass urin g ly. "And I'll take y o u for a ride in mine the fir s t thing, Clyde!" "Thanks!". murmured the youn g man, gra tefully. "You'd risk your life to her, then, McDaniel!" teased Vaughn Crow ell. "The girls were all experienced drivers by now , " returned McDaniel, haught ily. ''So I do not feel that I am taking any ri sk!" "So long as they don ' t have to fix punctures!" put in Milton Crowell , sarcastically. "Oh, we can even do that!" Florence asserted proudly. "Just ask Clyde or Vincent-they know!" "Indeed we do!" cri ed b oth boys eagerly; and again Marjorie noticed that Miss Vaug hn retained her stolid, expres s i ve sil enc e . The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the other two guests of the dinner party-Jo

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172 THE GIRL SCOUTS' Walla c e and Ned H it c hens-a n d the gat her ing was c omp lete. A m o ment l a t er the butle r a nnounced din ner. Marjo rie foun d hers elf sa u nter i n g rather listle ss l y int o the dinin g -room , w ith n o great anticipati o n for the littl e p arty . A wave of homesickn ess spread o ver h e r as s he to o k he r sea t between Clyde M cDanie l a n d J o Wallac e; s he w i shed s o much that J oh n Hadley or Di c k R o b er ts, o r he r b roth er were besid e h e r , instea d . For o nce i n h e r lif e she f e lt a b so lut e l y bo red; s h e w o nde r ed what in th e w o rld sh e woul d find to t a lk a bo u t to ei t h e r of the y o ung men . To her surp rise, h o wever , she foun d t hat it w o .ild n o t be nece s sa r y to m ak e m u c h c o nvers a ti o n, for M c Danie l h ad e yes fo r no one but Daisy , who sa t on his left , and Wallac e b e c ame at on c e de e ply en gross ed in hi s hos te ss . So Marj o rie had pl enty of time t o l oo k abou t he r , and to t hink thin g s o ut. During the prog r ess o f the whole sixc o u rs e d i nn e r, which wa s a s e l abora t e as any s h e h a d ever a tten d e d , she kne w tha t s he did not expe ri ence a r e a lly e n joyable moment. Y e t w hen she anal y z ed h e r d isco ntent, she c ould not trace it t o a n y h a p p enin g i n t he past or present; the girls had, it w as true , e nc o u nte r ed u nusua l o b s t a cles during their trip; bu t t h ey ha d surmoun t e d them all. M o reo v er, ever y th in g her e was ab s o l utely

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MOTOR TRIP 173 perfect; she felt that she ought to be enjoying the ea s e and the luxury of it all to the fullest extent. But still she was not h a ppy. As she shifted h e r gaze about the softly lighted table from on e smilin g group to another , she realized suddenly that t h e merrim e nt was forced rather than !".pontaneous ; that w i th the exception of Daisy and Florence , who were thoroughly enjoying McDaniel's and Cryton's society, the gue sts were not congenial. The other fo u r young men were not of the type which had always appealed to the scouts, and no o ne was quite at ease . "It's all due to those Crowell boys," she con cluded, as the de s sert was brought on. "We don't like them , or their friends, or their influence over Mis s Vau g hn . If anything does go wrong , it'll be t h eir fault!" It had always been the hostess's habit to comply with the Eng lish custom of having the ladies with• draw from th e d i ning room first , leaving the young men a1one to finish their cig arettes. '.Accordin g ly she arose , no d din g to the girl s to accompan y her; but from the very manner in which her request was given , Marjorie s ens e d that something portentious was ab out to transpire. In ste a d of leading her guests to the porch or the reception-room where they had naturally expected th e party to be continued , she conducted them off

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174 THE GIRL SCOU'l.'S' to a wing of the house an d ope n ed the doo r into ;i charmin g littl e st ud y that was ev iden tl y a ll h e r own. More tha n one of the g i rls were impre ss ed wit h t he a ntiqu e s , the tapes tries, t he painti n gs, and yet for some unkn own reason no o n e v ent ured t o voice her a dm ir a tion. M i ss V au g h n s e a t ed herself a t the c a r ve d chair a t the des k , and the scouts dropped qui e tl y into seats a bout th e ro o m . "Girls , " s he bega n s lowl y, all o w in g her g l ance to travel fro m on e t o a nother in turn, "I h a v e som e thing to tell you t ha t pain s m e ver y much . Y ou know that when I su g g ested this trip, I gave y o u certain conditions w h ich I w anted yo u t o fu lfill, and I put you on your honor in rep or t i n g about them. I h a d t o t a ke your word for yo u r sta te ments, for I did not h a ve any tho u g h t o f fin ding out for myself. You are Girl Sc ou ts , your firs t law is t ru s t worthines s ; that was enou g h for me. "Yet, entirel y by accid ent, I l e arned, since y ou have been here, that my trust was misplaced , that two of your number nave lied to me!'' She paused for a moment , and caught Hie varied expressions on the girls' faces-registering anger. incredulity, surprise, resentment, and even dis t r ess. But she did n ot allow an y one to speak. "Now I want to hasten to as s u r e you that I am not blaming the girl s to wh o m this does not a pplv; for, as far as I can learn, it was done with ou t tl1e

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MOTOR TRIP 175 knowledge of the rest of the party. And of course both t h e captain and the lieutenant of the troop are blam e less; the deceit was kept successfully from them. "But what in the world-?" began Alice im p e tuou s ly ; but she was waved to silence by a gesture from her aunt. "One m o ment, Alice; I'm not finished . I want to repeat t ha t I heard all this inadvertantly, from two people who h ad no i nt e rest in you one way or the other, and w ho kne w nothing of th e con di t i o ns I ha d made r e g a r d ing the re c e i v in g o f he l p from men al o n g the ro ad. T hese t o u r ists ac t uall y sa w t w o y oung men-who m I n ow su ppos e to be M r. Mc D a nie l a n d M r. Cry t on-fixing the tires of the car that w as s to l en! " "That's a lie! " cri ed Flo re nce, jumpi n g from her cha i r , her e y es bla z in g with th e an ge r w hic h she co u l d no l o n ge r c ontrol. D a i sy, o n t he oth er hand, b eg an to w eep. Marjori e a n d E t he l looke d at each other in blank a ma z emen t wo nd e r i n g , for an inst ant, whether the accusation c o uld p o ssibly be true. Yet they wavered o nly a mome n t in d o ubt; one glance at the g irls' rig hteo u s ly angry expres s ions assur e d them of their mnocence. "But d id n't these y oung men off er fo fix your t ires ?" persi s ted Mi s s V a ughn, shrewdly.

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176 THE GIRL SCO U'l.'S' "Yes, of cour s e they did; b u t we woul dn't l e t them," answered Florence. "I'll adm i t we d i d hesi tate for a second-Dais and I were pretty tire d , you see-" "Exactly!" interrupted Miss Vaughn triumphantly. "You see you have given y ourselv e s away, Miss Evans! Of cou rs e Mr. Cryton a nd Mr. Mc Daniel w o uld ne v er have tol d the y were t o o chivalrous for that-but since other pe op l e saw y o u , it is fortunate that the thing c a me t o my ears, be fore it was too late, and dish o n e s t y w a s r e warded . Now I am perfectly willin g to liv e up t o m y pa r t in the bargain-" "May I ask," interrupted M rs . R e m in g ton, "who your informers are? Are you sure that they are to be trusted ?" "My informers are Mr. W a llace and Mr. Hitchens, and they are to be trus t e d because the y are absolutely disinterested partie s." "And would y o u take their word ahead of that o f Girl Scouts?" flashed Ethel. "In this circumstance I would. Now, as I said be fore, I have no intention of punishing the innoce n t girls with the guilty ones. Tomo rrow the rest o f you may c o me down to the sales rooms and ord e r your machines." There was silence for a momen t while the g irl s tried to control their anger , and to remember tha t

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MO TOR TRIP 177 t h eir accus e r wa s n o t o nl y their h o st e s s , but an a ge d lady a s well . Marjo ri e , wh o knew th a t the sympathy of the wh o l e gro up w a s w i th t he two un fortun ate girls, d e cided t o take it up o n herself to sp e a k for the r e st. "Mis s Vaug hn , " she s a id w ith dignity, "it will be impoo sibl e for any of u s t o ac c ept your gifts so l o n g as you fee l tha t y o u cannot t a k e the word of t wo of our me m b e r s . How do y o u kn o w tha t we a re n o t all lyin g ?" " T h at's perfe ct n o n sense!" cried the o ld l a dy. "St i ll, Mi ss Marjo rie , I a dmire you for your loyalty to y our troop ! " She aro se wi t h a fina lit y that forb a de further d iscus s i o n , an d invited the girl s into the rece pt i o nroo m, whence stra i n s o f dance mu sic c o uld be heard. Daisy, who w a s still s ilentl y weeping ov e r the di s grace of suc h an accusation, sought Marjorie's h and in s y mpathy. "I'm going to take the fir s t train home tom o rrow mornin g," she s ob b ed. "Eve n if I have to go al o n e! I c an't stand it a minute l o n ger than necess ary-" "No!" thunder e d Marjorie, pre s s ing her hand re assurin g ly. "Please don't, Daisy!" "But why ?" "Because I mean to stay here till I clear you and Florence of suspicion! And I shall probably need you both to be on hand to do it!"

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178 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "How can you?" "I don't know; but I am positive that you are both innocent, and therefore I am sure I can succeed!" "Bravo!" exclaimed a voice behind them, and the girls turned about to see a l oo k of real admiratio n on Miss Vaughn's face . "I s incerely hope you doI want to be con vinced !" "You will b e !" cried Marjorie, triumphantly. ''We'll show you that a Girl Scout's honor is to be trusted!" CHAPTER XVI. A SECOND CHANCE. A."s the girls ente r ed the great recept ion-room where the youn g men were n ow waiting fo r the m, it would not have be e n difficult for an outsider to read from their fa c es the fact t ha t s o methin g un pleasant had happened . The Crowell b o ys and W al lace and Hitchens, who all instantl y gues s ed at the portent of the interview, could n o t hide their e m barrassment. Both Cryton and McDaniel l ooked frankly curious . The latter se arched the group anxio usly for Daisy. "Where's Daisy?" he asked Florence when he reached her side.

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MOTOR TRIP 179 The girl made an effort t o control her s elf before she could answer calmly. "She and Marj went upstairs for their powder boxes," she re p lied. "They'll be here in a minute . But can ' t you find an other partner?" "Where could I find another such partner?" he replied, relinquishing his claim upon Florence to Cryton. Retiring into the hall, he impatiently a wa ited Dai sy's return. But thre e dances were ove r before she put in an appearance, and then she c am e re luctantly. "Daisy! " he cried suddenly, as the g irl s de s cended the wide stairw ay . "I'm simply dying t o dance!" The girl dropped her e y es as she came t owards him, and Marjorie expla i ned bri e fly that her c om panion had a headache. Then she vanished through . the doorway, lea ving the couple together. "Some thing has happened!" exclaimed McDaniel anxiously. "Tell me, Daisy! The girls all seemed to be worked up." "Come out here on the porch," murmured the girl! "and I'll tell you all about it. Flos and I are in disgrace!" "In disgrace!" he faltered. "But-but-why?" Daisy waited until they were seated before she began her story. She related it just as Miss Vaughn had presented it, but as she spoke her voice shook

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180 THE GIRL SCOUTS' with emotion, an d before she had concluded she was again o n the verge of tears. "Yo u k now that it i s n ' t true, Clyde!" she wailed. "Can' t yo u do some thing?" "Of co urse I'll try!' ' r ep lied the young m a n an g rily. "The very idea o f the ir bringing s uch a n accus a t i on ! But-as you say-I'm afraid they w on't bel i e ve me." Daisy l ooked u p through her tears into MtDaniel ' s ey es, bu t so meh ow t h ey seemed t o lack a s surance. Was it possible that he would not come to her a id ? "Yo u k now we're inn o c ent!" s he prote s ted . "Yes, c ertainly I d o !" H i s t o ne g r ew irritable , as thou g h he wishe d to for ge t the matter. Then, as if to accomplish thi s, h e r e minded her that they were missing the da ncin g . But D a i sy hesitated, still b o rn e down by the sense of shame and disg r ace. "I d on't feel like d ancin g , Clyde!" "Di d the possessi o n of an aut omobile mean so much to you ?" "No, no! It isn't the loss o f the car," murmured the girl. "It's my honor! To think that they actual, . 1y believe that I lied!" "But you can't b lame Miss Vaughn, " he consoled her. "She does n ' t know you. Oh, Daisy, if I could only help you "

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MOTO R TRIP 181 " You d o h elp me by believing me." "Then try to forg et it all. Now-wi:t you dance with me?" But a lt hou g h Daisy consented, and mad e ev ery effort to put the un fortunate occur rence from he:th oughts, she was not very suc cessfu l , and long be for e the even ing w a s over s he r ealized that it would be better to give up and go to bed . Perhaps in sleep she c ould forget h e r troub le. Having m ade up her mind to withdraw qui~tly from the party, she l ooked about for Marjorie. To her surprise she found her n o t on the floo r as she usually wa s when music w as playing-but ove r i n th e c orne r of the room t a lk in g w ith Miss V a ughn. As inc o nspicu o u s ly as pos s ibl e sh e made her way acr oss t o them. A s she drew near enoug h to he a r th eir voices she r ealiz e d that Marjorie's was arde nt , pleading; sh e w as evidently a s king the old lady fo r something. However, she l ooked up cordia lly as Dai sy a ppro ached, not seeming to mind the int erruption. " Yes-come here, D aisy-I a m plead in g your c a use! I am tryin g t o convince Miss V aug hn that Mr. Wallac e and Mr. Hitchens ma de a mistake.''The woman's e yes sea rch e d t hose of the new c om er, but she c o uld r ead ne i t he r guilt nor inno cence from her c ountenance--only di st ress . "But how could they?" asked Mi ss Vaughn.

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182 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "They admitted that they didn't stop," argued Ma rjorie; "so it might have been rather difficult to determine whether the boys or the girls were do ing the work!" "Why didn't you ask Mr. McDaniel?" suggested Daisy. "I have already asked Mr. Cryton," replied Mis'> Vaughn; "and, as I expected, he denied it. He would hardly be a man if he didn't, knowing the circumstances. No, I am afraid that in a case like this, the word of these two young men could not be relied upon." "Then why rely upon that of the other two men?" flashed Marjorie. "That is different-they are disinterested, as I told y o u before. And the y gave me the information be for e they heard of my conditions-not afterwards ! N o w they too w o uld probably l i e for y o u, out of chivalry, since they know how much it mean s to you . " As she continued, Marjorie grew increa s in g ly e x cited, while Daisy only . became more and m o re u n happy. Her eyes sought Marjorie's in a mut e a p peal for her to take her away fro m the part y . But the other girl was not ready; she had a plan at the back of her mind which she was saving to utilize if all else failed. "Miss Vaughn," she said, finally, "then I a ,'.,

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MOTOR TRIP 1 8 : 1 that you give us another chance! That you consent t o let these two suspected girls make the trip back , ac c o mpanied by a chap e ron e whom you appoint , who will serv e as referee . Give them a chanc e to prove th a t the y can do it!" Mis s Vau g hn lis ten e d in surpri s e , but not with disfav or. It was characteri s tic o f her that she w ante d t o play fair. "And if they make it accordin g to conditions?" sh e asked. "Then w e a ll recei ve the cars. If not, nobody doe s !" "\i\Tou ld y ou e x pect all the girls to m a ke the trip again?" "N o--only Florence and D aisy-and anyone els e w h o w i sh es," r e turned M arjorie. Then Dai sy s p oke up . "Ple a se , d o n ' t g i ve yourself the trouble of c onsidering such a p r o p os al o n my account. I never cou ld consent t o su c h a plan !" "Why n ot?" as k ed Mi ss V a u g hn , rather wearily . "Pride, I su p p os e , " an s wered Daisy. "But it wouldn't imp ro v e m a tters a ny. It woul dn't convince you in the leas t that w e had not lied in the first place; an d s i nce yo u won't believe u s, let us say no more ab out it." " M y dear , I should be only too hap py to beli e ve you; in fact, I am more inclined to take people at

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184 'l'.EiB GIR L SCOUTS' their word than otherwise . That is why I believeo Mr. Wallace and Mr. Hitchens; and I fully expected you two girls t o confe ss when confronted with the accusation. But you d i d no t ; and then I regretted the very fooli s h outbur' s t on my part, which now places me in the ver y d e l i c ate p o sition that, since everyone knows h o w matte r s s tand, I can't seem to believe one side with o ut m a kin g out the others as liars. I thought to shift the re s pon sibilty upon your shoulders by offering you the cars if you would take them und e r the circum s tances. You refused, which is s omething in your favor, but my position remains unalter e d . Yes, it may be that this is a way out, if you will consent to it. That is why I say it i s worth considering." "I th~nk it would be better for everyone con cerned if we let the matter drop," repeated Daisy. "Don't mind Daisy, Miss Vaughn," said Marjorie, as she put her arm about the girl to lead her away. "It's natural for her to feel this way. Consider the prop o siti o n as a special favor to me, an d to Pansy Troop." "Well, I will think it over," replied the hostess. "I'll let you know tomorrow morning." Daisy and Marjo rie too k the reply as a dismissal, and left the ball room t o gether. When they reached the door of their own room, Daisy questioned Mar-

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MOTOR TRIP 185 j o rie onc e m ore for a s s urance of her belief in their innocence. "You do n't be l ieve t hat we d i d acc e pt a s sistance, do yo u , Marj ? Tell me again!" " No, Dais y ! A hundred times, no! In fact-I don' t e v en believe th a t yo u l oo ked as if yo u did ! " " B u t then why wou ld t hos e two b oy s make such a report?" "Because there's a m y ste r y that un d erl i e s a U thi s ! A m yste r y which I mean t o s o lve , if I p ossi bly can!" "Cou l d som e b o dy be p l otti n g again s t u s ? " asked D a isy, inc r e dulously . "Yes, I think so. Some of o u r mi s h a p s m ay have bee n accidental, but I'm sure some o f t h e m w e r e de l i berate. And w h en yo u think bac k , y o u may r e member how man y times Mr. Cry t o n and Mr. M c Danie l t ri ed t o delay us!" "Sure l y y ou d on' t m i strus t them?" falt e red D a is y . "I-I thou ght t hat every t ime the y jus t wanted-" "Yes," interru pted Marj o rie. "I know what y o u want to sa y, onl y you are t oo m o dest! You believe d that they wis hed to se e mor e o f yo u and Flos . Probably they did , Dais y ; but that wasn't the only reason . " "I'd hate fo thi nk th a t t he y had an y thin g to do with thi s !" sighe d Dai sy . "Flos a nd I think a lot of them." "But Jack and J ohn s aid th e y di d n ' t con sir1e r

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186 THE GIRL SCOUTS' them absolutely straight, and hoped that we wouldn't see too much of them this summer," Marjorie re minded her. "Marj," interrupted Daisy, with a sudden return of the spirit she had displayed in her hostess's presence, "I positively refuse to make that trip back! I don't care enough for the cars to accept them under the circumstance s--even if we do win them!" "Not for the sake of the cars, Daisy; but because we want t o clear you and Florence-and save the honor of Pansy Troop !" "But that wouldn't clear us!" protested the o ther . "If you will jus t be willing to pocket your pride, Daisy, and acce p t Miss Vaughn's offer-I'll show you that it will be best in the end." "How could it be?" "You'll see! I have a little scheme up my sleeve -to set a trap," Marjorie e x plained; "and try to catch our enemies at their game!" Daisy ' s eyes grew big at the thou ght of the ad venture Marjorie must be planning. Could she have a plot , too, then-to catch the boys and prove their trickery, and the girls' honesty? Eagerly she de manded more informati o n . "Tell me more about it, Marj!" she pleaded. But Marjorie shook her he a d . "I can't, Daisy-it's all too uncertain. But if you and Florence will only trust me enough to a cce p t

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MOTOR TRIP 187 t he term s of the p r opos iti o n, I think I ma y succeed. Woul d you be willing to p lace yourself in mY, hands ? " Daisy l o o ke d in t o Marjo ri e 's an i m at ed fa ce, and t:he old fee lin g of admi r atio n , o f respect , t o o k pos s es s ion of h er, an d she knew tha t s he w a s only too g lad to follow such a competen t l eade r . She lai d he r c he ek u p again s t Ma rj o rie's , and in endearing words, m u r mure d he r loyal t y . E a rly t h e nex t morni n g b efo re Marj o r ie w e n t t o Miss Vau g hn t o l earn o f h e r d ecis i o n , s he mad e it a point to lay t he propo siti o n before Flo rence . L ik e D a i sy, s h e pro t e s ted a t fir s t , but was won over in t he end. N o one in t h e p atrol ev e r r esis te d Mar j o ri e l ong, n o t onl y bec ause her personalit y w a s s o c o mpellin g, but b ecau s e her foresight alw ays found a way out of ever y difficulty. The latter , h o wever , deci ded t o s ay n othin g of her sch eme t o t he other girl s unt i l a f te r her t a l k with Miss Vaug hn . She found h e r h oste s s b efore bre a kfa s t in her fav o rite spot on the veranda, near to the honey s uckl e v ine. " C om e sit b e side me, Marjorie," the old lady said. "I want a littl e t a lk with you." "Yes ? " answered Marjorie, trying to hide her im patience. "I am o nly to o glad to grant your request , " continued Mi ss V a u g hn . "It s eems to me a very good

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188 THE GIRL SCOUTS' solution of the way out of b oth your problem and mine. And this time everythin g will probably turn out all right." "I h o pe s o, " agreed Marjorie, concealing the doubts tha t she felt. "Now about a chaperone. I thi nk I know of jus t the right p erson-a Mrs. Hart, a charming w oman , who , I think would be will ing t o go." They conti n u ed to discuss their plans until the breakfast bell s ou n ded. No so oner was the party gathered at the table than s he announced her g o od news. "Girls," s he sa id , gaily, "we are to have a sec o nd chan ce! Miss Vau ghn h a s decided t o 1et Daisy and Flo rence try the trip back aga in , under the sam e conditi ons." The girls g lanced doubtfull y at the two who we r e mention ed, but, seeing that they did not protest , they all expressed their approval. "But how do we kn ow that someo ne won't turn up to tell lies thi s ti me ?" asked Ethel, morosely. "We're to take a Mrs. Hart, a friend of Mis s Vaughn , " replied M a rj o rie , watching the Cro w ell boys closely to see how the announcement affect e d them. To all appearances, they were delighted. "Flos, Daisy, Mrs. Hart, I-and one other gi rl," she continued. "Who else wants t o go?" "I do!" volunteered Ethel, instantly.

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MOTOR TRIP 189 "Agreed!" concluded Marjorie. "Now," add e d Miss V a u ghn , who was warming more and more t o the idea, "to show y o u how fair I wish to be : if y o u girl s s ucce ed this time, I will leave a c onsiderab l e s um t o the Girl Scout organ iz ation in my will. I have no doubt that it is in need o f funds?" "Oh, yes!" c r i ed Marjorie, her eyes sparklin g at the thou0-ht of so m uch gene rosit y . She had always drea med o f d oin g s o m e thin g such as this for the movem en t , b ut could n ever s e e jus t how. Agai n sh e gl a nced at Miss V aughn's nephews to ascertain how they were taki n g the ann o uncement, for such a gift w ould neces s arily come out of t he ir inheritance. This time she th o u ght she perc eived a s ense of irrita tion wh ich they w ere making an ef fort to conce al. "It would be a wonderful thing to do!" she added. "I would t:ie g lacl fo attempt Hie autom obile trip tor that re ason, if fo r nothing else." ur wtll even mooify it fo a safe 'Journey to Lima. where your friend lives , " sa id Miss Vaughn. "If you can reach there--" "We can! We c an !" exclaimed Daisy , rapturously. "And we'll start soon!" "As soon as yo u r ca r c omes back from the repair shop , " concl uded the i r hostess; "inside of ten clays"-at the latest.',

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190 THE GIRL S COUTS' CHAPTER XVII. THE TELEGRAM. 'As soon as the g irl s left t he dining-room th ey on e and all m a d e e xcuse s t o g o t o their ow n a p art ments. With the e x c e ption of Daisy and Flore nce , wh o m M arjo r i e h ad inform ed befo re brea k fa s t, they were all e ager t o hear o f th e proj e ct in d e tail. "Tell us all about it , M arj!" b eg g ed Ethel , w h e n they were sea ted on the attr a ctively furni sh e d screened porch whi c h open e d o u t o f Mrs . R em ing ton' s boudoir. "We wa n t t o he a r e v erythin g ! " "Well," began Marjorie , "I s uppose tha t t h e foundation of my pl a n was laid l ong ago--when Alice c o nceived the idea that Mr. McDaniel and Mr. Cryto n in their red racer were trying t o spy on us. I didn't exactly believe that, but I d id wonder wh e ther Mi s s Vaughn-or Aunt Emeline, a s we called her a11 a lon g-had arranged for ob stacles to be put in our way. Then, when we g o t here, and learned accid e n t ally that her ne p he ws would have benefited by our failure , I began to su s -

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MOTOR TRIP 191 pect not onl y the Crowell boys, but Mr. Cryton and Mr. M cDaniel as well." "Nevertheless," she continued, "I never would have given the matter an o ther thought if we had all recei ved our cars as we d ese rved." "You're not l og i cal, Marj! " interrupted Florenc e . "How can you po s sibly drag Vinc ent and Clyde into it , when all they do is t o a ffirm our inn o cenc e? These two new me n are t o blame-a nd th ey aren't memb e r s of th e frate rnit y that benefit s ! How do you account for that?" "Because," an swered Marjo rie slowly, "I think it's all a frame-u p , a plot a g ains t us, and I think Wallace an d H it chens were bribed!" "Oh, n o, Marj !" protested Daisy. "Surely not! Not b y Cly de -I'm sure of tha t ! " "But jus t lo o k bac k," said Marj orie, "and think over our mishaps . First t he puncture d ue t o t a ck s scattered b y whom ?-nex t the delay at Mae's , and later at Ch i c a g o and the directions wh ich led us through th e mud; t he stolen food and uniforms-" "Marj!" exclaimed Lily; " surely you c o ul dn' t blame the boys for that! T hey'd never take our clothing!" "Why n ot?" demanded Marjorie; "for who else w ou ld? And th ey knew our route, and the con iditions of our winnin g the rewards! "

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192 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "And how about the band its a n d the poor woman in the d esert?" a sked Florence, mockingly. "Well, I ' m not sure of them-thos e were thin g s w hich are likely t o happen to any b o dy. And y e t the boys may have had part in them, for the bandit s were masked and y o u r ememb e r that the woman received a one hundred dollar bill at that hotelpe rhaps as a bribe!" "You ce r t ainly have an imaginatio n, Marj!" crie d Daisy. "I can't beli eve that!" "Well, m aybe that is too much," admitted the r • t h,., . "But tell u s how y o u persuaded A unt Emeline to give us a second chance," begged Alice . Marjorie proceed ed t o r e l a te t he conve r sation of the previou s even i n g, stating that her h o stes s had only made her decisi o n known tha t m orning. The girls congratulated her heartily upon t h e brilli ancy of the idea, and the s ucc ess in putting it a cross. "But if you b e lieve that all thes e thing s were planned against u s , do you think that i t w o ul d b e safe to attempt the tri p back?" a s ked Lily . "Wouldn't Mr. McDaniel and Mr. Cry ton lie in wait for you again?" "No, I don't think they would," answered Marjorie. "They are improving under Daisy's and Flos's influence . If we have any interference, it will be from the Crowell boys t hemselves , for they

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MOTOR TRIP 193 won't care about losing this new slice from their inheritance. In fact, I almost believe that if we persist in making the trip, thef may resort to drastic measures." ' "But you're not thinking of giving it up for that reason , are you, Marj?" a s ked Lily. "No, of c o urse not! Ca n you see me?" "Well-hardly. Only you really don't want to take any danger o us chances-the trip is enough of a strain without that. And besides, what could you do to protect yourselves?" "I have a plan." "Of course you have , Marj!" exclaimed her chum, admiringly. "Don't you always? Do tell us about it!" "Yes, do!" pleaded two or three of the others. Marjorie's eyes twinkled mischievously; she loved a mystery. "Not yet," she replied, "because it isn't formu lated. Wait till I send a telegram-" "A telegram?" repeated Lily. "Where? To whom?" demanded several of the others. "To-Chicago!" answered Marjorie, slowly. "But I can't tell you to whom!" "But who is there in Chicago that could help us?" asked Ethel. "I'll i:ell you when I see whether my plan sue-

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194 THE GIRL SC OUTS' c eeds, " s he announced. smilingly . "Until then-it's a $ecret. Are y o u all agreed?" "Certainly!" the y all affirmed, with characteristic loyalty . The t en d avs that followed were not particularly plea sura ble for any of the p arty. Marjo rie, in p a rticular , w a ite d with imp a ti e nce the d ay of departure, for a return telegram fr o m C h icag o had pro mised her the assi stance she nee ded. But t houg h the girls were all cur i ous , they, true to their promi s e , refra in e d fr om a sk in g q ue stions . Mi s s Vaughn had arran g ed a picnic for the l as t day of their visit , and Marjorie, who had other plans for herself ancl Ethel , altnougfi H i e latter was as much in th e dark a s an y of the other s in re gard to them , found some difficult y in g ettin g he r self and her compan i on excused. Finally, in view of tlie fad tliaf the ' following cla:y woulcl tie a strenu ous one anc! tnaf tney stilt naci some arrang ement s to make, they slipped off and took a taxi t o the station . '' A re you g oin g to let me into the secret at last ?'' inquired Ethel , as t hey left Miss Vaughn's grounds. Marjo rie nodded , g ail y . "You'll know when we get to the station," stie replied . "The stati on? Somebo dy i s coming-?" "Two somebodies," correcte d Marjorie.

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MOTOR TRIP Ethel knew that there was no use in plying her companion with questions, for Marjorie was enjoy ing her suspense. The distance, however, was short, ten minutes later the girls had dismissed the taxi and were hurrying up the station steps. Hardly had they pushed open the door before two familiar figures rushed towards them. It was John Hadley, and Marjorie's brother Jack ! "Hello, Sis!" cried Jack joyously. "We sure are glad to see you !" "Sh! Jack! Not so loud!" cautioned his sister, enjoying the expression of amazement on Ethel's face. "We're not supposed to be here, and we don't want to be seen or recognized. It's a plot, you know; and it may fall through. We're not even telling the other girls about you." "A plot?" repeated J oho, who knew only the brief message of the telegram which called for help. "Tell us about it-" "Let's go eat somewhere," suggested Jack, "and hear the whole story then." As soon as they were seated in a cozy little tea room of Marjo rie's selection, and had given their order to the waiter, she told her story from be g inning to end, concluding with her suspicions con cerning McDaniel and Cryton and the Crowell boys. "But granted that theory is correct, and they did try to block you on the way out," said Jack; "whait

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196 THE GIRL SCOU TS' good can we do now ? H o w c a n w e help yo u at this l at e stage o f the game-?" "You c a n h e l p u s v e ry mate r ially , " ans wer ed Ma r j o rie. "Becau se I e x p ect som e sort of attack o n t h e w ay back. Thos e Crowell b oys are n e ver g oin g to le t us h ave th ose c a r s an d s om e of their i nhe ri tance wit h ou t a struggle." "The n you expe ct Cryt o n and McDaniel t o h o l d y ou u p agai n ?" " No, I thin k they' r e o u t of it. I a m l o o kin g fo r t ro uble from t he Crowell b o y s thems e lves." " C o uldn ' t you foo l t hem by takin g a diffe re n t route?" s u g gest e d J o hn. "We mig h t , tho u g h I h a r d l y thin k so, " rep l ied the ' gi rl. "And besi des I wo ul d rather c a tc h t h e m an d1 get a c o n fess io n-it's th e only way we'll ev e r get it. S o Ethel and I hav e b een careful t o t ell M i s s Vaug hn all the details for t he t rip i n their hear1 ing-" "Have they said anything, one way or the other?' ~ , aske d J ac k . ! " Ye s , t h ey 've fri e d to disc ourage us , " an swere d Ethel. "They'v e t o ld u s of seve ral in s ta n c e s of robberie s and h o ld -ups, and h av e be e n warning us o f danger . " "An d t hey a lwa y s tell these s t o ries in front of; M i ss Vau gh n , " added Marjori e . I J ohn n o dde d hi s h ead s i g nificantly; the case

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MOTOR TRIP 19 7 a g a i n s t the Crowell b o ys a p p e are d as clea r to hi m as it did to Marj o rie. "And jus t w hat do yo u wan t u s t o d o ?" he inquired. "Ge t a machine and follo w u s , going when w e g o , a n d s to p pin g w h e n we st op , but never giving a ny sign of knowin g u s . And w e 'll h av e a signal-" " Yes , the s cout whistl e! " l a u ghe d Jack. "Jus t lik e l ast s u m m er! " " T hree bl as t s ! " put i n Mar j orie . "Th ree bla s ts , crnd we'll be at your side ! " c r i e d Jack, his ey e s g lowing in anti cipation of the ad ve nture . "An d w hat a r e our c'l1anc e s again st the s e t w o y oung men in a hand to h a nd struggl e ?" "Oh, splendi d! " e xcla im e d both g irls imm e d i ately. Ethel' s fa c e su d den ly darkened . " M a rj ! " she exclaime d , in di s t r es s , "If w e ac cep t ed h elp fr o m an y b o ys we ' d forf eit o u r c:1a n c e o f ea r ning t he c ars !" " I don ' t think so," r eason e d Ma r j o ri e ; " not this t ime . If w e c au ght the Crowel ls, we'd get a con f essio n tha t w o uld clea r us a nd p r o v e that we de serve d the c ars for ou r t rip out." "An d yo u actually t hink th os e b o y s would go t o t h e e x t en t of attack in g g ir l s ?" a s ke d J oh n , i n cred ul ous ly. "Ho w wou l d that l ook?" " O h, they'd be ma s k ed, or d isguise d , o r some-

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1 9 8 THE GIRL SCOUTS' thing. They'd d o mo st an y thing to keep ail tha~ money for the ms elv es!" ' And now," c o nclu ded Marjorie, un fo lding a piece: of paper from her hand-bag, "he re are y our direc. tions and your map. F ollow th e se closely-y ou [ see they even giv e th e h o tel s w h e re we i n tend st op 1 pin g-and we shan ' t s e e e a ch oth e r to t a lk to a ga in , until the end of the trip, or-if something hap, pens!" "And won't we feel silly if nothing does hap' pen!" remark e d Jack. "Silly, p e rh aps, yes , " agreed Marjorie , rising; ''but the wh o le Girl Scout m o vement will benefit, . and that is worth whil e , isn't it?" "It certainl y is , " r e pli e d J o hn , holdin g the door{ open for the girls to pass o ut . Then , w it hout fur( ther delay, they hurried back to Miss Vaughn's. , ' CHAPTE R XVIII. THE CONVOY. WHEN th e picnic e rs return e d t o Miss V a u g hn's r they found Ethel an d Marjo rie waitj,n g for them om the porch. Lily rus hed imp e tuously toward s h e r ! chum , anxious to find out immediately what shc 1

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MOTOR TRIP had been doing in her absence; but Marjorie checked h e r with a glance towards Miss Vaughn. "Did you have a good time?" asked Marjorie, carelessly, as if she and Ethel had been at home all afternoon. "W c certainly did," replied Lily, taking the hint. "And have you made all your arrangements satis~ factorily ?" "Yes," answered the other. "We haven't so much to buy as we had for our trip out, because we're not planning to do any camping." "What?" demanded Milton Crowell, in astonish ment. "Then you have changed your plans?" Marjorie drew down the corners of her mouth in amusement at the young man's instant display of interest. Surely she was correct in her surmise that this concern was not prompted by mere idle curiosity l "Yes-the car would be too crowded if we loaded it up with equipment," she explained. "Besides Mrs. Hart is not keen about it, and we must con sider her wishes." "Naturally , " he agreed. Lily put an abrupt end to this conversation by reminding the girls of their need fo retire early m view of the morrow's strenuous program. In reality, she wanted to be alone with Marjorie to see whether she would reveal anything about her occupation

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2 0 0 THE GIRL SCOUTS' during the afternoon. But both Marjorie and Ethel refused to divul ge the secret. "You really expect some sort of midnight raiu from the Croiwel1s ? ' " Lily asked carelessly, just for something to say. "To tell y ou the truth, L i l," replied Marjorie, "I don't kn o w what to expect. Since we 're n o t going to camp o ut , I can ' t see jus t how they can w o rk it. But I feel c o n fiden t that they'll try some thing." "Marj," said the other g irl, seri o u s ly, "I begin to think that it' s sort of dangerous for you eve n t o attempt the tri p back. What if they'd shoot you in a l onely place-?" "Nonsense, Lil ! We've got t o t a ke some ri s ks. Think what it me a ns to us-to Dai s y and Flosand to the whole Girl Scout orga niz ation!" " And as usual yo u're ready to defy consequences!" retorted Lily. "But we alwa ys came out all right before, and we surely will now!" "But we always had the boys to help us," ob jected Lily. Marjorie stole a glance at Ethel, but said nothmg. "But perhaps nothing will happen," put in Ethel, in amusement. "After all, the whole thing is only a matter of conjecture."

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MOTOR TRIP 201 "Then since you p e rsist in carrying out your pla11s," announced Lily , "I have d e cid e d to go a long with y o u. Y o u'v e g o t to p a ck me in somewhere!" "No, no, Lil y ! " pro teste d Marjo rie vehementl y . "We'd love to h a v e y ou , but yo u think tha t it's dan ge r o us and may be you're ri g ht. Remember y ou're an only child!" "You've use d t hat argument before!" " A nd it's still true !" "Well, I'm g oin g , anyhow. Now-lis ten to this: I ha v en't made any reservation s to g o on the train wi t h the others!" " What?" d e manded Marjor ie in s11rprise, reali z i ng for the first time that the girl was in earnest . "No, I haven't! So you have to take me along wi t h y ou." The argument proved conclusive ; Marjorie had no idea of subjectin g h e r chum to the weariness of a j o urney t o the east alone. Acco r dingly , when the party pas s ed the foll o wing morning , Alice and Mrs. Remington were the only ones left behind to return by rail. The seven-passenger car in which they had travell e d to the P a cific C o a s t had been completely overhauled and pronounced by an expert to be in perfect condition for th e return trip. But th i s time not one of the p arty , except p o ssibly Mrs. H a rt,

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202 THE GIRL SCOU looked forward to a smo o th and uneventful tou r. Marjorie even wondered secretly whether they would not all be a trifle disappointed if nothing d i d happen. And yet when she thought it over she did n o t qi1ite see how an attack could be planned. T h e schedule had been carefully prepared so that the re need by no driving at nig h t ; each sunset was t o find them at some inn or hotel , and the car safe i y stored for the night in a garage. Whatever to o k place would have to be plann e d for broad dayl ig h t , and there seemed to be t o o much traffic to allow an y measure of succes s . Nevertheless she made up h er mind to keep a sharp looko ut for tro ubl e . In order to have a change of scenery the g i r l s &ecided not to take the Lincoln Highway, but t o go home by another route. In her sh opping t ours about San Francisc o Marjorie had picked up a v e r y complete book, in which was printed n o t only a map of the trip , but a description of the be s t hote l s and inns along the way. She had made it a p oi n t to purchase two copie s , one of which she had ma rke d for Miss Vaughn's b e nefit. So, if the Crowell b o ys chose, they c o uld figure out approximatel y where the party would be at each hour of e very day. Lily had repriman d e d her for her daring , sayin g th a t she was onl y puttin g tem p tation into the youn g men's wa y and makin g things more dangerous f•r

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MOTOR TRIP 203 herself; but with her u s ual spirit Marjorie had re plied that she loved adventure. But by the t i me that two days had passed witho ut the slightest accident to disturb their progress, and the Girl Scouts had l e ft the state of Californi a , Marjorie herself b ega n to d o ubt whether there would be any excitement. On that very day, how ever, they met with the first n o tew orthy experience. It was a hot day; the sun was shining brightly and the road up o n which th ey were travelling was hard and dry. The girls looked in vain for shad e ; as far as they c o uld see in the distance there was no promise of relief. "No wonder there are so few cars," remarked Ethel , listlessly. "If I had my choice, I'd rather stay at home today t oo." "There must be at least one behind us some where," muttered ~arjorie, in a tone too l o w for anyo ne els e to hear. "The boys aren't far away." "No, replied Ethel. "I think, by the way, that they must have stayed at that hotel across the street from us last night. I think I caught a glimpse of them on the porch when we drove away.'' "No doubt you did. Doesn't it seem funny not t o wait for them, and speak to them?" "It must be torture for poor John Hadley!" teased Ethel. "You certainly can be cruel, Marj-"

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204 THE GIRL SCOUTS ' "Hush, Ethel!" remonstrate d the o t h er. "You'll le t the cat out of the bag." "I wonder," remarked L i ly, l o u d e nou g h for the whole party t o hear, "whether we would n ' t dare turn asid e he r e a t the next cro s s road. T his s eems to be shady, and the g uid e book s a y s that i t i s all right, and not out of our way." "I'm doubtful of det ours," la ughed Marjorie. "Our experience be fo re was n ' t s o g ood.' "Oh, there can't be anything lik e that," s ai d Lily. "Unless you hate to l e a v e the beaten track, I don't see why we shouldn't." "I'll t ake a chance!" agreed Marjorie, turning into the cross-road. Just as the gui de-book s t ated, the route did prove more attractive; but, a s Marjo ri e for s o me unknow n re aso n susp e cted, a surpr ise awaited them . Hardly had they proceeded half a mile before two armed men on horseback sudde n l y appeared from the brushwood on the s i de o f the road. "I knew it!" whispered M arjorie, her eyes alight with expectancy. "The Crowells !" "Never!" whispered Ethel. "They're too old, even to be bribed-" "We demand a search!" thunde re d the larger of the two men, peering fro m under his w ide hat ri ght into the s tartl e d eyes of the scouts. "Everyone get out, please!"

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MO T OR TRIP 205 "A search for wha t ? " fa lt ere d Mrs. Hart, h e r voi c e trem bl i n g with em o tion . "For b o oze! W e are s heriffs of t he sta t e o f Nev ad a ! " " L et's see you r bad g e! " c h alle n g e d Marjo ri e , fe ar lessl y . B ot h men i mm e di a t e l y p u shed b ac k t h eir coa t s i n amu s em en t , and, t o the consternat i o n o f all t he s couts, di sp laye d t h e ir silver stars . Li l y ga s ped in wonder, an d Marjorie info r ma lly broke int o a laugh . It was Mrs. H art who ha d to r e mind them that t hey must m ake h as te to c o m p l y with the co mm and . " W e rea1ly d on't e x p e c t t o find bo ot-l e g g ers a m o n g y o ung l ad i es," apol og i zed the milder of the two officer s , "but it' s a rul e to s ea r c h ever y body." "Oh, we d o n ' t mind a bit! " r eplied M arjorie . "We're so tha nk fu l t h a t y ou' re no t b a ndit s or thieves. You see w e're us e d t o meet i n g such peo p le on our way." "What?" dem a n ded b oth office rs at once. "We tho u ght that these ro ads wer e safe for motorists,'' added one. "Safe for everybo dy but us , it s eems,'" explained Marjorie. "On our wa y out we wer e robbed of money and food an d clo thin g and a car-" "At different time s ?" "Yes . "

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THE GIRL SCOUTS' "And b y different persons?" "That we d on't kn ow," answered Marjorie. "We never cau ght anybody." "I should say that you need a detective-or a body-guard," remarked the officer, as he indicated that the scout s should get int o the car. "I guess we have one," muttered Marjorie to her self; for, just as she started her en g ine, a touring car with two young men passed the car. To t h e amazement of all but Marjorie and Ethel t!1 e girl s recognized Jack \V'ilkinson and John Hadley! "Am I dreamin g ?" gasped Lily, ''or were they rea1ly Jack and J ohn?" Marjorie and Ethel both lau g hed heartily. "The very same," replied the l a tter. "But how-?" began Dai sy. Marjorie put her finger o v er hei: lips, in warning to the girls not to a s k any enli g htening questions before Mrs. Hart. The girls t oo k the hint, and thou g h they were sincerely puzzled, kept quiet. "Don't forget Chicago!" remarked Ethe l , enigmatically. "But why Chica go?" dema1nded Lily. "Because J o hn happ e ned to be there on business," Marjorie explained , so Jack went w ith him , both expecting to use their vacations for a lake trip . J oh n wrot e m e from there." i'Thanl< Heaven-i'f criecf Lily , settling back into

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MOTOR TRIP 207 her seat with a sigh of relief . For in her subtle manner, Marjorie had conveyed to the girls that they now had protectors. CHAPTER XIX. THE END OF THE DRIVE. As the Girl Scouts entered the dining-room of their hotel the foll o win g day the y looked anything but jubilant. The trip thro u g h the desert loomed up before them, with it s tediousn e ss, its u g lin~ss, its dangerous aspect. For, in spite of everything they said to the c o ntrary, they all ;;ecretly b e lieved that trouble was in sto re for them sooner or later. And what p1ace could be m o re oppotrtune than the barren wa s te land of the next three states? It was Marjorie who s e n sed the g eneral depres sion of the wh ole party and mad e an effort to dis pel it. She wished tha t s he might joke about the boys who were foll o win g them, but that subject was still fo be kept a secret from Mrs. Hart. In' stead, therefore , she reminded them of the rewards they were fo receive. Her vivacity , however, failed to draw any spark from / the others. "We heard all that before, on the way out," remarked Florence, cynically. "And nothing hap-

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208 THE GIRL S COUTS' pen e d . E v e n if w e ge t th e r e safely , Mis s Vaughn will find s o m e o t h e r ex cu se to refu s e us." " You d o n ' t seem t o thi n k much of o u r w o r t h y ben efa c to r ," o b s e r ve d Eth el. "It's a luck y th ing that A lice i sn't alon g , to hear s uch opini o ns o f her aunt!" "Oh, A l i c e w o u ldn't car e ! " e x clai med Florence. "But may be Mrs. Hart d oes ," Marjorie r e m i nded her. The cha p eron e s mil e d k n o win g l y ; s he was not surpri se d at the girls' esti m a t e o f her fri e nd's cha r acter. Indee d , s h e h ad n o t a p p rov e d of M i ss V a ughn' s hasty a c ti o n hers elf, y e t she saw the difficult y of her positi o n . "No, I d on't b l am e yo u girls a bit," ~he assured them. "I think i t w as m ea n t o take those strangers> words in the fir s t pla c e." "And you r ea ll y d o b e li e ve that we are innoc e nt, don't you, Mrs. H art?" d e m a n d e d Daisy, eage rly . "I certainl y d o !" r ep l i e d the older woman. "If I hadn't been c erta in o f it, I n ever w ould have con sented to c o m e w it h yo u , for I can't s ay t hat I thoroug hl y e nj oy s uch a l o n g trip. And then there's the desert-" "Oh, the d ese r t i s all r i ght! " interrupted Mar jorie. " W e go t throug h it b e fo r e , an d we will this time. Ple a s e d o n't w nrry , M rs. Hart. " "No, l et's forge t it, ' ' u r ged E th e l , falling in with

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MOTOR TRIP 209 ~ Marjorie's effort to raise the s pirits of the party . . "We' re safe for tonight-nothing can happen to us . now!" "I hope not!" sighed Lily, who was never quite : at ease. L ong after supper was over the girls s a t out om the pleasant porch of the hotel and c o ntem p i a ted the l o veline ss of the scene, tryin g, it would see m, to absorb enough beauty to la s t them durin g the coming days. Then, a s darkness c a me on they grew more and m o re qu iet until Ethel suggested that they go to bed. "Did yo u make sure that the car was safe?" asked Lil y, as usual. It was a habit of h er s t o make . !';UCh an inquiry each ni ght before retiring. "Yes," returne d Marjo rie, l a ughin g ly. "The garage-man b o lted the big d oo r on the in s ide, and then let himself out throug h the office. That's a . dead-latch-and he has the only key in his possession." "We ought to be safe then," remarked Daisy , , with a sigh of relief. "Unless the garage burns. down!" "Daisy, how can you suggest such a thing!" cried Ethel. "Wait till we get up stairs ! If I don't put you r head under the cold water spigot-" "Jus t try and c a tch me!" challenged the other, , darting nimbly up the stairs.

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210 THE GIRL SCOUTS' But when the g irl s reached their rooms they dis covered that they were t o o tired to r o mp ; the seriou s ness of their un derta king, the p ro sp e ct of t h e trip through the de s er t whic h was b e fo re them , damp en e d t h e i r s p ir i t s, a nd th ey l os t no tim e in g e t tin g into bed. Marjo rie h a d pro mi s e d t o awa k en them w ith he r alarm cloc k , but she fo u nd the s u m m o n s unnecessary. Lon g be fore eigh t , t hey were all d res s e d , ready fo r th eir d ep arture. " W h o d ri ve s t o da y ?" a s k ed L i l y , as the y w e re fini s h ing t heir b r e a kfa st. "Ethel," re p l ied Marjorie, w i thout a m o m ent's hesitati on. "Then , Ethel," r ema r ke d Li ly, " y o u ha v e to go out and ge t the car amd bri n g it arou nd to us ! " " And b e sure t o h ave pl ent y of g a s ! " caut ion ed Flo rence. "And don' t forget oil !' added someone . "And wa ter!" put i n anot h er. Ethe l raise d her h ands to he r ea rs. "That's eno u g h a d vice, p l ease ! Some bo d y ge t my b ag, and I'll m e e t yo u all t h er e a t the s i d e s t eps." "Don't forget the car! " te as ed Florence, p ro vo k ingly . The remark w a s o nl y a jest , uttere d w ith the hope of getting a ri s e o u t o f E t he l ; th ere fo r e n o ne of the scouts was surpri s ed to se e her appe a r, two

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MOT O R TRIP 2 11 or t h ree minutes later , without the car. It was s o l ike Ethel to return tit for tat, and to keep th em w aiting, for punishment . "Ethel, please don't w a ste time," remonst ra ted M rs. Hart, nervou s to b e off. "Yes-hurry!" crie d Florence, in a tone o f com mand. But Ethel onl y s t o o d still and shook her he ad . "I c an't g e t the c ar," she said, sadl y; "bec ause the c a r is g o ne!" Marjo rie lo ok ed u p sharply; surely it w as unlike Eth el t o carry a j ok e so far. "You ' r e te as ing u s ! " she said. But t he l o o k o n Eth e l' s se rious face a ssur e d th e g irls tha t s h e was no t j esting. "It's t he hones t trut h , gi r ls , " sh e d ecla r ed ; " it's g o ne , and n eit h e r the prop rietor n o r the g a ra g e man knows a thin g a b out it." W i t h the e x c e p ti o n o f Marjorie, t h e girls g rew h ys teric a l as the m e a ni n g o f the whol e s ituati o n dawne d u po n them . Uns a ti sfied w i t h Ethel' s sca n t r e p ort, they rus hed t o t h e garage t o m a ke inqu ir y for thems elv e s . "It's a fa ct , " sai d the mam, i n answer fo their n u m e rou s q u e s tions, m os t o f w hic h we re put t o him at the same time. "And we h ave n ' t a sign of a cl ue!" " But h o w di d the thief get in?" d e ma n ded Mar-

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212 THE GIRL S C O U'l'S' j o rie . "If y ou have the only ke y ? Was either l o ck bro k en?" "No, ma'am. " Marjo rie lo oke d a t h i m k e en l y; it w a s imp oss ibl e t o accus e h im of t he theft . A n d ye t ho w e ls e c ou ld the c a r have l eft the g a rage? She felt baffled, d e f ea ted; h e r e was ano ther mystery whi c h l o o k ed a s if it nev e r w o u ld be s o l ved ! "So the wh ole tri p is o ff! " wailed D a isy, burs ting into tea r s as they returne d to t h e h o t el. "And yo u girls h a ve a ll los t y our rewards-just on our accou nt!" " N o, n o , d on't fee l bad ly, "Da i s y , " said Lily, putt i n g h er arm around the oth er girl's sho u l d e r . "We' r e n o t bl a ming you " B y t he t im e they had r e a c hed the h o t el, t h e n ew s had spread , an d gue s ts and clerks a l ike c ame fo r wa r d with all sorts of offers of help. Bu t some h ow they f elt a t la s t as if there we r e not h in g t o do. "Did you c arry i nsura nc e ?" a sk ed Mrs. Hart o f Marjo ri e . "Oh, yes, " replied the l a tter, " b u t not nearly enough t o cov e r t h e c os t o f a n e w car . Be s i des , it takes a g o o d while t o ge t the m o ney; and even if we b o rrowed it, w e'd n e v e r secure a new c a r in time to make the trip on sch e dule." She paused a second , evidently making a mightr, effort to control

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ll01'0R TRIP 213 herself. "We-we-will have t o use the rest of our money to go b a ck by rail." "You certainl y have h ad hard luck!" c o mm e nted the older woman, symp athe tic a lly . "I'm awfully sorry." "The fates were aga in st us!" sighed Florence, wearily. "Let's-le t's go t o our rooms again !" whi s p e re d Dais y . "I jus t can't h e l p crying-" "All ri ght-we'll go h ave a good cry! " asse nt ed Lily. "Maybe that will h e lp." Lau g hin g and weepin g a t the same time , the scouts ma d e th e ir wa y to tlie sec o n d floor , t o dis cu s s their plight in view o f their most advi sa ble move . "Anywa y, we d on't haV'e to drive acr oss the desert , " remarked Ma r j orie. "But what shall we do?" asked Florence. "Go home, of cour s e , " s aid Ethel. "I'm not s o sure o f th a t , " put in Marjorie, wh o was s lowl y re g ainin g h e r c ourage. "That m ay no t be practic al. In the fir st p l a c e , it might b e difficult to secure good acco mmod a tion s fro m h ere b a c k to the east ; and in the second p lace, I'd lik e fo see our frie n d s again. " "What frie nds ?" dem a nd ed Florence . "Aunt Emeline and the Crowell s . I'm simply not content to let the matter drop-I mean about

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214: THE GIRL SCOUTS' all those misfortunes which we met with on th e way out. Why, even those two officers th o ught i t was unusual." "I wonder," mused Lily, "whether we ev er woul d have found out, if this hadn't happened. It h ardly seems possible--" "It wouldn't have see me d possible on t he w a y out if we hadn't known t ha t i t was a fact," M arjorie reminded h er . "Imagine having one 's clot h ing stolen!" "But how do y o u thi nk you can find out anythi n g now?" inqui red D aisy. "I don't know--only b y some sort of detec tiv e work, like we managed l ast summer. Now my pla n is this: to wait here until J a ck and John turn u p later in the day, con su lt them, and ask them to help us. What do you all think? " Dais y suddenly heaved a great sigh; she was weary of the whol e proceeding. "I'm going home!" sh e announced . "Before we get into any more trouble . Who will go with me?" "I will!" volunteered Florence, immediatel y . "I don't want to go back a.ind paw around that o ld lady as if to beg her for a car. I guess we c a n ge t accommodations on some train ." "I'm with you , Flo' s and Daisy , " declared Ethel , briefly.

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MOTOR TRIP 215 "But won't anybody help me?" begged Marjorie. "Aren't you a bit curious?" "I'll stick with you, Marj!" said Lily. "At least until the boys come and we get their advice." "Oh, thank you , Lily!" exclaimed Marjorie, im pulsively hugg ing her chum. "Now we will find out something!" "If ther e 's anything to be found out!" remarked Flo rence , C)"l1ica lly. The others l o st no time in consulting time-tables, and phoning about reservations, and found, to their j oy, that the y c o uld leave at noon on a train for Chicago. Marjorie and Lily looked rather wistful as th e locom ot i v e pulled out of the station, le a ving them all alo ne, s av e for Mrs . Har t, in this stra n g e t o w n. They h ad be e n secretly hopin g all morning th a t the boy s w o u l d arrive before the other s l e ft; n o w , a s they turned their fac e s back toward the h otel i t wa s the ir o ne thou ght. But the clerk ' s an sw er to their in q uiry w a s jus t the same as be fore : n o one had c a lled for them. "Can you im a gine what could have happened to them? " a s ked M arjorie. "I thought I caught a glimp s e of the m o ver at that hotel across the s treet, a bout supper time la s t night . Surely they wouldn ' t s t art without u s." "And they must have heard about the stolen car,"

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:.21G THE GIRL SCOUTS' added Lily. "The police are investigating it already." The girls returned listlessly to Mrs. Hart's room at1.d found her engag ed in the proce s s of packing. She looked up gloomily at their entrance , an d in formed them that she was returning to San Fran, cisco on the morrow. "And so," she concluded , "if you two young ladies want a chaperone, you will have to go too." "I guess it's the only thing to do , " admitted Mar jorie , r egr etfully. "So we might as well pack our things , Lily . " In her speech and her thou ght Marjorie Wilkin son was as near to acknowledgement of defeat as she had ever been in her life.

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MOTOR TRIP 217 CHAPTER XX. ALL SET. AFTER the girls left the restaurant on the eve of their return trip, John and Jack went back to their table and sm o ked a while in silence. Both had been surprised b y the b o ldness of Marjorie's plan; yet both attached importance to the fact that she had considered it n e ces sary to s ummon them from Chicago for assistance. And each y oung man secret ly entertained a f e elin g of pride at her dependence. "Well, what do y o u think there is to it?" asked Jack. "Something, of course," replied John. "Marjorie never goes off at a t a n g ent." "I'd like to meet these Crowell fellows," observed the other. "Well, we did meet those two chaps at Mae'sand you know I d i d n't think much of them. I have to admit I've been sort of worried all s ummer, though I hardly expected anything like this." "You agree with Marj that they'll try something again?"

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218 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "I do-and I don't , " replied J o hn, thoughtfully. "If they're as scheming as your sister believes them to be, they'll see that she is on. Yet , as she says, they'd hate to kiss all that money goodbye." "You bet!" agreed Jack. "But I can't conceive thr1t they would try to pull off anything serious , as Marj seems to think pro b a ble. Two young fellows of their type would have more sense." "No, neither can I-if they try to w o rk the stunt themselves. The thing that w o rrie s me is that they might hire some one else t o d o their dirty w ork for them-a couple of de s perate char a cters, for instance, who wouldn't know where to stop." "That's so!" frowned Jack. "Gee! I'm g lad we're here! We'll have to be o n the job all the time, and never let them get out of our sight. The firs t thing we want to do is to get a car-not a fli vver , but a good, fast car-tha t will keep up with theirs." "I g uess we could hire a car of that de s cripti on," nodded John. "But where? No one out here knows who we are, and people don't hire out good cars to perfect strangers, you know." "That's true," acknowledged John, rubbing his ch~n thoughtfully. Suddenly he struck the table with his fist. "I hav e it! My firm ha s a b r anch office in this city, and the fell o w w ho is m ana g e r learned his job in the same office w ith me . We we r e

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MOTOR TRIP 219 g r ea t chums. I'll c all T e d Fis her on the phone , and he 'll b e a bl e to h e lp us out." " G ood!" e xclaime d Jack. "Let's clear out o f here a nd g et a m o v e o n . " T h ey call ed fo r t heir bill , and the n made for t h e n ea r es t ph one. The fr ien d was l o cated without difficulty in the tel e pho ne directory, and a moment l ate r John was in a b o o th h o l d in g an anima t ed con ver s ation. Jac k , who wa s w ait i n g outside, saw J o hn hang up an d _ come out smil i n g. "Te d ' s going to lo o k a ft e r u s !" he ann o unc e d, gl e efully. "He even s ays h e th in ks he c a n g e t us a c a r jus t lik e t he girl s ! so tha t , b a rrin g accid e nt s, they'll not be ab l e to travel fas ter than we can. W e ' re t o w a it h ere for Ted; he' ll be along in ten minu t es." " I was j us t thinkin g while y o u were in there phoning, " mused Jack. "Sup pose we are able to hire a car, and trail the g irls all the way to Lima wit h out a n y thing h ap peni ng. Who is goin g to drive the c a r back?" "That w ould b e a j o lt , 1110w wouldn't it? " c o n s id ere d J ohn, tho u g htfully. "But why worry about that now? W e 'll t a ke a tip from General Grant, an d c ross tha t bridge when we come to it!" "What' s General Grant go t t o do with it?" said J ack mournfu lly . "He won ' t be in Lima to drive th e car b ack."

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220 THE G I R L SCOUTS' J ohn threw b a ck his hea d and laughed heartily . "I had in mind tha t story of how, when so meone a sked him what r etreat he had prov ided fo r in c as e a cer tain offensive fai l ed, he said 'We're not goi n g to retreat!' If nothin g happens, I g ue ss we can get in tou c h with the ' ner o f t he c a r a n d h ave h i m send on some reliable pers o n to drive it back. But why worr y ? It i s my op i n"on, that if those fellows are goin g to i nterfere, the y'll do it befo re they get too far from h o me; for why should they be any more anxious than we a r e to t a ke such a l ong dri ve . Their ab s e nce might cause su s picion." Here J o hn turned to gree t a tall young man who was advanci ng upon him with outstretche d hand. "Hello, T ed!" "Hadley , old m a n, y ou're the la s t person in the worl d I e x pected to see out here! How c ome ? " "It's a long story," repli e d J oh n , introd ucin g h i m to J ack. "Jack W i lkinson, did you say?" excla i me d T e d Fisher, shak i n g Jack's hamd. "Why , I re m ember that name well. You were John's side -partner in several other ente rpri ses . Now, what are you two up to ? I hop e you'll surrende r yours elves to my t e n de r me r cies for thi s ev e ning, at l eas t . " "We're yours fo r this evening , Ted, with ple asure," ac q u i esced J oh n. " nd w e are depend in g o n yo u t o get that car for us."

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MOTOR TRIP 221 "Yes, I thi nk I can do that. Let's go; I have my own outside." When they were in the car, he a sked: "Do you mind telling what you want the car for, or is it a secret?" John l ooked at J ack , who nodd e d hi s head a p provingly; and they proceeded to outline their pla n s, without divulg ing any names. "Some adv enture ! " remarked J oh n's fri end . "I wish I could go with you myself!" They sto pped before a public garage and entered the office where a man sat working at a ro ll-t o p desk. He ros e re spe ctfully when he recognized their companion . " Good evening , C a ptain. What can I do for you?" "Tom, her e are t wo very good friends of mine, Mr. Hadley and Mr. Wilkinson. They mu s t h a ve a car for a week or so. And Tom, Mr. Hadley is a crad(erj ack automobile man, and I kinow for a fact that he would take better care of a machine than I would; so I want you fo let him have the one I used while mine was being overhauled. I'll guarantee that it will come back to you in as good shape as when it leaves . " "When do you want it? I had it out the other night and picked up a phonograph needle in the rear tire."

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222 THE GIRL SCOUTS' " T omorrow morning, at six o 'clock. Aind the p un cture won't matter, Tom . I want you to put on four brand-new tires, of the best m ake in yo u r sho p . And you'd better put a new spare on the ba ck. Charge ' em to me . And as a special favor, I want you personally t o giv e the en g ine a thoroug h lo okingover, and see that she has all the oil and gas she'll carry. By six A. M . , Tom." "She'll be r eady. \ 1/e'll s tart to work r ight away. S hall we t a ke a look at h er?" They stepped out into the garage, where Tom calle d to tw o mechani c s who were working o n an exp e nsive limou sine. "Come on, you guys. Put that prairie schooner on th e shelf for a while . " "Mr. Hughes is coming for this tomorrow morni ng," observed one of the men, hesitating . "I know . Let Mr. Hughes wait! This is a special j ob for Mr. Fis her." They followed t he foreman over fo the far comer of the gara ge where two big low touring cars with streamline b o dies stood side by side . "What's t h i s , Tom, what's this? Which is our car?" asked Fis her. The two machine s were identical. Except fo r the fact that one showed s igns o f havin g been on the road lately , while the other was clean an d bright

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MOTOR TRIP 223 with a new set of tires, it would have been hard to tell them apart. "Twins, by Jove ! " e x claimed Jack. John, when h e b ehel d the newer car, starte d vi o lently and stared in silence . The foreman, Tom, was ch u cklin g to himself. "Sister sh i p s, I call 'em. Funny thing; here you come, as king me to put our ca r i n Ar co n d iti on, with a new s et of tires, b y s i x o 'clock t omorrow. We've j us t fini s hed do in g t he same thin g t o this o ne for a p arty of Girl Scouts . They're c o min' for her a t e ight o'cloc k tom orro w ; t h e y motored h e re all t h e way fro m Philade l p hi a , and the y're startin' bac k tomorrow. S ome g i rls ! " All t h r ee yo ung m e n exchan ged am u se d glances durin g this recital. It was e v i d ent that th e g irl s' performa111ce h ad gained the man's admirati o n. "The c a r l ooks fine after c o ming all t hat dista n c e ,' ' remarke d J o hn , careless l y . "The y must h av e t ake n g oo d care of i t. Is i t i n good shap e fo r t h e re t u rn ? " " F ine! These are s ome c ars! I a s ke d the youn g lady who seemed t o be t h e leader of t h e c rowd h o w they c ame t o pick out t h i s par ticu l a r m ake, and she sai d a fri e n d of hers w h o k n e w cars picked it o ut. I'll say h e k ne w so meth i n g. Well, I g o t t o ge t to work if you gentlemen are to have this boat by; six o'clock."

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224 THE GIRL SCO UTS' When the y r ea c h ed the s treet , J a ck exclaim e d , "Talk ab out l uck ! Y o u ' d bett e r ho ld on to m e , H adley, o r I 'll b e do i n g a war-d a n c e right here on the pa ve m ent!" " T e d , y o u wonder ful f ellow !" cri ed John . " W h en I c alled on y ou for h e l p I ha d a n i de a it w oul d b e a g o o d d ea l like ru bbing a m agica l l amp, but you ' r e a far m o r e powerfu l genie than I e ver d r eam ed. What's t h e sec r e t o f you r h o l d on that m a n T o m?" Ted Fis her l o oke d pl e a s ed a t the obvious a ppr e ciation o f the t w o fri e nds . Yet he hesitated b e fore he answered : "May be I never told you I was captain of a dough-bo y outfit in France durin g the war. Tom was one of my serg eants . Well,--one ni ght I helped him get out o f a t ight plac e ; so I'm sort o f special pet of hi s . That' s all. Tom's the best auto mobile me c h a nic I kociw
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MOTOR TRIP. 225 CHAPTER XXI. PURSUIT. THE next mornin g J o hn and Jack were stirring as soon as the first gray :i ght of dawn filtered through their bedroom windows. "Let's get up , " su g gested John. "No use trying to sleep any more. I'm g oing to take a cold shower -no telling when I'll g et another." B y five o'clock they were dre s sed and had packed their handbags , and w ere ready t o leave the h otel. "We'll go out somewhere s and get a g ood s ub stantial breakfast, and go around to the garage for the car . " They strolled aro un d until they found a restaurant whose sign announce d th a t it was open da y 2Jt1d night. When they were s eated oppo s ite each other Jack addressed his companion across the porcelain table-top: "Tell me what you think of this. They told us at the garage last ni ght that the g irls weren't coming for their car until ei ght o'clock. If we go for ours at six, we'll have .two hours to fool around before they come, aind two hours of waiting will seem

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226 THE GIRL SCOU'l'S' like ten. Let's get our car , drive a little piece down the street, and wait there until we see what girl comes for the car. If it's Marjorie or Ethel , we can show ourselves, find out h o w things are g oin g , and make sure there has been no change of plans." "Fine!" agreed John . "And if it's Marjo rie wh o comes for the car, we can show her ours. She'll be glad to know we have been so lucky." "Great! 'And won't her eyes pop out when s he see s it! She'll thinlc we have hers. I'll have a little fun with her." "If you can be separated from those hot-cakes, let's be going . We want to be at the garage just at six o'clock, and show that man Tom we were in earnest . " As the last piece of syrupy hot-cake disappeared from hi s plate , Jack lo o k e d up in horror. "Say! We forgot something!" "What?" "Suppose the gara g e burned down last night and our car s were d e stroyed!" "Of alt the fool n o ti o ns ," lau g hed John, "you c e r fainly can think up the darndest !" "What would General Grant have said in a ca s e tilce that?" "Quit your kidding , you idiot, and come on!" At the garage they found the foreman and his lwo men cleanin g up.

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MOTOR TRIP 227 "Just got finished, gentlemen. She's all ready , and it yet wants five minutes ti11 six," he called, glancing up at the shop clock. "Great w ork!" c o mmended John . "Ted Fi:;her said you wouldn't fail us!" And by the expres s ion on the man's face, John knew that he could not have said anything that would have pleased him more. The boys drove down the street for a short dis tance to the block below, turned around , amd parked along the curb in a p o sition t o command a view of the garage. They whiled away the time in admiring their own car, and , when they had tired of that , in watchin g the people hurrying along to their day's work. When it approached eig ht o'clock , the y be gan to feel restless . Jack was pulling out his watch every oth e r minute, until John begged him to 1et it alone. Then, at ten minute s before the hour they saw turning the c o rner of the street, not onl y M a r j o rie, but Ethel as well. John started the car and over t o ok them before they could reach the garag e . "My goodness!" exclaimed Marjorie, when she b ecame aware of their presence , "am I in my right senses? Have you two been stalking us?" "Not quite , " replied John. "We just thoughf we'd let you know we are ready a:nd on the ,job!" But to Jack's cha g rin, his s ister was so glad to see t hem that she failed to notice the car they were

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2'.!8 T H E GIRL SCOUTS' sea t ed in. N o t so E thel , h owever . S he n o tic ed it i m me diately , and cr i e d out: "How i n t h e worl d did yo u ge t hol d of o u r c a r?" Jack's face brigh t ene d per cepti b l y . "Is this yo u r c ar?" he a k ed, innocen tl y . "It cert a i n ly is!" exclaimed Ma rjorie in digna ntl y , ste p p i n g back t o look it over. "Why , t h e ma n d i d s a y i t belongedl: o s ome g i r ls, now tha t I t hink of it ! " excl a imed Jac k. "Bu t he s aid the y woul dn't nee d it for a few weeks!" " W h a t man? " d emanded Marjo rie, her ey es fla shin g . "In the garag e there, " r epl i ed J ack. "The vill a in!" c ried the enrag ed gi rl , st arti n g o ff imm edi at ely for t he garage. "Ho ld o n a mi nu te , Sis!" Marjorie turned a nd saw them laughin g a t her . She stood frowning at t he m a moment, and came back a g ain. "I should know m y own brother by this time. ;\Vhat trick are you try irng to p lay o n u s ?" "Did yo u think tha t a f t e r they made your car, they bro k e the m old ?" as ke d J ac k. "Why, is this a n other one just like ours?" cried Marjori e , del ighted. "What el se?" an s wered John; and he proceeded fo explain their good fortune in obta ining the car.

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MOTO R T R I P ''It's wonderful! Marvelou s ! I hop e we're as lucky with the re s t of the trip . We mu st h u rry along now, or the girls will wonder what is detain ing us." "No change in plans?" "No chan ge ! D on't 1os e us ! " "Never f ear ! We'll b e with you at the finish . Go o db ye, an d goo d lu ck !" T he y waited whe r e t hey w ere until t h ey saw the gi rls leave the gar age i n their c ar, a nd t hen foll owe d at a distance. The j ourney ha d beg un. All that day th e b oys continued t o follow, s t opping w h e n the g irls s topped , but a l wa ys keeping far en ough in the re a r t o a void attra c ting a tt e nti on. S o l o n g as they c ou ld j u s t see t he leading car, or a cloud of dust before them , t hey wer e sa ti sfie d tha t th ey c o ul d o vertake it quick ly, i f n eces a s r y . At r eg u l a r interv a ls th ey ch anged pl a c e s at the whe e l in o r d e r to pre vent fat i gue. Jack wa s in a h i gh h u m or; for he w as a n e x ceptio nall y goo d driver, and t o be at th e s te e ri ng-whee l o f a good car spelle d heaven for him. H e w a s i m m en se l y p leased a t the steady p ace the girl s we r e se tti ng; t hey see med to be fairly eatin g u p t h e m iles . J oh n sat g rim a n d silen t most of the time, w ith th a t look of det e rmi nation his face alwa y s wo re w h e n embarked on some seriou s enter prise. Nothi n g happened during the day to arous e the i r (

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230 THE GIRL SCOUTS ' susp1c1ons. They went steadily on, overtaki 1 ng and passing other car s at tim es, but ne ver bein g passed themselves. Late in the a f t e rn o on t hey ent e red o ne of the larger towns o n the i r r o ute where the pa r ty had planne d t o spend t h e nig h t . They were c ar e ful not to drive p as t the hotel w here the sc o u ts had engaged rooms, bu t s o u ght instea d a sm a ller place tnearby, put u p the i r car for the n i g h t , and had dinner. They went to b e d early , r e ason ing that the girls would do so a f t e r their l o n g drive . As on the day previ o us the y wer e up the nex t mornin g at dawn , bre a k fa st e d and w a ited a rou n d until they saw the gi rl s star t , t h en to o k up the trail once more. As the day wore on , and nothi n g h ap pened to bre a k the m o notony of the d rive , Jac k b e gan to grow i mpati e nt and rem a rk ed tha t the en e my had gott e n c o l d feet. The w o rds w e re n o soo ner out of his mouth than b o th bec a me a ware of the fact that they were ra p idl y overtak i n g the car i n front, although the y had not increased their speed. Then they saw that the girls had stopped. "Here's where we c ome in at la st!" cried Jack , who happened to b e driving . A sudden burst of speed brought them close to the girls in a minute' s time, a'!ld a s Jack slowed down to get hi s b ea rings , the y saw two horsemen searchin g the scout ca r. The n John suddenly re membered that Ted Fisher h ad told them that their

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MOTOR TRIP 231 car would probably b e s earched for liquor at the Nevada state line if they used this road "A booze search!" he hastily reminded Jack. "They're all right ; but we're too close now not to be discovered. Pas s them at full speed, or we'll be stopped ourselves!" They whizzed by the group before the men were a ware of their existence. "Gave them the g o -by! " cried Jack, exultantly, as he slowed down again . "But I'm afraid the girls recognized us!" said John. "What's the difference? I'm glad we escaped being held up for a search; but now we've gone and reversed the order of things, and we have to lead instead of follow." Now that they thought the g irls knew of their presence, they did n o t trouble to k e ep out of sight, realizing that so long as they acted as strangers , Mrs. Hart would su s pect nothing . When they reached the town on the b o rder of the desert , the:, searched for the h o tel given i n the girls' schedule , and enga g ed rooms for themsel v es in another across the street. They did not wait t o put the car away, but left it standing in the hotel yard; for they were anxious to be out of sight when the girls arrived. From a window overl o oking the street, they saw the scouts alight, with the exception of Marjorie ,

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232 THE GIRL SCOUr;"S' who drove the car into the garage adjoining their hotel. When she reappeared they were tempted to go o ut and intercept her, but thought better of it. "Let's go to the d i ning-room," suggested Jack, "I'm hungr y as a bear!" "You always are!" answered his companion. They chose a table by a window fr o m which they could see the hotel opposite , hoping to catch sight of the girls again. A l o n g while after dinner they sat there, resting and smoking. They saw the garage-man lock up his pl ace and go off to sup per; after that, exce p t for an occa s i onal horseman, the street was de s ert ed . The long drive and the hea rty meal made b oth boys fe e l drowsy. Jack was about to suggest that they go out t o hunt a garage, wh e n John leaped to his feet, ups e ttin g the water carafe. Grasping Jack's arm he pointed across the street to the garage. Jack l ook ed, and to his amazement b e held the girls' car standing outs ide the closed doors. "What the deuce !" he muttered. "Can it be that they are going on again t oni ght?" "It's not on the schedule," said John. "Sha11 we inve stiga t e ?" "No! Sit still! I think the play is about to , commence! Let's wait for our cues! " At this announcement, tl e film of sleepiness cleared in s tantl y fr o m Jack's brain. "Look!"

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MOTOR TRIP, 233 The d oor of the garag e office opened slowly. S u dd enl y a youn g m a n came out, hi s cap pull e d d ow n over his eyes. Cl o sin g t h e door after him , he too k one ha sty g lanc e up and d o wn the s treet, jump e d int o the g irl s ' machine and dr o ve off. W ithout o ne wo rd, t h e t w o boy s das h e d for their own car. They fo un d it as they had left it. "Yo u dri v e !" cried J o hn. T h ey s p r an g t o their pla ces, Jack at the wheel, J oh n in the se a t be s ide him. "Go od thin g w e had the old b oat handy!" "You bet!" replied Jack, guiding the car out intc the r o ad. " Jackie , my b oy, I always did admire your dri v in g . Now 's your chance to show what you really ca n d o." "Watch me! I'll get 'im," came the confident answer . A lready t he c a r w as leapin g under them , re s pon d ing under J a ck ' s hands like a live thing, and gather in g s peed all t he ti me. F o rtunatel y , the thi e f had headed for the desert, to w h i ch t h e r e was but the one road. The boys had but to ov e r ta k e him ; there was no chance of h i s e l uding them b y anothe r road . This they both re a lized , and the thou ght gave them confidence. A head the y c o u ld see a cloud of dust which enve l ope d the fleeing car.

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234 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "We're gaining!" said John. Jack nodded grimly, and put on more sp~. They were, indeed, drawing closer; for they could begin to discern the outline of the stolen machine. Slowly , they gained until they c o uld make out a figure at the wheel. Then, as slowly, the figure vanished; and finally the car itself. "He's pulling away from us!" cried John. "He probably sees us!" Jack had his eyes rivited on the road ahead; h e d i d not answer, but John could feel their s peed increase. "Go to it, boy!" he yelled, in admiration. "Y o u'lJ get him yet !" And after all, why should they not? The ir ca rs were al i ke , both capable of about the sa m e s pee d . And the advantage, if there were any, lay with the m selves, wh o had a,n e xtra man t o ball as t the s w a y ing machine. But they would ha v e to overtake h i m soon , while the da y light l a sted, a nd i t could no t la st much longer. "It's up to the superior driver!" conclud e d J o hn ; and glancing at the cool, determined figure a t th e w heel by his side , he felt his an x iety pas s aw a y . H e took his revolver from hi s pocket and e x amin e d it . "We're gaining again!" he announced a moment later. Slowly, inch by inch , it seemed , they were cr e ep-

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MOTOR TRIP 235 m g closer to the car ahead. But could they hold t o such a pace? The rush of hot wind almost took their breath away; particle s of sand beat like needles against their faces and into their eyes, almost blinding them; and ' the car s wayed from side to side like mad, threatening every moment to overtu rn . Jack, bent d o uble over the steering-wheel, was gi v ing her all she would take , stakin g all on this la s t burst of speed, which was so terrific that it seemed a s i f the earth were turning under them, opening, about to swallow them up. But it was too much for the other driver, who was travelling as fast as his nerve, skill, and fear p e rmitted him. The boys were gaining rapidly; and when they were about fifty yards apart, John leaned over and yelled in Jack's ear : "I'm going to shoot over his head, and see whether that will stop him!" He raised his revolver and fired carefully, but the swaying cars altered his aim, and the ball shattered the windshield of the sc o uts' car. But this display of hostility had the desired effect. The pursued car immediately began to slow dowr., and continued to do so until it came to a stop. "What are you fellows trying to do?" blustered the frightened young man at the wheel, as the boys came to a halt beside him. "Arrest a very dirty thief!" replied John prompt-

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23 6 THE GIRL SCOU TS' ly, covering him with hi s re v o lv e r. "Ha n d s u p ! Now, sta n d up ! Jack, jus t f eel i n h is p o cket s a n d see w h e t he r he 's arme d." Jac k d rew a s m all revolv e r from t he man' s sid e p o ck e t a n d tra n sferre d i t t o his o wn . " \i\Th o a r e you? High waymen ? " "We repr esen t p riv ate i nterests," r e p l i ed Jack, g r i nning. "Now t ell us y our n ame, " said Joh n , " a nd wha t yo u a r e d o in g with this c ar!" "What' s that to y o u ?" " All r ight; do n't t ell u s t hen ! But may b e y o u 'll tell t he pol ice a ut ho r i ti e s when we turn y o u over to th em!" "No , no! D on't d o th at!" b eg g ed the pri s o n er, thoro u g hly c o w e d . "Yo u say y o u re p resen t private in t er es t s . I'll t e ll y o u a ll, i f yo u promise not t o lock m e up . " J o hn c o ns i d e red a mome n t. "You r n a m e i s Crowe ll, i s n ' t it?" h e a s ke d . The o t he r s tart e d , but no d ded in affirmat i on. "Whi ch a re you-Milto n o r Vaugh n ? " "Vaug hn. H ow did yo u kn ow?" "Neve r min d that! Just t ell us the story!" "Will yo u promise n o t t o hand m e over, i f I do ? " "Can't t ell till I he a r t he s t o ry , " replie d J ohn. V a u g h n Crow ell p o nd e r ed t his , t he n sa id : "I gue s s I'll take a ch a nce!"

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MOTOR T RIP 237 T he recital was a sorry one, but he t o ld it all. It wa s dark by the ti me h e h a d fin i s h ed. John r eached fo r w ard and t u rn ed on the hea d l ights . "It's the m eane s t t ri c k I ever h eard o f , Crowell! No one with c o mm o n decency would h a v e tho u ght of such a th in g ! Bu t I'll tell y o u wh a t I'll do. If m y c h u m a g r ees, I'll let yo u off p ro vi d ed y ou go w i t h us stra i g h t to Mi s s V a u g hn , your aunt, and tell h e r all y ou ' v e told us. How ab o u t it, Jack?" "Sui t s m e ! " "I'll d o i t ! " dec ided V a u g hn. "When do we start?" "Righ t a way , " answ ered J o hn. "But fir s t , please ob l ige me by s te p ipng a f e w pa c e s a w a y while I h ave s peec h w it h m y friend here. There, there, t hat' s fa r e n o u g h ! " Turn i n g to Jack , he said in an undertone: "How d oes this p l a n suit you? You take our car an d go a h e ad , a n d I'l l follow with Cro w e ll in the g irls ' car. I'll ma k e h im drive , and I'll see tha t he doesn't get away with a ny t hing!" " Fine !" a g r e e d Jac k. "Triumpha l march! F o r u s, at le ast. But i f I w er e in h i s s hoes , I think I'd rather fac e jai l t h a n that old lady, judg ing from w hat I've h e a rd of her." "So I'm thin k ing!" l a u g hed J o hn . " A nd Jack, old m a n! " h e add ed , p lacin g his hand affectionately upon hi s c hu m ' s s hould e r , " y ou sure are some driver!"

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238 THE GIRL SCOUTl::i' CHAPTER XXII. CONFESSIONS. WHEN Mrs. Hart and the two girls returned t o Miss Vaughn's palacial home, they found the o l d lady alone. Her ne p hew s , she explained, had g o n e off on a campin g trip, in Milton 's car. "In what direction did they go?" asked Marjori e , suspiciously. "I hardly ~ow,' ' replied her ho stess. "The y didn't leave any address-or tell me when the y would be back again. Now tell me all about your own experience." 'As briefly as possible the girl related the stor y of the stol e n car, endin g with the departure of t h e other three scout s for the ea s t. "And Lily and I are going as soon as we can arrang e for a ccommod a tion s ,'' s he conclud e d . "No! No!" protested Miss Vau g hn . "No t with out your motor-car , Marjorie! If ever a g irl earn ed one , that girl is y ou!" But Marjorie shook her head d e cidedly. " N ever will I accept one until Daisy's and Fl o r-

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MOTOR 'fRIP 239 ence's innocence is proved. And there doesn't seem to be any hope of doing that!" "Why n o t change your mind, Emeline, and believe the girls?" put in Mrs. Hart. "I lcnow that they are telling the truth!" "No, we wouldn't accept that!" protested Lily, with spirit. "But I do think Marj might take hers!" "Well, I won't!" returned the other. "So let's d on't talk about it any more . " "Vis itors are coming, Emeline," interrupted Mrs. Hart from her place be s ide the window. "WhyI do believe it's Milton!" "Milt o n Crowell?" demanded Marjorie, in sur prise . "Yes-in his car. " "And isn't Vaughn with him?" asked t h e boys' a unt. The y all looked up expectantly as the yo\llt1g man entered the room. He appeared rather embarra ss ed at the presence of the g irls, but greeted his aunt with his cust o mary kiss . "Have a nice time?" asked Miss Vaughn. "Yes-yes-fine, " he stammered. "Where' s Vaughn?" "Why--er-he'll be along some time later , ! ex p e ct . He w ent off fis hin g with a bunch o f fell o ws, and didn't know just how long he'd be gone."

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24 0 THE GIR L SCOUTS' "Aren't y o u s urprise d to see the girls again?" que s tioned his aunt. "Why-yes, o f course. What--er-happen ed ? Not bandits-?" "Our car wa s in a g ara ge for th e ni g ht, and wa s st olen from there , " re p lied Marjo r i e , watc hin g the young man n a rrowl y to s e P wh a t t h e ne ws w o u l d mean to him . But if he w as pleased a t the id e a of keepin g all tha t m o n ey for h i mself a n d his brother, he did not allow his e xp r ess i on to b e tray him. "Really? I'm a w full y s orry ! " h e murmur ed , with apparent s incerity. "You g irl s ce r tainl y d o 11ave hard luck!" Av.ain M arjo rie e y ed him su s pic i o usly ; w as it pos sible that he and hi s brot he r h a d had a h an d . in the theft? It seem e d s carcel y p ossib le that the ir car coul d ha v e been s t o len a t ran do m , b y so me o r dinary thi e f . And yet , h ow c ould t hese yo ung men h a ve o bt a i n ed entra nce t o a l ocke d ga r age? T he th o u ght h o wever , gave h e r n ew s tirnu1us for i n ve s ti g ati on; silently s he m a de a r esolv e not t o be in any hurry to l e ave Miss V a u g h n's. Mrs. Hart interrupte d her mus in gs w i t h an an nounc e m ent of her int e nd ed dep arture . "Indeed you aren't g o in g !" in s i s ted M i s s Vaugh n , heartily. "Yo u're tired out-an d need a res t. " Be sides," she added, with a twinkle in her eyes, "I ke p t

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MOTOR TRIP 2 4 1 your ro o m r e ad y for y o u. I exp e c t e d s o meth ing like thi s t o ha p pen !" " What?" demande d Marjorie, in surpri se. "Yo u didn't ex p ect us to co mp l e te our trip, Miss Vaugh n ? " "I h a r d l y tho u ght it p o ss ible." " Yes! " sto rm ed Marjo ri e; "th e r e is s o m ething a g ainst u s s omethin g t o o bi g for us to fight aga inst alon e ! " Agai n she n o t e d the un e asiness, the embarrass ment of Miss V a u gh n 's nep h ew a n a ttitude so un characte ri s tic o f eit her o f the youn g men as to arouse he r su spicion s afresh . " H a v e yo u s een M r. McDaniel and Mr. Cry ton sin c e we l e f t , M i ss Vau ghn?" she a s ked, with ap parent c a r e less ness. " No; but I kn o w tha t they are in t o wn. They te lep h oned last n i ght to find out whether I had heard from your girls." Marjo ri e close d h e r lips ti g htly ; this piece of evi d e n c e cleare d them fr o m impli ca t i on in the theft. "But Milton can t e l ep h o n e them and in v ite them to din ner if y o u w ish, " continued Miss V a u g hn , anxi o u s t o d o a n y thin g t o di vert the girl s' m inds from the ir misfor t une. "Oh, d o ! " cri ed Marjo rie , enthusiastically , but for a reason very different fr o m the one Miss Vanghn. believed .

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242 THE GIRL SCOUTS' Glad of the excuse to escape from the room and from the presence of the two girls whom he so thoroughly disliked, Milton Crowell wit h drew to carry out Marjo rie's wish. A moment later the whole party separated. A s soon as Marjorie and Lily were alone, the latter began a g ain with her que s tions. "You're on the war-path again, Marj!" she exclaimed . "What have you up your sleeve now?" "Nothing definit e , Lil , " replied Marjorie, smiling !y . "But that Crowell boy acts queerly-and I mean to try to find out more , before I leave!" "Rig hto !" agre e d Lily," throwin g herself upon the bed , for she was e x ceedingly weary. "But what make s you so anxious t o see McDaniel and Cryt o n ?" "I don't kn o w myself," returned her com p anion. "Let's take a nap n o w, Lil; maybe something will be reveal e d t o us in a dream !" When the girls returned to the porch at six o'clock, they found all three of the young men as s embled. Marjo rie greeted the new-comers coolly, taking care t o question them cleverly as to their whereabouts since the s couts' d e p a rture. But both Cryton and M cD a niel told , without any he s itation , all the y h a d be e n d o i n g in San Francisco during the girls' ab sence . They, in turn , demanded all the details of the girls' trip, which ended in such disaster.

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MOTOR TRIP 24.3 "But where is Vaughn?" asked Cryton, turning to Milton, after the story was finished. The latter repeated his explanatiori in the same embarrassed manner. "He'll be along directly," he concluded, avoiding Marjorie's eyes. "Maybe this is he now," remarked McDaniel, catching sight of a car that was just about to enter the gate. "No," replied Milton immediately; "that's a tour ing-car, and his is a racer." At these words Marjorie's heart took a wild leap. 'A touring car! Could it-was it possible that it could belong to the boys? She did not have long to wait for her hope to be confirmed; a moment later the machine stopped in front of the steps, but, to her consternation, only her brother got out ! "Jack!" cried Marjorie and Lily, both rushing down the steps at the same time. "Oh, where did you come from?" "Sis!" he exclaimed joyfully, but taking care to hold her at arms' distance. "I'm too dirty t o t o uch -have been driving day and night!" Almost beside herself with happiness, the girl led her brother up to the porch and presented him to Miss Vaughn. Then she introduced the others, re-

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244 THE GIRL SC OUT S ' calling the fact of his p r e vi o us a cqu ai ntance wit h Cryto n a n d McDaniel at Lima . "This i s l ov ely for Ma r j orie," bea m ed Mi s s Vaug hn , glad to see the g i rl so h a p p y a g ain. "But tell u s h ow y o u happened to c ome." "No," interrup ted Marjorie, t oo impat ien t to w a it; "tell us what happened t o John!" "He 'll b e a l ong direct l y," r ep l i e d Jack , w ith a twink l e i n h i s eyes . Turning t o M iss V aughn , he added, "And your other n ephe w i s w i th h im." Marjorie only had time t o n ot ice that Milton Crowell' s fa c e grew death l y whi t e a t t hi s p i ece of infor ma ti o n, and that Miss V aughn ' s to ok o n a p uzzled e xpression . Befor e a n yo ne could a s k any questi o ns , another mud spa t te r e d t o uri n g-car c am e up the dri ve. ''It's-it's our own car ! " c r i e d M a rjorie, jump ing off the porch in her wil d h a s t e a nd e x cite me nt. "And Vaughn at the wheel!" gas ped Lily in amazement. The car pulle d up i n front of the porch , be hind the oth e r, with Marjo rie ri ding o n the run n in g b o ard. It seem e d almo s t as if she wanted fo hug h e r precious po s session. Both girls had jumped immediately to the corre ct explanation of th e robber y , but both waited for the bo y s to r e l a te the fact s . T h e y did not e ven a s k any more question s, b u t continued to watch J o hn with

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MOTOR TRIP admiration as he accompanied Vaughn Crowell up the steps. "There is a great de a l to be explained, Mi s s Vaughn, " he beg a n, afte r he had been du l y pre sented; "no t only by us and your nephews, but-" h e _ g lanc ed significantly at Cryton and McDaniel -"but by these other tw o young m e n as well . So, if you wiII permit, I think t h e best thing to do wou l d be to go inside, and g et it over at once! " "Certain l y," murmure d the puzzled Miss Vaughn , ri sing , and l eading the way . When they were all s ea t ed again in the drawing room , J a ck turned to V aughn Crowell. "Suppose y o u tell your story first, Mr. Crowell," he suggested. The young man acquiesced, sullen l y . "As som e of the girls no doubt expected, " he b e gan, "Milt and I got our car and followed them back t o the east. But they neve r camp e d a t night, and they never seemed to get far enough away fro m some oth e r car t o le t us plan a delay." "A delay?" int errupted his aunt, sh arply. "Yo u a ctually meant to prevent the gi rls from maki n g the ir trip?" "Yes-we did , " admitted the young man. "But why? Just for a j oke?" "Yes, of course!" put in Milton, h ast ily , grasping at the suggestion. "We tho u gh t it would be fun to

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24.G THE GIRL SCOUTS' give them a scare in s o me way . The y were so cock s ur e of themselves-" "Pardon me!" interrupted John, in a tone of d i s gust, "but there is not a word of truth in that state ment. We caught your brother and forced a confe s s ion from him, h i s alte rn a tive b e ing that w e w o uld hand him over to the police for stealin g the girls' car! So please allow him to go on with his story." "But your motive?" per s i sted the old lady. "The money, of c o urse!" J o hn explained. "Well , " continued V a u g hn, more sheepishly than ever, "we hit upon the plan of entering the garage where the scout car wa s stored , and watching our opportunity to take it. We had no difficulty in ac complishing this." "But the garage was locked!" objected Marjorie; "and the bolt was found unbroken!" Crowell smiled grimly; even now he con s idered i t a clever trick. "Milt drove into the g a rage in our car," he ex• plained, "with me hidden in the space in the b a ck where we carry tools and baggage. He parked the car there for an hour , and went away; meanwhile , I watched my chance , slipped out of our car, and stored myself away in y ours. When Milt came b a ck an d drove off , the gara g e man suspected nothin g . I managed my get-away while the garage was l o cked , and the man at supper."

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MOTOR TRIP 247 "But how did you bolt the door-from the out side?" inquired Lily. "Easy! I left the office dead-latch off, went back after the car was out, and let myself out through the office. Nobody was around, so I got away without suspicion." "And we never d i sco v ered our loss until the ne:x! morni n g !" murmured Marjo rie , regretfully . "No, becau s e I left no clues. The g arage-man found the garage a s he left it; why should he sus pe ct an ything?" "And ho w were y o u cau ght?" flashed Marjor.ie. "You tell i t , J o hn ," su g gested Jack, modestly . "There's not much to t e ll," re p lied John; " o nly that w e r e c og ni zed th e g irl s ' c a r , a n d g ave it a chase." "And caught it!" add e d M arjo rie, triumphantl y . To e v eryone the stor y seeme d a lmost incre di bl e in its exposur e of the Crowell s' villain y; but to Miss Vaug hn e a ch word was l i ke a blow. HeE_ face grew ash e n , a nd h e r e xp r e s sion di storte d . For som e mo ments s he wa s s o an g r y th a t s h e could not speak. F ina lly Jac k bro k e the s il e nce. "Tha t isn't half o f it , " he said. "We s ucce e ded in le a rnin g all yo u wante d e xp l a ined about your trip out, Marj," h e a d d ed , turnin g to his sister . Ma rj o rie 's eyes flas h e d e x pectantl y; s he gl a nc e d acro ss the ro o m at McD a ni e l and Cryton, but found them lo o kin g fixe dly at the flo or.

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248 THE GIRL SCOUTS' "Proceed!" c o mmanded Jack again, to the culprit. "The whole thing started, as near as I can remem ber, about two months ago," said Vaughn, doggedly, "at a frat smoker. The fellows were all talking about a new frat house, and n obod y could see any way of getting the money t oge ther. Then Milt and I hit on the plan of appro a ching Auntie on the sub ject. And do you remember, Aunt Emeline, that you turned us down on the grounds that this scout trip would eat too heavily into your income?" "Yes, I recall the circumstance," nodded Miss Vaughn, with an effort. "Then Milt and I s uggested that if the trip fell through, or the girls failed to earn their cars, tliat we should get the money. And you agreed." A g ain the old lady n o dded, coldly. "So the i dea must have come t o one of us to make that trip fail, and we let McDaniel and Cryton into the scheme, got all our details from Auntie, and proceeded to do everything in our power to keep the girls from winning." "But we w o n in the end!" retorted Marjorie, de fiantly. "At least, we would have , if you hadn't lied!" "And just what was this plan of action?" asked Miss Vaughn, turning not to her nephews, but to McDaniel instead.

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MOTOR TRIP 249 "What we wanted t o do," explained the latter, "wa s to delay th e girls so they wouldn't get here on time, or else in some way t o trick them into ac cepting assistance from us. In other words, we meant to accompli s h our plan without doing any harm to the girls, if p ossi ble . " "That wa s kind of you," rem a rked Lily, sarcas tically. "So we s c a ttere d the t acks that made the punc tures, obt a i ned an in vita ti o n for ourselves fro m Tom Me lville at Lima and put forth every effort to make o urselves s o interesting tha t yo u girls would forget all about ti m e and stay over." "Yo u t r ied to w o r k th a t little stunt in Ch i cago, t oo , didn't you?" a s ked Marjorie, shrewdly. "And whe n you sent us out on that muddy road, y ou weren't s u rp ri s ed w h e n we g o t stuc k, were you?" "No," answered Cryton; " the thin g tha t surpris e d us w as y our persistence. W o uld you be l iev e it , Mi ss Vaughn, these girl s n o t anly turned us down, but a farmer with h o r ses a s weU ! Jus t because he was a man!" "Then," in q uired the hostess, "it is true that the girl s never accepte d help from a man-all the way out?" "It's abso l u tely true !" cried McDaniel. "Those o th e r t wo fellows were bribed to l i e !" Miss Vaughn no w looked utterl y disgusted; in-

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250 THE GIRL SCOUTS' deed, it seemed as if she hardly cared to hear the re mainder of the story. Nevertheless, McDaniel con tinued. "Let's see," he mused; "what was it we did next?" "Stole our food, wasn't it?" prompted Marjorie . "So we had to lose a11 that time getting more! And then made up a story about being at a smoker that evening!" "Yes, I guess that was our next offense," admitted the young man. "And stole our uniforms at Salt Lake City-and later Lily's car!" "Yes, yes-we're guilty!" "But how about the robbery?" asked Lily. "Surely y o u didn't di sguise yourselves as b a ndits, and hold us up for our money and jewelry?" "Yes, even that!" ' 'What did yo u do with the money?" asked Mis s Vaughn, with a sudden return of interest. "It's all here in an envel o pe," replied McDaniel, reachin g in his pocket and handing it to Marjorie. "Will you see that it gets back to its owners?" "And where is my car?" demanded Lily, sharpl y . "Stored in a fri end's ga r age, a long the road. I 'll ship that east to you soon. And your uniforms have alread y gon e parcel-po st to Dais y's house." "One more thing , " persisted Marjorie; "did yon

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MOTOR TRIP 251 1 1 a v e any t h in g to d o with that woman an d child who m we took b a ck acro s s the de sert?" "Yes , to that t o o , " replied McDaniel. "We bribed h er, s o that s he would beg you to take her. If she got you half wa y , she was to receive fifty dollars; i f s he succeed e d in ma kin g y ou take her all the way a c ros s , sh e was to get a hundred." " A nd sh e succeeded a11 right," conclud . ed Marj o ri e . "For I saw her get her money." Miss Vaughn rose suddenly; she had listened t-J en o ugh. "Stop!" she commanded. "I am simply astcunded a t your audacity-all four of you boys. I a m worse t han a s hamed of you I Needless to say, I do not w i s h y o u to rema i n t o dinner. In fact , " she con cluded , addressin g her nephews, "you may pack your thin gs and go over to your club. Don't come back until I s end for you!" Then , ch ang ing h e r tone , she i s sued a cordial in v itati o n to J a ck a n d J o hn to remain. "Tell me one thi n g b efo r e y ou g o to your rooms , " she s aid: "how did you t w o y o un g men happen to come fro m the east to track my nephews and their fri end s ?" "Marjorie sent for u s !" replied John Hadley, p rou d ly . "She suspected something-and wanted proof!" " Good! S p lendid!" exclaim ed Mi s s Vau g hn ; and

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252 THE GIRL SCOUTS' after all the young men had withdrawn, she seemed quite herself again as she cha tte d cheerfully with the girls until the summons to d inner . CHAPTER XXIII. CONCLUSION. THE dinner party that evening was the most pleasant occa s ion of both of th e sco u ts' visits at M iss Vaug h n ' s home; now all the disturbing elements, all the di s t asteful c o mpanions, we re removed; the girls felt at l ast that they were am ong friend s . The boys' aunt seemed to for ge t h er own nephews and their dis gracefu l deeds a n d ent e red whole-he arted ly int o the joy of the event. Jac k's and J ohn's hero i sm had restored the good name o f P ansy T roop; once more the scouts , freed fr o m s u spicion of di s honor, ha d been able to establish the truth. "Aren't you glad that you a ccepted Miss Vaughn's invitatio n to sta y?" as ked Marjorie of M rs. Hart, when the little party of six were seated at the t ab le. "Indeed I am!" replied t he o l de r woman, admir ingly, for Marjorie wa s r ad i ant with her trium p h. "But you mu stn't forget that I beli e ved in you g i rls all along!"

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MOTOR TRIP 253 " A nd y o u would have b elieved in our boys, t o o, i f y ou had kn o wn them!" ret u rned the g irl, pro u d ly. "Marj," in t errup ted J a ck , anxi o u s to turn t he top ic away fr om himself and J o hn, and the i r p art in t h e a dv enture , "let's try to wir e t he train the girls are on, an d br eak the goo d n e w s t o t hem!" "Gre a t !" e xcla i m e d hi s siste r , forgetting t o cat i n her e x cit e m en t. "But w ait and ea t your din ner first," a dvised Miss Vaug hn , smili n gly . " A nd tell them to go to Lima , " put in Lily. " And t e l eg ra ph Mae, t oo ! " a dd e d Mar j o rie . " May we go with yo u . to joi n in the r e j oici n g ? " a s k e d J o hn, hu mbly . "Our vac a ti o ns aren't o v e r till Sunday a week." " I sho uld say you m ay !" cried b oth g irl s at onc e . "I wis h I cou ld g o w i th y o u , " m us e d M iss Vaug hn , "an d have t he satisfacti o n o f s eeing D a i sy' s face when s he l e a rns that her i nnocence i s prov ed!" " W hy not go?" de m ande d Ma rjorie, r a pt u rously . " O h, Miss V augh n , it will be wonderful!" "And you, t oo, Mrs . Har t ! " be g ged Lily . "So that Miss V a u ghn will hav e a c ompanio n o n the wa y b::ick! " Their hote s s listened t o t he g irl' s entrea ties w ith a p l easant sens a ti o n o f a nt icipati o n ; after all , why should sh e n o t g o ? It wo ul d aff or d her a n e w in t erest i n l ife at a time when she sadly needed o n e

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254 THE GIRL SCOUTS ' after the dis g r a ce of her nep hews' c ond u c t. M o re over, s uch a1trip would show the y oung me n t hat s he meant what sh e s ai d ; tha t be fo r e she wo u ld tak e them b a ck the y must prove themselves s i n c e r e i n a gen uin e re form. "I believ e that I will go, " she anno unced; " a t lea s t , if M rs. H art will acc o m pa n y me. " " Yes, I'd like to, " ans w e r e d the other; " as l o n g a s we're go in g b y train. B e s i des, yo u g i rl s o u ght to h a ve a ch a p e r o n e, since Mrs. R e m in g t o n has g o ne home. " "Oh, we mustn't fo r ge t t o wire her-and A l i c e !" cried Marjorie. "No w our party will be c ompl et e . " While J a ck went to the t e legr ap h offic e t o s en d off his m e ss ages t o the others, Mi s s V a u ghn made t h e arra n g em ents with the r a i l ro ad t o se cure a p r ivate car for the p arty o n o ne o f the best trains t o t h e ea s t. Mrs. Hart r etired e a rli, a n d Majori e an d L i l y an
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