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|The Golden Road||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
We Visit Peg Bowen
|Page 2 of 9||
But we were wholly lost now. All around us was a horror of great darkness. Suddenly Felicity fell. We dragged her up, but she declared she could not go on--she was done out.
"Have you any idea where we are?" shouted Dan to Peter.
"No," Peter shouted back, "the wind is blowing every which way. I haven't any idea where home is."
Home! Would we ever see it again? We tried to urge Felicity on, but she only repeated drowsily that she must lie down and rest. Cecily, too, was reeling against me. The Story Girl still stood up staunchly and counselled struggling on, but she was numb with cold and her words were hardly distinguishable. Some wild idea was in my mind that we must dig a hole in the snow and all creep into it. I had read somewhere that people had thus saved their lives in snowstorms. Suddenly Felix gave a shout.
"I see a light," he cried.
"Where? Where?" We all looked but could see nothing.
"I don't see it now but I saw it a moment ago," shouted Felix. "I'm sure I did. Come on--over in this direction."
Inspired with fresh hope we hurried after him. Soon we all saw the light--and never shone a fairer beacon. A few more steps and, coming into the shelter of the woodland on the further side, we realized where we were.
"That's Peg Bowen's house," exclaimed Peter, stopping short in dismay.
"I don't care whose house it is," declared Dan. "We've got to go to it."
"I s'pose so," acquiesced Peter ruefully. "We can't freeze to death even if she is a witch."
"For goodness' sake don't say anything about witches so close to her house," gasped Felicity. "I'll be thankful to get in anywhere."
We reached the house, climbed the flight of steps that led to that mysterious second story door, and Dan rapped. The door opened promptly and Peg Bowen stood before us, in what seemed exactly the same costume she had worn on the memorable day when we had come, bearing gifts, to propitiate her in the matter of Paddy.
"Behind her was a dim room scantly illumined by the one small candle that had guided us through the storm; but the old Waterloo stove was colouring the gloom with tremulous, rose-red whorls of light, and warm and cosy indeed seemed Peg's retreat to us snow-covered, frost-chilled, benighted wanderers.
"Gracious goodness, where did yez all come from?" exclaimed Peg. "Did they turn yez out?"
"We've been over to Baywater, and we got lost in the storm coming back," explained Dan. "We didn't know where we were till we saw your light. I guess we'll have to stay here till the storm is over--if you don't mind."
"And if it won't inconvenience you," said Cecily timidly.
"Oh, it's no inconvenience to speak of. Come in. Well, yez HAVE got some snow on yez. Let me get a broom. You boys stomp your feet well and shake your coats. You girls give me your things and I'll hang them up. Guess yez are most froze. Well, sit up to the stove and git het up."
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|The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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