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|The Golden Road||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
Great-aunt Eliza's Visit
|Page 2 of 9||
"Fortunately the sitting-room is tidy and there's plenty in the pantry," said Felicity, who could face anything undauntedly with a well-stocked larder behind her.
Further conversation was cut short by a decided rap at the door. Felicity opened it.
"Why, how do you do, Aunt Eliza?" she said loudly.
A slightly bewildered look appeared on Aunt Eliza's face. Felicity perceived she had not spoken loudly enough.
"How do you do, Aunt Eliza," she repeated at the top of her voice. "Come in--we are glad to see you. We've been looking for you for ever so long."
"Are your father and mother at home?" asked Aunt Eliza, slowly.
"No, they went to town today. But they'll be home this evening."
"I'm sorry they're away," said Aunt Eliza, coming in, "because I can stay only a few hours."
"Oh, that's too bad," shouted poor Felicity, darting an angry glance at the rest of us, as if to demand why we didn't help her out. "Why, we've been thinking you'd stay a week with us anyway. You MUST stay over Sunday."
"I really can't. I have to go to Charlottetown tonight," returned Aunt Eliza.
"Well, you'll take off your things and stay to tea, at least," urged Felicity, as hospitably as her strained vocal chords would admit.
"Yes, I think I'll do that. I want to get acquainted with my--my nephews and nieces," said Aunt Eliza, with a rather pleasant glance around our group. If I could have associated the thought of such a thing with my preconception of Great-aunt Eliza I could have sworn there was a twinkle in her eye. But of course it was impossible. "Won't you introduce yourselves, please?"
Felicity shouted our names and Great-aunt Eliza shook hands all round. She performed the duty grimly and I concluded I must have been mistaken about the twinkle. She was certainly very tall and dignified and imposing--altogether a great-aunt to be respected.
Felicity and Cecily took her to the spare room and then left her in the sitting-room while they returned to the kitchen, to discuss the matter in family conclave.
"Well, and what do you think of dear Aunt Eliza?" asked Dan.
"S-s-s-sh," warned Cecily, with a glance at the half-open hall door.
"Pshaw," scoffed Dan, "she can't hear us. There ought to be a law against anyone being as deaf as that."
"She's not so old-looking as I expected," said Felix. "If her hair wasn't so white she wouldn't look much older than your mother."
"You don't have to be very old to be a great-aunt," said Cecily. "Kitty Marr has a great-aunt who is just the same age as her mother. I expect it was burying so many husbands turned her hair white. But Aunt Eliza doesn't look just as I expected she would either."
"She's dressed more stylishly than I expected," said Felicity. "I thought she'd be real old-fashioned, but her clothes aren't too bad at all."
"She wouldn't be bad-looking if 'tweren't for her nose," said Peter. "It's too long, and crooked besides."
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|The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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