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Secondary Kids Stories | 9-12 yrs | Reading Pod

There was another mark on the kitchen calendar now; not a red star, betokening some happy event to come, but a deep black border, drawn all around the date on which Lloyd’s visit was to end. The heavy black lines marked the time as only a few days distant.

It was Saturday again, a week after the excursion to the Indian school. Joyce had gone down to the ranch, for Mr. Armond to criticize the drawings which she had made since the last lesson, and Lloyd, on the seat under the willows, was waiting for Phil. He was to come at four, and ride over to one of the neighbouring orange groves with her.

She had a book in her hand, but she was not reading. She was listening to the water gurgle through the little water-gate into the lateral, and thinking of all that had happened during her visit, especially since the night she was lost on the desert, and Phil had found her.

Monday he had spent the entire day at the Wigwam, and, since Joyce had forbidden him to come near the spot where the washing was in progress, he and Lloyd had brought a jar of paste and the little wicker table down to this very seat under the willows, and had mounted all her photographs in the book she had bought for the purpose. There were over a hundred, beginning with a view of the Wigwam and ending with the four laughing faces around the table on the balcony of Coffee Al’s restaurant. There was Lloyd on her pony, coming back from the duck hunt, and again in the act of dropping her cherry tart. There was Mary in the hammock watching the bees, Jack in his irrigating boots, and Holland on a burro. There were a dozen different pictures of Joyce, and family groups, and picnic groups, in which was represented every acquaintance Lloyd had made in Arizona. Turning the pages was like living over the pleasant days again, for they brought the scenes vividly before her.

When the last picture was mounted, Phil proposed that they write an appropriate quotation under each one. So they spent another hour over that, Phil suggesting most of them, and at Lloyd’s request writing the inscriptions himself in his strong, dashing hand. Some of his apt phrases and clever parodies seemed really brilliant to Lloyd, and they had laughed and joked over them in a way that had ripened their friendship as weeks of ordinary intercourse would not have done.

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