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Billie Bradley on Lighthouse Island The Mystery of the Wreck

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Splash! went a big drop just on the exact tip of Laura Jordon’s pretty, rather upturned nose. She put her hand to the drop to be sure she had not been mistaken, then turned in dismay to her companions.

“Girls,” she cried, “it’s raining!”

If she had said the world was coming to an end her companions could not have looked more startled. Then Billie Bradley cocked an eye at what she could see of the sky through the trees and held out one hand experimentally.

“You’re crazy,” she announced, turning an accusing eye upon Laura. “It’s no more raining than you are. And, anyway, haven’t we troubles enough without your going and making up a new one?”

“M-making up!” Laura stuttered in her indignation. “If you don’t believe me, just look at my nose.”

“I don’t see what your nose has to do with it,” Billie began scornfully, but the third of the trio, Violet Farrington, by name, interrupted.

“Laura’s right,” she cried. “I just felt a great big drop myself. Now, what ever are we going to do?” Vi dropped down in a pathetic little heap on a convenient rock, looking up at her chums wistfully.

Violet Farrington was always a little wistful when in trouble, like a small girl who can never understand why she is being punished. But just now this wistfulness irritated Billie Bradley, who was very much given to quick action herself, and she turned upon Vi rather snappily.

“Well, you needn’t just sit there like a ninny,” she cried. “Get up and help us think what we can do to get out of this mess.”

“Mess is right,” said Laura Jordon gloomily.

And it must be admitted that the girls were in rather a trying situation. Their botany teacher at Three Towers Hall, where they were students, had sent them into the woods to gather some rare ferns which they were to use in the botany class the next day.

That was all very well; for if there was anything the girls loved it was a trip into the woods. They had started off in hilarious spirits; and then—the impossible thing had happened.

They had gathered the ferns, turned to go back to Three Towers, and found, to their absolute dismay, that they did not know which way to go. There was no getting over the fact. They were absolutely and completely lost!

For almost an hour now they had been wandering around and around, getting deeper into the woods every minute, until they had finally begun to feel really frightened. Suppose they couldn’t find Three Towers before dusk? Suppose they should be forced to stay in the woods all night? These and a hundred other thoughts had chased themselves through their heads, but they had said nothing of their fears to each other. The girls were thoroughly “game.”

But now had come this new complication. It had begun to rain. Hopelessly lost in the woods and a storm coming on! It was a situation to try the patience of a saint. And the girls were not saints. They were just happy, fun-loving, lovable specimens of young American girlhood who could upon occasion show rather alarming flashes of temper....