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The Phantom Violin (Illustrated)

The Phantom Violin (Illustrated)

by Roy J. Snell

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“Flo—Florence! They saw me!”

The little French girl, Petite Jeanne, sprang noiselessly through the cabin door. Then, as if to keep someone out, closed the door and propped herself against it. “They saw me!” she repeated in a whisper. “And they—I believe they thought me a ghost. I’m sure it was so. I heard one of them, he said ‘ghost.’ I heard him!” Jeanne clasped and unclasped her slender fingers.

“Who saw you?” Florence stared at her through the dim light of the moon that came straying through the narrow window.

“Yes. Who saw you?” came from somewhere above them.

“The men.” Jeanne was growing calmer. “There were two of them. They saw me. They had tied their boat to the wreck. They were going to do something. I am sure of that. Then they saw me and acted very much afraid. And then—”

“You do look like a ghost,” Florence broke in. “In that white dressing gown with your golden hair flying in the moonlight, you look just like a ghost. And I suppose you popped right up out of the hatch like a ghost!” She laughed in spite of herself.

“But these men—” her tone sobered. “What were they doing here at this time of the night?”

“That?” said Jeanne. “How is one to know? They rattle chains. They see me, then Old Dizzy lets out one of his terrible screams, and they are gone!”

Closing her eyes, the little French girl saw all that had happened just as if it were being played before her as a drama. She saw dark waters of night, a golden moon, distant shores of an island, black and haunting and, strangest, most mysterious of all, the prow of a great ship rearing itself far above the surface of Lake Superior’s waters.

The ship was a wreck, you would have said a deserted wreck. And yet, even as you said it, you might have felt the hair rise at the back of your neck, for, appearing apparently through the solid deck, a white apparition rose at the prow. Rising higher and higher, it stood at last a wavering ghost-like figure in that eery moonlight. This was her own figure Jeanne was seeing now. Once again, with eyes closed, she seemed to stand there in her wavy gown of filmy white, bathed in the golden moonlight. Once again she looked at the glory of the night, the moon, the stars, the black waters, the distant, mysterious shores where no one lived.

The distant shore line was that of Isle Royale fifteen miles off the shore of Canada, in Lake Superior.

All this was a grand and glorious dream to her.

They had been here three days, she and Florence Huyler, whom you may have met before, and Greta Clara Bronson, whom you are going to love as Petite Jeanne, who had known her for but two months, loved her.

“Tomorrow,” Jeanne had whispered to herself, standing there in the moonlight, “we are going ashore, ashore on that Mystic Isle.”

Ashore? One would have said she must be standing on a ship lying at anchor. This was not true. The old Pilgrim, a three hundred foot pleasure boat, would never sail again. Fast on the rocks, her stern beneath the black waters, her prow high in air, she would rest there a while until—ah, well, until, who could say what or when?

“This,” the little French girl had whispered, “is our summer home.” How the thought had thrilled her! Three girls, the “last passengers,” they had styled themselves, three girls alone on a great wrecked ship for long summer months.

What fun it had been to fit out the captain’s and the first mate’s cabins—what fun and what work! Bunks had been leveled, chairs and tables fitted with two short and two long legs to fit the slanting floors, a score of adjustments had been made. But now they were all done.

“And tomorrow,” she had repeated in a whisper, “tomorrow—”

But what was that? Had she caught a sound? Yes, there it was again, like the purring of a cat, only louder. It came from the dark waters of night. Listening, intent, motionless, she had failed to fathom its meaning.

“Something on shore,” she had tried to assure herself.

“Ashore.” At once her keen young mind was busy conjuring up fantastic pictures of those shores which, though so near, scarcely a half mile away, were utterly strange to her. Wild moose, wandering about like cattle; wolves, tawny gray streaks in the forest; high ridges; great boulders laden with precious green stones; and in the silent waters of narrow bays such monstrous fishes.

“Ah!” she breathed. “Tomorrow!”


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Product Details

BN ID: 2940149011810
Publisher: Lost Leaf Publications
Publication date: 01/03/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 243 KB
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

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