Under the Lilacs
Somebody Runs Away
"'School is done, Now we'll have fun,"
Sung Bab and Betty, slamming down their books as if they never meant to take them up
again, when they came home on the last day of June.
Tired teacher had dismissed them for eight whole weeks, and gone away to rest; the little
school-house was shut up, lessons were over, spirits rising fast, and vacation had begun.
The quiet town seemed suddenly inundated with children, all in such a rampant state that
busy mothers wondered how they ever should be able to keep their frisky darlings out of
mischief; thrifty fathers planned how they could bribe the idle hands to pick berries or
rake hay; and the old folks, while wishing the young folks well, secretly blessed the man
who invented schools.
The girls immediately began to talk about picnics, and have them, too; for little hats
sprung up in the fields like a new sort of mushroom, -- every hillside bloomed with gay
gowns, looking as if the flowers had gone out for a walk; and the woods were full of
featherless birds chirping away as blithely as the thrushes, robins, and wrens.
The boys took to base-ball like ducks to water, and the common was the scene of
tremendous battles, waged with much tumult, but little bloodshed. To the uninitiated, it
appeared as if these young men had lost their wits; for, no matter how warm it was, there
they were, tearing about in the maddest mannet, jackets off, sleeves rolled up, queer caps
flung on any way, all batting shabby leather balls, and catching the same, as if their lives
depended on it. Every one talking in his gruffest tone, bawling at the top of his voice,
squabbling over every point of the game, and seeming to enjoy himself immensely, in
spite of the heat, dust, uproar, and imminent danger of getting eyes or teeth knocked out.
Thorny was an excellent player, but, not being strong enough to show his prowess, he
made Ben his proxy; and, sitting on the fence, acted as umpire to his heart's content. Ben
was a promising pupil, and made rapid progress; for eye, foot, and hand had been so well
trained, that they did him good service now; and Brown was considered a first-rate
Sancho distinguished himself by his skill in hunting up stray balls, and guarding jackets
when not needed, with the air of one of the Old Guard on duty at the tomb of Napoleon.
Bab also longed to join in the fun, which suited her better than "stupid picnics" or
"fussing over dolls;" but her heroes would not have her at any price; and she was obliged
to content herself with sitting by Thorny, and watching with breathless interest the
varying fortunes of "our side."
A grand match was planned for the Fourth of July; but when the club met, things were
found to be unpropitious. Thorny had gone out of town with his sister to pass the day,