The heroines of these stories are four girls, who with enthusiasm for outdoor life, transformed a dilapidated canal boat into a pretty floating summer home. They christened the craft "The Merry Maid" and launched it on the shore of Chesapeake Bay.
ousin to give her the address of places in Baltimore where such a boat could be hired. She wished it to cost the smallest sum of money possible, for Eleanor had suggested that even houseboat girls must eat. Indeed, the water was likely to make them especially hungry. If all the two hundred dollars went for the houseboat, what were they to do for food?
Madge's sole fortune was just ten dollars a month, which she used for her dress allowance. Her uncle and aunt were not rich, but they were paying for her education, and Madge knew she was expected to make her own living as soon as she was old enough. Mr. and Mrs. Butler had hoped she would become a teacher, for they held the old-fashioned southern belief that teaching school was the only avenue open to the woman who was forced by necessity to make her own living.
Madge, however, had decided, a long time before, that she would much rather die than teach. She would do anything but that. Just at present her poverty was very inconvenient. Madge was gene
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