the mercy of a strange aunt; and she found herself staring at nothing but a dismal brick wall, with eyes that were blinking to keep back the tears.
Peter was the first to break the pause that had settled with a kind of gloom on the old London schoolroom. He was always on the alert to resent anything that cast a shadow over the light gaiety of existence.
'I say, look here,' he began, giving himself a shake as if to get rid of an unpleasant impression; 'don't be so jolly blue, all of you! Father will only be away six months; he said so himself. And as for Auntie Anna, how do we know she isn't quite a decent old lady? Some old ladies are awfully sporting. Do you remember Merton major's aunt, Will? She used to give him whopping tips, whenever she came to see him; and he said he quite liked her!'
Christopher persisted in his gloomy view of the situation. 'Our aunt is not the same as anybody else's aunt,' he said. 'And then, there's the adopted kid.'
'Yes,' admitted Peter, 'no doubt she'
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