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CHAPTER IX One Day in Vacation.
 OH, how pleasant it was to lie in bed like this in the morning now that it was vacation! Not to have Lisa the nursemaid popping her head in at the door and saying, “John, it is time to get up. You must hurry, too.” That was what she always said.  
Just to lie here and think!
How people did and talk about all that Kingthorpe heir business! They seemed to think it something . The minute he showed himself in the street, people called to him and asked him if he wasn’t glad.
What a crazy idea! Glad, when it had all come about only because Uncle Isaac was dead—dear, good, kind Uncle Isaac! Every time Johnny Blossom thought of him a lump came in his throat. Then he would whistle to try to get the lump away, but whistling did not help greatly, for he was very sorry and missed Uncle Isaac so much. No, glad about it he could never be, never in the world.
Oh, pshaw! It was raining. Johnny Blossom turned a face toward the window. Just what one might expect—to have it rain the very first day of vacation! It always did, always. Funny kind of rain, anyhow—coming down in a regular . . He had planned to do so much today—be “boatman,” for instance.
If it would only rain enough so that the whole world would be covered with water, there might be some fun in it. If people had to go in boats, and nobody could walk anywhere, but every one had to swim, that would be jolly!
Well, he would not get up yet anyway, since it was raining so hard. He would lie there and sing all the school songs. So he began singing at the top of his voice, “Yes, we love our grand old Norway.” That went splendidly. Then he started another, but that ran up rather too high for his voice.
Mother appeared in the .
“Come, John, don’t lie there and in that fashion.”
“Don’t you like my singing, Mother?”
“Not that, it was horrible; and people can hear you away down the road.”
It seemed rather pleasant to John, that his singing should be heard so far.
“Get up now,” said Mother.
Happening to see his new paint-box with its cakes of paint of all colors, Johnny Blossom in his night gown and bare feet was soon wholly absorbed in mixing paint.
There was Mother at the door again.
“Why, John! Are you there in your night gown painting?”
“Just see this beautiful color I have made, Mother,” exclaimed John, exhibiting a muddy yellow mixture as the result of his efforts. Mother did not seem much impressed with the new yellow color.
“Wash yourself thoroughly,” she said. Oh, yes! That was what Mother always said. John showed her two red ears he had scrubbed, but she wasn’t satisfied. Oh, dear! How many bothersome crinkles and crannies there were in an ear, anyway!
After breakfast Johnny Blossom that he must walk twenty-four times back and on the railing, the railing representing a rope stretched over Niagara Falls. Johnny walked with greatest care, his arms outstretched and his tongue in his cheek, to help him keep his balance.
“Oh, John! My boy!” called Mother from the dining-room window.
“I’m—crossing—Niagara Falls—on—a—tight-rope,” said Johnny.
He scarcely dared to speak, so very was the walking; but when he could take hold of one of the veranda posts, he called:
“Now I have got across Niagara Falls, and all the people are shouting ‘Hurrah!’”
“Indeed,” said Mother.
But my, oh, my! There was the sun. Johnny Blossom shouted “Asta” everywhere through the house, for now there was a chance for them to realize a certain plan that he had made. Since he could not carry it out alone, he would make use of Asta, even if she were only a girl, poor thing!
At last he found her, in a big rocking chair, reading some stupid girls’ book. They rushed over to Jensen’s , for that was where Jeremias the wood-cutter kept his boat, and they had a standing permission to use it whenever they wished.
The steamer would arrive very soon—the one that did not come in to the wharf and whose passengers, therefore, had to be rowed if they wished to land here. Johnny and Asta thought it would be great fun to row out and call up to the ship that if any one wished to go ashore, here were the boatmen for them, boatmen who were good for something, too.
There lay the steamer already. They rowed their best, but saw that a big boat carrying passengers ashore had already started. Pshaw! Too bad they had come so late! However, Johnny Blossom rowed swiftly and carefully alongside the steamer.
“Is there any one who wishes to land?” he shouted up toward the deck, in as a tone as he could assume.
Yes, there was an elderly gentleman with glasses who had not gone with the other boat.
“Can you row?” asked the gentleman with the glasses.
“You may be sure we can,” answered Johnny Blossom, with a very superior air.
So the gentleman got into Jeremias’s boat and Johnny and Asta turned it toward the wharf. Asta was always inclined to put her too deep in the water, and when she tried to take them out, she had to get up off her seat almost every time. Johnny threw glances at her. She was likely to ruin everything, doing no better than that, after he had assured the gentleman that they could row.
The boat scraped against the wharf.
“How much for my passage?” asked the gentleman.
“Do you think five cents is too dear?” asked Johnny in a businesslike manner.
No, the stranger thought not.
“I declare if there isn’t the Kingthorpe heir himself, hiring out as boatman!” came a voice from the wharf.
Pshaw! Ola Ramm was hanging over the railing watching them.
“Kingthorpe heir?” asked the gentleman. “What does he mean by that?”
“It is what they call me,” replied Johnny, rather soberly.
Asta led the way at once to the candy shop.
“Perhaps we ought not to have taken any money,” said Johnny.
“I should like to know!” exclaimed Asta. “As heavy as............
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