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Betty Gordon at Boarding School by Alice B. Emerson

Betty Gordon at Boarding School

The Treasure of Indian Chasm


subjects: Children's Action & Adventure

series: Betty Gordon (#4)

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The girl, who was watching a wiry little bay horse contentedly crop grass that grew in straggling whisps about the fence posts, looked up and showed an even row of white teeth as she smiled.

169 pages with a reading time of ~2.75 hours (42313 words), and first published in 1921. This DRM-Free edition published by epubBooks, .

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“Me make you velly nice apple tart. Miss Betty.” The Chinese cook flourished his rolling pin with one hand and swung his apron viciously with the other as he held open the screen door and swept out some imaginary flies.

Lee Chang, cook for the bunk house in the oil fields, could do several things at one time, as he had frequently proved.

The girl, who was watching a wiry little bay horse contentedly crop grass that grew in straggling whisps about the fence posts, looked up and showed an even row of white teeth as she smiled.

“I don’t think we’re going to stay for dinner to–day,” she said half regretfully. “I know your apple tarts, Lee Chang—they are delicious.”

The fat Chinaman closed the screen door and went on with his pastry making. From time to time, as he passed from the table to the oven, he glanced out. Betty Gordon still stood watching the horse.

“That Bob no come?” inquired Lee Chang, poking his head out of the door again. Fast developing into a good American, his natural trait of curiosity gave him the advantage of acquiring information blandly and with ease.

Betty shaded her eyes with her hand. The Oklahoma sun was pitiless. Far up the road that ran straight away from the bunk house a faint cloud of dust was rising.

“He’s coming now,” said the girl confidently.

Lee Chang grunted and returned to his work, satisfied that whatever Betty was waiting for would soon be at hand.

“Bake tart ‘fore that boy goes away,” the Chinaman muttered to himself, waddling hastily to the oven, opening it, and closing the door again with a satisfied sniff.

The cloud of dust whirled more madly, rose higher. Out from the center of it finally emerged a raw–boned white horse that galloped with amazing awkwardness and incredible speed. Astride him sat a slim, tanned youth with eyes as blue as Betty Gordon’s were dark.

“Got something for you!” he called, waving his arm in the motion of lasso–throwing. “Catch if you can!”

“Oh, don’t!” cried Betty eagerly. “What is it, Bob? Be careful or you’ll break it.”

Bob Henderson reined in his mount and slipped to the ground. The white horse contentedly went to munching dry blades of dusty grass.

“Bob, I do believe you’ve been silly,” said Betty, trying to speak severely and failing completely because her dimple would deepen distractingly. “You know I told you not to do it.”

“How do you know what I’ve done?” demanded Bob, placing a square package in the girl’s hands. “Don’t scold till you know what you’re scolding about.”

Betty, busy with the cord and paper, paused.

“Oh, Bob!” she beamed, her vivid face glowing with a new thought. “What do you think? I had a letter yesterday from Bobby Littell, and she’s going to boarding school. And, Bob, so am I! Uncle Dick says so. And, Bob—”

“Yes?” smiled Bob, thinking how the girl’s face changed as she talked. “Go on, Betty.”

“Well, Louise is going, too, and they think Libbie will come down from Vermont. Dear old Libbie—I wonder if she is as incurably romantic as ever!”

Betty’s fingers had worked mechanically while she spoke, and now she had her parcel undone.

“Why, Bob Henderson!” she gasped, as she drew out a handsome white box tied with pale blue ribbons and encased in waxed paper.

“I hope they’re not stale,” said Bob diffidently.

Betty slit the waxed paper and took off the box lid, revealing a perfectly packed box of expensive chocolates.

“They’re beautiful,” she declared. “But I never dreamed you would send East for ‘em simply because I happened to say I was hungry for good candy. Um—um—taste one quick, Bob.”

Bob took a caramel and pronounced it not “half bad.”

“Uncle Dick’s gone somewhere with Dave Thorne,” announced Betty, biting into another candy. “He didn’t know when he would get back, and I’m supposed to ride to the Watterby farm for lunch. It must be after eleven now.”

“Miss Betty!” Lee Chang’s voice was persuasive. “Miss Betty, that apple tart he all baked done now.”

“Apple tart?” shouted Bob. “Show me, Lee Chang! I’d rather have a corner of your pie than all the candy in New York.”

“Him for Miss Betty,” said the Chinaman gravely.

“But you don’t care if I give Bob some, do you?” returned Betty coaxingly. “See, Lee Chang, Bob gave me these. You take some, and we’ll eat the tart on our way home.”

Lee Chang’s wish was fulfilled when he placed the flaky tart in Betty’s hands, and he took a candy or two (which he privately considered rather poor stuff) and watched the girl no longer. From now on till dinner time Lee Chang’s whole attention would be concentrated on the preparation of an excellent dinner for the men who worked that section of the oil fields.

“I don’t believe I can ride and eat this, after all,” decided Betty. “Let’s sit down on the grass and finish it; Clover hasn’t finished her lunch, either.”