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A Remarkable Holiday

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Both the girls put their heads together and at last decided on a blue and white frock with daisies embroidered on the collar, sleeves and pocket. The sweet dress had a little doll wearing the same dress tucked into one of its pockets and lovely blue and white sandals to compliment it. Daisy was really thrilled with her dress. Nonie shyly pointed at a red and white simple frock and aunty gave her a box of pretty lacy hankies to go with it and was thanked profusely by her.

After this, aunty bought a few items for Betsy’s kitchen and some cosmetics for herself. Samantha too bought a pink lipstick for herself from the pocket money she had saved and brought along with her. Clara bought a book and Daisy a new indoor game which she planned to play with Nonie. While returning, aunty treated the girls to ice cream cones bought from a road side vendor. Samantha had vanilla and strawberry two in one cone, while Clara settled for peach and mango cone. Daisy and Nonie had chocolate and nut cone. Aunt Matilda had a plain vanilla cone while Joseph and Sally had coffee cones.

In the evening, the girls were too tired to do anything, so after a long hot relaxing bath, they had an early supper and went to bed. Early next morning, Aunt Matilda decided to send to visit the circus. Samantha and her two sisters bathed and dressed themselves into cool summer dresses and left with Joseph, Sally and Nonie to ‘The Great Magical Circus’. Over there they met Danny and his friends who treated the girls to candy floss and ice cream cones.

They invited the three girls to come to the celebration dinner next day at the local Youth Club. The club was celebrating its renovation which was going on for a few years and had now been completed. There was to be dancing there too. The girls were thrilled and so was their aunt when she heard about it. Next day was spent relaxing and playing indoor games with Nonie, Joseph and Sally joining in. By the afternoon though, Daisy started having a headache and was put to bed. It was decided she would stay home with aunty while her sisters went with Danny, Mickey and Sam.

Samantha was a bit undecided about leaving Daisy behind but was persuaded by both aunty and Sally who promised to take good care of her. At last the two girls were ready. Samantha looked radiant in her soft pink and silver dress with a bracelet and earrings to match. Her feet were adorned with silver sandals and she carried a small pink and silver purse.

She had put on pink lipstick and eye shadow with a little blush on and her long black hair was pleated into a French plait. Clara looked wonderful too in a long black and blue dress with golden buttons and a golden purse. She wore black sandals and golden round big earrings to match. Her hair was combed back with a golden and blue comb. She also had put on pink lipstick and blue eye shadow but refused to put blush on saying cheekily that she would try and flutter her eyelashes at every boy she met and blush rosily like the Georgette Heyer heroines.

Aunt Matilda burst out laughing and was still shaking when the door bell rang. Danny and his friends had arrived to pick up the girls. “Danny be a good boy and don’t let it be too late”, admonished aunt Matilda and Danny promised to get the girls back before midnight.

At the club the girls had a super time. They met many boys and girls of their own age. Samantha was asked to dance by each and every boy in the room with Danny being her first and last partner. Clara danced a few dances but later on got engrossed in a discussion about books and authors going on at the end of the room. By eleven forty five, Danny brought the girls back promising to take them for a picnic the next day. Early next morning, the girls got ready for their picnic.

Daisy was fine and going along too with Nonie. Danny asked Joseph to take them to a picnic spot a few miles out of town. This place was called ‘Palm Springs’ because there was a natural spring with Palm trees and rocks where you could have a relaxing time. There was a small lake near by too where swimming would be wonderful. The only thing the boys warned the girls about was the woods near by.

They were dark and dangerous. It was rumored that there were smugglers and thugs in the jungle but no one had any proof. The morning was spent swimming, playing cards and bingo while Nonie and Daisy decided to pick some flowers. Lunch was at one with Joseph and Sally joining in.

Danny had brought along chicken and ham sandwiches, a pot of home made cherry jam, a tin of honey biscuits and ginger beer while Betsy had packed a delicious picnic hamper containing a flask of cold coffee, mushroom and macaroni pancakes, fruit and nut cake, cheese straws, sweet buns and mutton quiches. In the afternoon everyone rested quietly while Daisy and Nonie played hide and seek.

At about four thirty in the evening everyone decided to make a move but saw that Daisy and Nonie were nowhere to be seen. Samantha started panicking and made Joseph search the whole area but to no avail. Sally and the boys looked and called from time to time but there was no answer. It had started getting a bit dark and now Samantha decided to check the woods before it was too dark to see. Everything was packed into the car and they started moving towards the woods.

By this time Clara was sobbing too saying it was all her fault. The car had to be parked at the tip of the jungle and everyone started making their way into the jungle. They kept moving inwards encountering spiked bushes and shrubs, moths, squirrels, ants and birds of different varieties. At first the jungle seemed to be very deep and dark but later on they found a road of sorts which seemed man made for convenience. It was narrow and rough. After going forward for about a mile and a half shouting the two lost girl’s names, the search party reached a place which was open and had many serpentine roads going off it in all directions.

Here Joseph decided to go with the girls in the right direction while Sally and the boys took the left turn. After about ten minutes, Samantha noticed footsteps on the road which were surely Daisy’s and Nonie’s but larger footsteps accompanied the children’s footsteps too. Joseph led the way forward with Samantha and Clara following behind. They had just rounded a corner when they saw two dark, burly looking men smoking cigarettes and drinking beer near a locked shed behind which sounds of struggling could be heard. The men were looking towards the shed laughing and joking among themselves. Joseph pounced on one of them and the other was taken by surprise from behind by the two girls.

By now Sally and the boys had come along too finding nothing the other way. Joseph, Danny and his two friends tied the two bad guys while Sally and the girls unlocked the shed finding Daisy and Nonie crying bitterly. Joseph locked the two men into the shed and they quickly returned to the car, not knowing whether the gang had more men or not.

They informed the police on their return journey home, who promptly went and got the two guys. They confessed to kidnapping and selling children to gangs outside the town who made them beggars by making them disabled. The three other bad guys, involved in kidnapping Daisy and Nonie from a secluded spot near the start of the jungle, were caught too and thus the town was free from thugs and kidnappers.

Next day the police chief, Mr. Grant, came to ‘Sunflower Cottage’ and gave a medal each to the girls and Nonie. He even had badges for Danny, Mickey, Sam, Joseph and Sally. The next day the big news was in the local paper and everyone in the small town knew about the girls’ story. Aunt Matilda was so overwhelmed by all this that she threw a gala party to celebrate Daisy’s and Nonie’s safe return to the cottage. All her friends and well wishers were invited and it was a great success.

At last it was Sunday, one day before the girls would be off to their own home. Aunty took the girls shopping, buying them what they wanted, gave them a fabulous lunch at a pretty little sea side restaurant called ‘Pink Roses’ and took them to a movie in the afternoon. The evening was spent packing since the girls were to leave early in the morning.

Daisy gave Nonie one of her old doll to remember her by. Aunty had a dress for Sally and a jacket for Joseph. Samantha gave aunty a lacy scarf which she had crocheted herself; Clara had made a hanky box for aunty while Daisy had embroidered ‘Love to Aunty’ on a pretty pink handkerchief for her. The girls had jointly purchased a dress for Betsy from their pocket money which was greatly appreciated.

Next morning goodbyes were said tearfully, the girls promising aunty to come and visit her for Christmas along with their parents. Betsy had made a special going away chocolate cake, mutton rolls, ham and bacon sandwiches to go with strawberries and cream. The car moved along the highway and the girls passed the time talking about their adventures and fun at ‘Sunflower Cottage’. Joseph and Sally took part in the conversation smiling broadly.

Contributing Story Teller:  Amita enjoys writing stories and poems. She has strong editing and translation skills. [email protected]

Want to get a short story written for children? Do you want someone to write inspirational stories for your magazines, website or newsletter? Contact her at [email protected]

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