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"It is too bad to have our jolly vacation spoiled by this provoking storm. Didn't mind it yesterday, because we could eat all the time; but here we are cooped up for a week, perhaps, and I'd like to know what we are to do," growled Geoff, as he stood at the window looking gloomily at the bleak scene without. It certainly was discouraging; for the north wind howled, the air was dark with falling snow, and drifts were rising over fences, roads, and fields, as if to barricade the Christmas party in the great country house.

"We can bear it pleasantly, since it can't be helped," said gentle sister Mary, with a kind hand on his shoulder, and a face full of sympathy for his disappointment. "I'm sorry for the coasting, skating, and sleighing frolics we have lost; but if we must be shut up, I'm sure we couldn't have a pleasanter prison or a kinder jailer. Don't let grandma hear us complain, for she has made great exertions to have our visit a merry one, and it will trouble her if we are not gay and contented."

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