“Did she, really?” and Polly looked up at him, as if she suspected him of inventing the whole thing, out of kindness.

Mr. Sydney smiled, and taking a note from his pocket, presented it, saying, with a reproachful look,—

“Behold the proof of my truth, and never doubt again.”

Polly begged pardon, read the note from the little girl’s mother, which was to have been left at her room if she was absent, and gave the bearer a very grateful look as she accepted this welcome addition to her pupils. Well pleased at the success of his mission, Sydney artfully led the conversation to music, and for a time Polly forgot her woes, talking enthusiastically on her favourite theme. As she reclaimed her book and bag, at her own door, she said, in her honest way, “Thank you very much for trying to make me forget my foolish little troubles.”

“Then let me say one thing more; though appearances are against him, I don’t believe Tom Shaw saw you. Miss Trix is equal to that sort of thing, but it isn’t like Tom, for with all his foppery he is a good fellow at heart.”

As Mr. Sydney said this, Polly held out her hand with a hearty “Thank you for that”. The young man shook the little hand in the grey woollen glove, gave her exactly the same bow which he did the Honourable Mrs. Davenport, and went away, leaving Polly to walk upstairs and address Puttel with the peculiar remark,—

“You are a true gentleman! so kind to say that about Tom. I’ll think it’s so, anyway; and won’t I teach Minnie in my very best style!”

Puttel purred, Nick chirped approvingly, and Polly ate her dinner with a better appetite than she had expected. But at the bottom of her heart there was a sore spot still, and the afternoon lessons dragged dismally. It was dusk when she got home, and as she sat in the firelight eating her bread and milk, several tears bedewed the little rolls, and even the home honey had a bitter taste.

“Now this won’t do,” she broke out all at once; “this is silly and wicked, and can’t be allowed. I’ll try the old plan and put myself right by doing some little kindness to somebody. Now what shall it be? Oh, I know! Fan is going to a party to-night; I’ll run up and help her dress; she likes to have me, and I enjoy seeing the pretty things. Yes, and I’ll take her two or three clusters of my daphne, it’s so sweet.”

Up got Polly, and taking her little posy, trotted away to the Shaws, determined to be happy and contented in spite of Trix and hard work.

She found Fanny enduring torment under the hands of the hairdresser, who was doing his best to spoil her hair, and distort her head with a mass of curls, braids, frizzles, and puffs; for though I discreetly refrain from any particular description, still, judging from the present fashions, I think one may venture to predict that six years hence they would be something frightful.

“How kind of you, Polly; I was just wishing you were here to arrange my flowers. These lovely daphnes will give odour to my camelias, and you were a dear to bring them. There’s my dress; how do you like it?” said Fanny, hardly daring to lift her eyes from under the yellow tower on her head.

“It’s regularly splendid; but how do you ever get into it?” answered Polly, surveying with girlish interest the cloud of pink and white lace that lay upon the bed.

“It’s fearfully and wonderfully made, but distractingly becoming, as you shall see. Trix thinks I’m going to wear blue, so she has got a green one, and told Belle it would spoil the effect of mine, as we are much together, of course. Wasn’t that sweet of her? Belle came and told me in time, and I just got pink, so my amiable sister that is to be won’t succeed in her pretty little plot.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.