“I must put you in a story, Polly. I want a heroine, and you will do,” said Kate.

“Me! why there never was such a humdrum, unromantic thing as I am,” cried Polly, amazed.

“I’ve booked you, nevertheless, so in you go; but you may add as much romance as you like, it’s time you did.”

“I’m ready for it when it comes, but it can’t be forced, you know,” and Polly blushed and smiled as if some little spice of that delightful thing had stolen into her life, for all its prosaic seeming.

Fanny was amused to see that the girls did not kiss at parting, but shook hands in a quiet, friendly fashion, looking at one another with eyes that said more than the most “gushing” words.

“I like your friends very much, Polly. I was afraid I should find them mannish and rough, or sentimental and conceited. But they are simple, sensible creatures, full of talent and all sorts of fine things. I admire and respect them, and want to go again, if I may.”

“Oh Fan, I am so glad! I hoped you’d like them, I knew they’d do you good, and I’ll take you any time, for you stood the test better than I expected. Becky asked me to bring you again, and she seldom does that for fashionable young ladies, let me tell you.”

“I want to be ever so much better, and I think you and they might show me how,” said Fanny, with a traitorous tremble in her voice.

“We’ll show you the sunny side of poverty and work, and that is a useful lesson for anyone, Miss Mills says,” answered Polly, hoping that Fan would learn how much the poor can teach the rich, and what helpful friends girls may be to one another.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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