“Yes, I am,” answered Polly, soberly.

“In what? Love?”

A quick colour came to Polly’s cheeks, as she laughed and said, looking away,—

“No; friendship and good works.”

“Oh, indeed! May I ask who is your teacher?”

“I’ve more than one; but Miss Mills is head teacher.”

“She instructs in good works; who gives the friendship lessons?”

“Such pleasant girls! I wish you knew them, Fan. So clever, and energetic, and kind, and happy, it always does me good to see them,” cried Polly, with a face full of enthusiasm.

“Is that all?” And Fan gave her a curious look of mingled disappointment and relief.

“There, I told you my doings would not interest you, and they don’t; they sound flat and prosy after your brilliant adventures. Let’s change the subject,” said Polly, looking relieved herself.

“Dear me, which of our sweethearts sends us dainty bouquets of violets so early in the morning?” asked Fanny, suddenly spying the purple cluster in a graceful little vase on the piano.

“He sends me one every week; he knows I love them so,” and Polly’s eyes turned that way full of pride and pleasure.

“I’d no idea he was so devoted,” said Fanny, stooping to smell the flowers and at the same time read a card that lay near them.

“You needn’t plague me about it, now you know it. I never speak of our fondness for one another, because such things seem silly to other people. Will isn’t all that Jimmy was to me; but he tries to be, and I love him dearly for it.”

“Will?” Fanny’s voice quite startled Polly, it was so sharp and sudden, and her face grew red and pale all in a minute, as she upset the little vase with the start she gave.

“Yes, of course; who did you think I meant?” asked Polly, sopping up the water before it damaged her piano.

“Never mind; I thought you might be having a quiet little flirtation with somebody. I feel responsible, you know, because I told your mother I’d look after you. The flowers are all right. My head aches so, I hardly know what I’m doing this morning.”

Fanny spoke fast, and laughed uncomfortably as she went back to the sofa, wondering if Polly had told her a lie. Polly seemed to guess at her thoughts as she saw the card, and turning towards her, she held it up, saying, with a conscious look in her eyes,—

“You thought Mr. Sydney sent them? Well, you are mistaken, and the next time you want to know anything, please ask straight out. I like it better than talking at cross purposes.”

“Now, my dear, don’t be angry; I was only teasing you in fun. Tom took it into his foolish head that something was going on, and I felt a natural interest, you know.”

“Tom! what does he know or care about my affairs?” demanded Polly.

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