“Mercy! what an idea!”

“Well, that’s the plain English of half your fashionable matches. I’m ‘odd’, you know, and prefer to be an independent spinster, and teach music all my days.”

“Ah, but you won’t. You were made for a nice, happy home of your own, and I hope you’ll get it, Polly, dear,” said Fanny, warmly, feeling so grateful to Polly that she found it hard not to pour out all her secret at once.

“I hope I may; but I doubt it,” answered Polly, in a tone that made Fanny wonder if she, too, knew what heartache meant.

“Something troubles you, Polly, what is it? Confide in me, as I do in you,” said Fanny, tenderly; for all the coldness she had tried to hide from Polly had melted in the sudden sunshine that had come to her.

“Do you always?” asked her friend, leaning forward with an irresistible desire to win back the old-time love and confidence, too precious to be exchanged for a little brief excitement, or the barren honour of “bagging a bird”, to use Trix’s elegant expression. Fanny understood it then, and threw herself into Polly’s arms, crying, with a shower of grateful tears,—

“Oh, my dear! my dear! did you do it for my sake?”

And Polly held her close, saying, in that tender voice of hers,—

“I didn’t mean to let a lover part this pair of friends, if I could help it.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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