An Old-Fashioned Girl
11. Needles And Tongues
DEAR POLLY, The Sewing Circle meets at our house this P. M. This is in your line, so
do come and help me through. I shall depend on you.
"Bad news, my dear?" asked Miss Mills, who had just handed the note to Polly as she
came in one noon, a few weeks after Jenny's arrival.
Polly told her what it was, adding, "I suppose I ought to go and help Fanny, but I can't
say I want to. The girls talk about things I have nothing to do with, and I don't find their
gossip very amusing. I 'm an outsider, and they only accept me on Fan's account; so I
sit in a corner and sew, while they chatter and laugh."
"Would n't it be a good chance to say a word for Jenny? She wants work, and these
young ladies probably have quantities done somewhere. Jenny does fine work
exquisitely, and begins to feel anxious to be earning something. I don't want her to feel
dependent and unhappy, and a little well-paid sewing would be all she needs to do
nicely. I can get it for her by running round to my friends, but I really have n't the time, till
I get the Mullers off. They are paupers here, but out West they can take care of
themselves, so I 've begged the money to send them, and as soon as I can get them
some clothes, off they go. That 's the way to help people help themselves," and Miss
Mills clashed her big scissors energetically, as she cut out a little red flannel shirt.
"I know it is, and I want to help, but I don't know where to begin," said Polly, feeling quite
oppressed with the immensity of the work.
"We can't any of us do all we would like, but we can do our best for every case that
comes to us, and that helps amazingly. Begin with Jenny, my dear; tell those girls about
her, and if I 'm not much mistaken, you will find them ready to help, for half the time it is
n't hardness of heart, but ignorance or thoughtlessness on the part of the rich, that
makes them seem so careless of the poor."
"To tell the truth, I 'm afraid of being laughed at, if I try to talk seriously about such
things to the girls," said Polly, frankly.
"You believe that 'such things' are true? You are sincere in your wish to help better
them, and you respect those who work for that end?"
"Yes, I do."