An Old-Fashioned Girl
"Tom wants us to go to the opera to-night and " Fan got no further, for Polly uttered a
cry of rapture and clasped her hands.
"Go? Of course I will. I 've been dying to go all day, tried to get tickets this morning and
could n't, been fuming about it ever since, and now oh, how splendid!" And Polly could
not restrain an ecstatic skip, for this burst of joy rather upset her.
"Well, you come to tea, and we 'll dress together, and go all comfortable with Tom, who
is in a heavenly frame of mind to-day."
"I must run home and get my things," said Polly, resolving on the spot to buy the nicest
pair of gloves the city afforded.
"You shall have my white cloak and any other little rigging you want. Tommy likes to
have his ladies a credit to him, you know," said Fanny, departing to take a beauty sleep.
Polly instantly decided that she would n't borrow Becky's best bonnet, as she at first
intended, but get a new one, for in her present excited state, no extravagance seemed
too prodigal in honor of this grand occasion. I am afraid that Maud's lesson was not as
thorough as it should have been, for Polly's head was such a chaos of bonnets, gloves,
opera-cloaks and fans, that Maud blundered through, murdering time and tune at her
own sweet will. The instant it was over Polly rushed away and bought not only the kids
but a bonnet frame, a bit of illusion, and a pink crape rose, which had tempted her for
weeks in a certain shop window, then home and to work with all the skill and speed of a
"I 'm rushing madly into expense, I 'm afraid, but the fit is on me and I 'll eat bread and
water for a week to make up for it. I must look nice, for Tom seldom takes me and ought
to be gratified when he does. I want to do like other girls, just for once, and enjoy myself
without thinking about right and wrong. Now a bit of pink ribbon to tie it with, and I shall
be done in time to do up my best collar," she said, turning her boxes topsy-turvy for the
necessary ribbon in that delightful flurry which young ladies feel on such occasions.
It is my private opinion that the little shifts and struggles we poor girls have to undergo
beforehand give a peculiar relish to our fun when we get it. This fact will account for the
rapturous mood in which Polly found herself when, after making her bonnet, washing
and ironing her best set, blacking her boots and mending her fan, she at last, like
Consuelo, "put on a little dress of black silk" and, with the smaller adornments pinned
up in a paper, started for the Shaws', finding it difficult to walk decorously when her
heart was dancing in her bosom.
Maud happened to be playing a redowa up in the parlor, and Polly came prancing into
the room so evidently spoiling for a dance that Tom, who was there, found it impossible
to resist catching her about the waist, and putting her through the most intricate
evolutions till Maud's fingers gave out.