An Old-Fashioned Girl
"Oh, well, I keep meeting Syd and Polly circulating in the same directions; she looks as
if she had found something uncommonly nice, and he looks as if all creation was getting
Pollyfied pretty rapidly. Wonder you have n't observed it."
It was Tom's turn to look surprised now, for Fanny's voice sounded strange to him. He
looked at her steadily for a minute, but saw only a rosy ear and a bent head. A cloud
passed over his face, and he leaned his chin on his arm again with a despondent
whistle, as he said to himself, "Poor Fan! Both of us in a scrape at once."
"Don't you think it would be a good thing?" asked Fanny, after playing a bar or two, very
"Yes, for Syd."
"Not for Polly? Why, he 's rich, and clever, and better than most of you good-for-nothing
fellows. What can the girl expect?"
"Can't say, but I don't fancy the match myself."
"Don't be a dog in the manger, Tom." "Bless your little heart, I only take a brotherly sort
of interest in Polly. She 's a capital girl, and she ought to marry a missionary, or one of
your reformer fellows, and be a shining light of some sort. I don't think setting up for a
fine lady would suit her."
"I think it would, and I hope she 'll have the chance," said Fanny, evidently making an
effort to speak kindly.
"Good for you, Fan!" and Tom gave an emphatic nod, as if her words meant more than
she suspected "Mind you," he added, "I don't know anything, and only fancied there
might be some little flirtation going on. But I dare say it 's nothing."
"Time will show." Then Fan began to sing, and Tom's horse came, so he departed with
the very unusual demonstration of a gentle pat on the head, as he said kindly, "That 's
right, my dear, keep jolly." It was n't an elegant way of expressing sympathy, but it was
hearty, and Fan thanked him for it, though she only said, "Don't break your neck,
When he was gone, Fan's song ended as suddenly as it began, and she sat thinking,
with varying expressions of doubt and trouble passing rapidly across her face.
"Well, I can't do anything but wait!" she said, at last, slamming the music-book together
with a desperate look. "Yes, I can," she added, a minute after, "it 's Polly's holiday. I can
go and see her, and if there is anything in it I shall find it out."