An Old-Fashioned Girl
"And you did?" cried Fanny, much excited.
"I just gave him a hint and he took it. He meant to go away before that, so don't think his
heart is broken, or mind what silly tattlers say. I did n't like his meeting me so much and
told him so by going another way. He understood, and being a gentleman, made no
fuss. I dare say he thought I was a vain goose, and laughed at me for my pains, like
Churchill in 'Helen.' "
"No, he would n't; He 'd like it and respect you for doing it. But, Polly, it would have been
a grand thing for you."
"I can't sell myself for an establishment."
"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 honor 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 did n't mean to let a lover
part this pair of friends if I could help it."