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An Old-Fashioned Girl

"Go up, deary, and amuse yourself with this book, and these ginger snaps that I made
for you, there 's a good child," whispered Polly, as Maud rubbed away her tears, and
stared at Tom with round, inquisitive eyes.
"You 'll tell me all about it, by and by, won't you?" she whispered, preparing to obey.
"If I may," answered Polly.
Maud departed with unexpected docility, and Polly went into the dining-room, where
Tom was wandering about in a restless way. If he had been "raging like a bear," Polly
would n't have cared, she was so pleased that he wanted her, and so glad to be a
confidante, as she used to be in the happy old days, that she would joyfully have faced
a much more formidable person than reckless Tom.
"Now, then, what is it?" she said, coming straight to the point.
"Guess."
"You 've killed your horse racing."
"Worse than that."
"You are suspended again."
"Worse than that."
"Trix has run away with somebody," cried Polly, with a gasp.
"Worse still."
"Oh, Tom, you have n't horse whipped or shot any one?"
"Came pretty near blowing my own brains out but you see I did n't."
"I can't guess; tell me, quick."
"Well, I 'm expelled."
Tom paused on the rug as he gave the answer, and looked at Polly to see how she took
it. To his surprise she seemed almost relieved, and after a minute silence, said, soberly,
"That 's bad, very bad; but it might have been worse."
"It is worse;" and Tom walked away again with a despairing sort of groan.
"Don't knock the chairs about, but come and sit down, and tell me quietly."
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