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An Old-Fashioned Girl

"No, I 'm only tired, had a good deal to do lately, and the dull weather makes me just a
trifle blue. I shall soon brighten up when I get to my work again," answered Polly,
bustling about to put away her things.
"You don't look a bit natural. What have you been doing to your precious little self?"
persisted Fanny, troubled by the change, yet finding it hard to say wherein it lay.
Polly did not look sick, though her cheeks were thinner and her color paler than
formerly, but she seemed spiritless, and there was a tired look in her eyes that went to
Fanny's heart.
"I 'm all right enough, as you 'll see when I 'm in order. I 'm proper glad to find you
looking so well and happy. Does all go smoothly, Fan?" asked Polly, beginning to brush
her hair industriously.
"Answer me one question first," said Fanny, looking as if a sudden fear had come over
her. "Tell me, truly, have you never repented of your hint to Sydney?"
"Never!" cried Polly, throwing back the brown veil behind which she had half hidden her
face at first.
"On your honor, as an honest girl?"
"On my honor, as anything you please. Why do you suspect me of it?" demanded Polly,
almost angrily.
"Because something is wrong with you. It 's no use to deny it, for you 've got the look I
used to see in that very glass on my own face when I thought he cared for you. Forgive
me, Polly, but I can't help saying it, for it is there, and I want to be as true to you as you
were to me if I can."
Fanny's face was full of agitation, and she spoke fast and frankly, for she was trying to
be generous and found it very hard. Polly understood now and put her fear at rest by
saying almost passionately, "I tell you I don't love him! If he was the only man in the
world, I would n't marry him, because I don't want to."
The last three words were added in a different tone, for Polly had checked herself there
with a half-frightened look and turned away to hide her face behind her hair again.
"Then if it 's not him, it 's some one else. You 've got a secret, Polly, and I should think
you might tell it, as you know mine," said Fanny, unable to rest till everything was told,
for Polly's manner troubled her.
There was no answer to her question, but she was satisfied and putting her arm round
her friend, she said, in her most persuasive tone, "My precious Polly, do I know him?"
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