An Old-Fashioned Girl
"Guess she won't, then;" and Tom gave a hasty smooth to his curly pate and a glance at
the mirror, feeling sure that his sister had n't done him justice. Sisters never do, as "we
fellows" know too well.
"Do go along, or you 'll be too late; and then, what will Polly think of me?" cried Fanny,
with the impatient poke which is peculiarly aggravating to masculine dignity.
"She 'll think you cared more about your frizzles than your friends, and she 'll be about
Feeling that he said rather a neat and cutting thing, Tom sauntered leisurely away,
perfectly conscious that it was late, but bent on not being hurried while in sight, though
he ran himself off his legs to make up for it afterward.
"If I was the President, I 'd make a law to shut up all boys till they were grown; for they
certainly are the most provoking toads in the world," said Fanny, as she watched the
slouchy figure of her brother strolling down the street. She might have changed her
mind, however, if she had followed him, for as soon as he turned the corner, his whole
aspect altered; his hands came out of his pockets, he stopped whistling, buttoned his
jacket, gave his cap a pull, and went off at a great pace.
The train was just in when he reached the station, panting like a race-horse, and as red
as a lobster with the wind and the run.
"Suppose she 'll wear a top-knot and a thingumbob, like every one else; and however
shall I know her? Too bad of Fan to make me come alone!" thought Tom, as he stood
watching the crowd stream through the depot, and feeling rather daunted at the array of
young ladies who passed. As none of them seemed looking for any one, he did not
accost them, but eyed each new batch with the air of a martyr. "That 's her," he said to
himself, as he presently caught sight of a girl in gorgeous array, standing with her hands
folded, and a very small hat perched on the top of a very large "chig-non," as Tom
pronounced it. "I suppose I 've got to speak to her, so here goes;" and, nerving himself
to the task, Tom slowly approached the damsel, who looked as if the wind had blown
her clothes into rags, such a flapping of sashes, scallops, ruffles, curls, and feathers
"I say, if you please, is your name Polly Milton?" meekly asked Tom, pausing before the
"No, it is n't," answered the young lady, with a cool stare that utterly quenched him.
"Where in thunder is she?" growled Tom, walking off in high dudgeon. The quick tap of
feet behind him made him turn in time to see a fresh-faced little girl running down the
long station, and looking as if she rather liked it. As she smiled, and waved her bag at
him, he stopped and waited for her, saying to himself, "Hullo! I wonder if that 's Polly?"