An Old-Fashioned Girl
"OH, dear! Must you really go home Saturday?" said Fan, some days after what Tom
called the "grand scrimmage."
"I really must; for I only came to stay a month and here I 've been nearly six weeks,"
answered Polly, feeling as if she had been absent a year.
"Make it two months and stay over Christmas. Come, do, now," urged Tom, heartily.
"You are very kind; but I would n't miss Christmas at home for anything. Besides,
mother says they can't possibly do without me."
"Neither can we. Can't you tease your mother, and make up your mind to stay?" began
"Polly never teases. She says it 's selfish; and I don't do it now much," put in Maud, with
a virtuous air.
"Don't you bother Polly. She 'd rather go, and I don't wonder. Let 's be just as jolly as we
can while she stays, and finish up with your party, Fan," said Tom, in a tone that settled
Polly had expected to be very happy in getting ready for the party; but when the time
came, she was disappointed; for somehow that naughty thing called envy took
possession of her, and spoiled her pleasure. Before she left home, she thought her new
white muslin dress, with its fresh blue ribbons, the most elegant and proper costume
she could have; but now, when she saw Fanny's pink silk, with a white tarlatan tunic,
and innumerable puffings, bows, and streamers, her own simple little toilet lost all its
charms in her eyes, and looked very babyish and old-fashioned.
Even Maud was much better dressed than herself, and looked very splendid in her
cherry-colored and white suit, with a sash so big she could hardly carry it, and little
white boots with red buttons. They both had necklaces and bracelets, ear-rings and
brooches; but Polly had no ornament, except the plain locket on a bit of blue velvet. Her
sash was only a wide ribbon, tied in a simple bow, and nothing but a blue snood in the
pretty curls. Her only comfort was the knowledge that the modest tucker drawn up round
the plump shoulders was real lace, and that her bronze boots cost nine dollars.
Poor Polly, with all her efforts to be contented, and not to mind looking unlike other
people, found it hard work to keep her face bright and her voice happy that night. No
one dreamed what was going an under the muslin frock, till grandma's wise old eyes
spied out the little shadow on Polly's spirits, and guessed the cause of it. When dressed,