An Old-Fashioned Girl
the three girls went up to show themselves to the elders, who were in grandma's room,
where Tom was being helped into an agonizingly stiff collar.
Maud pranced like a small peacock, and Fan made a splendid courtesy as every one
turned to survey them; but Polly stood still, and her eyes went from face to face, with an
anxious, wistful air, which seemed to say, "I know I 'm not right; but I hope I don't look
Grandma read the look in a minute; and when Fanny said, with a satisfied smile, "How
do we look?" she answered, drawing Polly toward her so kindly.
"Very like the fashion-plates you got the patterns of your dresses from. But this little
costume suits me best."
"Do you really think I look nice?" and Polly's face brightened, for she valued the old
lady's opinion very much.
"Yes, my dear; you look just as I like to see a child of your age look. What particularly
pleases me is that you have kept your promise to your mother, and have n't let anyone
persuade you to wear borrowed finery. Young things like you don't need any ornaments
but those you wear to-night, youth, health, intelligence, and modesty."
As she spoke, grandma gave a tender kiss that made Polly glow like a rose, and for a
minute she forgot that there were such things as pink silk and coral ear-rings in the
world. She only said, "Thank you, ma'am," and heartily returned the kiss; but the words
did her good, and her plain dress looked charming all of a sudden.
"Polly 's so pretty, it don't matter what she wears," observed Tom, surveying her over
his collar with an air of calm approval.
"She has n't got any bwetelles to her dwess, and I have," said Maud, settling her ruffled
bands over her shoulders, which looked like cherry-colored wings on a stout little
"I did wish she 'd just wear my blue set, ribbon is so very plain; but, as Tom says, it don't
much matter;" and Fanny gave an effective touch to the blue bow above Polly's left
"She might wear flowers; they always suit young girls," said Mrs. Shaw, privately
thinking that her own daughters looked much the best, yet conscious that blooming
Polly had the most attractive face. "Bless me! I forgot my posies in admiring the belles.
Hand them out, Tom;" and Mr. Shaw nodded toward an interesting looking box that
stood on the table.
Seizing them wrong side-up, Tom produced three little bouquets, all different in color,
size, and construction.