An Old-Fashioned Girl
8. Six Years Afterward
"WHAT do you think Polly is going to do this winter?" exclaimed Fanny, looking up from
the letter she had been eagerly reading.
"Going to deliver lectures on Woman's Rights," said the young gentleman who was
carefully examining his luxuriant crop of decidedly auburn hair, as he lounged with both
elbows on the chimney-piece.
"Going to set her cap for some young minister and marry him in the spring," added Mrs.
Shaw, whose mind ran a good deal upon match-making just now.
"I think she is going to stay at home, and do all the work, 'cause servants cost so much;
it would be just like her," observed Maud, who could pronounce the letter R now.
"It 's my opinion she is going to open a school, or something of that sort, to help those
brothers of hers along," said Mr. Shaw, who had put down his paper at the sound of
"Every one of you wrong, though papa comes nearest the truth," cried Fanny; "she is
going to give music lessons, and support herself, so that Will may go to college. He is
the studious one, and Polly is very proud of him. Ned, the other brother, has a business
talent, and don't care for books, so he has gone out West, and will make his own way
anywhere. Polly says she is n't needed at home now, the family is so small, and Kitty
can take her place nicely; so she is actually going to earn her own living, and hand over
her share of the family income to Will. What a martyr that girl does make of herself," and
Fanny looked as solemn as if Polly had proposed some awful self-sacrifice.
"She is a sensible, brave-hearted girl, and I respect her for doing it," said Mr. Shaw,
emphatically. "One never knows what may happen, and it does no harm for young
people to learn to be independent."
"If she is as pretty as she was last time I saw her, she 'll get pupils fast enough. I would
n't mind taking lessons myself," was the gracious observation of Shaw, Jr., as he turned
from the mirror, with the soothing certainty that his objectionable hair actually was
"She would n't take you at any price," said Fanny, remembering Polly's look of
disappointment and disapproval when she came on her last visit and found him an
"You just wait and see," was the placid reply.