An Old-Fashioned Girl
"If Polly does carry out her plan, I wish Maud to take lessons of her; Fanny can do as
she likes, but it would please me very much to have one of my girls sing as Polly sings.
It suits old people better than your opera things, and mother used to enjoy it so much."
As he spoke, Mr. Shaw's eye turned toward the comer of the fire where grandma used
to sit. The easy-chair was empty now, the kind old face was gone, and nothing but a
very tender memory remained.
"I 'd like to learn, papa, and Polly is a splendid teacher, I know; she 's always so patient,
and makes everything so pleasant. I do hope she will get scholars enough to begin right
away," said Maud.
"When is she coming?" asked Mrs. Shaw, quite willing to help Polly, but privately
resolving that Maud should be finished off by the most fashionable master in the city.
"She does n't say. She thanks me for asking her here, as usual, but says she shall go
right to work and had better begin with her own little room at once. Won't it seem
strange to have Polly in town, and yet not with us?"
"We 'll get her somehow. The little room will cost something, and she can stay with us
just as well as not, even if she does teach. Tell her I say so," said Mr. Shaw.
"She won't come, I know; for if she undertakes to be independent, she 'll do it in the
most thorough manner," answered Fanny, and Mrs. Shaw sincerely hoped she would. It
was all very well to patronize the little music-teacher, but it was not so pleasant to have
her settled in the family.
"I shall do what I can for her among my friends, and I dare say she will get on very well
with young pupils to begin with. If she starts right, puts her terms high enough, and gets
a few good names to give her the entr,e into our first families, I don't doubt she will do
nicely, for I must say Polly has the manners of a lady," observed Mrs. Shaw.
"She 's a mighty taking little body, and I 'm glad she 's to be in town, though I 'd like it
better if she did n't bother about teaching, but just stayed here and enjoyed herself,"
said Tom, lazily.
"I 've no doubt she would feel highly honored to be allowed to devote her time to your
amusement; but she can't afford expensive luxuries, and she don't approve of flirting, so
you will have to let her go her own way, and refresh herself with such glimpses of you
as her engagements permit," answered Fanny, in the sarcastic tone which was be
coming habitual to her.
"You are getting to be a regular old maid, Fan; as sharp as a lemon, and twice as sour,"
returned Tom, looking down at her with an air of calm superiority.