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The Golden Road

XV. The Rape Of The Lock
June was crowded full of interest that year. We gathered in with its sheaf of
fragrant days the choicest harvest of childhood. Things happened right along.
Cecily declared she hated to go to sleep for fear she might miss something.
There were so many dear delights along the golden road to give us pleasure--the
earth dappled with new blossom, the dance of shadows in the fields, the rustling,
rain-wet ways of the woods, the faint fragrance in meadow lanes, liltings of birds
and croon of bees in the old orchard, windy pipings on the hills, sunset behind
the pines, limpid dews filling primrose cups, crescent moons through darklings
boughs, soft nights alight with blinking stars. We enjoyed all these boons,
unthinkingly and light-heartedly, as children do. And besides these, there was the
absorbing little drama of human life which was being enacted all around us, and
in which each of us played a satisfying part--the gay preparations for Aunt
Olivia's mid-June wedding, the excitement of practising for the concert with which
our school-teacher, Mr. Perkins, had elected to close the school year, and
Cecily's troubles with Cyrus Brisk, which furnished unholy mirth for the rest of us,
though Cecily could not see the funny side of it at all.
Matters went from bad to worse in the case of the irrepressible Cyrus. He
continued to shower Cecily with notes, the spelling of which showed no
improvement; he worried the life out of her by constantly threatening to fight Willy
Fraser--although, as Felicity sarcastically pointed out, he never did it.
"But I'm always afraid he will," said Cecily, "and it would be such a DISGRACE to
have two boys fighting over me in school."
"You must have encouraged Cyrus a little in the beginning or he'd never have
been so persevering," said Felicity unjustly.
"I never did!" cried outraged Cecily. "You know very well, Felicity King, that I
hated Cyrus Brisk ever since the very first time I saw his big, fat, red face. So
there!"
"Felicity is just jealous because Cyrus didn't take a notion to her instead of you,
Sis," said Dan.
"Talk sense!" snapped Felicity.
"If I did you wouldn't understand me, sweet little sister," rejoined aggravating
Dan.
Finally Cyrus crowned his iniquities by stealing the denied lock of Cecily's hair.
One sunny afternoon in school, Cecily and Kitty Marr asked and received
permission to sit out on the side bench before the open window, where the cool
breeze swept in from the green fields beyond. To sit on this bench was always
considered a treat, and was only allowed as a reward of merit; but Cecily and
Kitty had another reason for wishing to sit there. Kitty had read in a magazine
that sun-baths were good for the hair; so both she and Cecily tossed their long
braids over the window-sill and let them hang there in the broiling sun-shine. And
while Cecily sat thus, diligently working a fraction sum on her slate, that base
 
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