The Story Girl
The Mystery Of Golden Milestone
Paddy was smeared with medicated lard the next day, all of us assisting at the rite,
although the Story Girl was high priestess. Then, out of regard for mats and cushions, he
was kept in durance vile in the granary until he had licked his fur clean. This treatment
being repeated every day for a week, Pat recovered his usual health and spirits, and our
minds were set at rest to enjoy the next excitement--collecting for a school library fund.
Our teacher thought it would be an excellent thing to have a library in connection with
the school; and he suggested that each of the pupils should try to see how much money he
or she could raise for the project during the month of June. We might earn it by honest
toil, or gather it in by contributions levied on our friends.
The result was a determined rivalry as to which pupil should collect the largest sum; and
this rivalry was especially intense in our home coterie.
Our relatives started us with a quarter apiece. For the rest, we knew we must depend on
our own exertions. Peter was handicapped at the beginning by the fact that he had no
family friend to finance him.
"If my Aunt Jane'd been living she'd have given me something," he remarked. "And if my
father hadn't run away he might have given me something too. But I'm going to do the
best I can anyhow. Your Aunt Olivia says I can have the job of gathering the eggs, and
I'm to have one egg out of every dozen to sell for myself."
Felicity made a similar bargain with her mother. The Story Girl and Cecily were each to
be paid ten cents a week for washing dishes in their respective homes. Felix and Dan
contracted to keep the gardens free from weeds. I caught brook trout in the westering
valley of spruces and sold them for a cent apiece.
Sara Ray was the only unhappy one among us. She could do nothing. She had no
relatives in Carlisle except her mother, and her mother did not approve of the school
library project, and would not give Sara a cent, or put her in any way of earning one. To
Sara, this was humiliation indescribable. She felt herself an outcast and an alien to our
busy little circle, where each member counted every day, with miserly delight, his slowly
increasing hoard of small cash.
"I'm just going to pray to God to send me some money," she announced desperately at
"I don't believe that will do any good," said Dan. "He gives lots of things, but he doesn't
give money, because people can earn that for themselves."
"I can't," said Sara, with passionate defiance. "I think He ought to take that into account."