Page:An Old Fashioned Girl.djvu/22

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6
An Old-Fashioned Girl.

associated with Polly's pretty brown curls seemed to lessen its coppery glow. Then he hadn't done anything for her but carry the bag a few steps; yet, she thanked him. He felt grateful, and in a burst of confidence, offered a handful of peanuts, for his pockets were always supplied with this agreeable delicacy, and he might be traced anywhere by the trail of shells he left behind him.

As soon as he had done it, he remembered that Fanny considered them vulgar, and felt that he had disgraced his family. So he stuck his head out of the window, and kept it there so long, that Polly asked if anything was the matter. "Pooh! who cares for a countrified little thing like her," said Tom manfully to himself; and then the spirit of mischief entered in and took possession of him.

"He's pretty drunk; but I guess he can hold his horses," replied this evil-minded boy, with an air of calm resignation.

"Is the man tipsy? Oh, dear! let 's get out! Are the horses bad? It's very steep here; do you think it's safe?" cried poor Polly, making a cocked hat of her little beaver, by thrusting it out of the half-open window on her side.

"There 's plenty of folks to pick us up if anything happens; but perhaps it would be safer if I got out and sat with the man;" and Tom quite beamed with the brilliancy of this sudden mode of relief.

"Oh, do, if you ain't afraid! Mother would be so anxious if anything should happen to me, so far away!" cried Polly, much distressed.

"Don't you be worried. I'll manage the old chap.