Page:An Old Fashioned Girl.djvu/39

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23
New Fashions.

novels since I came. I like those, because there is history in them," said Polly, glad to have a word to say for herself.

"Those are well enough for improving reading; but I like real exciting novels; don't you?'

Polly was spared the mortification of owning that she had never read any, by the appearance of Monsieur, a gray-headed old Frenchman, who went through his task with the resigned air of one who was used to being the victim of giggling school-girls. The young ladies gabbled over the lesson, wrote an exercise, and read a little French history. But it did not seem to make much impression upon them, though Monsieur was very ready to explain; and Polly quite blushed for her friend, when, on being asked what famous Frenchman fought in our Revolution, she answered Lamartine, instead of Lafayette.

The hour was soon over; and when Fan had taken a music lesson in another room, while Polly looked on, it was time for recess. The younger girls walked up and down the court, arm in arm, eating bread and butter; others stayed in the school-room to read and gossip; but Belle, Trix, and Fanny went to lunch at a fashionable ice-cream saloon near by, and Polly meekly followed, not daring to hint at the gingerbread grandma had put in her pocket for luncheon. So, the honest, brown cookies crumbled away in obscurity, while Polly tried to satisfy her hearty appetite on one ice and three macaroons.

The girls seemed in great spirits, particularly after they were joined by a short gentleman with such a young face that Polly would have called him a boy, if