"It was horridly improper; and Tom ought to have told you so, if you didn't know any better. I should be mortified to death if any of my friends saw you," added Fan, much disturbed.
"Now, don't you scold. It's no harm, and Polly shall coast if she wants to; mayn't she, grandma?" cried Tom, gallantly coming to the rescue, and securing a powerful ally.
"My mother lets me; and if I don't go among the boys, I can't see what harm there is in it," said Polly, before Madam could speak.
"People do many things in the country that are not proper here," began Mrs. Shaw, in her reproving tone.
"Let the child do it if she likes, and take Maud with her. I should be glad to have one hearty girl in my house," interrupted Mr. Shaw, and that was the end of it.
"Thank you, sir," said Polly, gratefully, and nodded at Tom, who telegraphed back "All right!"and fell upon his dinner with the appetite of a young wolf.
"Oh, you sly-boots! you're getting up a flirtation with Tom, are you?" whispered Fanny to her friend, as if much amused.
"What!" and Polly looked so surprised and indignant, that Fanny was ashamed of herself, and changed the subject by telling her mother she needed some new gloves.Polly was very quiet after that, and the minute dinner was over, she left the room to go and have a