The Sunny Side

“I’ve won the wager, Tom.”

“Didn’t know there was one.”

“Don’t you remember you said Polly would be tired of her teaching, and give it up in three months; and I said she wouldn’t?”

“Well, isn’t she?”

“Not a bit of it. I thought she was at one time, and expected every day to have her come in with a long face, and say she couldn’t stand it. But somehow, lately, she is always bright and happy, seems to like her work, and don’t have the tired, worried look she used to at first. The three months are out, so pay up, Tommy.”

All right, what will you have?”

“You may make it gloves. I always need them, and papa looks sober when I want money.”

There was a minute’s pause as Fan returned to her practising, and Tom relapsed into the reverie he was enjoying seated astride of a chair, with his chin on his folded arms.

“Seems to me Polly don’t come here as often as she used to,” he said presently.

“No, she seems to be very busy; got some new friends,

I believe,—old ladies, sewing-girls, and things of that sort. I miss her, but know she’ll get tired of being goody, and will come back to me before long.”

“Don’t be too sure of that, ma’am.” Something in Tom’s tone made Fan turn round, and ask,—

“What do you mean?”

“Well, it strikes me that Sydney is one of Polly’s new friends. Haven’t you observed that she is uncommonly jolly, and don’t that sort of thing account for it?”

“Nonsense!” said Fanny, sharply.

“Hope it is,” coolly returned Tom.

“What put it into your head?” demanded Fanny, twirling round again so that her face was hidden.

“Oh, well, I keep meeting Syd and Polly circulating in the same directions; she looks as if she had found something uncommonly nice, and he looks as if all creation was getting Pollyfied pretty rapidly. Wonder you haven’t observed it.”

“I have.”

It was Tom’s turn to look surprised now, for Fanny’s voice sounded strange to him. He looked at her steadily for a minute, but saw only a rosy ear and a bent head. A cloud passed over his face, and he leaned his chin on his arm again with a despondent whistle, as he said to himself,—

“Poor Fan! Both of us in a scrape at once.”

“Don’t you think it would be a good thing?” asked Fanny, after playing a bar or two very badly.

“Yes, for Syd.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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