Betty lee, sophomore, p.1
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       Betty Lee, Sophomore, p.1

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Betty Lee, Sophomore

  E-text prepared by Roger Frank and the Online Distributed ProofreadingTeam (




  The World Syndicate Publishing Co.Cleveland, Ohio ---- New York City

  Copyright, 1931byThe World Syndicate Publishing Co.

  Printed in the United States of America

  Table of Contents



  "Why, Kathryn, I think you're _awfully_ pretty!" Betty Lee exclaimed insome surprise. "And I'm not saying that just to console you, either.Why, the _idea_!"

  "Well, Betty, you needn't go that far. I don't have to be pretty to behappy, you know; but it did hurt to have her tell me that Peggy saidit."

  "In the first place, Kathryn, I don't believe Peggy ever said it. Youknow what people say goes with their _characters_. And Peggy isn't likethat."

  "N-no," replied Kathryn, doubtfully. "Peggy has always seemed to likeme."

  "I think that it was just a hateful twisting of something Peggy did say,or maybe it was just made up. What sort of a girl is this Mathilde Finnanyway? And how is it that I haven't met her if she goes to Lyon High?"

  "Oh, she was out last year, at a private school, but she is coming back.They have plenty of money and Mathilde thinks that she is everybody, youknow. She was abroad this summer and was somewhere with Peggy last week.They came back earlier than they intended. Somebody was sick. The girlsused to call her 'Finny' and I imagine that she will hear the samenickname this year, though she hates it."

  Betty laughed. "If she only knew it, she's given you a pretty nicenickname at that. Why shouldn't you _like_ to be called Gypsy? Why,Kathryn, I know a perfectly _darling_ girl, only a grown-up one, thateverybody calls Gypsy; and she likes it and signs her letters Gypsy!"

  Kathryn shook her head. "To be told that I looked like a horrid oldgypsy!"

  "You couldn't look horrid if you tried, Kitten. I've seen you thissummer in your worst old clothes, haven't I now?"

  "You certainly have," laughed Kathryn, her black eyes sparkling and hervivid face all alive amusement at the thought of some of theperformances in which she and Betty had taken part.

  "And do you remember that week when Cousin Lil was here and you diddress up as a gypsy in your attic?"

  Kathryn nodded.

  "I always meant to tell you that you made the prettiest gypsy in theworld, the nice, romantic _Romany_ kind, you know, with a handsome loverand everything as spuzzy as gypsies could have."

  "You're the kind of a friend to have, Betty Lee," laughingly Kathrynremarked; "but I always wanted to have golden hair, like yours, and be agoddess-like creature, all pink and white."

  "Isn't it funny--and ever since I read a story about a beautifulcreature with black, black hair and flashy dark eyes--I longed to looklike that, so entrancingly fascinating!"

  "Probably that is the way girls are, want to look like something else.Well, I don't know that I'd mind being called Gypsy. It _is_ a cutenickname. Oh, did you know that Carolyn is coming back today ortomorrow?"

  "Gypsy"--and Betty looked wickedly at Kathryn as she used the term."Gypsy," Betty repeated, "I have had just one letter from Carolyn allthis summer. I answered it and wrote _pages_; but not one word more haveI had. If you have had a late letter I'm terribly jealous."

  "Good!" returned Kathryn. Then her face grew a little sober. "No, Betty,I've not heard from Carolyn either, except a card at the first of thesummer. But I may as well confess one more secret. I've been telling youeverything I know all summer, you know."

  At this point a slender brown hand and slim brown arm reached over afterBetty's almost equally tanned head. "It's this and I'm ashamed of it,too. I've been worrying for fear when Carolyn comes we can't be suchfriends as we have been this summer."

  "Why not, Kathryn Allen!" Betty squeezed the hand which had slippedinside of her grasp and sat a little closer on the step of the porch."Is that why you said 'good,' when I said I'd be jealous?"

  "Yes. Because I'm jealous myself."

  "Jealousy is a very bad--um--quality."

  "Yes; I know it. But I do hate to have you like Carolyn best!"

  As Betty looked now seriously into Kathryn's face so near her, she sawthat Kathryn was in earnest and that tears were springing into her eyes."Why, Kitty!" she exclaimed softly. "I didn't know you liked me as muchas that. I'm rather glad to know it, though it's very silly, 'cause I'mnot worth it."

  "Yes you are, Betty Lee. I'm not an old silly softy, Betty. You knowthat. I don't go around having crushes and all that. But I like to bewith you. And when Carolyn comes--" Kathryn could not finish hersentence.

  Betty's arm was around Kathryn now. "Listen, Kathryn--I'm glad you toldme this, because if you hadn't and had gone on and felt bad, when therewasn't any need of it, it would have been horrid. But you know I do likeCarolyn a lot, and will you feel bad if I show it? That would make itpretty hard for me, too. There isn't any 'best' about it. I neverthought about it at all. You know how wonderful Carolyn and Peggy havebeen to me, ever since I came to the high school as a scared littlefreshman, almost a year ago."

  "Yes; they're my friends, too."

  "I'm not sure but I know you a little better than either of them now,after this queer summer and all our being together and having so muchfun. Why, I shall look at you even in class when I think of somethingfunny. And if you cast those gypsy eyes in my direction with that lookof yours, when I'm reciting Latin or Math or something----"

  Betty stopped to laugh, and Kathryn gave an answering chuckle. Tensionwas lessening. The idea of Kathryn's feeling that way! Well, surpriseswere always happening.

  "I like to have friends, Kathryn; and you have ever so many."

  "Yes, Betty, and I have sense enough to know that a girl like you willalways have a great many, just like Carolyn."

  "I can't see that either of us have more than you have. But that isn'timportant, after all. Let me tell you what Mother said one time when thetwins were fussing and Dick said that Mother liked Doris best. Motherpretty nearly said that there wasn't any best about it. She said thatshe loved all her children to pieces, whatever they did; that each childhad his own place in her heart, and that she didn't even love them alltogether in a lump, just separately and a great deal. No child couldtake the place of another and she couldn't even be happy in heavenunless we all were along!"

  "Your mother must be a dear. Well, I know she is, from what I saw of herlast year. Mother says that she wants to know her better, judging fromwhat she has seen of you this summer."

  "Why, how nice! Gypsy, you'll spoil me."

  "No I won't. You're unspoilable! But I'd like to be friends with youforever. Honestly, Betty, I'm not going to be crabby about your beingwith Carolyn, or Peggy, or anybody."

  "It wouldn't be like you, Kathryn; and let's make a sure-bond offriendship, to tell each other things the way we have this summer. Andyou can count on me, Kathryn, not to say mean things about you; so ifMathilde or anybody says things, please come straight to me about it,will you?"

  "Yes, I will, but I couldn't believe that you co
uld say mean things; youdon't say them about anybody."

  "Oh, dear, I'm afraid I do criticize sometimes!"

  "I never heard you say a mean thing--so live up to what I think of you,Betty Lee!" Kathryn was grinning at Betty now.

  "I'll try to," laughed Betty. "It's good of you to think I'm nice. Waittill I bring you another piece of fudge." Betty dashed into the house,to return with the fudge pan, which they placed between them. That fudge_was_ good. It was in just the right stage, a little soft, but firmenough to hold in pieces. It certainly did melt in one's mouth.

  "Is the back door locked?" asked Kathryn.

  "Yes, indeedy. We must go in pretty soon, for Father will be driving outearly. He said he was going to take us to a chicken dinner at Rockmont,a real country dinner. I hope they'll have corn on the cob!"


  "Oh, I'm _so_ happy over your spending this week with me, Kathryn, and Ithink it so wonderful of your mother to let you do it!"


  This was toward the close of Betty Lee's odd, but interesting summer,after her freshman year in Lyon High. The summer months had been veryhot at times, but the city was still new to Betty, with much left to beseen and all its summer forms of entertainment to be investigated. Asshe had written more than once to her mother, "I'd rather be here than_anywhere_, Mother. You needn't feel sorry for me. It's absolutelynothing to look after the house, and Father takes me out to dinner sooften that he will be bankrupt, I'm afraid."

  It had been the Lee custom since "time immemorial," as Betty had toldKathryn Allen, for Mrs. Lee to take the children to her mother's formost of the summer. There, at "Grandma's," in the country, they hadbecome acquainted with all the pleasure and some of the lighter work,indeed, that the big farm afforded.

  But this year Grandma was not so well. The first plan had been for Dickto accompany his mother and small Amy Lou, for Dick was to "work," atleast to have certain duties, in looking after the stock, particularlythe horses, of which he was especially fond, and the chickens, for thisbranch of farm life had been developed into quite a plant.

  Betty was to "keep house for Papa," and Doris was to be with her part ofthe time, at least. But this arrangement did not work well. Doris wasdisappointed and not very sweet about it. She resented Betty'sauthority, yet was too young to have as much judgment as Betty.Accordingly, Doris was bundled off to the farm by her father and Mrs.Lee's worries over Betty's being alone through so much of the daycommenced. This was when Kathryn began to come over so often, spendingwhole days with Betty. To be sure, there were other people in the house,the two who lived in the upper part of the house. But sometimes Mr. Leewas delayed, or there would be some evening conference, which made thesafe disposition of Betty necessary to be considered; and Betty began tohave visitors.

  She always declared that her real knowledge of the art of cooking beganthe summer she "kept house for Father," and had, "one after another,"her "sisters and her cousins and her aunts" come to visit her. "Icouldn't let them do all the cooking, could I? And we had three meals aday. My, it was good when Father took us out for dinner!"

  But the "sisters and cousins and aunts" amounted to only one youngcousin, Lilian Lee, bright girl of about seventeen years, and an olderone, related to her mother. She enjoyed being escorted around the cityby Betty, who added to her own knowledge at the same time. The onlydrawback during the three weeks of this visit was that Cousin Eunice wasso afraid of burglars. Betty privately informed her father that she"most smothered" every night, because her cousin was afraid to have thewindows up enough.

  Then there was one unexpected guest whom Betty enjoyed, a former schoolchum of her mother's with her daughter, a girl about Betty's age. Theywere motoring through and expected to find Mrs. Lee at home. But theywere persuaded to stay a few days when it was found that Mr. Lee wasobliged to make a trip away. Their coming was "providential," Bettydeclared.

  So the summer had flown by on wings, with a little practicing on theprecious violin, much less than anticipated, but with much coming andgoing, rides about the city, visits to the little resorts near by andseveral excursions on the river boats. It was characteristic of Betty,who usually forgot the unpleasant features, that she should write to hermother of "one continuous picnic," which she declared the summer to havefurnished. "Of course," she added, "there have been some funny times,and I burnt up toast and scorched some soup, and things like that, butit's all been very exciting!"

  Mrs. Lee thought that very likely some of it had been too exciting to besafe; but she did not spoil Betty's morale by too many cautions, otherthan the general rules she had established before she left.

  And now, while the girls talked of intimate matters in the lateafternoon on the Lee porch, here came a big car that stopped before thehouse and someone leaned out, waving excitedly.

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