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       Polly's First Year at Boarding School, p.1

           Lester Chadwick
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Pollys First Year at Boarding School


  Produced by Roger Frank and the Online DistributedProofreading Team at https://www.pgdp.net (This book wasproduced from images made available by the HathiTrustDigital Library.)

  Singing and cheering wildly they carried her to theother end of the gym.]

  POLLY'S FIRST YEAR AT BOARDING SCHOOL

  BY

  DOROTHY WHITEHILL

  ILLUSTRATED BY CHARLES L. WRENN

  PUBLISHERS

  BARSE & CO.

  NEW YORK, N. Y., NEWARK, N. J.

  Copyright, 1916 By Barse & Co.

  Polly's First Year at Boarding School

  Printed in the United States of America

  CONTENTS

  CHAPTER I--THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL CHAPTER II--THE PAPER CHASE CHAPTER III--THE WELCOME DANCE TO THE NEW GIRLS CHAPTER IV--THE CHOOSING OF THE TEAMS CHAPTER V--THE THANKSGIVING PARTY CHAPTER VI--A RAINY DAY CHAPTER VII--BETTY'S DUCKING CHAPTER VIII--CUTTING THE LECTURE CHAPTER IX--THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS CHAPTER X--THE VALENTINE PARTY CHAPTER XI--PRACTICING FOR THE INDOOR MEET CHAPTER XII--POLLY'S HEROISM CHAPTER XIII--BETTY'S IDEA CHAPTER XIV--THE FRESHMEN ENTERTAIN CHAPTER XV--VISITORS CHAPTER XVI--GHOSTS CHAPTER XVII--POLLY INTERVENES CHAPTER XVIII--WANTED: A MASCOT CHAPTER XIX--FIELD DAY CHAPTER XX--THE MUSICAL CHAPTER XXI--COMMENCEMENT DAY

  CHAPTER I--THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

  Seddon Hall, situated on top of one of the many hills that lined eitherside of the Hudson River, was a scene of hubbub and confusion. It wasthe 27th of September and the opening day of school. The girls who hadalready arrived were walking arm in arm about the grounds, in the broadassembly hall, and in the corridors, talking, laughing and discussingthe summer vacation, plans for the winter, the new girls, and a varietyof subjects with fine impartiality.

  In the Senior reception room Mrs. Baird, principal of the school, and anumber of the faculty were receiving and assuring the mothers andguardians of the girls.

  Outside the carriages from the 5:04 train were winding up the steep hillfrom the station. The girls were waving and calling hellos as theypassed one another, and on the broad piazza there was a quantity of suitcases, and a good deal of kissing.

  Polly Pendleton, seated beside her uncle in one of the last carriages,was just the least little bit frightened. She had never seen quite somany girls nor heard quite so much laughing and talking in all herrather uneventful life.

  Polly's real name was Marianna, but her heavy dark hair framed a face sobright and full of fun, and her big brown eyes had so much impishness intheir depth, that to have called her by anything so long and dignifiedseemed absurd, and so she had been Polly all her life.

  Until two months before this story opens she had lived her thirteenyears in an old fashioned New England town with her aunt, HannahPendleton, her father's eldest sister, and quite as severe as her name.It had been a very unexciting existence--school every morning with thevillage minister, and a patchwork "stint" every afternoon under thedirection of Aunt Hannah.

  Polly was beginning to think every day was going to be just like everyother, when suddenly Aunt Hannah died and she came to New York to livewith Uncle Roddy. It had been a great change to leave the old house andthe village, but under Uncle Roddy's jolly companionship she soon ceasedto miss any part of her old life.

  After what seemed an age, the carriage finally reached the top of thehill, and Polly, holding tight to her uncle's arm, was shown into thereception-room. She was finding it harder every minute to keep down theunaccountable lump that had risen in her throat, when Mrs. Baird,catching sight of them, held out a welcoming hand.

  "How do you do, Mr. Pendleton?" she asked. "And is this Marianna? Mydear," she added, putting her hand on Polly's shoulder, "I hope you aregoing to be very happy and contented with us."

  It was perhaps the fiftieth time Mrs. Baird had made that same remarkthat day, but Polly, looking into her kindly blue eyes, felt, as hadevery other new girl at Seddon Hall, the complete understanding andsympathy of the older woman, and felt, too, without knowing why, thatMrs. Baird had had her first day at boarding-school.

  Louise Preston, one of the Seniors, a slender girl of seventeen, withheaps of taffy-colored hair, big blue eyes, and the sweetest andjolliest smile, caught her principal's beckoning nod, and comingforward, was presented. Mrs. Baird suggested that she take Polly andshow her to her room.

  As the two girls mounted the broad staircase, Louise linked her arm inPolly's in a big sisterly fashion, and began the conversation.

  "This floor that we're coming to," she explained, "is Study Hall floor;all those doors are classrooms. This is the Bridge of Sighs," shecontinued, stopping before a covered passage which led from one buildingto another.

  "Why the Bridge of Sighs?" inquired Polly.

  They were crossing it as she asked. When they reached the other side,Louise solemnly pointed to a door on the left.

  "That," she explained, "is Miss Hale's room. Miss Hale is the Latinteacher, and when you know her, you'll understand why this is the Bridgeof Sighs."

  "Goodness! let's hurry past if she's as dreadful as all that," laughedPolly. "What's this long corridor?"

  "This is the Hall of Fame or, in other words, the abode of the Seniorclass," Louise told her. "Junior and Sophomore corridors are in theother wing, and Freshman Lane, where you'll be, is just above this onthe next floor. You see the classes are named as they are in college."

  "Then who are the little girls I saw downstairs?"

  "Those were the younger children; we don't see much of them untilthey're Intermediates--that's the class just before the Freshmen," Louiseexplained.

  "Now we'll find your room."

  When they reached the floor above, they were met with a shout of joy asthe girls, who were dashing in and out of one another's rooms, caughtsight of Louise.

  "Hello, Louise, how are you? Awfully glad you're back," called some one."Why didn't you answer my letter?"

  "Don't you realize this is _Miss_ Preston, that we're a dignified Seniorthis year, and we mustn't be called Louise?" corrected another laughingvoice.

  Then, as they caught sight of Polly, they stopped short. It was Louisewho broke the embarrassed silence by asking:

  "Does any one know where Marianna Pendleton's room is?"

  At the unfamiliar sound of her real name, Polly looked so puzzled thatshe added:

  "Your name is Marianna, isn't it?"

  "Yes," assented Polly, "but I'll never get used to it. No one has evercalled me anything but Polly."

  "Then Polly you shall be; it suits you, and Marianna doesn't."

  "How do you do? I'm Betty Thompson. Louise doesn't seem to have themanners to introduce me."

  It was golden-haired, snub-nosed, freckled, little Betty, one of themost popular of the younger girls, who was speaking. Her timelyimpudence made every one laugh, and the ice was broken.

  "I stand corrected," murmured Louise, in what was meant to be an abjectvoice. "I'll begin introducing you at once. This is Roberta Andrews;she's in your class. This is Constance Wentworth; we're very proud ofConnie; she plays the piano wonderfully."

  "But she talks in her sleep," interrupted Betty.

  Everybody laughed at this. It was an old joke that Constance, when inthe Intermediate class the year before, had frightened one of the poornew teachers almost to death by reciting Lady Macbeth's sleep walkingscene, at twelve o'clock one night.

  Polly liked her at once. There was something very beautiful about herfirm mouth, straight nose, high cheek bones, and big, dreamy brown eyes.

  "This is Angela Hollywood," Louise continued. "Don't take any stock inher name, it's deceiving."

  Angela, who looked l
ike an old-fashioned painting with her eyes as blueas the sky, her pink and white cheeks, and her soft ringlets ofgolden-brown hair, scowled threateningly.

  "Your being a Senior," she drawled, "is all that saves you from mywrath." Then, turning to Polly, she continued: "Don't let her give you awrong impression; you see, she's jealous. I really am quite angelic--"

  "Do tell me when that is," demanded a voice from the other end of thecorridor. The girls turned to look and there, standing with suit caseand tennis racket in hand, dressed in a blue Peter Thompson sailor suit,her tawny-colored hair tied half way down her back with a black ribbon,her dark eyes dancing with fun, stood Lois Farwell.

  Polly, standing to one side as the girls crowded around the newcomer,realized that in some way she was different from the other girls. Thewelcome she was receiving showed her to be a general favorite and muchthought of. When in a few minutes she was shaking hands with her, sheunderstood. Lois was evidently born to be liked.

  The girls rattled on, asking a million questions at once. Louise leftfor the society of her own class, and Polly went to her room to unpackher case.

  In a few minutes there was a knock at her door; one of the maids hadcome to tell her she was wanted in the reception-room to say good-by toher uncle. As she started down the corridor she met Lois.

  "Where are you going?" questioned the latter. "Anything I can do foryou?"

  Polly tried hard to keep back the lump in her throat as she answered:

  "I am going to the reception-room; my uncle is leaving."

  "Better take me with you," Lois advised. "You'd never find your wayalone."

  When Polly reached the reception-room she found Uncle Roddy decidedlyunhappy. He was feeling a responsibility for, perhaps, the first time inhis bachelor life, and he didn't like it.

  She said good-by to him, promised to write, and received his hug andkiss with a choked sensation. Something snapped as the carriagedisappeared down the hill. She realized she was all alone. She wouldhave given anything to have been able to run after the carriage and beghim to take her home with him.

  The lump in her throat was asserting itself in tears as Lois came backto find her.

  "Come on up to Assembly Hall and meet some of the girls," she suggested,putting her arm around her shoulder and pretending not to notice thetears. At this touch of comradeship the lump in Polly's throat, as if bymagic, disappeared.

  The rest of the day was a blur to Polly, as it was to all the new girls.As she lay wide awake in bed until late that night, she tried to form aclear idea of what had happened.

  "I'm quite sure I'm going to like Angela and Connie," she said toherself. "And I adore Betty; she's such fun. But Lois is the nicest ofall. It was awfully sweet of her to ask me to sit beside her for Mrs.Baird's welcome talk, and she's promised to take me over the groundstomorrow.

  "No one talked about anything I didn't understand, either, exceptbasket-ball, and Betty's promised to teach me how to play that the firstchance she gets."

  Then she continued sleepily:

  "Every one home used to say I was different from most girls, and AuntHannah said I was a tomboy. But I'm just like all the rest--just anordinary girl."

  And with a sigh of contentment she snuggled down in her pillows anddropped off to sleep to dream of the happy year to come.

 
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