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Hester's Counterpart A Story of Boarding School Life   By: (1872-1918)

Book cover

First Page:

HESTER'S COUNTERPART

[Illustration: THE WATER CREPT UP. Page 284. ]

THE HESTER BOOKS

HESTER'S COUNTERPART

A STORY OF BOARDING SCHOOL LIFE

BY JEAN K. BAIRD Author of "The Coming of Hester"

ILLUSTRATED BY ADELE W. JONES

[Illustration]

BOSTON LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO.

Published, August, 1910

COPYRIGHT, 1910, BY LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO. All Rights Reserved

HESTER'S COUNTERPART

NORWOOD PRESS BERWICK & SMITH CO. NORWOOD, MASS. U. S. A.

ILLUSTRATIONS

The water crept up (Page 284) Frontispiece

FACING PAGE

"I am Helen Loraine" 68

Again Hester deftly returned it 92

"Oh, girls, do you happen to have any cold cream?" 122

"You remember me, I see, Miss Alden" 150

They held their breath 290

HESTER'S COUNTERPART

CHAPTER I

Debby Alden, to use her own adjective in regard to herself, was not "slack." To this her friends added another term. Debby was "set." There could be no doubt of that.

When Hester was but twelve years old, Debby had decided that the girl should have at least one year at the best boarding school. Four years had passed, during which time, Debby's purpose had remained firm, although not yet ripe for perfecting.

After the experience with Mary Bowerman's taunts and Abner Stout's guile, Debby decided that the time had come for Hester to have a change of environment. Miss Richards's advice was again sought. But that old friend no longer held the full power in her hands. Debby had grown alive and alert. She knew the standing of the schools throughout the State, and in what particular line of study or discipline each one excelled.

For months, she studied catalogues and estimated expenses. She had never made a study of psychology; but she understood that Hester had reached the most impressionable age of her life. Each thought and word would leave its marks upon her. Debby, who believed firmly that tendencies are inherited, had always with her the fear that Hester would show the tendencies of an alien race. Her one consolation was that much may be overcome by training, and too, perhaps, there was in Hester's veins only a drop of darker blood.

No one understood the position in which Debby Alden was placed. She always held herself responsible for the death of Hester's mother. Duty had compelled her to take care of the child, until love had come to her as a reward for the fulfillment of duty.

There was no one to whom she could speak concerning Hester and her fears in regard to her. One thing she had done and would do; she would keep the child far removed from any influence which would tend to the strengthening of those traits which are supposed rightfully to belong to the race of slaves.

Debby consulted principals and teachers and read and re read catalogues. At length, she decided upon Dickinson Seminary as the school which came nearest to fulfilling her desires for Hester.

Hester had always been sweet and submissive to Debby Alden. The girl had more than love for the woman who was mother and father both to her. Mingled with Hester's love for Debby was an inexpressible gratitude. Hester realized how much Debby had done and was doing for her. But it was not the dainty dresses and good home that touched her most. Debby Alden had given the waif her mother's name, and Hester never wrote in her big angular hand, Hester Palmer Alden, without feeling a glow of pride. She had a name of which to be proud, a name which Debby Alden had always held dear.

"It was the very kindest thing Aunt Debby could do," was a thought which came often to Hester. "She must have loved me even from the first, or she would have never given me her own name. She's so proud of being an Alden. Their name has never had a bit of shame or disgrace touch it." Then she added an afterthought, "and it never will through me... Continue reading book >>




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