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The S. W. F. Club   By: (1835-1916)

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E text prepared by Al Haines

THE S. W. F. CLUB

by

CAROLINE E. JACOBS

Author of Joan of Jupiter Inn , Joan's Jolly Vacation , Patricia , etc.

The Goldsmith Publishing Co. Cleveland, Ohio George W. Jacobs & Company

1912

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I PAULINE'S FLAG II THE MAPLES III UNCLE PAUL'S ANSWER IV BEGINNINGS V BEDELIA VI PERSONALLY CONDUCTED VII HILARY'S TURN VIII SNAP SHOTS IX AT THE MANOR X THE END OF SUMMER

CHAPTER I

PAULINE'S FLAG

Pauline dropped the napkin she was hemming and, leaning back in her chair, stared soberly down into the rain swept garden.

Overhead, Patience was having a "clarin' up scrape" in her particular corner of the big garret, to the tune of "There's a Good Time Coming."

Pauline drew a quick breath; probably, there was a good time coming any number of them only they were not coming her way; they would go right by on the main road, they always did.

"'There's a good time coming,'" Patience insisted shrilly, "'Help it on! Help it on!'"

Pauline drew another quick breath. She would help them on! If they would none of them stop on their own account, they must be flagged. And yes, she would do it right now.

Getting up, she brought her writing portfolio from the closet, clearing a place for it on the little table before the window. Then her eyes went back to the dreary, rain soaked garden. How did one begin a letter to an uncle one had never seen; and of whom one meant to ask a great favor?

But at last, after more than one false start, the letter got itself written, after a fashion.

Pauline read it over to herself, a little dissatisfied pucker between her brows:

Mr. Paul Almy Shaw, New York City, New York .

MY DEAR UNCLE PAUL: First, I should like you to understand that neither father nor mother know that I am writing this letter to you; and that if they did, I think they would forbid it; and I should like you to believe, too, that if it were not for Hilary I should not dream of writing it. You know so little about us, that perhaps you do not remember which of us Hilary is. She comes next to me, and is just thirteen. She hasn't been well for a long time, not since she had to leave school last winter, and the doctor says that what she needs is a thorough change. Mother and I have talked it over and over, but we simply can't manage it. I would try to earn some money, but I haven't a single accomplishment; besides I don't see how I could leave home, and anyway it would take so long, and Hilary needs a change now. And so I am writing to ask you to please help us out a little. I do hope you won't be angry at my asking; and I hope very, very much, that you will answer favorably.

I remain, Very respectfully, PAULINE ALMY SHAW. WINTON, VT., May Sixteenth.

Pauline laughed rather nervously as she slipped her letter into an envelope and addressed it. It wasn't a very big flag, but perhaps it would serve her purpose.

Tucking the letter into her blouse, Pauline ran down stairs to the sitting room, where her mother and Hilary were. "I'm going down to the post office, mother," she said; "any errands?"

"My dear, in this rain?"

"There won't be any mail for us, Paul," Hilary said, glancing listlessly up from the book she was trying to read; "you'll only get all wet and uncomfortable for nothing."

Pauline's gray eyes were dancing; "No," she agreed, "I don't suppose there will be any mail for us to day; but I want a walk. It won't hurt me, mother. I love to be out in the rain."

And all the way down the slippery village street the girl's eyes continued to dance with excitement. It was so much to have actually started her ball rolling; and, at the moment, it seemed that Uncle Paul must send it bounding back in the promptest and most delightful of letters. He had never married, and somewhere down at the bottom of his apparently crusty, old heart he must have kept a soft spot for the children of his only brother... Continue reading book >>




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