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A Sweet Girl Graduate   By: (1854-1914)

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This eBook was produced by Jim Weiler,


by MRS. L. T. MEADE, 1891



PRISCILLA'S trunk was neatly packed. It was a new trunk and had a nice canvas covering over it. The canvas was bound with red braid, and Priscilla's initials were worked on the top in large plain letters. Her initials were P. P. P., and they stood for Priscilla Penywern Peel. The trunk was corded and strapped and put away, and Priscilla stood by her aunt's side in the little parlor of Penywern Cottage.

"Well, I think I've told you everything," said the aunt.

"Oh, yes, Aunt Raby, I sha'n't forget. I'm to write once a week, and I'm to try not to be nervous. I don't suppose I shall be I don't see why I should. Girls aren't nervous nowadays, are they?"

"I don't know, my dear. It seems to me that if they aren't they ought to be. I can understand girls doing hard things if they must. I can understand any one doing anything that has to be done, but as to not being nervous well there! Sit down, Prissie, child, and take your tea."

Priscilla was tall and slight. Her figure was younger than her years, which were nearly nineteen, but her face was older. It was an almost careworn face, thoughtful, grave, with anxious lines already deepening the seriousness of the too serious mouth.

Priscilla cut some bread and butter and poured out some tea for her aunt and for herself.

Miss Rachel Peel was not the least like her niece. She was short and rather dumpy. She had a sensible, downright sort of face, and she took life with a gravity which would have oppressed a less earnest spirit than Priscilla's.

"Well, I'm tired," she said, when the meal was over. "I suppose I've done a great deal more than I thought I had all day. I think I'll go to bed early. We have said all our last words, haven't we, Priscilla?"

"Pretty nearly, Aunt Raby."

"Oh, yes, that reminds me there's one thing more. Your fees will be all right, of course, and your traveling, and I have arranged about your washing money."

"Yes, Aunt Raby, oh, yes; everything is all right."

Priscilla fidgeted, moved her position a little and looked longingly out of the window.

"You must have a little money over and above these things," proceeded Miss Peel in her sedate voice. "I am not rich, but I'll allow you yes, I'll manage to allow you two shillings a week. That will be for pocket money, you understand, child."

The girl's old young face flushed painfully.

"I'll want a few pence for stamps, of course," she said. "But I sha'n't write a great many letters. I'll be a great deal too busy studying. You need not allow me anything like so large a sum as that, Aunt Raby."

"Nonsense, child. You'll find it all too small when you go out into the world. You are a clever girl, Prissie, and I'm going to be proud of you. I don't hold with the present craze about women's education. But I feel somehow that I shall be proud of you. You'll be learned enough, but you'll be a woman with it all. I wouldn't have you stinted for the world, Prissie, my dear. Yes, I'll make it ten shillings a month yes, I will. I can easily screw that sum out of the butter money. Now, not another word. I'm off to bed. Good night, my love."

Priscilla kissed her aunt and went out. It was a lovely autumn evening. She stepped on to the green sward which surrounded the little cottage, and with the moonlight casting its full radiance on her slim figure, looked steadily out over the sea. The cottage was on the top of some high cliffs. The light of the moon made a bright path over the water, and Priscilla had a good view of shining, silvered water and dark, deep blue sky.

She stood perfectly still, gazing straight out before her. Some of the reflection and brightness of the moonlight seemed to get into her anxious eyes and the faint dawn of a new born hope to tremble around her lips... Continue reading book >>

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