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Tom and Some Other Girls A Public School Story   By: (1857-1917)

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Tom and some other Girls A Public School Story

By Mrs George de Horne Vaizey You would be mistaken if you thought this was going to be a book about a girl called Thomasina, for it is actually about a girl call Rhoda Chester. Rhoda has been brought up as the child of rich parents. Her brothers have done well, but she has been kept at home, and has been taught by governesses and other visiting tutors. The German fraulein goes to her own home in Germany for a holiday, where she gets married and never comes back.

This prompts Mr Chester to consider sending Rhoda away to a boarding school. There is a discussion, Rhoda's mother not being at all in favour of the idea, but Rhoda is keen to go.

They settle on a school. Rhoda goes there, and enjoys herself, doing well. Tom and the other girls are of course her schoolmates. But there is to be an important exam, for which Rhoda overworks, to the point where her brain no longer works when she is in the examination hall. So life is downward, instead of upward, she realises. We will leave you to read the rest of the story. Vaizey is at her best again. N.H. TOM AND SOME OTHER GIRLS A PUBLIC SCHOOL STORY




"Yes, she must go to school!" repeated Mr Chester.

A plaintive sob greeted his words from the neighbourhood of the sofa. For once in her life Mrs Chester's kindly, good tempered face had lost its smiles, and was puckered up into lines of distress. She let one fat, be ringed hand drop to her side and wander restlessly over the satin skirt in search of a pocket. Presently out came a handkerchief, which was applied to each eye in turn, and came away bedewed with tears.

"It will break my heart to part from her!" she faltered. Her husband laughed with masculine scepticism.

"Oh, nonsense, dear," he said; "hearts are not so easily broken. You are too sensible to grieve over what is for the child's good, and will get used to the separation, as other mothers have done before you. It will be the making of Rhoda to leave home for a few years, to mix with other girls, and find her level. She is getting an altogether exaggerated idea of her own importance!"

"Her level, indeed! Find her level! I should like to know the school where you could find another girl like her!" cried the mother, in a tone which showed plainly enough who was responsible for Miss Rhoda's conceit. The tears dried on her face for very indignation, and she sat upright in her seat, staring across the room.

It was a gorgeous apartment, this drawing room of Erley Chase, the residence of Henry Chester, Esquire, and Marianne his wife; a gorgeous room in the literal acceptance of the term, for each separate article of furniture looked as if it had been chosen more from the fact of its intrinsic value than for its usefulness or beauty.

Mr Chester, the son of a country clergyman, had considered himself passing rich when a manufacturer uncle took him into his employ, at a salary of £400 a year. The first thing he did after this position was assured was to marry his old love, the daughter of the village doctor, with whom he had played since childhood; and the young couple spent the first dozen years of their married lives very happily and contentedly in a little house in a smoky manufacturing town. The bachelor uncle was proud of his clever nephew and fond of the cheery little wife, who was always kind and thoughtful even when gout and a naturally irritable temper goaded him into conduct the reverse of amiable. When Harold was born, and christened after himself, he presented the child with a silver mug, and remarked that he hoped he would turn out better than most young men, and not break his parents' hearts as a return for their goodness... Continue reading book >>

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