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Polly's Senior Year at Boarding School Part 20

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"All right."

After dinner she led the way, followed by all fifteen girls, straight to Maud. They found her in one of the cla.s.s rooms.

"Tell her just what I did," Polly directed.

And Betty described the ride in her most extravagant style. Finally she displayed the cup.

"Now, what do you think of it?" she ended triumphantly.

Maud's eyes had been wide with interest throughout the recital. She looked at Polly with perfect understanding.

"By Jove!" she said earnestly, "wasn't it lucky the hill was there. Did you remember to rub the horses down when you got back, Polly?"

There was a second's silence.

"Yes, and I put blankets on them," Polly answered. Then, turning to Betty: "Do I win?" she asked, laughing.

CHAPTER XI

THE CONCERT

"'Flow gently sweet Afton among thy green braes," caroled Betty. She was picking out the accompaniment with her first finger on the a.s.sembly Hall piano, one stormy afternoon, for the benefit of Angela and Polly. They were trying to compose a Senior cla.s.s song to Seddon Hall.

"'Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise.'"

"That ought to do," she said, abruptly swinging around on the piano stool to face them.

"The rhythm is good and I love the tune."

Polly and Angela considered for a moment.

"It is rather nice," Polly agreed, "if we can only find words to fit it."

"That's easy, use the same idea as the song," Betty suggested.

"Supplement Hudson for Afton, and--"

"Oh, Bet, how can you?" Angela's poetic taste objected. "Imagine a school song that began 'Flow gently sweet Hudson.' I suppose you'd go on with: 'Among thy sign bordered banks.' It would never do, would it, Polly?"

Polly was laughing too hard to reply at once.

"I don't know; it would be original, anyway, Ange," she said at last.

"And you know our cla.s.s has always been original," Betty reminded her.

"There's a difference between originality and silly nonsense, but I suppose it's too much to expect either of you to appreciate it," Angela said, with dignity.

Betty played a loud chord on the piano.

"Ange, when you're crushing, I always feel like running away," she said, timidly. "However, I still protest that there's nothing wrong with telling the Hudson to flow gently," she added. "Of course, I'm open to argument."

Angela was exasperated. The rest of the Senior cla.s.s had appointed these three to write the cla.s.s song, over a week ago. It had to be ready before the Senior concert. This was as far as they had gotten.

Christmas vacation began the next week, and the concert was to be the night before. Angela felt, that given a piece of paper, a pencil and a quiet place, she could compose a fitting song, but with Betty and Polly saying ridiculous things every minute to make her laugh, she couldn't think of even one sensible line.

"You can't use the words, gently and sweet, in relation to a mighty river like the Hudson." She referred to Betty's question. "You might as well call it a cute little brook," she finished in disgust.

"Why, Angela! I do believe you're cross." Polly looked up in sudden surprise at the irritable note in Angela's voice. "What's the matter?"

"Nothing but a cold in my head and pages of Virgil translations," Angela replied, woefully. "You and Betty won't be serious for a minute. It'll mean I have to sit up the night before the concert with a wet towel around my head and write a song that won't be any good."

"Polly, we ought to be ashamed. Angela's right," Betty said with sudden seriousness. "From this minute on, I promise to behave," she added solemnly, "and agree to anything you say. We'll discard 'Flow gently sweet Hudson,' as no good, and proceed."

"How about starting 'On Majestic Hudson's Banks?'" suggested Polly.

"We can't use majestic, it's too long and grand's a horrid word." Angela considered, frowning.

"Well, leave out the adjective and say:

"On Hudson's bank Stands fair Seddon Hall--

"That's all right, listen, I'll play it."

They sang the words to Betty's accompaniment.

"Truth, honor and joy Is her message to all."

Angela added inspired:

"Her daughters are loyal"--

Betty would have gone on, but Polly stopped her.

"I won't agree to that, every cla.s.s song I ever heard, said exactly the same thing," she protested. "Let's get something about happiness."

"Hardly more original." Betty laughed, but Angela interrupted.

"I know what Poll means. How's this?"

"There's no limit to"--

"Slang," Polly said abruptly.

"It isn't really."

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Polly's Senior Year at Boarding School Part 20 summary

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