Read Books Online, for Free
|A Little Princess||Frances Hodgson Burnett|
The Diamond Mines Again
|Page 7 of 13||
Mr. Barrow undisturbedly moved toward the door.
"I wouldn't do that, madam," he commented; "it wouldn't look well. Unpleasant story to get about in connection with the establishment. Pupil bundled out penniless and without friends."
He was a clever business man, and he knew what he was saying. He also knew that Miss Minchin was a business woman, and would be shrewd enough to see the truth. She could not afford to do a thing which would make people speak of her as cruel and hard-hearted.
"Better keep her and make use of her," he added. "She's a clever child, I believe. You can get a good deal out of her as she grows older."
"I will get a good deal out of her before she grows older!" exclaimed Miss Minchin.
"I am sure you will, ma'am," said Mr. Barrow, with a little sinister smile. "I am sure you will. Good morning!"
He bowed himself out and closed the door, and it must be confessed that Miss Minchin stood for a few moments and glared at it. What he had said was quite true. She knew it. She had absolutely no redress. Her show pupil had melted into nothingness, leaving only a friendless, beggared little girl. Such money as she herself had advanced was lost and could not be regained.
And as she stood there breathless under her sense of injury, there fell upon her ears a burst of gay voices from her own sacred room, which had actually been given up to the feast. She could at least stop this.
But as she started toward the door it was opened by Miss Amelia, who, when she caught sight of the changed, angry face, fell back a step in alarm.
"What IS the matter, sister?" she ejaculated.
Miss Minchin's voice was almost fierce when she answered:
"Where is Sara Crewe?"
Miss Amelia was bewildered.
"Sara!" she stammered. "Why, she's with the children in your room, of course."
"Has she a black frock in her sumptuous wardrobe?"--in bitter irony.
"A black frock?" Miss Amelia stammered again. "A BLACK one?"
"She has frocks of every other color. Has she a black one?"
Miss Amelia began to turn pale.
"No--ye-es!" she said. "But it is too short for her. She has only the old black velvet, and she has outgrown it."
"Go and tell her to take off that preposterous pink silk gauze, and put the black one on, whether it is too short or not. She has done with finery!"
Then Miss Amelia began to wring her fat hands and cry.
"Oh, sister!" she sniffed. "Oh, sister! What CAN have happened?"
Miss Minchin wasted no words.
"Captain Crewe is dead," she said. "He has died without a penny. That spoiled, pampered, fanciful child is left a pauper on my hands."
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|A Little Princess
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004