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  The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Old Order Changeth

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"I am going away with father when he goes. He is going to spend the winter in Paris, and I am to go to school there."

The Story Girl told us this one day in the orchard. There was a little elation in her tone, but more regret. The news was not a great surprise to us. We had felt it in the air ever since Uncle Blair's arrival. Aunt Janet had been very unwilling to let the Story Girl go. But Uncle Blair was inexorable. It was time, he said, that she should go to a better school than the little country one in Carlisle; and besides, he did not want her to grow into womanhood a stranger to him. So it was finally decided that she was to go.

"Just think, you are going to Europe," said Sara Ray in an awe-struck tone. "Won't that be splendid!"

"I suppose I'll like it after a while," said the Story Girl slowly, "but I know I'll be dreadfully homesick at first. Of course, it will be lovely to be with father, but oh, I'll miss the rest of you so much!"

"Just think how WE'LL miss YOU," sighed Cecily. "It will be so lonesome here this winter, with you and Peter both gone. Oh, dear, I do wish things didn't have to change."

Felicity said nothing. She kept looking down at the grass on which she sat, absently pulling at the slender blades. Presently we saw two big tears roll down over her cheeks. The Story Girl looked surprised.

"Are you crying because I'm going away, Felicity?" she asked.

"Of course I am," answered Felicity, with a big sob. "Do you think I've no f-f-eeling?"

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"I didn't think you'd care much," said the Story Girl frankly. "You've never seemed to like me very much."

"I d-don't wear my h-heart on my sleeve," said poor Felicity, with an attempt at dignity. "I think you m-might stay. Your father would let you s-stay if you c-coaxed him."

"Well, you see I'd have to go some time," sighed the Story Girl, "and the longer it was put off the harder it would be. But I do feel dreadfully about it. I can't even take poor Paddy. I'll have to leave him behind, and oh, I want you all to promise to be kind to him for my sake."

We all solemnly assured her that we would.

"I'll g-give him cream every m-morning and n-night," sobbed Felicity, "but I'll never be able to look at him without crying. He'll make me think of you."

"Well, I'm not going right away," said the Story Girl, more cheerfully. "Not till the last of October. So we have over a month yet to have a good time in. Let's all just determine to make it a splendid month for the last. We won't think about my going at all till we have to, and we won't have any quarrels among us, and we'll just enjoy ourselves all we possibly can. So don't cry any more, Felicity. I'm awfully glad you do like me and am sorry I'm going away, but let's all forget it for a month."

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The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery

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