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The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery

Sara Ray Helps Out

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Poor Cecily paid dearly enough for HER vanity. She spent a bad forenoon, made no easier by her mother's severe rebukes. For an hour she "soaked" her head; that is, she stood over a panful of warm water and kept dipping her head in with tightly shut eyes. Finally her hair softened sufficiently to be disentangled from the curl papers; and then Aunt Janet subjected it to a merciless shampoo. Eventually they got all the mucilage washed out of it and Cecily spent the remainder of the forenoon sitting before the open oven door in the hot kitchen drying her ill-used tresses. She felt very down-hearted; her hair was of that order which, glossy and smooth normally, is dry and harsh and lustreless for several days after being shampooed.

"I'll look like a fright tonight," said the poor child to me with trembling voice. "The ends will be sticking out all over my head."

"Sara Ray is a perfect idiot," I said wrathfully

"Qh, don't be hard on poor Sara. She didn't mean to bring me mucilage. It's really all my own fault, I know. I made a solemn vow when Peter was dying that I would never curl my hair again, and I should have kept it. It isn't right to break solemn vows. But my hair will look like dried hay tonight."

Poor Sara Ray was quite overwhelmed when she came up and found what she had done. Felicity was very hard on her, and Aunt Janet was coldly disapproving, but sweet Cecily forgave her unreservedly, and they walked to the school that night with their arms about each other's waists as usual.

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The school-room was crowded with friends and neighbours. Mr. Perkins was flying about, getting things into readiness, and Miss Reade, who was the organist of the evening, was sitting on the platform, looking her sweetest and prettiest. She wore a delightful white lace hat with a fetching little wreath of tiny forget-me-nots around the brim, a white muslin dress with sprays of blue violets scattered over it, and a black lace scarf.

"Doesn't she look angelic?" said Cecily rapturously.

"Mind you," said Sara Ray, "the Awkward Man is here--in the corner behind the door. I never remember seeing him at a concert before."

"I suppose he came to hear the Story Girl recite," said Felicity. "He is such a friend of hers."

The concert went off very well. Dialogues, choruses and recitations followed each other in rapid succession. Felix got through his without "getting stuck," and Peter did excellently, though he stuffed his hands in his trousers pockets--a habit of which Mr. Perkins had vainly tried to break him. Peter's recitation was one greatly in vogue at that time, beginning,

    "My name is Norval; on the Grampian hills
    My father feeds his flocks."

At our first practice Peter had started gaily in, rushing through the first line with no thought whatever of punctuation--" My name is Norval on the Grampian Hills."

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The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery

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