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The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Rape Of The Lock

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This rape of the lock did not produce quite such terrible consequences as the more famous one in Pope's poem, but Cecily's soul was no less agitated than Belinda's. She cried all the way home from school about it, and only checked her tears when Dan declared he'd fight Cyrus and make him give it up.

"Oh, no, You mustn't." said Cecily, struggling with her sobs. "I won't have you fighting on my account for anything. And besides, he'd likely lick you--he's so big and rough. And the folks at home might find out all about it, and Uncle Roger would never give me any peace, and mother would be cross, for she'd never believe it wasn't my fault. It wouldn't be so bad if he'd only taken a little, but he cut a great big chunk right off the end of one of the braids. Just look at it. I'll have to cut the other to make them fair--and they'll look so awful stubby."

But Cyrus' acquirement of the chunk of hair was his last triumph. His downfall was near; and, although it involved Cecily in a most humiliating experience, over which she cried half the following night, in the end she confessed it was worth undergoing just to get rid of Cyrus.

Mr. Perkins was an exceedingly strict disciplinarian. No communication of any sort was permitted between his pupils during school hours. Anyone caught violating this rule was promptly punished by the infliction of one of the weird penances for which Mr. Perkins was famous, and which were generally far worse than ordinary whipping.

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One day in school Cyrus sent a letter across to Cecily. Usually he left his effusions in her desk, or between the leaves of her books; but this time it was passed over to her under cover of the desk through the hands of two or three scholars. Just as Em Frewen held it over the aisle Mr. Perkins wheeled around from his station before the blackboard and caught her in the act.

"Bring that here, Emmeline," he commanded.

Cyrus turned quite pale. Em carried the note to Mr. Perkins. He took it, held it up, and scrutinized the address.

"Did you write this to Cecily, Emmeline?" he asked.

"No, sir."

"Who wrote it then?"

Em said quite shamelessly that she didn't know--it had just been passed over from the next row.

"And I suppose you have no idea where it came from?" said Mr. Perkins, with his frightful, sardonic grin. "Well, perhaps Cecily can tell us. You may take your seat, Emmeline, and you will remain at the foot of your spelling class for a week as punishment for passing the note. Cecily, come here."

Indignant Em sat down and poor, innocent Cecily was haled forth to public ignominy. She went with a crimson face.

"Cecily," said her tormentor, "do you know who wrote this letter to you?"

Cecily, like a certain renowned personage, could not tell a lie.

"I--I think so, sir," she murmured faintly.

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The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery

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