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´╗┐Title: Glory and the Other Girl
Author: Donnell, Annie Hamilton, 1862-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Glory and the Other Girl" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Glory and the Other Girl

by

Annie Hamilton Donnell

DAVID C. COOK PUBLISHING COMPANY



Chapter I.


Glory ran in the last minute to bid Aunt Hope good-by. That was
the one thing that she never forgot.

"Good-by, auntie. I'm off, but I'm not happy. _Happy!_ I'm perfectly
mis-er-a-ble! If only I had passed last year! To think I've got to go
back to that baby seminary, and the other girls will have entered at
Glenwood! Oh, dear! I'll never be able to catch up."

"There, dear, don't! Keep brave. Remember what a pleasant vacation
we've had, and this is such a lovely day in which to begin all over.
I wouldn't mind 'beginning over' again to-day!"

Aunt Hope was smiling up at her from the cushions of the big couch,
but Glory's lips trembled as she stooped to gather the thin little
figure into her strong girlish arms.

"Auntie! Auntie! If you only could!" the girl cried wistfully. "If
you could only take my place! It isn't fair that we can't take turns
being well and strong. But, there," she made a wry face to hide her
emotion, "who'd want to be poor me to-day and go back on that horrid
train to that horrid, horrid school!"

"Glory Wetherell, I believe you're lazy!" Aunt Hope laughed. "A
Wetherell lazy! There, kiss me again, Disappointment, and run away to
your 'horrid train'!"

But out on the landing Glory paused expectantly, taking a rapid
mental account of stock in readiness for the coming questions.
"She'll call in a minute," the girl thought tenderly, waiting for the
sweet, feeble voice. "The day auntie doesn't call me back I sha'n't
be Gloria Wetherell!"

"Gloria!"

"Yes'm. Here I am. I've got my books, auntie."

"_All_, Glory?"

"Every single one."

"All right, dear!" came in Aunt Hope's soft voice. And Glory went on
downstairs, smiling to herself triumphantly. Such luck! When had she
been able to answer like that before?

"Gloria!" again.

"Yes, auntie. Oh! oh! yes, I _did_ forget my mileage book, auntie.
I'll get it this minute. But, auntie,"--Glory stopped at the foot of
the stairs. Her discomfited laugh floated upward to the pale little
invalid--"I've felt of my head and it's on. I didn't forget that!
Good-by."

"Dear girl--my Little Disappointment!" murmured the invalid, sinking
back on her pillows, with a tender sigh. "Will she ever grow heedful?
When will she come to her own?"

Oddly enough, at that moment Glory was saying to herself, as she
hurried down the street, "I wish she wouldn't call me her
'Disappointment' like that--dear auntie! There's any quantity of love
in it, but I don't like the sound of it. It reminds me of the trains
I've missed, and the books I've forgotten, and--oh, me!--all the
lessons I haven't learned! I wish auntie didn't care so much about
such things--_I_ don't!"

It was a splendid September day. The sweet, sharp air kissed the
girl's fresh cheeks into blushes and sent her feet dancing along with
the very joy of locomotion. In spite of herself Glory began to be
happy. And the girls were at the station to see her off--that was an
unexpected compliment. They ran to meet her excitedly.

"Quick, quick, Glory! We've 'held up' the train as long as we can!"
they chorused. "Didn't you know you were late, for pity's sake? And
it's the Crosspatch Conductor's day, too--we've had an awful time
coaxing him to wait! But he's a real dear, after all."

"Give me your books--help her on, Judy! There, take 'em quick!
Good-by."

"Our sympathies go-o with--yo-oo-ou!"

The chorus of gay voices trailed after her, as she stood alone on the
platform. With a final wave of her book-strap she went dolefully
inside. Suddenly the September getting-off intoxication oozed out of
her finger-tips. She tumbled into the nearest seat with a sigh. It
was even worse than she had anticipated.

"I wish the girls hadn't come down," she thought ungratefully.
"Sending their condolences after me like that! I guess I could see
the triumph in Judy Wells' face, and Georgia Kelley's, and all their
faces. They were hugging themselves for not having to go back to the
seminary. Nobody's got to but just poor me. I declare, I'm so sorry
for you, Glory Wetherell, and I think I'm going to cry!"

The "girls," all four of them, had graduated the previous spring.
Only heedless, unstudy-loving Glory had lagged over into another
year, and must go back and forth from little Douglas to the Center
Town Seminary all by herself. Every morning and every night--the days
loomed ahead of her, not to be numbered or borne. Well, it was hard.
No more merry chattering rides, as there had been last year when the
girls were her companions. No more gay little car-feasts on the home
trips, out of the carefully hoarded remnants of their dinners.

"I wish I'd kept up in mathematics and things!" lamented Glory,
gazing at the flying landscape with gloomy eyes. "If I'd known how
this was going to feel, I'd have done it if it killed me. Think of a
year of this! Two times three quarters of an hour is an hour and a
half. Let me see--in the three terms there'll be three times
sixty-five days. Three times sixty-five is"--Glory figured
slowly--"one hundred and ninety-five days! An hour and a half in one
day--in one hundred and ninety-five days there will be--oh, forever!"
groaned Glory. She sat and looked into the year to come with a gloomy
face. In spite of herself she multiplied one hundred and ninety-five
by one and a half.

"That's the number of hours you're going to sit here on a car-seat,
is it?" she demanded of herself. "It's a nice prospect, isn't it?
You'll have a charming time, won't you? Aren't you glad you didn't
keep up in things?"

It did not occur to Glory that she might employ the time in study.
Studying very rarely "occurred" to Glory, anyway. She went back and
forth from little Douglas to the Centre Town "Seminary for Young
Ladies" because of Aunt Hope. Aunt Hope wanted her to, and Aunt Hope
was a dear. She would do even that for Aunt Hope!

The slow local train lurched on between grainfields and cattle-dotted
pastures, and the pretty, dainty little maid on the back seat sat on,
with the plaintive face of a martyr. In spite of herself the Other
Girl smiled. The Other Girl was not dainty, nor was she pretty unless
she smiled. The uptwitch of her mouth-corners and the flash of white
teeth helped out a great deal. She had never had occasion to laugh
much in her fifteen years of life, but now and then she smiled--when
she saw girls playing martyr, for instance!

"It's funny, if she only knew it," the Other Girl thought. "There she
sits feeling abused because she has to go to school--oh, my goodness,
goodness! She feels that way, I'm certain she does! It's printed in
capitals on her face. Diantha Leavitt, do you hear?--there's a girl
back there feeling abused because she's got to go to a Young Ladies'
Seminary! If you don't believe me, turn square round and look at
her."

The Other Girl was sitting sidewise on her seat to give her a
slanting view from under her shabby sailor of the trim little
tailor-made figure on the back seat. She had been watching it ever
since the train drew out of Douglas. She had recognized it at once as
one of the five trim, girlish figures that had got on at the same
place the previous spring. School-books and schoolgirl nonsense tell
their own story, and, besides, hadn't they always got off at Centre
Town, and wasn't there a Young Ladies' Seminary there? You could put
two and two together if you _didn't_ study arithmetic--if your name
_was_ only Diantha Leavitt and you worked in the East Centre Town
rubber factory, instead of going to school.

The Other Girl's admiring eyes had taken in all the dainty details of
gloves, tiny chatelaine watch, and neat school satchel out of which
protruded green and brown books. With a fierce little gesture the
Other Girl had slid her own hands under her threadbare jacket. They
were reddened and rough.

"I should like to know if she can smell rubber clear back there," she
thought. "You ought to go ahead to the front o' the car, Diantha
Leavitt. Don't you know dainty folks don't like the smell of rubber?
Oh, my goodness--goodness--goodness! I wish I could get out o' the
reach of it for one day in my life! _One day_--doesn't seem like
asking a great deal, does it?"

She straightened and turned her back to the dainty girl of luxury on
the rear seat. She would not look again. But straight ahead, on the
very front of the car, her gloomy, roaming gaze was stayed. What was
this she saw? The pretty, plaintive face of the schoolgirl, in the
mirror! She could not get away from it. The two pairs of blue eyes
seemed to be looking directly into each other, but the Other Girl's
were full of angry tears. The Other Girl sat up, straight and
defiant, and stared ahead unswervingly. Mentally she was taking a
scornful inventory of her own shabbiness.

"My feather is perfectly straight;--it rained Saturday night, and I
haven't had any time to curl it over the poker. It doesn't belong on
a sailor, anyway, but it's better than a hole right into your hair!
It covers up. My jacket collar is all fringy round the edges, and the
top button is split. My necktie has been washed four times too
often--ugh! I smell rubber!"

Glory consulted her little chatelaine watch impatiently.

"I hope we're 'most there!" she sighed. "If this hasn't been the
longest ride! I know one thing--I shall bring my crochet-work
to-morrow, and my tatting, and my knitting-work, and my--patchwork!
There's more than one way to 'kill' time." She smiled to herself a
little. From the cover of the tiny watch Aunt Hope's picture looked
up at her, smiling too. Glory nodded back to it.

"Yes'm, I've got everything--I haven't forgotten a thing. And I'm
going to be good," she murmured, as she shut the sweet face out of
sight.

The train slowed up. Glory was feeling better because of the little
draught of Sweet Face Tonic, and she was even humming a tune under
her breath when she stepped down on to the platform. She stepped
daintily along with her pretty head held up saucily and her skirts
a-flutter. It wasn't so bad, after all, once off that horrid
train--good riddance to it! Let it go fizzing and puffing away. The
farther the better--

Suddenly Glory stood still and gazed downward at her empty hands,
then at the fading curl of white smoke up the track. Her face was a
study of dismay.

"Oh! oh! That horrid train has carried off my books!" she cried.



Chapter II.


Glory swung about on her toes and marched away to the Centre Town
ticketman, whom she knew a little.

"Mr. Blodgett," she cried, "what do you do when you get off the train
and your books don't?"

The pleasant old face twinkled at her out of the little window. Mr.
Blodgett's acquaintance with Glory had been enlivened by a good many
such crises as this. In his mind he had always separated her from the
other Douglas young misses as "The Fly-away One."

"Forgot 'em, eh? Got carried off, did they? Well, that's a serious
case. You'll have to engage a counsel, but I ain't sure you'll get
your case. Looks to me as if the law was on the other--"

"Mr. Blodgett," laughed Glory, "I don't want to get my 'case'--I want
my books! What do folks do when they leave things--umbrellas or
something--in their seats?"

"Never left an umbrella yourself, of course?"

"Ye-es--three," admitted Glory, "but I never _did_ anything--just let
'em go. This time it's my school-books, you see. It's different. I
don't see how I'm going to school without any books."

"Sure enough. Well, I'll see what I can do for you, my dear. I'll
telegraph to the conductor to take 'em in charge and deliver 'em to
you at your place, in the morning. How's that?"

"Oh, thank you, Mr. Blodgett. You're a regular dear--I mean you're
very kind."

"Don't change it, my dear. The first is good enough for me," the old
man laughed. He was thinking what a refreshing little picture his
small window framed in. Was it like this his little girl would have
looked if she had grown into girlhood? He gazed after the Flyaway One
wistfully.

It was still early in the morning, and Glory loitered about in the
crisp September sunshine with an hour of time to "kill." There was
but one early train to Centre Town, and that left Douglas at seven.
It had not been so bad, of course, when the other girls came, too,
but now!--Glory sighed pensively. So many things were bad now. The
sun might just as well be snuffed out like a candle and it be raining
torrents, for all the joy there was in living!

"That was my fourth Latin lexicon," Glory exclaimed suddenly, with a
vivid vision of Aunt Hope's grieved face. "I left two out in the
rain, and lost a lot of leaves out of another, and now this one's
gone on a tour! Poor auntie! I guess she might as well keep right on
calling me Little Disappointment."

It was an unpropitious beginning for the new term. Glory was obliged
to refuse three times to recite, on the plea of her lost books, and
double lessons loomed ahead of her dismally. But not for long--Glory
never allowed "making up" to dispirit her unduly. Studying, anyway,
was a nuisance, and the less time you let it give you the blues, the
better. If you hadn't any books you couldn't study--naturally. Then
why gloom over it a whole day?

"Well, dear?" Aunt Hope said that night, as they sat in the twilight
together; "well, the beginning and the ending are the first day. How
has it been? You look happy enough--I can feel the corners of your
mouth, and they turn up!" The slender, cool fingers traveled over the
girl's face in their own privileged fashion.

Glory remembered the books and drew down her lips hastily.

"I've been naughty, auntie," she confessed softly.

"Oh, Glory!--again?"

"Yes'm, I'm afraid so. I'm afraid I've--lost something."

Aunt Hope drew a long, patient breath before she spoke. Her fingers
still lingered on the smooth cheeks and then wandered slowly to the
tangle of soft hair. The little girl half hidden from her by the dusk
was so dear to her!

"Tell me about it, Little Disappointment," Aunt Hope said at length.
And Glory told her story penitently.

"But I think it will come out all right, auntie, truly," she ended.
"I shall get them again to-morrow morning. Mr. Blodgett said
he'd telegraph to have the Crosspatch Conduc--I mean the
_conductor_--bring them with him to-morrow. It isn't likely anybody
would steal a school satchel of books!" The bright voice ran on,
quite gay and untroubled again. But Aunt Hope put up her hand and
felt about for the laughing lips, to hush them. It had grown dark in
the room.

"Glory, I am going to tell you a story," Aunt Hope said quietly. "You
are to sit a little closer to me and listen like a good little girl.
Don't speak, dear."

"I won't, auntie."

"There was another girl once," began Aunt Hope's gentle voice. "She
had two things she loved especially--an Ambition and a Brother. She
spelled them both with capitals, they were so dear to her. Sometimes
she told herself she hardly knew which one she loved the better. But
there came a time when she must choose between them, and then she
knew. Of course it was the Brother. She put the Ambition away on a
high shelf where she could not go to it too often and cry over it.
'Stay there awhile,' she said. 'Some day I shall come and take you
down and live with you again. Just now I must take care of my
Brother.'

"For the girl and her Brother were all alone in the world, and she
was the older. He was a little thing, and she was all the mother he
had. For fifteen years she took care of him, and then one day she
found time to take the Ambition down from the high shelf--she had not
had time before. She took it down and clasped it in the old way to
her breast. 'Oh, ho!' she laughed--she was so glad!--'Oh, _now_ I
have time for you! You and I will never part again.' And she was as
happy as a little child over a lost treasure. It did not seem to
dismay her because she was not a girl any longer. Women could have
Ambitions, she said. And what did she do but get out her study books
and wipe off the dust of years! It lay on them discouragingly thick
and white, but she laughed in its face.

"That was because she did not know. Sometimes it is better not to
know. Do you think it would have been kind to let her know on that
first sweet day? At any rate she never lost that day. She had it with
her always afterward--the one beautiful, long day she and her
Ambition spent together again, after she took it down from the shelf.
They spent it all among the dusted books.

"The next day there was a terrible accident, and when it was over and
this other girl, who had grown to a woman, was lying in a dark room
that somehow seemed to be full of a dull pain, she heard her Brother
and a doctor talking outside. She heard every word. Then she knew
what was coming to her. She could tell what to expect.

"Well, she put the Ambition back, away back in her heart, and it has
been there ever since. She lets it come to the front sometimes--but
only once in a very great while."

The quiet voice ceased speaking, and Glory, with a little stifled
sob, hid her face in the pillows. She understood.

"Oh, I forgot something in the story," Aunt Hope went on presently,
her cheek against Glory's hair. "I forgot the best part! The Brother
took care of the girl after that. He was the mother then. Even after
he had a home of his own and a little baby, it was just the same. But
he had to go away for years at a time, and the baby's mother was
dead, so it came about that the girl--or rather woman; she is a woman
now--had the little baby almost always to herself. It was beautiful,
beautiful, until the little mischief took it into her head to grow
up. Even then it wasn't so very bad! For, don't you see, she would
fall heir to the Ambition by and by? So the woman was always hoping.
And she hasn't quite given up hoping yet."

There was silence in the big, dark room. Glory got to her feet. Her
voice trembled as she began to speak, and she hurried over the words
as if she were afraid she might cry.

"I'm going down to Judy's to--to get her books. Then I'm coming home
and--and study, auntie. Good-by," she stumbled.

"Good-by, dear," said Aunt Hope, softly.

"It was hard to tell her the story like that," she thought, half
repenting. "Glory understands things instantly, and they hurt. But
she is so precious--I had to tell it!"

That night Glory's light burned a good deal later than it ever had
before, and Glory's bright head bent doggedly over Judy's books.
Glory and Aunt Hope's beloved Ambition were so close that night that
they almost touched each other. Not quite.

It was dull and bleak next day, and Glory was tired. The fierce
little spark of energy seemed to have flickered out altogether.

"Don't say 'good-by, dear,'--say, 'Good-by, Disappointment,'" she
said at Aunt Hope's couch the last moment.

"Good-by, _dear_," said Aunt Hope.

The early morning train was in the little station when Glory got
there. She had just time to whisk up the steps on to the platform.
The Crosspatch Conductor swung himself up after her. Glory eyed his
empty hands with distinct disappointment.

"Haven't you got my books?" she panted, out of breath with her
hurrying.

"Nary a book," the conductor said shortly. "Couldn't find 'em. Went
through the whole train. _Weren't_ any books. You'll have to hang on
to 'em next time, young lady."

"I don't see how I can if I can't find 'em," sighed the "young lady."
She went into the car and sat down heavily. Oh, it was too bad! She
had been so sure the conductor would have them for her. She didn't
want to lose them--not now, after that story. Oh, poor auntie!

There were not many early morning passengers. Among others Glory
noticed an old man and two young men with dinner pails, and old lady
without one, and a girl in a shabby jacket. She hadn't any dinner
pail in sight, anyway. She sat in the seat ahead of Glory and pored
over a book. She seemed buried--lost--in it.

Glory sat on the edge of her seat with her elbow on the window-sill
and her chin in her hand. Her glance wandered gloomily around the car
and came to rest at last on the open page of the Other Girl's book.

What--_What!_ Glory leaned forward and gazed intently at the
open page. On the margins were words scrawled carelessly
in--her--handwriting! The odd, perked-up letters were unmistakable.
Who else ever wrote like that? Who ever made M's and capital S's like
that?

Glory got suddenly to her feet. That was her book the Other Girl was
poring over--_hers!_



Chapter III.


"I'll trouble you for my book," a clear, stiff voice said.

The Other Girl came to her senses abruptly.

"Oh! Why!" she stammered, her lean little face flooding crimson. "Oh,
is it you? Oh, I didn't know we'd got to Douglas--oh, wait, please
wait! Please let me explain." She kept tight hold of the book and
faced Glory pluckily. "You must _let_ me explain. Maybe you think I
can't, but I can. I'm not a thief!"

"I don't care for any explanation, but I'd thank you for my books,"
Glory said loftily. "I suppose you've got the rest, too. They were
all together."

"I have them all," the Other Girl returned quietly. The crimson in
her cheeks had faded to a faint pink. She gazed up at Glory with
steady eyes.

"But I cannot give them up till you let me explain," she persisted.
"You've _got_ to let me. Do you suppose I'm going to let you go away
with my good name as though I would steal your books? They were lying
on the seat--I saw you had forgotten them--I took care of them for
you--I was going to give them back to you this morning, but I got
interested in doing that sum and didn't know we'd got to Douglas yet.
There!"

She sprang to her feet and forced the books into Glory's hands, her
own fingers quivering as she did it. Suddenly Glory forgot her
heroics and began to laugh.

"I never got interested in doing a sum," she cried. "I wish you'd
tell me how you do it."

The laugh was infectious. The Other Girl laughed too. Unconsciously
she moved along on her seat and as unconsciously Glory sat down.

"Oh, it's so easy to be interested!" breathed the Other Girl eagerly.
Her eyes shone with enthusiasm. "You just have to open the book."

"I've opened a book a good many times and never got interested. Never
was--never am--never shall be interested."

The Other Girl laid her rough red fingers on the books.

"Don't!" she said, gently. "It sort of--hurts to hear anyone talk
that way. It all means so much to me. I had just begun history
when--" She caught herself up abruptly, but Glory was curious. Was
there ever a stranger "find" than this?--a girl in a shabby coat,
with rough, red hands, who liked history!

"Yes, you had just begun when--"

"When I had to stop," went on the Other Girl, quietly. "I think I
felt sorriest about the history, though it broke my heart to give up
Latin. I don't know what you'll think, but I translated six lines in
your Cicero last night. I did--I couldn't help it. I haven't the
least idea I got them right, but I translated them."

Decidedly this was interesting. Couldn't help translating Cicero!
Glory gasped with astonishment. She faced squarely about and gazed at
her shabby little neighbor.

"Where do you go to school?" she demanded. Wherever it was, she was
thinking that was the school Aunt Hope would like her to go to.

"At the East Centre Town rubber factory," the Other Girl smiled
wistfully. "And oh, dear! that makes me think--can you smell rubber?"

Glory sniffed inquiringly. She certainly could detect a whiff of it
somewhere. "Yes--yes, I think I do," she said.

"Then I'm going ahead. It's me," the Other Girl cried sharply. "I
ought to have remembered. _I_ wouldn't enjoy sitting beside a rubber
factory if I was somebody else--if I was you. I forgot--I'm sorry."

She stood up and tried to pass out into the aisle in front of Glory,
but Glory would not let her.

"Sit down, please--_please_. I don't smell it now, and anyway I like
it. It's a variety. I'm tired of the perfume of white violets! If you
don't mind, I wish you'd tell me some more about when you had
to--stop, you know. I suppose you mean stop going to school, don't
you?"

"Yes. It was when my father was killed in an accident. I had to stop
then. There's only mother and me and 'Tiny Tim.' I went to work in
the rubber factory--it was six months ago. I had just begun getting
really into study, you know."

The quiet voice was unsteady with intense wistfulness. The Other
Girl's eyes were gazing out of the car window as if they saw lost
opportunities and yearned over them. Glory could not see the longing
in them until they turned suddenly toward her and she caught a
wondering glimpse of it.

"We had never had much, you see, but after father was killed--after
that there was only mother and me, and mother is sick. So of course I
had to stop going to school. I should like to have had enough so I
could teach instead of working in a factory--"

This much said, the Other Girl shrank into herself as if into a
little shabby shell. The distance between the two girls seemed
abruptly to have widened. All at once Glory's hands were delicately
gloved and the Other Girl's bare and red; Glory's dress trim and
beautiful, and the Other Girl's faded and worn; Glory's jacket
buttons rich and handsome, the Other Girl's top button split. It
seemed all to have happened in a moment when the Other Girl woke up.
How could she have forgotten herself so and talked like that!

"I wish--if you'd just as lief--you'd go back to your seat now," she
said. "I--I never talked like that before to a stranger, and I ain't
like you, you know. I've explained about the books. I studied them
last night, but I don't think I hurt them any."

"I guess you did them good," laughed Glory, brightly. "I expect to
find an inspiration between the pages--why, actually, I feel a little
bit (oh, a very little) of interest already in history. How delighted
Aunt Hope would feel if she knew!--No, I'm not going back to my seat.
Why, here's Centre Town! Did you ever see such a short ride! I've got
to get off here, and I wish I hadn't--oh, dear! Good-by."

Out on the platform Glory waved her books at the girlish face in the
car window. The friendly little act sent the Other Girl on to the
East Centre Town rubber factory with a warm spot in her heart.

"She's splendid, Diantha Leavitt, but don't you go to presuming on
that wave!" she said to herself, severely. "This minute I believe
you're presuming! You're looking ahead to seeing her again to-night
when you go home, and getting another wave--it's just like you. I
know you! A little thing like that turns your head round on your
shoulders!"

A little thing! Was it a little thing to have beautiful, breezy Glory
wave her books at you? To have her nod and smile up at your window?

All day long the Other Girl smiled over her petty, distasteful work,
and Glory's face crept in between her tasks and nodded at her in
friendly fashion. She watched for it breathlessly at night, when the
train stopped at Centre Town. And it was there on the platform; it
came smiling into the car and stopped at her seat! By the time Little
Douglas was reached the two girls were friends.

"Auntie," Glory cried, dropping down by her aunt, "would you believe
you could get to love anybody in two three-quarters of an hour? Well,
I did to-day." And then she told her aunt of the girl in the sailor
hat. "Her clothes were shabby--oh, terribly shabby. I thought her
dreadful at first, till I found out--now I love her. You would, too."

"And who is she really? What is her name?"

"I don't know her name! Think of it, auntie, I love her and may be
her name's Martha Jane! _I_ don't know. But I don't care--I shall
keep right on liking her. And so will you, because she studies
history because she likes it. _Likes_ it! Says she'd rather study it
than not! It's a fact."

"I love her!" exclaimed Aunt Hope, fervently, and then they both
laughed. And Glory told all that she knew about the Other Girl. Aunt
Hope smoothed Glory's hair. It was the way she did when she approved
of things.

"I like your new friend. I'm glad you left the books in the car," she
said. "But there's more to the sad little story. It's to be
continued, Glory. You must find out the other chapters. There will be
plenty of time if you go back and forth together. And, dear, if you
sit beside her in the car perhaps you will learn to love books, too."

"Never!" Glory laughed. "It isn't the age for miracles, auntie. The
most you can hope for is that I'll learn to _study_. That's bad
enough!"

"Well, kiss me, Little Disappointment, and run away. I wrote your
father to-day, and what do you think I told him?"

"That I was a very good girl and he was to send on that ring right
off; that you were actually worried about me, I was studying so hard;
that--"

"That you were a dear girl," Aunt Hope laughed softly. "Now off with
you!"

In the middle of the night Glory woke out of a dream that she was at
the tip-top head of the geometry class, and in Latin the wonder of
Centre Town Seminary for Young Ladies. The moonlight was streaming in
on her face and found it laughing at the absurdity of the dream.

"The dream belongs to the Other Girl, not me. She's the one that
ought to have the chances, too. I wish I could help her--why!" Glory
sat up in bed, wide awake. Something had occurred to her.

"Why, of course. Why didn't I think of it before!" she said aloud.
"I'll ask Aunt Hope--no, I'll _do_ it." And then she tumbled back
into the pillows to think out her plan. If the Other Girl could have
known!



Chapter IV.


Two things prevented the immediate divulging of Glory's plan. She
chafed at them both impatiently. On the way to the train the next
morning Judy Wells waylaid her. That was one.

"I'm going, too," Judy announced cheerfully. "Of course you're
delighted--I knew you would be! You see, I was taken violently
homesick for the old Seminary, so I thought I'd run along with you
and spend the day. I tried to work up a little enthusiasm in the
other girls, but it was no use."

At any other time Glory would have been delighted enough at Judy's
lively company, but to-day she wanted to propose her new plan to the
Other Girl in the threadbare clothes. Judy would be dreadfully in her
way about doing that. She would have to put it off a day. Glory never
liked to put things off.

The other thing that interfered was the tiny boy she found sitting
beside the Other Girl when she got on the train. He was almost too
small to interfere with anything! Such a bit of a creature, in
trousers almost too short to deserve the name! And beside him was
tilted a tiny crutch that instantly suggested Tiny Tim to
Dickens-loving Glory. Then she remembered that the Other Girl had
spoken of a "Tiny Tim" the day before. So the Other Girl must have
read Dickens, too.

"Here's a good seat," Judy said, dropping into the one just ahead of
the two shabby figures.

Glory nodded cordially as she passed them, but how could she do any
more? She could not introduce Judy when she didn't know the Other
Girl's name herself! And, besides--well, Judy was not the--the kind
to introduce to her. Instinctively Glory recognized that.

In between Judy's gay chatter, bits of child-talk crept to Glory's
ears from behind, with now and then a quiet word from the Other Girl.
She found herself listening to that with distinctly more interest
than to Judy.

"No let's play it, Di," the child-voice piped eagerly, and there was
a little clatter of the tiny crutch as it was tucked away out of
sight under the seat.

"Can't see it now, can you?"

"Not a splinter of it, Timmie."

"I guess not! An' you wouldn't ever s'pose anybody was lame, would
you? Not _me!_"

"_You!_ The idea, Timmie!"

The child-voice broke into delighted laughter.

"Well, then let's begin. Play I'm very big, Di--oh, 'normous! You
playin' that? An' play both my legs are twins--of course you must
play that. An' that I could run down this car if I wanted to,
faster'n--oh, faster'n ever was! Just lickety-split, you know! You
playin' it?"

Glory could not hear the low reply, but the child-voice was clear
enough.

"Now s'posin' that man 'cross the car got up an' came back here--play
he did--an' said up real loud, 'See here, boy, you 'mind me of when I
was young. _I_ was big an' straight an' had twin legs, too!' Oh, my!
s'posin' that, Di! _Play it!_ You playin' it?"

The Other Girl's voice rang out, sharp with wistfulness.

Glory's eyes filled suddenly with tears. It must be such a hard play
to play with Tiny Tim!

"Play I wear ve-ry big boots an' my mother has a dreadful time
keepin' my pants up with my legs. 'Oh, how that boy does grow!' she
keeps a-sighin' an' a-sighin', while she's lettin' 'em down. Play
once she _cried_, he grew so fast!--Diantha Leavitt, you're lookin'
right straight out the window! I don't believe you're playin' at all,
one speck. I'm goin' to get my crutch an' be lame again, so there!"

"Mercy! what are we sitting here in the sun for!" Judy suddenly
exclaimed. "I say we go over there on the shady side. It'll burn us
all up."

"Let it," said Glory. "I like it. But go over there, dear. I'll stay
here and get a nice pinky-brown! Good-by till Centre Town."

She was glad when Judy was gone. In an instant she had wheeled about
toward the two behind her, nodding at the tiny boy in a friendly way.

"Is that your little brother?" she asked of the Other Girl.

Tiny Tim answered for himself.

"I'm her little brother now, but I _was_ big a little speck of a
while ago. Di went an' stopped playin'," he said in an aggrieved
tone. The Other Girl laughed tenderly.

"He's the greatest boy for 'playin' things,' aren't you, Timmie? Yes,
he's my brother. I bring him with me once in a great while for a
change. He likes the ride on the cars and he takes care of himself
beautifully while I'm at work. Then at nooning we play picnic, don't
we, Timmie?"

There was no time for further talk then.

When the return trip came, Judy filled all the home ride with her
lively spirits. So it was not until the next morning that Glory found
her opportunity to broach her new idea to the Other Girl. She came
breezily into the car and sat down beside the quiet figure with a
sigh of relief.

"I'm glad my friend Judy isn't homesick for the Seminary to-day, as
she was yesterday," she laughed. "And I'm a _little_ glad you didn't
bring your brother. You see, there's something I want to talk about,
and, if you don't mind, I'll begin this minute."

Mind!--the Other Girl mind how soon this dainty, beautiful girl
"began"! She stole an admiring look at the natty costume and upward
into the bright, sweet face. But what was this that her companion was
saying? A gasp of astonishment came to her as she sensed the words
that were being spoken rapidly.

"I thought it all out in bed, night before last. Oh, I hope you'll
like it! _I_ think it's a lovely plan. You see, we'll have two
three-quarters--an hour and a half a day. We can study together going
down, and coming back I'll tell you all I learned in my
classes--don't you see? You don't speak. I'm afraid you don't like
it."

"Like it?--oh, if it's what I think! If it's--_that!_ But I'm afraid
I don't quite understand. I don't _dare_ to understand!"

Glory clapped her hands gayly.

"It's plain as a b c," she said. "You long to go to school and
can't--I _don't_ long to and can! Now here's my idea that I evolved
with my thinking-cap--I mean _night_-cap--on! Let's go to school
together. We can pore over the horrid old books on the train,
mornings and nights, and I can try and remember all the teachers tell
me at the Seminary during the day. Aunt Hope will be overjoyed to
have me try to remember anything! And, don't you see, anybody who
worships history and can't let a Latin book alone, could keep up easy
enough with a dull thing like me."

Glory paused for breath. She was still laughing with her eyes. But at
sight of the radiance in the lean, brown face of the Other Girl, she
sobered in sudden awe. To be as glad as that for a chance to learn!

"You understand all right now, don't you?" Glory said gently, and her
gloved fingers stole across to the Other Girl's uncovered ones and
rested on them reassuringly.

"Yes, now I dare to--but oh, it takes my breath away!" the Other Girl
cried. "It's such a beautiful, beautiful thing for you to do! Do you
think I don't know that? Do you think I won't do my very best? Why, I
can study in the rubber factory, too! I mean I can carry the geometry
propositions in my head--I know I should remember every line and
every letter--and work them out noontimes and in all the betweens."

"You needn't do that," Glory said, "you could copy the lesson off on
a piece of paper--no, I'll tell you! I'll get Judy's books for you.
Oh, there are plenty of ways to manage. Now let's begin. There's time
left to make a start, anyway."

"Wait," the Other Girl said quickly, "I hate to waste a minute, but
I've got to say something. I want you to know what it may mean if you
do this for me. It may mean luxuries for my sick mother and--a chance
for my little 'Tiny Tim.' Do you know, my teachers said if I could
only keep on I might get a place to teach. Think of it! Do you know,
some doctors told mother once that there was a little chance of
straightening Timmie's bad leg, if we had the money. Oh, do you know
this _may_ mean things like that! Do you think I'm not thankful to
you?"

The impetuous words flowed out in a hurried stream, and the eyes of
the Other Girl, as they looked into Glory's, shone through a dazzle
of happy tears. For a moment after the eager voice ceased neither
girl made a sound. Then it was Glory who spoke.

"Why!" she cried with a long breath, "Why, I didn't know it could
mean anything like that! I thought it would just mean getting a
little learning. I didn't know there were things like that at the
other end of it."

Glory had lived a little less than sixteen years, but they had been
"different" from the years the Other Girl had lived. Aunt Hope had
been all the suffering she had ever seen--Aunt Hope, smiling and
brave, on her silken pillows. Until that sad little story the other
night, she had scarcely connected anything sorrowful or hard to bear
with Aunt Hope.

The beautiful autumn weeks multiplied to months, and Glory's plan
prospered thriftily. The lessons went on steadily through the morning
and afternoon rides. The Other Girl's face was set toward a possible,
splendid time to come; Glory's was set toward patience and
gentleness. For it was not always easy to give up the hour and a half
each day to the distasteful work that she so cordially hated. At
first, I mean; strangely enough, after a while things changed. Glory
woke up one day to find herself keenly interested in a knotty
problem. She could hardly wait to get her head beside the Other
Girl's, to see if together they could not solve it.

"Think of it, auntie! Is it me, or am I somebody else?" she laughed,
hurrying in to kiss Aunt Hope good-by. "Think of _me_ in a hurry to
get an answer to a problem!"

"Yes, it's you, dear. It's Glory Glorified!" laughed back the sweet
voice. Then she drew the girl's bright head down beside her. "It's
gone, dear. The Ambition out of my heart. It's passed to somebody
else--to you, I think, Glory--yes, I'm confident! You've got it this
minute!"

And Glory understood. She went away wondering if it could be true
that she, Gloria Wetherell, had a real ambition in life.

"Auntie hasn't called me Disappointment for a long time," she mused
happily, as she sped down the frosty street with the nip of keen air
on her cheeks and the tonic of it in her lungs. Her mind hurried back
to the knotty problem. She and the Other Girl were still at work on
it that night, coming home. It happened that it had not been taken up
in the recitation that day.

"It looks so easy and it isn't," sighed Glory.

"But we're bound to solve it," the Other Girl cried. The two heads
were close together, and the Crosspatch Conductor smiled as he passed
them. He had been watching them with a good deal of interest for a
long time. This time he turned and came back.

"Tough one, eh?" he said.

"Awfully!" laughed Glory.

"But we're going to get it," smiled the Other Girl, going back to the
front. The Crosspatch Conductor stood regarding Glory gravely.

"Helping her along, eh?"

"No," answered Glory, "she's helping me."

Another wrestle with the problem, and still another--then an exciting
moment when victory seemed in sight. Closer drew the brown
heads--more earnest grew the eager voices. "We've got it!"

"Goody!" cried Glory. "Just in time, too, for here we are at--"

Her face sobered. She got to her feet in a sudden panic. What was
this strange little place they were drawing into? Those woods, the
houses and the trees--they were not Little Douglas.

"I've been carried by!" gasped Glory. "I wasn't noticing. There isn't
any other train back to-night--I tell you I've been _carried by_.
This isn't my home!"



Chapter V.


As Glory stood on the desolate little platform, realizing that she
had been carried by her own station, she presented a picture of
dismay. For an instant the Other Girl stood regarding her with
indecision. Then with a slight flush she stepped to Glory's side,
and, placing her hand on her arm, said:

"You have been carried by your home, but you have not been taken by
mine. Come with me; you will not mind much." There was a shy pleading
in the Other Girl's tone. On the instant of offering hospitality to
this dainty new friend, and acute perception of the barrenness of it
overswept and dismayed her. In a flash she saw the patch on the seat
of Tim's trousers, and instantly an array of mismatched cups, nicked
plates and cracked pitchers, passed before her vision. Had the dainty
Glory in all her life eaten from a nicked plate?

But instantly she rallied and was her own sweet self.

"It is only a little way. We will try to make you comfortable," the
Other Girl said hurriedly. Her thoughts seemed to have occupied a
long time, and she feared her invitation might have seemed lacking in
cordiality. Glory scanned her face, then said:

"There isn't any train back to-night--not one. I _can't_ go back. If
you are sure it will not be a trouble-- But what will Aunt Hope do?
She will be so worried!"

The train was wriggling into motion, and Glory caught sight of the
Crosspatch Conductor on one end of the platform. She ran toward him
wrathfully.

"Goodness! You _here?_" he cried.

"You carried me by!" Glory cried. "I don't think it was very nice in
you!" Then she laughed at the honest dismay in his grim face. The
train was under way and she had to raise her voice to call after him.
"Never mind! I'm going with my friend. I'll--forgive--you!"

"Oh, I'm glad you said that!" the Other Girl exclaimed earnestly.
"I'm glad you said 'my friend.' Come, it's this way, just around one
corner."

But Glory hesitated. "Is there any chance anywhere to telephone?" she
asked. "I've _got_ to send word to auntie. She would worry all night
long, I know she would. I never stayed away from her but once before,
and that time I telephoned. There's a wire in our house, you know."

The Other Girl reflected. "There's one at the store," she said, "but
it's quite a walk. I don't mind it myself. I love to walk. But you--"

"But I do, too!" Glory laughed, tucking her hand through the shabby
jacket sleeve in the friendliest way. "And if I didn't, do you
suppose it would matter? I'd walk to a telephone that had Aunt Hope
at the other end of it, if I had to go on one foot!"

"Like Tiny Tim," the Other Girl smiled gently. "But Timmy can walk as
fast as anybody. He makes that little crutch of his do almost
anything but skip."

"Skip! Oh, how I used to skip when I was little! I can remember it as
plain!"

"I don't believe I ever was young. At any rate, I never skipped,"
added the Other Girl thoughtfully.

"Never skipped! Then it's time you did. It's never to late to--skip.
Come on, I'll show you how."

Gayly they went skipping down the stretch of snowy roadway, with
their arms around each other. The crisp air reddened the tips of
their ears and patted their backs approvingly. For once, at any rate,
the Other Girl was young.

At the "store," Glory telephoned to Aunt Hope. It was quite a while
before she could make connections with the private wire, but she
waited patiently.

"Hello!" she called, her voice unnecessarily high-pitched. "I'm Glory.
Is this you, James? Well, tell auntie I got carried by--_carried by!_
What? Yes, I'm all safe. I'm with my fr-- Why, auntie, that's you! I
hear your voice! You ought not to have walked out into the hall! Yes,
I'm just as 'all right' as I can be. I'm going home with Diantha.
What? Oh, yes, I knew you'd feel safe about me, then. I sha'n't tell
Diantha. It would puff her up! Yes, I wore my rubbers. Yes, I've got
my muffler. No, my cold's better. Take care of yourself, auntie;
good-by. Oh, no, wait! You still there, auntie? Well, the reason I
got carried by was because I was so buried up in a problem. Isn't
that funny for Glory? Good-by."

Tiny Tim met them at the door of a little brown house near the
station. His eyes widened with astonishment at sight of Glory. Then
his glance traveled to his sister in evident uneasiness.

"My!" he ejaculated slowly, "I've e't up the last cooky!"

Glory laughed out merrily. "Oh, I'm so glad!" she said, "for I don't
like cookies unless there's a hole in them."

"These had holes. I've e't up the last hole, too."

"Oh, dreadful! But I'll tell you what, Timmie--if you'll let me come
in and stay all night, I'll promise not to eat anything but a slice
of bread and butter. We could cut a hole in that and play it was a
cook--"

"The bread's gone, too. I've e't up--"

"Timothy Leavitt, are you going to let us in?" laughed his sister,
though there were two red spots blooming in her cheeks. What would
Timmie say next! She led the way through the tiny hall into a big,
bright room whose centerpiece was a frail, smiling little woman with
a lapful of calico bits. She held out both her hands to Glory.

"Don't tell me who she is, Diantha. As if I didn't know! My dear, my
dear, I am very glad you have come. I have hoped you would, ever
since your path crossed Di's, and--"

"Glorified it, mamma."

"Yes, glorified it--that is it. Take off your things, dear, and just
feel snug and at home."

And thus the little home opened its arms to dainty Glory. The welcome
extended was as gracious and as perfect a hospitality as could have
been found in the grandest home in the land. There was no luxury or
even plenty. But Glory saw instantly there was the happiness that
goes with love. It was her awakening. A new wonder filled the girl's
heart that poverty and happiness could live together like this. While
Di was busy she mused.

"I thought poor people fretted and grumbled. I know I should. _I_
shouldn't be sunshiny and nice like this. And they open their doors
into their poor, bare, empty rooms and bid me welcome just as
beautifully as Aunt Hope would do to our house. It is beautiful. Just
beautiful! It's a bit of heaven right down here in this little
unpainted house."

Diantha put on a big apron and rolled up her sleeves. "I'm going out
and make some muffins," she smiled. "Timmie, you stay here."

"Yes," said Glory, "Timmie'll stay with me. Can't we play
something--we two?"

"Uncrutchit!" demanded Tiny Tim eagerly.

"Un--what? I don't believe I ever played that."

"No, 'course not. You ain't got any old crutch to _un_."

Glory looked helplessly at the gentle mother, who smiled back at her
quietly. But in the sweet voice, when it spoke, there was depthless
wistfulness.

"Timmie means play he hasn't any crutch--that he doesn't need one,
you know," explained the sweet voice. "'Un-crutch-it' is his favorite
play. He puts the crutch out of sight--"

"This way," cried Timmie, clattering the little crutch under the sofa
in hot haste. "That's uncrutching, don't you see? Now I'm uncrutched.
You play I'm very big an' tall an' my legs match. Every little while
you must look up an' say, 'Mercy me! how that child grows!'"

The little play went on until supper was ready. Then the little
crutch came out again and was put into active service.

It was a strange meal to Glory. She told Aunt Hope afterward all
about it.

"It was just as quiet and nice-behaved and beautiful as any supper,
only there wasn't anything to eat! Oh, auntie, you know what I mean!
You know I mean there were the muffins (they were splendid) and the
tea and dried apple sauce. I had more than I could eat. But you don't
know how I wanted to fill that pale little lady's plate with some of
our chicken and gravy and set by her plate a salad, after she'd
worked all day. And pile Tiny Timmie's plate tumble-high with
goodies! It made me ashamed to think of all the beautiful suppers of
my life that I've taken without even a 'Thank you, God.'"

The two girls went to bed early and lay talking, as girls have done
since girls began. The topics of talk drifted through the different
lessons into personal subjects.

"Do you know, I'm hoping!" the Other Girl burst out softly, with a
little quiver of her thin body under the quilts. "I began to last
night. I'm going to do it right from now on. Maybe it's silly, but I
am."

"Is it a riddle?" asked Glory.

"Oh, don't you understand? I thought you must, because I did! I mean
I'm hoping to pass the examinations for the next grade next summer.
That's just what I'm doing, Glory Wetherell."

"Why, that's nothing! I am going to pass, too. If I get through the
seminary I am going to Smith College some day."

"And if I pass for the eighth grade I'm going to keep right on
studying for the first grade in high-school. Miss Clem says I can. I
talked with her the other night. She says she'll help. Oh, Glory,
there is no end to this road you have started me on."

"I am glad," said Glory. "Auntie says for folks to keep on when
they're doing well enough, and not fret about the other end of the
road. One never knows what's on ahead or what may happen."

"And if I ever get to be anybody, Glory Wetherell, remember it's you
who started me."

After a while the subdued chattering ceased, and the two girls fell
asleep, Glory to dream that she and her new friend graduated together
from the Centre Town Seminary, in beautiful twin white dresses, and
that Aunt Hope was there and clapped her thin, white hands (but they
were round and pink-tinted in the dream) when she heard Glory's
valedictory.

The Other Girl's dream was of longed-for luxuries for the patient
mother and legs that matched for Tiny Tim. Both dreams came to an end
in a startling way.



Chapter VI.


Glory and Diantha were awakened from their rosy dreams by a sharp
voice calling, "Fire! Fire!" They started up in affright, only to
find little Timmie perched on the foot of the bed, crying
monotonously, "Fire! Fire!" and interspersing his fire-alarm with
brisk drummings of his crutch against the footboard. But though he
had alarmed the girls, he himself did not look alarmed.

"Fire! Fire! Fi--"

"Timothy Leavitt, where is it? Tell me quick!" his sister gasped
breathlessly.

"In the kitchen. Fire! Fire! Fi--"

"The kitchen? What part of it?--where?"

"In the stove. _I_ built it," Timmie said in an aggrieved tone, but
his eyes were glinting with mischief sparks. "I built it hours ago,
an' you didn't get up--an' you _didn't_ get up! I didn't s'pose we'd
ever have breakfast unless I wokened you up."

"You bad little boy! So you went and made us think there was a fire?"

"Well, there is--I built it, so there!"

Glory was still laughing periodically over their fright, when they
got to the station to take the train. She had the picture of
innocent-faced Timmie still in her mind, and the monotonous drumming
of his little crutch, between his alarms, in her ears.

"'Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!'" she sang laughingly. "Didn't the little
scamp give us a fine scare, though! But he woke us up!"

"Oh, yes, he woke us up," answered the Other Girl, grimly.

After morning recitations, the Principal of the Centre Town Seminary
had a caller in her office. It was Glory, with a pretty little air of
pleading about her. She came in, in answer to the Principal's "Come,"
and stood, a suppliant, in the doorway.

"Are you busy? Ought I to go away?" she asked. "You see, I've got
quite a lot to say."

"Then say it, my dear," the Principal smiled pleasantly. "Sit down in
that chair and begin."

"Well, then--oh, Miss Sweetwater, can't my friend graduate with me? I
mean, if you let me graduate--or if you _don't_ let me--I mean can't
she graduate, anyway? She is a splendid scholar, and--and she needs
to graduate somewhere! You'll let her, won't you?"

The Principal smiled. "Who is your friend, Glory?" she asked.

"She's Diantha Leavitt, and she works in the rubber factory, and
studies just awfully at home, and I help her some going and coming on
the train."

"Oh, she is not one of the Seminary girls, then? She has never been
here? Dear child, how do you think she can graduate if she has never
been here to school?"

Glory's eager face fell. "I didn't know but you'd let her," she said,
slowly. "She's just as smart as can be. I'm just sure she can pass
the examinations. It would mean so much to Diantha to pass. I'm sorry
I troubled you, Miss Sweetwater--I didn't know."

But the kind-hearted Principal detained Glory and drew out the whole
wistful little story of the Other Girl. At the end, she said, "I am
glad to know of her. Such a girl must be encouraged. I will keep
mindful of her and see if I cannot help her in some way."

"Thank you. I hope you can help her. She wants to do so much if she
can ever get to earning. It seems as though almost anyone could learn
if they had a mother to help, and a Tiny Tim. There's an Aunt Hope. I
can do it for her. I'm glad I've got to work. And thanks to Di, I do
not stand so bad a show of graduating--with a great deal of honor,
too. Dear old Di!"

More of the late winter days snowed past, and there came, by and by,
hints of spring--faint suggestions of green in the bare, brown spots,
whiffs of spring tonic in the air and clear little bird-calls
overhead. New courage was born in Glory's heart and the Other Girl's,
and both studied harder and harder with each day that went by. The
Crosspatch Conductor took note of the two brown heads bent over the
book and wondered behind his grim mask.

"What is it, anyhow?" he asked one day, late in the spring, stopping
before them in the aisle.

The two pairs of eyes met his laughingly. "Oh--things. Splendid
things!" Glory said. "Certificates and diplomas some day, and sick
folks with glad faces, and little boys with twin legs! Isn't that
enough to 'pay'?"

"Umph!" the Crosspatch Conductor muttered in his beard, and strode on
down the aisle. But he beckoned Glory aside that night on the home
trip and questioned her about the Other Girl. Glory told him the
whole story in a few hurried words.

"That's why she's studying so hard," she wound up, out of breath.
"She wants to get it all and some day be a teacher."

"And you're helping her," the Crosspatch Conductor said, gruffly.

"Mercy, no! She's helping me. That's why _I'm_ studying so hard! I
don't see what you mean--oh! In the very beginning, you mean? _That?_
I'd forgotten there ever was a time when I helped her. I s'pose I
might have a little, at first."

The conductor put his big hand on Glory's shoulder with a touch as
light and caressing as that of a woman.

"You're the right kind, both o' you," he said. "It never comes amiss
to help anybody. I've half a mind to try a little of it myself. See
here, don't you tell her and go to raising hopes, but it kind of
seems to me as though I knew a place where she could teach right
away. I know a boy who hasn't any mother that wants to learn things.
She'd make a pretty good sort of a teacher for a little feller who
can never go outdoors and get the sunshine, and all that, now
wouldn't she?"

"Oh, are you sure there is such a boy? Can you get him for Diantha?
Would it pay her money--lots of it?"

"Easy! Easy! Don't go too fast. It wouldn't pay her a fortune, 'cause
fortunes ain't found like hazel nuts, growing on bushes. But it ought
to pay her pretty tolerable. I'm sure enough about the boy;" and a
sad look came into the conductor's eyes. "He hasn't any mother, you
see, and it's pretty hard for the little chap."

"Is he your boy?" asked Glory, putting her little hand on the
conductor's sleeve and looking sympathetically up into the grave
eyes.

The conductor nodded. "He's mine, and his grandmother says he ought
to be learning things--poor Dan! That girl over there wouldn't be a
very bad one to help him get hold, now would she?"

"Oh! Oh! Oh! What will she say? Why, if I had a little boy and he
couldn't go out into the sunshine, and he wanted to learn, I'd rather
have Diantha's little finger to help him with than the whole of some
folks. You don't know Di."

The conductor laughed. "I guess I haven't been watching you two this
winter without finding out something," he said, his eyes holding a
twinkle. Then the old, gruff manner came back to him and he added
brusquely, "But there, don't you go to countin' the chickens before
they're hatched. I'll have to talk with grandma first; maybe she'd
rather have a sort of circumspect person."

"But your Danny wouldn't--you said his name was Dan," said Glory, her
face one sea of dimples, and her eyes like diamonds. "'Most seems as
if a little boy who couldn't go out in the sunshine ought to have the
one he'd like best with him. He wouldn't care much for a--a
circumspect person, would he?" asked Glory, a merry twinkle in her
eyes.

"There now, you go along!" said the conductor, laughing in spite of
himself.

But Glory did not "go along" until she had caught the big hand and
squeezed it between her soft little palms as it was extended to help
her down to the Douglas platform.

That night Glory could hardly wait to get to Aunt Hope.

"Oh, auntie, won't it be splendid if she gets that place!" she cried
when she had unfolded the beautiful plan at which the conductor had
hinted.

"But you mustn't set your heart on it, Glory. The grandmother may not
think that so young a girl will do for the boy."

"She will when she sees Diantha, auntie--I am just sure of it. Di is
so strong and helpful, and so cheery, and so full of courage, and
never thinks of herself, but always of others."

"Well, dear, we will leave it in the good Father's hands, and just
ask him to bring it out in the way that is best for all."

  *  *  *  *  *

June and all its glory was touching the world, and the sweet air,
full of the perfume of rose and honeysuckle, crept in and fanned two
faces close together on the sofa pillows.

"Auntie, you haven't called me 'Little Disappointment' this ever so
long," Glory said suddenly after a long silence. "Is it a good sign?
I thought--well--maybe it was."

"Dear child!" Aunt Hope's arms were round Glory, holding her in their
feeble, loving clasp. "Dear child, did I ever call you that? Are you
sure? Well, I shall never do it again, dear, as long as we twain
shall live! Do you want a new name, Glory?"

"Yes'm, please," murmured the girl.

"Then you are my Little Ambition, and God bless you, dear!"

After that it was still again, and the cool darkness wrapped them in
softly. They could hear the solemn tick-tock of the clock across the
room. It was the same clock that used to say reproachful things to
Glory when she was a little child and had been naughty. Once she had
climbed on a chair and stopped its accusing tongue, because she could
not bear it any longer. It was talking to Glory now, and she could
not make it say anything but "Dear--child! dear--child!" over and
over, solemnly. It was Aunt Hope's voice it was trying to imitate.
Glory laughed out softly, under her breath.

"What is it, dear child?"

"Dear--child! dear--child!" echoed the clock solemnly.

"I've got to get up and stop that clock!" Glory said.

  *  *  *  *  *

The week before the graduating exercises at the Centre Town
Seminary, Glory had another of her "ideas," and of course she carried
it to Aunt Hope.

"Why not?" she said, when she had introduced it to her. "It would be
like one of Tiny Tim's plays. He could go, too, and help us 'play'
it, don't you see? I think I should enjoy graduating better if
Diantha 'played graduate' with me. The teacher wouldn't care if she
sat with me down on the end seat. I don't believe she ever had a
white dress in her life--a soft, thin, floaty one."

"Would you like to have hers just like yours, Glory?"

"Just, auntie. She's the--the _friendest_ friend I ever had," Glory
said simply. "I'd like to have her close when I'm there getting ready
to read."

And so it came about that graduation day found the Other Girl beside
Glory, in a beautiful white dress that lay about her in soft, sheer
folds. The Other Girl's face above it was shining and rapt. This was
almost like graduating herself. On the other side of Glory sat Tiny
Tim, in the conscious pride of his best suit. There was no little
crutch in sight. Timmie had hidden it under the seat. He was playing
"Uncrutchit."

"You can't see--an'thing, can you?" he whispered anxiously to the
Other Girl, across Glory's lap.

"Not a splinter of it, Timmie."

"An' you don't see where my legs don't match, do you?"

"No, not a single bit."

"That's all right, then." Timmie's brow smoothed with relief. He was
silent a moment, and then his little whispering voice again, this
time to Glory:

"Say, isn't this just splendid! I'm playin', an' Di's playin'. You're
the only one that's _it_, honest true."

Another silence. Then, "Say, I'm sorry I wokened you up that time,
screamin' 'Fire!'"

Glory laughed down into the repentant little face. "I'll forgive you,
Timmie," she whispered. And then the exercises began and the air was
full of a blast of jubilant music.

When it was all over, the three went back to Little Douglas together
on the train. There was to be a bit of a banquet in Aunt Hope's room.

Glory had a neat white parchment roll in her hand, and she held it
shyly, as if she had not had time to get very well acquainted with
it.

"To think this is a diploma with Gloria Wetherell in Latin inside
it!" she cried.

"To think this is a beautiful white dress with _me_ inside!" answered
the Other Girl. "Do you know--oh, do you _know_, it doesn't smell of
rubber at all? There isn't a whiff about it; it's just sweet and
dainty and--_other-folksy_."

On the train the Crosspatch Conductor drew Glory aside a moment. His
eyes rested first on the parchment roll.

"Got it, didn't you? Good! Well, I've got it too. She's
consented--grandma has. I've told her all about the other one, and
what you said, and it's going to be all right. We won't tell her yet
until we get kind of used to it ourselves, don't you see?"

"Oh, I'm so glad!" cried Glory, clasping her hands. "I don't believe
I ever can keep it. To think she'll leave that old rubber factory and
be in a nice, pleasant home all the time, and help her folks, and be
having some of her dreams come true. I wonder what she will say!"

"I thought we'd get her over to the house and have Danny tell her.
He's a great one for setting things out."

"You're the best man I ever knew in the wide world!" said Glory. "But
I can't keep it very long--you mustn't expect me to."

The conductor laughed. "All right--all right. I'll get grandma to
write. I've got her address. One of the men down at the factory told
me a good deal about her. There are many ways of finding out about
folks when one sets about it."

"Well, you'll never find out anything about Diantha but what's nice,"
said Glory. "Oh! I'm so glad!" And not a happier girl than Gloria
Wetherell could have been found in all that region.

As to the Other Girl, her heart nearly burst with its weight of
happiness when she found out what was in store for her.

"It's Glory's doings. She has just glorified my whole life, and
helped me to find the rainbow. And Timmie!--won't I find a rainbow
for him too, bless him! And some day his legs shall be twins, if
working can do it."





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