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Page 121 text:
she gazed severely at the startled Jo over her horn- rimmed spectacles. As a rule Miss Perry was a dear, but there must be something wrong today. Slowly Jo dragged herself to thewaste basket and dropped in the ill-fated apple, then turned to Aliss Perry’s desk. Her heart almost failed her when she saw the note which the teacher was holding out to her. “Take this home to your mother,’’ ordered Miss Perry, “and be sure you do not lose it on the way.’’ “Y-y-yes, ma’m,’’ Jo managed to stammer. At the moment the bell rang for dinner and Jo fled with a thank- ful heart to the cloak room. As she rode home with her father he wondered why Jo, usually so merry, was so very quiet. As soon as Mr. Miller’s coupe had stopped in their driveway, Jo go out and ran into the house. Meeting her mother in the hall she thrust the sealed enevlope into her hand, dodged her astonished reproaches, and fled up the stairs two or three steps at a time. ’ery much startled, Mrs. Miller turned her attention to the letter she held in her hands. Wonderingly she turned the envelope over and her face paled as she saw Miss Perry’s angular handwriting on the front, so familiar to her from the report cards Jo brought home monthly. She knew that Jo had been none too good in school but this was the first time she had brought home a direct complaint from her teacher. For although Jo’s pranks were often quite thoughtless she meant no harm by them. She slowly opened the letter and as she read it a puzzled smile spread over her face. Just then Jo came shamefacedly into the room. “Jo,’’ said her mother as she saw her, “when you go back to school this afternoon, tell Miss Perry that our address is 45 Maple Avenue and that 1 will be glad to receive her here this afternoon after school, to talk over certain matters.’’ The worst had happened! The wonder of it was that her mother lid not scold or spank her but only sat there looking at her as if she would like to laugh. “Hurry now and eat your dinner,’’ her mother interrupted her thoughts, “and if you want to go to see Ruth this afternoon you may.” •4 115 Ih -
Page 120 text:
OAN MILLER, better known as Jo, stole a wary glance at I Miss Perry, the teacher of 6A room, and refrained from taking a bite of her much coveted apple that had been passed around the room all that morning it always took all morning under Miss Perry’s sharp eyes. Miss Perry, glancing at her watch, rose with a business-like air, smiled approvingly at Audrey Bowers, the model child, and faced the class. She tapped briskly on her desk until she had gained the re- quired attention and then began: “Class, I have a very pleasant surprise — Joan, will you please stop chewing gum and listen to what I have to say? Now, children, to begin again, I have a very pleasant surprise for you. .A,s you all know, the sixth grades present a play every year for the benefit of the school. Last week the teachers had a meeting to decide upon the play and its characters. The one to be given is called “The Gipsy Princess,’’ and we will start practicing next week. Several of the parts to be taken are from this room and a list of them will be read tomorrow. Joan Miller! WiW you please stop shuffling your feet? Another disturbance like that and I shall have to keep you in after school. Now this is all I have to say and you may return to your lessons.’’ Jo clasped her hands. Oh, how she did wish that she would be chosen for the part of the princess. Always before, Audrey Bowers had taken the chief part in all the plays the school had given. Jo knew she could do it. She knew her lithe, graceful dancing far sur- passed the stiff movements of her playmate. But all this knowledge of personal grace and ability was of no avail. Audrey had been tak- ing the leading part in plays so long that it was almost second nature for the teachers to choose her each year. Jo gazed at the object of her thoughts; she was sitting across the aisle, primly studying her lesson, her long golden curls falling over her shoulders, the light of triumph in her eyes as though she already planned on being the princess in the play. Well! Whoever heard of a gipsy with long yellow curls. Go-od night! Well, she might as well not worry. She would take a bite of her apple now while the coast was clear; and slipping her hand into the desk she brought out the fruit and sank her teeth into the surface. “Joan, will you please throw that apple into the waste basket and come here to me, at once?’’ rasped the voice of Miss Perry as •rij 114
Page 122 text:
On tlie way back to school Jo was seized with a brilliant idea. Why not change the address? Without e ’en stopi)ing to consider she caught up with Miss Perry who was walking a few yards ahead, and greeted her. “Mother said to tell ou,’’ she said, “that she’d be at home this afternoon and to cpme right out to the house. We li e at 45 Elm Street,’’ she added and could hardly resist chuckling as she thought of the surprise Miss Perry was going to get. She wondered why Miss Perry looked at her so (pieerh’, but as the bell was ringing for the pupils to form in line just then, she did not hnd out. 4 ' hat afternoon Jo loitered at her friend Ruth’s house until Mrs. Morris, her mother, droi)ped a polite hint al)out “neighbors’ children being out so late.’’ As Jo slowly valked home she wondered what her mother had thought when Mis. Perry had failed to appear. She had not thought of that side of the case before, and she realized that it was a pretty mean trick to play. After all her mother must hnd out some day. Why hadn’t she thought of that before? As she came within view of her home she droi)ped in astonish- ment. Who was that coming out of her own front gate? Surely it couldn’t be — but it was! It was Miss Perry! As she closed the gate, Jo could hear her say to her mother, who stood in the shadow of the porch, “I have had such a kwely time, Mrs. Miller, but really I should- n’t ha e stayed so la te.’’ “I’m so sorry you ha e to leave. Miss Perr ' , but do come again. I will tell Jo what you said when she comes home. Goodbye.’’ Jo stopped in dismay. Surely Miss Perry would see her. But to her relief the teacher turned the opposite way and walked up the street. Jo raced up to her mother. “Wh}’, Joan,’’ her mother exclaimed, “whatever is the matter? You’re all out of breath” “Mother, what did Miss Perry want? How did she get here?” Jo asked, unconsciously admitting her guilt, “ thought I changed — I mean — I-er — ” 4 116 Ih-
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