Roxanne says Helena’s expression was of one completely surprised, and she went on down the street without any more use of the smile or the red silk and lace dress. If a man is at all interested in a girl, he would be sure to get more pleasure and conversation than that out of a rose, I feel sure. Oh, a genius has to be guarded from so many things!
This is unkindness I’ve written, but I’m so nervous to-night over the thousand dollars that might not come for the article that I cannot control my pen. Good-night again, Louise.
This is Saturday night, or Sunday morning, I am not sure which, as I have let my clock and watch both run down, for I have not had time to wind them; but however late it is, I am going to write about all this remarkableness, to you, leather Louise, so I will never forget how it all really happened. And writing it may make me believe it is true, though now it all will seem a dream.
I got up early on account of the quadratics and had a contest, that lasted until ten o’clock, between them and a very overburdened mind. I conquered, but at what cost!
But still, from the fight, one of the gratifications of my life came to me in the shape of the chance to help Belle. Mamie Sue has given up the study of algebra forever, and is going to take botany instead, but Belle is still having dreadful struggles. Mamie Sue told me about Belle having a wet towel around her head all night and other really tragic things that made me lose all my hurt at her and filled me with extreme sympathy. I was over at Roxanne’s on my way to read diphtheria to Lovelace Peyton, and just as Mamie Sue was describing how the poor girl had to put her feet in hot water to take the chill off of them, down the street came Belle looking all that Mamie Sue had said of her. My heart was so wrung that I spoke before I had time to let her manner daunt me.
“Oh, Belle,” I said, with hasty enthusiasm, “I worked a lot this morning and I can solve them all now in the easiest way. Let me show you.”
“I—I wish you would, Phyllis, and thank you,” she answered in a meek voice that was not hers at all. It had a nice, mournful, friendly tone to it that I wish it could keep even when the cause for sorrow is removed, which I succeeded in doing in about another hour of hard manual labor, if you call pounding manual labor. It is!
Roxanne sat down beside us, and we sent Mamie Sue in to keep Lovelace Peyton quiet with her company; only to use the fudge from her pocket in case she couldn’t succeed. We found them both later with chocolate smeared on their faces; but Lovelace Peyton likes Mamie Sue, for her easy nature is most lovable.
“Thank you, Phyllis,” said Belle, when we had figured the last formula as simply as I had found out how to do it. “I have always thought that you are as smart as anybody in the class, and I now think—”