Changing a lifelong principle is almost as difficult as wearing new shoes that don’t exactly fit you, and it makes you feel just as awkward and limp in mind as the shoes do in feet. Still I believe in adopting new ideas. I have never liked the appearance of boys, and I never supposed that when you knew one it would be a pleasant experience; but in the case of Tony Luttrell it is, and in the case of Pink Chadwell it is almost so.
I don’t know what Roxanne said to them all to explain her relations of friendship with the heathen—myself—but it was funny to see how they tried to please her by seeming to like me, only Tony didn’t seem. He offered me himself as a friend along with all the bites I cared to take off the other side of a huge apple he was eating. I took the bites and Tony at the same time with fear and trembling, but my confidence in him grows every day. It grows in Pink, also, only much more slowly.
Tony is long-legged and colty looking, with such a wide mouth and laughing kind of eyes that the corners of your own mouth go up when you look at him, and he raises a giggle in your inside by just a funny kind of flare his eyes have got; but Pink Chadwell is different. Poor Pink is so handsome that he is pitiful about it. He carries a bottle of water in his pocket to keep the curl of his front hair sopped out, but he can’t keep his lovely skin from having those pink cheeks. Tony calls him “Rosebud” when he sees that he has got used to hearing himself called “Pinkie” and is a little happy.
The surprise to me was that the boys were so much nicer to me than the girls when Roxanne adopted me; but then it didn’t make so much difference to them. The girls are always together in all of the important things of their lives, while most of the time the boys just forget all about us, unless they need us for something or we get ahead of them in class.
“I’m so glad that you are going to stay and have lunch with us to-day,” Belle said to me the first time I let Roxanne beg me into bringing my lunch instead of going home for it, as I had been doing every day to keep from seeming to be so alone, eating all by myself while they had spread theirs all together out on the side porch or even out on the big flat stone when it was warm enough. “When Roxy wanted to invite you, I felt sure you wouldn’t come.”
Some people have a way of freezing up all the pleasure that they can get close enough to talk over. Belle is that kind. She made me so uncomfortable that I was about to do some freezing on my own account when Mamie Sue lumbered into the conversation in such a nice, friendly way that I laughed instead.