“She always means what she says,” said Nina Irwin. “I value a compliment which Randy gives, for she never flatters. If she says a pleasant word, it comes straight from her heart, and her heart is warm and loving.”
Randy had made rapid progress in her studies, and it seemed as if her zeal increased as the months sped by. She had attended many concerts since the memorable one when she had given her single rose to Madame Valena, “and now the finest thing is yet to happen,” she said in a letter to her mother.
Miss Dayton had sent out invitations for a little party to be given in honor of Miss Randy Weston, and in consequence there was much excitement at the private school.
To receive an invitation from Miss Dayton meant much, and Randy’s friends talked of little else.
“What shall you wear, Nina,” asked Polly Lawrence.
“Whatever mama suggests,” replied Nina, with a laugh.
“Because,” continued Polly, “I think we ought to dress, well—in a very showy manner, for Miss Dayton.”
“Why, I do not see that,” remarked another girl. “Miss Dayton dresses richly, but I should not say that ‘showy’ was a fitting word to apply to her refined taste.”
“Indeed!” said Polly, sharply. “Well, I shall wear my red gauze over satin, and I fancy Peggy will not choose a very simple frock for the occasion.”
“Just my blue silk, dear,” Peggy remarked lazily, “and since you’ve all seen it you will not have to enthuse over it.”
“What do you suppose Randy will wear?” asked Peggy.
“Something becoming, without a doubt,” said Nina Irwin, “since everything becomes her.”
At this point Randy entered, and the subject of conversation changed from dress to the lessons for the day.
“You always come with lessons prepared, Randy Weston,” said Polly, “and you look decidedly cheerful, too.”
“Why shouldn’t I look cheerful, if I am ready for the recitations?” asked Randy, in surprise.
“Because,” Polly answered, “it makes me cross to have to study, and you must work persistently to keep up such a record as you have this year.”
“Miss Dayton helps me,” Randy answered.
“But she cannot learn for you,” said Nina Irwin, “and you seem to get on as well in those studies which are new to you, as in those which you had commenced in the district school.”
“But I like all my studies,” said Randy, “and anyone would be interested in new ones. There is another reason why I am working so diligently.
“Father and mother sent me here, believing that I would study faithfully. I should not be true to them if I wasted my opportunity. And little Prue is trying to be patient, although her funny little letters show how she misses me. I’ll show you the last one which she sent me, only don’t laugh at her original spelling, Nina. Remember, she is a little girl. Here it is:”