“But, Faith, you might really die. You might get pneumonia. Please, Faith don’t. Let’s go into the house and get something for your feet. Oh, here’s Jerry. I’m so thankful. Jerry, make Faith get off that snow. Look at her feet.”
“Holy cats! Faith, what are you doing?” demanded Jerry. “Are you crazy?”
“No. Go away!” snapped Faith.
“Then are you punishing yourself for something? It isn’t right, if you are. You’ll be sick.”
“I want to be sick. I’m not punishing myself. Go away.”
“Where’s her shoes and stockings?” asked Jerry of Una.
“She gave them to Lida Marsh.”
“Lida Marsh? What for?”
“Because Lida had none—and her feet were so cold. And now she wants to be sick so that she won’t have to go to church to-morrow and wear her striped stockings. But, Jerry, she may die.”
“Faith,” said Jerry, “get off that ice-bank or I’ll pull you off.”
“Pull away,” dared Faith.
Jerry sprang at her and caught her arms. He pulled one way and Faith pulled another. Una ran behind Faith and pushed. Faith stormed at Jerry to leave her alone. Jerry stormed back at her not to be a dizzy idiot; and Una cried. They made no end of noise and they were close to the road fence of the graveyard. Henry Warren and his wife drove by and heard and saw them. Very soon the Glen heard that the manse children had been having an awful fight in the graveyard and using most improper language. Meanwhile, Faith had allowed herself to be pulled off the ice because her feet were aching so sharply that she was ready to get off any way. They all went in amiably and went to bed. Faith slept like a cherub and woke in the morning without a trace of a cold. She felt that she couldn’t feign sickness and act a lie, after remembering that long-ago talk with her father. But she was still as fully determined as ever that she would not wear those abominable stockings to church.
CHAPTER XXV. ANOTHER SCANDAL AND ANOTHER “EXPLANATION”
Faith went early to Sunday School and was seated in the corner of her class pew before any one came. Therefore, the dreadful truth did not burst upon any one until Faith left the class pew near the door to walk up to the manse pew after Sunday School. The church was already half filled and all who were sitting near the aisle saw that the minister’s daughter had boots on but no stockings!
Faith’s new brown dress, which Aunt Martha had made from an ancient pattern, was absurdly long for her, but even so it did not meet her boot-tops. Two good inches of bare white leg showed plainly.
Faith and Carl sat alone in the manse pew. Jerry had gone into the gallery to sit with a chum and the Blythe girls had taken Una with them. The Meredith children were given to “sitting all over the church” in this fashion and a great many people thought it very improper. The gallery especially, where irresponsible lads congregated and were known to whisper and suspected of chewing tobacco during service, was no place, for a son of the manse. But Jerry hated the manse pew at the very top of the church, under the eyes of Elder Clow and his family. He escaped from it whenever he could.