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The Nicest Girl in the School
A Story of School Life

written by "Dixon, Arthur A."
..." "I'm not finding fault." "Yes, you are." "You're quite absurd about Patty." "And you're not very kind." "It's the first time you've ever called me unkind," said Muriel, flushing angrily. "I think it's horrid of you to run away from me for a whole afternoon and then speak to me like this! You're unkind yourself!" And throwing down the humming top which she had been examining, she stalked out of the room, and banged the door behind her. Horace,[144] who was extremely fond of his sister, followed, and succeeded in making peace. Muriel was mollified when he played chess with her all the evening, and forgave him for what she considered his neglect; but his championship of Patty did not make her love her cousin any the better. [145] CHAPTER IX An Afternoon with Jean If Patty had to rub her eyes rather vigorously with her pocket handkerchief on Christmas morning, I think there was every excuse for her. To be in a home which was not her own home seemed in some respects almost harder than being at school, for however kind relations may prove, they can never quite take the place of one's family on such a festival as Christmas Day. There were, of course, no presents for Patty from Kirkstone, nothing but a much-disinfected letter, which Aunt Lucy viewed with great uneasiness, and insisted that her niece should throw into the fire directly she had read it. "I have such a horror of scarlet fever," she declared. "Neither Horace nor Muriel has ever had it, and germs can certainly be conveyed through notepaper. It will be wise, I think, to burn some sulphur pastilles in the room, and you had better wash your hands, Patty,[146] with carbolic soap, as you have touched the letter. I hope your mother won't write to you very often. It would be much safer simply to send telegrams to say how the children are getting on. I'd really rather you didn't receive postcards from Milly." "But Milly is quite well, and...

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