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An Old-Fashioned Girl
written by "Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888"
...r, saying, "That 's a fine old tune; sing it to me, my dear. I have n't heard it this many a day." Polly did n't like to sing before strangers, for she had had no teaching but such as her busy mother could give her; but she had been taught the utmost respect for old people, and having no reason for refusing, she directly went to the piano, and did as she was bid. "That 's the sort of music it 's a pleasure to hear. Sing some more, dear," said Madam, in her gentle way, when she had done. Pleased with this praise, Polly sang away in a fresh little voice, that went straight to the listener's heart and nestled there. The sweet old tunes that one is never tired of were all Polly's store; and her favorites were Scotch airs, such as, "Yellow-Haired Laddie," "Jock o' Hazeldean," "Down among the Heather," and "Birks of Aberfeldie." The more she sung, the better she did it; and when she wound up with "A Health to King Charlie," the room quite rung with the stirring music made by the big piano and the little maid. "By George, that 's a jolly tune! Sing it again, please," cried Tom's voice; and there was Tom's red head bobbing up over the high back of the chair where he had hidden himself. It gave Polly quite a turn, for she thought no one was hearing her but the old lady dozing by the fire. "I can't sing any more; I 'm tired," she said, and walked away to Madam in the other room. The red head vanished like a meteor, for Polly's tone had been decidedly cool. The old lady put out her hand, and drawing Polly to her knee, looked into her face with such kind eyes, that Polly forgot the impressive cap, and smiled at her confidingly; for she saw that her simple music had pleased her listener, and she felt glad to know it. "You must n't mind my staring, dear," said Madam, softly pinching her rosy cheek. "I have n't seen a little girl for so long, it does my old eyes good to look at you." Polly thought that a very odd speech, an...

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