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yoursister?"sheaskedKatie.
"Icannottellyou,"repliedKatie.
"Forgiveness,"saidMaryRommely,"isagiftofhighvalue.Yetitscostisnothing."
"Ihavemyownways,"saidKatie.
"Ai,"agreedhermother.Shesigheddeeplyandsaidnomore.
Katiewouldn'tadmitit,butshemissedSissy.Shemissedherrecklessgoodsenseandher
clearwayofstraighteningouttroubles.EvynevermentionedSissywhenshecametoseeKatie
andafterthatoneattemptatreconciliation,MaryRommelynevermentionedSissy'sname
again.
Katiegotnewsofhersisterthroughtheofficialaccreditedfamilyreporter,theinsuranceagent.
AlloftheRommelyswereinsuredbythesamecompanyandthesameagentcollectedthe
nickelsanddimesfromeachofthesistersweekly.Hebroughtnews,carriedgossip,andwas
theroundrobinmessengerofthefamily.OnedayhebroughtnewsthatSissyhadgivenbirthto
anotherchildwhichhehadbeenunabletoinsuresinceithadlivedbuttwohours.Katiefelt
ashamedofherselfatlastforbeingsobitteragainstpoorSissy.
"Nexttimeyouseemysister,"shetoldthecollector,"tellhernottobesuchastranger."The
collectorrelayedthemessageofforgivenessandSissycamebackintotheNolanfamilyagain.
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XX
KATIE'Scampaignagainstverminanddiseasestartedthedayherchildrenenteredschool.The
battlewasfierce,brief,andsuccessful.
Packedcloselytogether,thechildreninnocentlybred.verminandbecamelousyfromeach
other.Throughnofaultoftheirown,theyweresubjectedtothemosthumiliatingprocedurethat
achildcouldgothrough.
Onceaweek,theschoolnursecameandstationedherselfwithherbacktothewindow.The
littlegirlslinedupandwhentheycametoher,turnedround,liftedtheirheavybraidsandbent
over.Nurseprobedaboutthehairwithalongthinstick.Ifliceornitswereinevidence,thelittle
onewastoldtostandaside.Attheendoftheexamination,thepariahsweremadetostand
beforetheclasswhileNursegavealectureabouthowfilthythoselittlegirlswereandhowthey
hadtobeshunned.Theuntouchableswerethendismissedforthedaywithinstructionstoget
"blueointment"fromKnipe'sDrugStoreandhavetheirmotherstreattheirhead.Whenthey
returnedtoschool,theyweretormentedby theirpeers.Eachoffenderwouldhaveanescortof
childrenfollowingherhome,chanting:
"Lousy,ye'rlousyTeachersaidye'rlousy.Hadda'gohome,haddagohome,haddagohome
becauseye'rlousy."
Itmightbethattheinfectedchildwouldbegivenacleanbillnextexamination.Inthatcase,she,
inturn,wouldtormentthosefoundguilty,forgettingherownhurtatbeingtormented.They
learnednocompassionfromtheirownanguish.Thustheirsufferingwaswasted.
TherewasnoroominKatie'scrowdedlifeforadditionaltroubleandworry.Shewouldn'taccept
it.ThefirstdaythatFranciecamehomefromschoolandreportedthatshesatnexttoagirlwho
hadbugswalkingupanddownthelanesofherhair,Katiewentintoaction.Shescrubbed
Francie'sheadwithacakeofhercoarsestrongyellowscrubwoman'ssoapuntilherscalp
tingledwithrawness.Thenextmorning,shedippedthehairbrushintoabowlofkeroseneoil,
brushedFrancie'shairvigorously,braideditintobraidssotightthattheveinsonFrancie's
templesstuckout,instructedhertokeepawayfromlightedgasjetsandsentherofftoschool.
Franciesmelledupthewholeclassroom.Herseatshareredgedasfarawayfromheras
possible.TeachersentanotehomeforbiddingKatietousekeroseneonFrancie'shead.Katie
remarkedthatitwasafreecountryandignoredthenote.OnceaweekshescrubbedFrancie's
headwiththeyellowsoap.Everydaysheanointeditwiththekerosene.
Whenanepidemicofmumpsbrokeoutintheschool,Katiewentintoactionagainst
communicablediseases.Shemadetwoflannelbags,sewedabudofgarlicineachone,
attachedacleancorsetstringandmadethechildrenwearthemaroundtheirnecksundertheir
shirts.
Francieattendedschoolstinkingofgarlicandkeroseneoil.Everyoneavoidedher.Inthe
crowdedyard,therewasalwaysaclearedspacearoundher.Incrowdedtrolleycars,people
huddledawayfromthoseNolanchildren.
Anditworked!Nowwhethertherewasawitch'scharminthegarlic,whetherthestrongfumes
killedthegermsorwhetherFrancieescapedcontractinganythingbecauseinfectedchildren
gaveherawideberth,orwhethersheandNeeleyhadnaturallystrongconstitutions,isnot
known.However,itwasafactthatnotonceinalltheyearsofschoolwereKatie'schildrenever
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sick.Theyneversomuchascamedownwithacold.Andtheyneverhadlice.
Francie,ofcourse,becameanoutsidershunnedbyallbecauseofherstench.Butshehad
becomeaccustomedtobeinglonely.Shewasusedtowalkingaloneandtobeingconsidered
"different."Shedidnotsuffertoomuch.
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XXI
FRANCIElikedschoolinspiteofallthemeanness,cruelty,andunhappiness.Theregimented
routineofmanychildren,alldoingthesamethingatonce,gaveherafeelingofsafety.Shefelt
thatshewasadefinitepartofsomething,partofacommunitygatheredunderaleaderforthe
onepurpose.TheNolanswereindividualists.Theyconformedtonothingexceptwhatwas
essentialtotheirbeingabletoliveintheirworld.Theyfollowedtheirownstandardsofliving.
Theywerepartofnosetsocialgroup.Thiswasfineforthemakingofindividualistsbut
sometimesbewilderingtoasmallchild.SoFranciefeltacertainsafetyandsecurityinschool.
Althoughitwasacruelanduglyroutine,ithadapurposeandaprogression.
Schoolwasnotallunrelievedgrimness.Therewasagreatgoldenglorylastingahalfhoureach
weekwhenMr.MortoncametoFrancie'sroomtoteachmusic.Hewasaspecializedteacher
whowentaroundtoalltheschoolsinthatarea.Itwasholidaytimewhenheappeared.Hewore
aswallow-tailedcoatandapuffed-uptie.Hewassovibrant,gayandjolly-sointoxicatedwith
living-thathewaslikeagodcomefromtheclouds.Hewashomelyinagallantvitalway.He
understoodandlovedchildrenandtheyworshippedhim.Theteachersadoredhim.Therewas
acarnivalspiritintheroomonthedayofhisvisit.Teacherworeherbestdressandwasn'tquite
somean.Sometimesshecurledherhairandworeperfume.That's,whatMr.Mortondidto
thoseladies.
Hearrivedlikeatornado.Thedoorburstopenandheflewinwithhiscoattailsstreamingbehind
him.Heleapedtotheplatformandlookedaroundsmilingandsaying,"well-well,"inahappy
voice.ThechildrensatthereandlaughedandlaughedoutofhappinessandTeachersmiled
andsmiled.
Hedrewnotesontheblackboard;hedrewlittlelegsonthemtomakethemlookasthoughthey
wererunningoutofthescale.He'dmakeaflatnotelooklikehumpty-dumpty.Asharpnote
wouldrateathinbeet-likenosezoomingoffit.Allthewhilehe'dburstintosingingjustas
spontaneouslyasabird.Sometimeshishappinesswassooverflowingthathecouldn'tholdit
andhe'dcutadancecapertospillsomeofitout.
Hetaughtthemgoodmusicwithoutlettingthemknowitwasgood.Hesethisownwordstothe
greatclassicsandgavethemsimplenameslike"Lullaby"and"Serenade"and"StreetSong"
and"SongforaSunshineDay."TheirbabyvoicesshrilledoutinHandel's"Largo"andthey
knewitmerelybythetitleof"Hymn."LittleboyswhistledpartofDvorak's
NewWorldSymphony
astheyplayedmarbles.Whenaskedthenameofthesong,they'drely"Oh,'GoingHome.'"
Theyplayedpotsy,humming"TheSoldiers'Chorus"from
Faust
whichtheycalled"Glory."
NotaswelllovedasMr.Morton,butasmuchadmired,wasMissBernstone,thespecial
drawingteacherwhoalsocameonceaweek.Ah,shewasfromanotherworld,aworldof
beautifuldressesofmutedgreensandgarnets.Herfacewassweetandtender,and,likeMr.
Morton,shelovedthevasthordesofunwashedandunwantedchildrenmorethanshelovedthe
cared-forones.Theteachersdidnotlike
her
.Yes,theyfawnedonherwhenshespoketothem
andgloweredatherwhenherbackwasturned.Theywerejealousofhercharm,hersweetness
andherlovelyappealtomen.Shewaswarmandglowingandrichlyfeminine.Theyknewthat
shedidn'tsleepalonenightsastheywereforcedtodo.
Shespokesoftlyinaclearsingingvoice.Herhandswerebeautifulandquickwithabitofchalk
orastickofcharcoal.Therewasmagicinthewayherwristturnedwhensheheldacrayon.
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Onewristtwistandtherewasanapple.Twomoretwistsandtherewasachild'ssweethand
holdingtheapple.Onarainyday,shewouldn'tgivealesson.She'dtakeablockofpaperanda
stickofcharcoalandsketchthepoorest,meanestkidintheroom.Andwhenthepicturewas
finished,youdidn'tseethedirtorthemeanness;yousawthegloryofinnocenceandthe
poignancyofababygrowinguptoosoon.Oh,MissBernstonewasgrand.
Thesetwovisitingteacherswerethegoldandsilversun-splashinthegreatmuddyriverof
schooldays,daysmadeupofdrearyhoursin'whichTeachermadeherpupilssitrigidwiththeir
handsfoldedbehindtheirbackwhileshereadanovelhiddeninherlap.Ifalltheteachershad
beenlikeMissBernstoneandMr.Morton,Franciewouldhaveknownplainwhatheavenwas.
Butitwasjustaswell.Therehadtobethedarkandmuddywaterssothatthesuncouldhave
somethingtobackgrounditsflashingglory.
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XXII
OH,magichourwhenachildfirstknowsitcanreadprintedwords!
Forquiteawhile,Franciehadbeenspellingoutletters,soundingthemandthenputtingthe
soundstogethertomeanaword.Butoneday,shelookedatapageandtheword"mouse"had
instantaneousmeaning.Shelookedatthewordandthepictureofagraymousescampered
throughhermind.Shelookedfurtherandwhenshesaw"horse,"sheheardhimpawingthe
groundandsawthesunglintonhisglossycoat.Theword"running"hithersuddenlyandshe
breathedhardasthoughrunningherself.Thebarrierbetweentheindividualsoundofeach
letterandthewholemeaningofthewordwasremovedandtheprintedwordmeantathingat
onequickglance.Shereadafewpagesrapidlyandalmostbecameillwithexcitement.She
wantedtoshoutitout.Shecouldread!Shecouldread!
Fromthattimeon,theworldwashersforthereading.Shewouldneverbelonelyagain,never
missthelackofintimatefriends.Booksbecameherfriendsandtherewasoneforeverymood.
Therewaspoetryforquietcompanionship.Therewasadventurewhenshetiredofquiethours.
Therewouldbelovestorieswhenshecameintoadolescenceandwhenshewantedtofeela
closenesstosomeoneshecouldreadabiography.Onthatdaywhenshefirstknewshecould
read,shemadeavowtoreadonebookadayaslongasshelived.
Shelikednumbersandsums.Shedevisedagameinwhicheachnumberwasafamilymember
andthe"answer"madeafamilygroupingwithastorytoit.Naughtwasababeinarms.Hegave
notrouble.Wheneverheappearedyoujust"carried"him.Thefigure1wasaprettybabygirl
justlearningtowalk,andeasytohandle;2wasababyboywhocouldwalkandtalkalittle.He
wentintofamilylife(intosums,etc.)withverylittletrouble.And3wasanolderboyin
kindergarten,whohadtobewatchedalittle.Thentherewas4,agirlofFrancie'sage.Shewas
almostaseasyto"mind"as2.Themotherwas5,gentleandkind.Inlargesums,shecame
alongandmadeeverythingeasythewayamothershould.Thefather,6,washarderthanthe
othersbutveryjust.But7wasmean.Hewasacrotchetyoldgrandfatherandnotatall
accountableforhowhecameout.Thegrandmother,8,washardtoo,buteasiertounderstand
than7.Hardestofallwas9.Hewascompanyandwhatahardtimefitting
him
intofamilylife!
WhenFrancieaddedasum,shewouldfixalittlestorytogowiththeresult.Iftheanswerwas
924,itmeantthatthelittleboyandgirlwerebeingmindedby companywhiletherestofthe
familywentout.Whenanumbersuchas1024appeared,itmeantthatallthelittlechildrenwere
playingtogetherintheyard.Thenumber62meantthatpapawastakingthelittleboyforawalk;
50meantthatmamahadthebabyoutinthebuggyforanairingand78meantgrandfatherand
grandmothersittinghomebythefireofawinter'sevening.Eachsinglecombinationofnumbers
wasanewset-upforthefamilyandnotwostorieswereeverthesame.
Francietookthegamewithherupintoalgebra.Xwastheboy'ssweetheartwhocameintothe
familylifeandcomplicatedit.Ywastheboyfriendwhocausedtrouble.Soarithmeticwasa
warmandhumanthingtoFrancieandoccupiedmanylonelyhoursforhertime.
XXIII
SCHOOLdayswentalong.Someweremadeupofmeanness,brutalityandheartbreak;others
werebrightandbeautifulbecauseofMissBernstoneandMr.Morton.Andalways,therewas
themagicoflearningthings.
FranciewasoutwalkingoneSaturdayinOctoberandshechancedonanunfamiliar
neighborhood.Herewerenotenementsorraucousshabbystores.Therewereoldhousesthat
hadbeenstandingtherewhenWashingtonmaneuveredhistroopsacrossLongIsland.They
wereoldanddecrepitbuttherewerepicketfencesaroundthemwithgatesonwhichFrancie
longedtoswing.Therewerebrightfallflowersinthefrontyardandmapletreeswithcrimson
andyellowleavesonthecurb.Theneighborhoodstoodold,quiet,andsereneintheSaturday
sunshine.Therewasabroodingqualityabouttheneighborhood,aquiet,deep,timeless,
shabbypeace.Franciewasashappyasthough,likeAlice,shehadsteppedthroughamagic
mirror.Shewasinanenchantedland.
Shewalkedonfurtherandcametoalittleoldschool.Itsoldbricksglowedgarnetinthelate
afternoonsun.Therewasnofencearoundtheschoolyardandtheschoolgroundsweregrass
andnotcement.Acrossfromtheschool,itwaspracticallyopencountry-ameadowwith
goldenrod,wildastersandclovergrowinginit.
Francie'sheartturnedover.Thiswasit!Thiswastheschoolshewantedtogoto.Buthowcould
shegettogothere?Therewasastrictlawaboutattendingtheschoolinyourowndistrict.Her
parentswouldhavetomovetothatneighborhoodifshewantedtogotothatschool.Francie
knewthatmamawouldn'tmovejustbecause
she
feltlikegoingtoanotherschool.Shewalked
homeslowlythinkingaboutit.
Shesatupthatnightwaitingforpapatocomehomefromwork.AfterJohnnyhadcomehome
whistlinghis,"MollyMalone"asheranupthesteps,afterallhadeatenofthelobster,caviar,
andliverwurstthathebroughthome,mamaandNeeleywenttobed.Franciekeptpapa
companywhilehesmokedhislastcigar.Franciewhisperedallabouttheschoolinpapa'sear.
Helookedather,nodded,andsaid,"We'llseetomorrow."
"Youmeanwecanmovenearthatschool?"
"No,buttherehastobeanotherway.I'llgotherewithyoutomorrowandwe'llseewhatwecan
see."
Franciewassoexcitedshecouldn'tsleeptherestofthenight.ShewasupatsevenbutJohnny
wasstillsleepingsoundly.Shewaitedinaperspirationofimpatience.Eachtimehesighedin
hissleep,sheranintoseeifhewaswakingup.
HewokeaboutnoonandtheNolanssatdowntodinner.Franciecouldn'teat.Shekeptlooking
atpapabuthemadehernosign.Hadheforgotten?Hadheforgotten?No,becausewhileKatie
waspouringthecoffee,hesaidcarelessly,
Iguessmeandtheprimadonnawilltakealittlewalklateron."
Francie'sheartjumped.Hehadnotforgotten.Hehadnotforgotten.Shewaited.Mamahadto
answer.Mamamightobject.Mamamightaskwhy.Mamamightsaysheguessedshe'dgo
alongtoo.Butallmamasaidwas,"Allright."
Franciedidthedishes.ThenshehadtogodowntothecandystoretogettheSundaypaper;
thentothecigarstoretogetpapaanickelCorona.Johnnyhadtoreadthepaper.Hehadto
readeverycolumnofitincludingthesocietysectioninwhichhecouldn'tpossiblybeinterested.
Worsethanthat,hehadtomakecommentstomamaoneveryitemheread.Eachtimehe'dput
thepaperaside,turntomamaandsay,"Funnythingsinthepapersnowadays.Takethiscase,"
Franciewouldalmostcry.
Fouro'clockcame.Thecigarhadlongsincebeensmoked,thepaperlayguttedonthefloor,
KatiehadtiredofhavingthenewsanalyzedandhadtakenNeeleyandgoneovertovisitMary
Rommely.
Francieandpapasetouthandinhand.Hewaswearinghisonlysuit,thetuxedoandhisderby
hatandhelookedverygrand.ItwasasplendidOctoberday.Therewasawarmsunanda
refreshingwindworkingtogethertobringthetangoftheoceanaroundeachcorner.They
walkedafewblocks,turnedacornerandwereinthisotherneighborhood.Onlyinagreat
sprawlingplacelikeBrooklyncouldtherebesuchasharpdivision.Itwasaneighborhood
peopledby fifthandsixthgenerationAmericans,whereasintheNolanneighborhood,ifyou
couldprove
you
hadbeenborninAmerica,itwasequivalenttoaMayflowerstanding.
Indeed,FranciewastheonlyoneinherclassroomwhoseparentswereAmerican-born.Atthe
beginningoftheterm,Teachercalledtherollandaskedeachchildherlineage.Theanswers
weretypical.
"I'mPolish-American.MyfatherwasborninWarsaw."
"Irish-American.MefaytherandmitherwereborninCountyCork."
WhenNolanwascalled,Francieansweredproudly:"I'manAmerican."
"I
know
you'reAmerican,"saidtheeasilyexasperatedteacher."Butwhat'syournationality?"
"American!"insistedFrancieevenmoreproudly.
"WillyoutellmewhatyourparentsareordoIhavetosendyoutotheprincipal?"
"MyparentsareAmerican.TheywereborninBrooklyn."
Allthechildrenturnedaroundtolookatalittlegirlwhoseparentshad
not
comefromtheold
country.AndwhenTeachersaid,"Brooklyn?Hm.IguessthatmakesyouAmerican,allright,"
Franciewasproudandhappy.HowwonderfulwasBrooklyn,shethought,whenjustbeingborn
thereautomaticallymadeyouanAmerican!
Papatoldheraboutthisstrangeneighborhood:howitsfamilieshadbeenAmericansformore
thanahundredyearsback;howtheyweremostlyScotch,EnglishandWelshextraction.The
menworkedascabinetmakersandfinecarpenters.Theyworkedwithmetals:gold,silverand
copper.
HepromisetotakeFrancietotheSpanishsectionofBrooklynsomeday.Therethemen
workedascigar-makersandeachchippedinafewpenniesadaytohireamantoreadtothem
whiletheyworked.Andthemanreadfineliterature.
TheywalkedalongthequietSundaystreet.Franciesawaleafflutterfromatreeandshe
skippedaheadtogetit.Itwasaclearscarletwithanedgingofgold.Shestaredatit,wondering
ifshe'deverseeanythingasbeautifulagain.Awomancamefromaroundthecorner.Shewas
rougedheavilyandworeafeatherboa.ShesmiledatJohnnyandsaid.
"Lonesome,Mister?"
Johnnylookedatheramomentbeforeheansweredgently,
"No,Sister."
"Sure?"sheinquiredarchly.
"Sure,"heansweredquietly.
Shewentherway.Francieskippedbackandtookpapa'shand.
"Wasthatabadlady,Papa?"sheaskedeagerly.
"No."
"Butshe
looked
bad."
"Thereareveryfewbadpeople.Therearejustalotofpeoplethatareunlucky."
"Butshewasallpaintedand..."
"Shewasonewhohadseenbetterdays."Helikedthephrase."Yes,shemayhaveseenbetter
days."Hefellintoathoughtfulmood.Franciekeptskippingaheadandcollectingleaves.
TheycameupontheschoolandFrancieproudlyshowedittopapa.Thelateafternoonsun
warmeditssoftly-coloredbricksandthesmall-panedwindowsseemedtodanceinthesunshine.
Johnnylookedatitalongtime,thenhesaid,
"Yes,thisistheschool.Thisisit."
Then,aswheneverhewasmovedorstirred,hehadtoputitintoasong.Heheldhisworn
derbyoverhisheart,stoodupstraightlookingupattheschoolhouseandsang:
Schooldays,schooldays,
Dearoldgoldenruledays.
Readin''nwritin''n'rithmetic...
Toapassingstranger,itmighthavelookedsilly-Johnnystandingthereinhisgreenishtuxedo
andfreshlinenholdingthehandofathinraggedchildandsingingthebanalsongso
un-self-consciouslyonthestreet.ButtoFrancieitseemedrightandbeautiful.
Theycrossedthestreetandwanderedinthemeadowthatfolkscalled"lots."Franciepickeda
bunchofgoldenrodandwildasterstotakehome.Johnnyexplainedthattheplacehadonce
beenanIndianburyinggroundandhowasaboy,hehadoftencometheretohuntarrowheads.
Franciesuggestedtheyhuntforsome.Theysearchedforhalfanhourandfoundnone.Johnny
recalledthatasaboy,hehadn'tfoundanyeither.ThisstruckFrancieasfunnyandshelaughed.
Papaconfessedthatmaybeithadn'tbeenanIndiancemeteryafterall;maybesomeonehad
madeupthatstory.Johnnywasmorethanrightbecausehehadmadeupthewholestory
himself.
SoonitwastimetogohomeandtearscameintoFrancie'seyesbecausepapahadn'tsaid
anythingaboutgettingherintothenewschool.Hesawthetearsandfiguredoutascheme
immediately.
"Tellyouwhatwe'lldo,Baby.We'llwalkaroundandpickoutanicehouseandtakedownthe
number.I'llwritealettertoyourprincipalsayingyou'removingthereandwanttobetransferred
tothisschool."
Theyfoundahouse-aone-storywhiteonewithaslantingroofandlatechrysanthemums
growingintheyard.Hecopiedtheaddresscarefully.
"Youknowthatwhatwearegoingtodoiswrong?"
"Isit,Papa?"
"Butit'sawrongtogainabiggergood."
"Likeawhitelie?"
"Likealiethathelpssomeoneout.Soyoumustmakeupforthewrongbybeingtwiceasgood.
Youmustneverbebadorabsentorlate.Youmustneverdoanythingtomakethemsenda
letterhomethroughthemails."
"I'llalways,begood,Papa,ifIcangotothatschool."
"Yes.NowI'llshowyouawaytogotoschoolthroughalittlepark.Iknowrightwhereitis.Yes
sir,Iknowrightwhereitis."
Heshowedhertheparkandhowshecouldwalkthroughitdiagonallytogotoschool.
"Thatshouldmakeyouhappy.Youcanseetheseasonschangeasyoucomeandgo.Whatdo
yousaytothat?"
Francie,recallingsomethinghermotherhadoncereadtoheranswered,"Mycuprunneth
over."Andshemeantit.
WhenKatieheardoftheplan,shesaid:"Suityourself.ButI'llhavenothingtodowithit.Ifthe
policecomeandarrestyouforgivingafalseaddress,I'llsayhonestlythatIhadnothingtodo
withit.Oneschool'sasgoodorasbadasanother.Idon'tknowwhyshewantstochange.
There'shomeworknomatterwhatschoolyougoto."
"It'ssettledthen,"Johnnysaid."Francie,here'sapenny.Rundowntothecandystoreandgeta
sheetofwritingpaperandanenvelope."
Francierandownandranback.JohnnywroteanotesayingFranciewasgoingtolivewith
relativesatsuchandsuchanaddressandwantedatransfer.HeaddedthatNeeleywould
continuelivingathomeandwouldn'trequireatransfer.Hesignedhisnameandunderlinedit
authoritatively.
Tremblingly,Franciehandedthenotetoherprincipalnextmorning.Thatladyreadit,grunted,
madeoutthetransfer,handedherherreportcardandtoldhertogo;thattheschoolwastoo
crowdedanyhow.
Franciepresentedherselfanddocumentstotheprincipalofthenewschool.Heshookhands
withherandsaidhehopedshe'dbehappyinthenewschool.Amonitortookhertothe
classroom.TheteacherstoppedtheworkandintroducedFrancietotheclass.Francielooked
outovertherowsoflittlegirls.Allwereshabbybutmostwereclean.Shewasgivenaseatto
herselfandhappilyfellintotheroutineofthenewschool.
Theteachersandchildrenherewerenotasbrutalizedasintheoldschool.Yes,someofthe
childrenweremeanbutitseemedanaturalchild-meannessandnotacampaign.Oftenthe
teacherswereimpatientandcrossbutnevernagginglycruel.Therewasnocorporal
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