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The Heart of Una Sackville

98 pages
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Ajouté le : 08 décembre 2010
Lecture(s) : 48
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Heart of Una Sackville, by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Heart of Una Sackville Author: Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey Illustrator: Peter Tarrant Release Date: April 18, 2007 [EBook #21129] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE HEART OF UNA SACKVILLE *** Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey "The Heart of Una Sackville" Chapter One. May 13th, 1895 . Lena Streatham gave me this diary. I can’t think what possessed her, for she has been simply hateful to me sometimes this last term. Perhaps it was remorse, because it’s awfully handsome, with just the sort of back I like—soft Russia leather, with my initials in the corner, and a clasp with a dear little key, so that you can leave it about without other people seeing what is inside. I always intended to keep a diary when I left school and things began to happen, and I suppose I must have said so some day; I generally do blurt out what is in my mind, and Lena heard and remembered. She’s not a bad girl, except for her temper, but I’ve noticed the hasty ones are generally the most generous. There are hundreds and hundreds of leaves in it, and I expect it will be years before it’s finished. I’m not going to write things every day—that’s silly! I’ll just keep it for times when I want to talk, and Lorna is not near to confide in. It’s quite exciting to think all that will be written in these empty pages! What fun it would be if I could read them now and see what is going to happen! About half way through I shall be engaged, and in the last page of all I’ll scribble a few words in my wedding-dress before I go on to church, for that will be the end of Una Sackville, and there will be nothing more to write after that. It’s very nice to be married, of course, but stodgy—there’s no more excitement. There has been plenty of excitement to-day, at any rate. I always thought it would be lovely when the time came for leaving school, and having nothing to do but enjoy oneself, but I’ve cried simply bucketfuls, and my head aches like fury. All the girls were so fearfully nice. I’d no idea they liked me so much. Irene May began crying at breakfast-time, and one or another of them has been at it the whole day long. Maddie made me walk with her in the crocodile, and said, “Croyez bien, ma chérie, que votre Maddie ne vous oubliera jamais.” It’s all very well, but she’s been a perfect pig to me many times over about the irregular verbs! She gave me her photograph in a gilt frame—not half bad; you would think she was quite nice-looking. The kiddies joined together and gave me a purse—awfully decent of the poor little souls —and I’ve got simply dozens of books and ornaments and little picture things for my room. We had cake for tea, but half the girls wouldn’t touch it. Florence said it was sickening to gorge when your heart was breaking. She is going to ask her mother to let her leave next term, for she says she simply cannot stand our bedroom after I’m gone. She and Lorna don’t get on a bit, and I was always having to keep the peace. I promised faithfully I would write sheets upon sheets to them every single week, because my leaving at half term makes it harder for them than if they were going home too. “We shall be so flat and dull without you, Circle!” Myra said. She calls me “Circle” because I’m fat—not awfully, you know, but just a little bit, and she’s so thin herself. “I think I’ll turn over a new leaf and go in for work. I don’t seem to have any heart for getting into scrapes by myself!” “Well, we have kept them going, haven’t we!” I said. “Do you remember,” and then we talked over the hairbreadth escapes we had had, and groaned to think that the good times were passed. “I will say this for Una,” said Florence, “however stupid she may be at lessons, I never met a girl who was cleverer at scenting a joke!” When Florence says a thing, she means it, so it was an awful compliment, and I was just trying to look humble when Mary came in to say Miss Martin wanted me in the drawing-room. I did feel bad, because I knew it would be our last real talk, and she looked simply sweet in her new blue dress and her Sunday afternoon expression. She can look as fierce as anything and snap your head off if you vex her, but she’s a darling all the same, and I adore her. She’s been perfectly sweet to me these three years, and we have had lovely talks sometimes—serious talks, I mean—when I was going to be confirmed, and when father was ill, and when I’ve been homesick. She’s so good, but not a bit goody, and she makes you long to be good too. She’s just the right person to have a girls’ school, for she understands how girls feel, and that it isn’t natural for them to be solemn, unless of course they are prigs, and they don’t count. I sat down beside her and we talked for an hour. I wish I could remember all the things she said, and put them down here to be my rules for life, but it’s so difficult to remember. She said my gaiety and lightness of heart had been a great help to them all, and like sunshine in the school. Of course, it had led me into scrapes at times, but they had been innocent and kindly, and so she had not been hard upon me. But now I was grown up and going out into the battle of life, and everything was different. “You know, dear, the gifts which God gives us are our equipments for that fight, and I feel sure your bright, happy disposition has been given to you to help you in some special needs of life.” I didn’t quite like her saying