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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesA Modern Tomboy: A Story For Girls - Chapter 25. Revenge
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A Modern Tomboy: A Story For Girls - Chapter 25. Revenge Post by :Greg_Aldrich Category :Long Stories Author :L. T. Meade Date :May 2012 Read :738

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A Modern Tomboy: A Story For Girls - Chapter 25. Revenge

CHAPTER XXV. REVENGE

After this incident there was peace in the school for some time; Lucy was defeated. Agnes was more Irene's chosen chum and adored little friend than ever. The child seemed to have completely lost her terrors, and she gave Miss Frost rather less than more of her society. Rosamund watched in silent trepidation. If only Lucy would not interfere! But she did not trust Lucy, nor did she trust another girl in the school, Phyllis Flower, who--small, thin, plain, but clever--had suddenly become Lucy's right-hand. At first Phyllis had rather shrunk away from Lucy, but now she was invariably with her. They talked a good deal, and in low tones, as though they had a great many secrets which they shared each with the other. On one occasion, towards mid-term, when all the girls had settled comfortably to their tasks and life seemed smooth and harmonious once more, even Irene being no longer regarded with dislike and terror by the rest of the girls, Lucy Merriman and Phyllis Flower took a walk together.

"I am very glad we have this chance of being alone," said Lucy, "for I want to speak to you."

"What do you want to say?" asked Phyllis. She was flattered by Lucy's confidence, for some of the girls admired this prim though rather handsome girl very much. Besides, was she not the daughter of their own master and mistress? Had she not a sort of position in the school which the rest of them would have envied a good deal? Lucy was beginning to exercise her power in more than one direction, and she and Rosamund between them really headed two parties in the small school. Of course, Phyllis Flower belonged altogether to Lucy's party.

"Well, what is it?" she said. "What do you want to say to me?"

"It is this," said Lucy. "I am quite determined to have my revenge on that horrid Rosamund and that odious Irene."

"I wish you wouldn't think so much about them. They are quite happy now, and don't do anybody any special harm."

"But that is just it. Rosamund ought never to have been readmitted to the school, and Irene is not the sort of girl who should have come here."

"Well, she seems a very nice sort--not that I know much about her."

"You had better not say that again in my presence, Phyllis--that is, if you wish me to remain your friend."

"Then I won't, dear," said Phyllis, "for certainly I do wish you to be my friend."

"I hate Irene," said Lucy, "and I hate Rosamund, and I hate that little sneak Agnes Frost, who tries to worm herself into everybody's good favor."

"Oh, no, she doesn't! She thinks of no one in all the world but Irene."

"I am surprised at that," said Lucy. "I imagined I had put a spoke in that wheel. I was very much amazed when I saw them thicker than ever the very next day. She is the sort of child who would tell tales out of school. I know the sort--detestable! She is a little pitcher with long ears. She is all that is vulgar and second-rate."

"Perhaps she is," said Phyllis, "although I never thought so. I thought her a pretty, sweet little creature. I think she is really fond of Irene, and Irene is sincerely devoted to her."

"Well, Phyllis, I will confide in you. A few weeks ago, when Rosamund and Irene took themselves off to The Follies to spend the afternoon, I took the opportunity of having a chat with little Miss Agnes Frost, and there and then I enlightened her with regard to certain stories which I knew for a fact to be true. I can tell you I frightened her a good bit. She is rather timid--I never knew any one more so. Her face got as white as death. Of course, I told her she was not to tell any one, but I didn't greatly care. I know for a fact she was nervous for the rest of the day, and that evening she asked poor old Frosty to let her sleep in her bed."

"But she didn't sleep with her, all the same," said Phyllis, "for I happened to see her running back to her own room quite late, after the rest of us were supposed to be in bed. And the next day she was greater friends than ever with Irene."

"What a nuisance things are!" said Lucy. "But now I am absolutely determined to punish Irene and Rosamund in the only way in which I can punish them. Rosamund is conceited enough to believe that she has made a reformation in Irene's character. I know better. I know that Irene is a perfectly horrid girl. If you could only have heard Miss Carter talk about her when she first went to the Singletons'! And we had a servant once from their house, and she told us some most ghastly tales. It is impossible to suppose for a second that Irene is a nice girl; but between Rosamund--who, I must own, is very plucky--and this mite Agnes, who is devoted to her, she is quite quiet and amenable, and she is no doubt passionately fond of that stupid, inane little Agnes. Now, I mean to get Agnes from her. You must help me, Phyllis. How are we to manage it?"

"It seems hardly worth while," said Phyllis.

"All right, Phyllis, you can please yourself. There are others who would help me--Agnes Sparkes, for instance."

"Oh! if you must have some one, I am quite as good as another," said Phyllis Flower.

"Well, you know that promise of mine that we should go to London together. My dear aunt, Mrs. Brett, is going to town, and she says that she will take me and any special friend I like as my companion, and she will show me all over the place: the Tower, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul's, and all the rest. And I mean to go to a theatre. Were you ever at a really big theatre in the whole course of your life, Phyllis?"

"Never," said Phyllis, "for you know I have lived all my life in the country."

"Well, you can't possibly imagine what it is like: the dresses and the lights, and the actors and the stage effects, as they call them, and the way the people talk--it moves you so. I went once, and I cried two handkerchiefs into wet mops, and I could have cried into a third, only I didn't happen to have it. Oh, it was lovely!"

"It seems to be rather melancholy from your description," said Phyllis.

"Oh! it is the sort of melancholy that you can enjoy," said Lucy. "At least I enjoyed it, and I am a very matter-of-fact girl. But there, we can go to a laughing theatre. Some theatres make you laugh so much that you can scarcely stop. You get almost into hysterics. Anyhow, I mean to go, because Aunt Susan has promised to take me, either to a merry or a sad play. And then you are fond of music. I dare say I could squeeze in a concert. Think of a whole week, and not a penny to come out of your pocket; for Aunt Susan has a little sum put by, and she means to give me and whichever of my school-fellows I like best a real treat. So now you understand."

"Yes, I understand," said Phyllis.

"But you must help me to effect my object. I mean to part those two girls--that ridiculous little Agnes and that hated Irene. I mean to part them thoroughly."

"But I don't see how you can do it."

"Oh, don't you? I have thought of several ways. You know what a passion Irene has for all sorts of creatures--newts and toads and frogs. Well, I can also have a similar passion for those creatures. Anyhow, I have half-a-crown in my pocket, and I mean to----But there--the others are following us. Do let us talk in whispers. We needn't do it quite yet, but we will do it in about a week's time; and then there'll be a great rumpus, and most likely Irene will be expelled. Agnes can stay or not as she likes. She is quite a timid little thing, and I only want to separate her from Irene, and I want to prove to that horrid Rosamund that she is wrong and I am right. That's all. You can help me, and we will go to London afterwards. But please yourself."

"Let me think it over," said Phyllis. "Of course, I'd just love to go to London with you. It seems too interesting for anything; but"----

"There is generally something to be put up with when great pleasure is to be obtained," said Lucy. "I never had such a chance as this before, and I can give it to any one else. There is Annie Millar, or Agnes Sparkes--either of them would jump at it; or one of the Singleton girls. As to poor Jane Denton--but she is not at the school at present; and Laura Everett has plenty of fun of her own. I offer it to you now, provided you will help me."

"I suppose I must; but will you give me a day to think over it?"

"Yes, think it over; think what it means. You will have to be my confederate in this matter. It is just a little game I mean to play, and I think I shall play it so effectually that there will be no more friendship between pretty Agnes Frost and Irene Ashleigh."

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