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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Palace Beautiful: A Story For Girls - Chapter 12. They Would Not Be Parted
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The Palace Beautiful: A Story For Girls - Chapter 12. They Would Not Be Parted Post by :gananathan Category :Long Stories Author :L. T. Meade Date :May 2012 Read :2826

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The Palace Beautiful: A Story For Girls - Chapter 12. They Would Not Be Parted


Primrose walked down the street, passing by the little cottage which for so many years had been her home. Her sisters did not expect her to return to dinner, and her heart was too full to allow her to go in just then.

So they were to be parted--this was the advice of those who called themselves their friends. Primrose, Jasmine, and Daisy, her three flowers, as mother had called them, were no longer to grow sweetly in one garden together. They were to be parted--Primrose was to go one way, and the little ones another. Impulsive Jasmine would no longer cry out her griefs on Primrose's neck, or tell her joys and griefs, her hopes and aspirations, to the calm and elder sister. Daisy--their baby, as Primrose called her--might be ill or sad, or lonely, and she, Primrose, would no longer be there to comfort her.

Parted! No, they should not be parted--all their young lives they had lived together, and whether they starved, or whether they feasted, they would live together still. Thank God, no one had any real control over them--their very loneliness would now, therefore, be their safety--they might sketch out their own career, and no one could prevent them.

Primrose said to herself--

"After all, I am glad I know the very worst. People mean to be kind; but, oh! how can they understand what we three girls are to one another?"

She walked quickly in her agitation, and passing the village green, came suddenly upon Poppy Jenkins, who was hurrying home to her mother's cottage.

"Well, Miss Primrose, I'm off to-morrow," said Poppy, dropping one of her quick curtseys, and a more vivid red than usual coming into her bright cheeks.

"Yes, Poppy," answered Primrose; "I hope you will be very happy in London"--then a sudden thought occurring to her, she ran after the young girl and laid her hand on her shoulder.

"Poppy, give me your London address--I may want it."

"Oh law! Miss Primrose, do you think you'd be saving out of the thirty pounds regular income and coming up to London on a visit?"

"We may come to London, Poppy--I can't say," answered Primrose in a sad voice--"anyhow, I should like to have your address--may I have it?"

"Surely, miss--aunt lives in a part they call central--she says the rents are very high, but it's all done for the convenience of the beautiful ladies who boards with her. Aunt's address is Penelope Mansion--Wright Street, off the Edgware Road. It's a beautiful sounding address, isn't it, Miss Primrose?"

Primrose smiled again--a smile, however, which made poor little Poppy feel rather down-hearted, and then she continued her walk.

"It is very difficult to know what to do," she said to herself--"it makes one feel quite old and careworn. If only that brother who was lost long ago was now living, how nice it would be for us girls. I wonder if he is really dead--I suppose he is, or mamma would have heard something about him. Twenty years ago since it happened--longer than my whole life. Poor mother! poor, dear mother! what she must have suffered! I understand now why her pretty sweet face looked so sad, and why her hair was grey before her time. What a pity my brother has not lived--he certainly would not wish us girls to be parted."

Primrose walked on a little farther, then she retraced her steps and went home. She found Jasmine and Daisy in a state of the greatest excitement. Mrs. Ellsworthy had called, and had been nicer and sweeter and more charming than ever--she had brought Daisy a doll of the most perfect description, and had presented the flower-loving Jasmine with a great bouquet of exotics, which looked almost out of place in the humble little cottage.

"And there is a long letter for you, Primrose," continued Jasmine; "and she says she hopes you will read it very quickly, and that she may come down to-morrow morning to talk it over with you. She says there is a plan in the letter, and that it is a delightful plan--I wonder what it can be? Will you read the letter now, Primrose?--shall I break the seal and read it aloud to you?"

"No," answered Primrose, almost shortly for her--"Mrs. Ellsworthy's letter can keep," and then she slipped the thick white envelope into her pocket.

"Why sister darling, how pale you look!--are you tired?"

"A little," said Primrose--"I had no dinner--I should like a cup of tea."

Jasmine flew out of the room to get it for her, and Daisy nestled up to her elder sister's side.

"Primrose," she whispered, "Jasmine and I read that letter in the garden together. Oh! we were so surprised to know we had a little baby brother long ago. We went to Hannah and asked her about him, and Hannah cried--I never saw Hannah cry so long and so hard. She said he was the sweetest baby. Oh, how I wish we had him now!--he would be much, much nicer than my new doll."

"But if he were with us now he would be a man, Eyebright--a big, brave man, able to help us poor girls."

Daisy considered--

"I can only think of him as a baby," she said. "Hannah said he was lost in London. How I wish we could go to London and find our brother!"

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