Glory ran in the last minute to bid Aunt Hope good-by. That was the one thing that she never forgot.
“Good-by, auntie. I'm off, but I'm not happy. Happy! I'm perfectly mis-er-a-ble! If only I had passed last year! To think I've got to go back to that baby seminary, and the other girls will have entered at Glenwood! Oh, dear! I'll never be able to catch up.”
“There, dear, don't! Keep brave. Remember what a pleasant vacation we've had, and this is such a lovely day in which to begin all over. I wouldn't mind ‘beginning over’ again to-day!”
Aunt Hope was smiling up at her from the cushions of the big couch, but Glory's lips trembled as she stooped to gather the thin little figure into her strong girlish arms.
“Auntie! Auntie! If you only could!” the girl cried wistfully. “If you could only take my place! It isn't fair that we can't take turns being well and strong. But, there,” she made a wry face to hide her emotion, “who'd want to be poor me to-day and go back on that horrid train to that horrid, horrid school!”
“Glory Wetherell, I believe you're lazy!” Aunt Hope laughed. “A Wetherell lazy! There, kiss me again, Disappointment, and run away to your ‘horrid train’!”
But out on the landing Glory paused expectantly, taking a rapid mental account of stock in readiness for the coming questions. “She'll call in a minute,” the girl thought tenderly, waiting for the sweet, feeble voice. “The day auntie doesn't call me back I sha'n't be Gloria Wetherell!”
“Yes'm. Here I am. I've got my books, auntie.”
“Every single one.”
“All right, dear!” came in Aunt Hope's soft voice. And Glory went on downstairs, smiling to herself triumphantly. Such luck! When had she been able to answer like that before?
“Yes, auntie. Oh! oh! yes, I did forget my mileage book, auntie. I'll get it this minute. But, auntie,”—Glory stopped at the foot of the stairs. Her discomfited laugh floated upward to the pale little invalid—“I've felt of my head and it's on. I didn't forget that! Good-by.”
“Dear girl—my Little Disappointment!” murmured the invalid, sinking back on her pillows, with a tender sigh. “Will she ever grow heedful? When will she come to her own?”
Oddly enough, at that moment Glory was saying to herself, as she hurried down the street, “I wish she wouldn't call me her ‘Disappointment’ like that—dear auntie! There's any quantity of love in it, but I don't like the sound of it. It reminds me of the trains I've missed, and the books I've forgotten, and—oh, me!—all the lessons I haven't learned! I wish auntie didn't care so much about such things—I don't!”
It was a splendid September day. The sweet, sharp air kissed the girl's fresh cheeks into blushes and sent her feet dancing along with the very joy of locomotion. In spite of herself Glory began to be happy. And the girls were at the station to see her off—that was an unexpected compliment....