A Little Miss Nobody Or, With the Girls of Pinewood Hall

Juvenile Fiction/
#Juvenile Fiction #Girls & Women
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Excerpt CHAPTER I MISS NOBODY FROM NOWHERE The girls at Higbee School that term had a craze for marking everything they owned with their monograms. Such fads run through schools like the measles. Their clothing, books, tennis rackets, school-bags—everything that was possible—blossomed with monograms, more or less ornate. Of course, some girls’ initials offered a wider scope than others’ for the expression of artistic ideas; but there wasn’t a girl in the whole school who couldn’t do something with her initials, save Nancy. “N. N.” What could one do with “N. N.”? It was simply impossible to invent an attractive-looking monogram with those letters. “N. N.—Nancy Nelson—just Nobody from Nowhere,” quoth Nancy to Miss Trigg, the teacher and school secretary who, despite her thick spectacles and angular figure, displayed more of a motherly interest in Nancy than anybody else at Higbee School. Miss Prentice, the principal, never seemed to be interested in Nancy. The latter had nobody to “write home to,” either good or bad about the school—so the principal did not have to worry about her. And it didn’t matter whether Nancy’s reports showed “improvement” or not—there was nobody to read them. Miss Trigg was also a lonely person; perhaps that was why she showed some appreciation for “Miss Nobody from Nowhere.” Sometimes in the long summer vacation she and Nancy were alone at the school. That drew the two together a little. But Miss Trigg was a spinster of very, very uncertain age—saving that she couldn’t be young!—and it was the more surprising that she seemed to understand something of what the sore-hearted young girl felt. “The really great people of this world—the worth-while people—have almost all been known by one name. There were many Cæsars, but only one Cæsar, who crossed the Rubicon, and in his ‘Commentaries’ said: ‘All Gaul is divided into three parts.’ One never hears what Cleopatra’s other name was,” pursued Miss Trigg, with her queer smile. “Whether Isabella of Spain—the Isabella that made the voyages of Columbus possible—had another name, or not, we do not inquire. How many of us stop to think that the married name of the English Victoria—that great and good queen—was ‘Victoria Wettin,’ and that for the years of her widowhood she was in fact ‘the Widow Wettin’? “The greatest king-maker the world ever saw—the man who turned all Europe topsy-turvy—was known only by one initial—and that your own, Nancy. Here! I will make you a more striking monogram than any of the other girls possess,” and quickly, with a few skilful strokes of her pencil, Miss Trigg drew a single “N” surrounded by a neat, though inverted, laurel wreath. “Now your monogram will not conflict with Napoleon’s,” she said, with one of her rare laughs; “but it is quite distinctive. It stands for ‘Nancy.’ Forget that ‘Miss Nobody from Nowhere’ chatter. You may be quite as important as any girl in the school—only you don’t know it now.” That was what really troubled Nancy Nelson....
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