Janetta, the daughter of a struggling physician in an English country town, is left when quite a young girl to provide for her shiftless stepmother and a houseful of children. She is thrown in with many people who have histories and heartaches, and she always proves a true friend, with courage to speak the truth and energy to carry out her advice. The importance of keeping clear even of a shadow of suspicion in a gossiping neighborhood is a leading thought in the story.
y Caroline and asking her to remonstrate a little with you, my dear Margaret. Probably she would be better able to make you understand the impropriety of your behavior than I can do."
The tears rose to Margaret's eyes. She was not used to being rebuked in this manner.
"But--I don't know, Miss Polehampton, what you want me to do," she said, more nervously than usual. "I can't give up Janetta; I can't possibly avoid speaking to her, you know, even if I wanted to----"
"I desire nothing of the sort, Margaret. Be kind and polite to her, as usual. But let me suggest that you do not make a companion of her in the garden so constantly--that you do not try to sit beside her in class or look over the same book. I will speak to Miss Colwyn herself about it. I think I can make her understand."
"Oh, please do not speak to Janetta! I quite understand already," said Margaret, growing pale with distress. "You do not know how kind and good she has always been to me----"