Friday, May 16, 2014

JUNE'S VENTURE; January 1907; A Serial Story by "Gay," Part 1 of 4

"I hate it, I hate it!" cried June, throwing down her embroidery defiantly.

Her aunt looked over her glasses in stern disfavor. "What is this, Janet? Do you dare to say to my face you hate the work I select for you? Here I have given you a good home since you were a baby and now you rebel against a little fancy work."

"I want something different to do," burst in the girl, "housework, or something out of doors, away from this everlasting needle."

She knew this would horrify her aunt and it did. But she was not expecting what followed. Her aunt rose and looked at her haughtily.

"I did not ever suppose a niece of mine would wish to demean herself to do a servant's work," she said scornfully. "But you are different, you are not what I expected. Now for a year I forbid your entering my house, go and degrade yourself if you like by any low work you can find. In a year you may come back, if you wish, a more humble girl, I trust. Now, go, take only what is necessary, and do not show me your face for a year."

In a maze June sought her room. Every since she could remember, she had lived with her aunt Ester, now to be sent away.

"But I don't care!" she declared, "I'll go where they call me by my own name that mother gave me, and not stiff Janet, because it's more proper."

Then she quickly put what she needed in a small grip, donned a plain, serviceable dress, her tam and jacket, and going quickly down the stairs, opened the door and was gone.

Meanwhile her aunt was thinking of what she had done. "I may have been too hasty," she soliloquized, "but she will come back in a day or two and beg to be taken home, and really she has grown so boorish lately. Think of her telling Mrs. H. we were obliged to make our own beds, because the chamber maid was sick! Well, she, at least, will get a bit of experience, and she certainly needs it, and a girl of seventeen ought to be able to look out for herself." And she returned to her book.

June went to the nearest railroad station and bought a ticket to Edgewater, a place whose name she had long admired and which was well out of the city. After her ticket was paid for she found she had only fifty cents left. Her monthly allowance was nearly spent and she was too proud to ask Aunt Ester for more. She had already secured a substantial lunch, and she hoped matters would turn out all right, for she felt sure she ought to learn to take care of herself, and not depend on her aunt.