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Millicent’s Double
by [?]

When Millicent Moore and Worth Gordon met each other on the first day of the term in the entrance hall of the Kinglake High School, both girls stopped short, startled. Millicent Moore had never seen Worth Gordon before, but Worth Gordon’s face she had seen every day of her life, looking at her out of her own mirror!

They were total strangers, but when two girls look enough alike to be twins, it is not necessary to stand on ceremony. After the first blank stare of amazement, both laughed outright. Millicent held out her hand.

“We ought to know each other right away,” she said frankly. “My name is Millicent Moore, and yours is–?”

“Worth Gordon,” responded Worth, taking the proffered hand with dancing eyes. “You actually frightened me when you came around that corner. For a moment I had an uncanny feeling that I was a disembodied spirit looking at my own outward shape. I know now what it feels like to have a twin.”

“Isn’t it odd that we should look so much alike?” said Millicent. “Do you suppose we can be any relation? I never heard of any relations named Gordon.”

Worth shook her head. “I’m quite sure we’re not,” she said. “I haven’t any relatives except my father’s stepsister with whom I’ve lived ever since the death of my parents when I was a baby.”

“Well, you’ll really have to count me as a relative after this,” laughed Millicent. “I’m sure a girl who looks as much like you as I do must be at least as much relation as a stepaunt.”

From that moment they were firm friends, and their friendship was still further cemented by the fact that Worth found it necessary to change her boarding-house and became Millicent’s roommate. Their odd likeness was the wonder of the school and occasioned no end of amusing mistakes, for all the students found it hard to distinguish between them. Seen apart it was impossible to tell which was which except by their clothes and style of hairdressing. Seen together there were, of course, many minor differences which served to distinguish them. Both girls were slight, with dark-brown hair, blue eyes and fair complexions. But Millicent had more colour than Worth. Even in repose, Millicent’s face expressed mirth and fun; when Worth was not laughing or talking, her face was rather serious. Worth’s eyes were darker, and her nose in profile slightly more aquiline. But still, the resemblance between them was very striking. In disposition they were also very similar. Both were merry, fun-loving girls, fond of larks and jokes. Millicent was the more heedless, but both were impulsive and too apt to do or say anything that came into their heads without counting the cost. One late October evening Millicent came in, her cheeks crimson after her walk in the keen autumn air, and tossed two letters on the study table. “It’s a perfect evening, Worth. We had the jolliest tramp. You should have come with us instead of staying in moping over your books.”

Worth smiled ruefully. “I simply had to prepare those problems for tomorrow,” she said. “You see, Millie dear, there is a big difference between us in some things at least. I’m poor. I simply have to pass my exams and get a teacher’s licence. So I can’t afford to take any chances. You’re just attending high school for the sake of education alone, so you don’t really have to grind as I do.”

“I’d like to do pretty well in the exams, though, for Dad’s sake,” answered Millicent, throwing aside her wraps. “But I don’t mean to kill myself studying, just the same. Time enough for that when exams draw nigh. They’re comfortably far off yet. But I’m in a bit of a predicament, Worth, and I don’t know what to do. Here are two invitations for Saturday afternoon and I simply must accept them both. Now, how can I do it? You’re a marvel at mathematics–so work out that problem for me.