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The Understanding of Sister Sara
by [?]

June First.

I began this journal last New Year’s–wrote two entries in it and then forgot all about it. I came across it today in a rummage–Sara insists on my cleaning things out thoroughly every once in so long–and I’m going to keep it up. I feel the need of a confidant of some kind, even if it is only an inanimate journal. I have no other. And I cannot talk my thoughts over with Sara–she is so unsympathetic.

Sara is a dear good soul and I love her as much as she will let me. I am also very grateful to her. She brought me up when our mother died. No doubt she had a hard time of it, poor dear, for I never was easily brought up, perversely preferring to come up in my own way. But Sara did her duty unflinchingly and–well, it’s not for me to say that the result does her credit. But it really does, considering the material she had to work with. I’m a bundle of faults as it is, but I tremble to think what I would have been if there had been no Sara.

Yes, I love Sara, and I’m grateful to her. But she doesn’t understand me in the least. Perhaps it is because she is so much older than I am, but it doesn’t seem to me that Sara could really ever have been young. She laughs at things I consider the most sacred and calls me a romantic girl, in a tone of humorous toleration. I am chilled and thrown back on myself, and the dreams and confidences I am bubbling over with have no outlet. Sara couldn’t understand–she is so practical. When I go to her with some beautiful thought I have found in a book or poem she is quite likely to say, “Yes, yes, but I noticed this morning that the braid was loose on your skirt, Beatrice. Better go and sew it on before you forget again. ‘A stitch in time saves nine.'”

When I come home from a concert or lecture, yearning to talk over the divine music or the wonderful new ideas with her, she will say, “Yes, yes, but are you sure you didn’t get your feet damp? Better go and change your stockings, my dear. ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.'”

So I have given up trying to talk things over with Sara. This old journal will be better.

Last night Sara and I went to Mrs. Trent’s musicale. I had to sing and I had the loveliest new gown for the occasion. At first Sara thought my old blue dress would do. She said we must economize this summer and told me I was entirely too extravagant in the matter of clothes. I cried about it after I went to bed. Sara looked at me very sharply the next morning without saying anything. In the afternoon she went uptown and bought some lovely pale yellow silk organdie. She made it up herself–Sara is a genius at dressmaking–and it was the prettiest gown at the musicale. Sara wore her old grey silk made over. Sara doesn’t care anything about dress, but then she is forty.

Walter Shirley was at the Trents’. The Shirleys are a new family here; they moved to Atwater two months ago. Walter is the oldest son and has been at college in Marlboro all winter so that nobody here knew him until he came home a fortnight ago. He is very handsome and distinguished-looking and everybody says he is so clever. He plays the violin just beautifully and has such a melting, sympathetic voice and the loveliest deep, dark, inscrutable eyes. I asked Sara when we came home if she didn’t think he was splendid.

“He’d be a nice boy if he wasn’t rather conceited,” said Sara.

After that it was impossible to say anything more about Mr. Shirley.