Sara  Chapter 14 The Box

The next morning a box arrived at the school. It was Sara's job to take in the letters and parcels and she found that this one was labelled,"To Sara, the girl with the black, shabby dress." She took the box up to the attic and opened it. She was delighted because, the cook had been very nasty in the last few days and had given her very little to eat.

  Sara decided to invite her friends to a party in the attic that night. They had just taken their pieces of cake into their hands when they heard someone coming up the stairs

"It's Miss Minchin!" said Becky, and dropped her piece of cake upon the floor.

"Yes," said Sara, "Miss Minchin has found us out."

Miss Minchin struck the door open with a blow of her hand. She was pale with rage. She looked at the frightened faces of the three girls.
"I have been suspecting something of this sort," she exclaimed; "But I did not think that you would dare do anything like this. Lavinia was telling the truth."

So they knew that it was Lavinia who had somehow guessed their secret and had betrayed them. Miss Minchin strode over to Becky and boxed her ears for a second time.

"You impudent creature!" she said. "You leave the house in the morning!" Sara stood quite still, her eyes growing larger, her face paler. Emily burst into tears.

"Please do not send her away," said Sara. Someone sent me a parcel and we were just having a party."
"So I see," said Miss Minchin, " You planned this Sara. Emily would never have thought of doing anything like this."

She stamped her foot at Becky. "Go to your attic!" she commanded, and Becky stole away, her face hidden in her apron, her shoulders shaking.

Miss Minchin looked at the hamper, "How dare you take this! She said. "Do you not realise that this is stealing?"

"But it was addressed to me. "said Sara.

"I see it has been sent from the man next door. I do not allow my girls to accept presents from strangers," said Miss Minchin. "There seems to be something else here. It is a scarf. Well, in the morning, you can come with me next door and take it back." She went out of the room and slammed the door.

The next morning Miss Minchin told Sara she would not be given any breakfast or dinner. They put all the things in a box and went to knock on the door of their neighbour.  Mr Carrisford came to the door and asked them to come in. They went into the room and found that Mr Carrisford's wife was there as well as his brother Bill.

"Miss Crewe has something to say." said Miss Minchin.

"Did you say,"Miss Crewe!" said Mr Carrisford, "I think you might be the the girl I have been looking for."

Miss Minchin was so surprised that she could not think of anything to say.

"Now tell me," said Mr Carrisford. Are you a pupil at Miss Minchin's school?"
"I was at first." said Sara.
"What do you mean by 'At first,' my child?" he inquired.

"When I was first taken there by my father."

"Where is your father?"

"He died," said Sara, very quietly. "He lost all his money and there was none left for me. There was no one to take care of me or to pay Miss Minchin."

"But you are not still one of her pupils.?"

"I don't think I know exactly WHAT I am," she replied.

"Why not?"

"At first I was a pupil, and a parlour boarder; but now I sleep in the attic, next to the scullery maid," she said. "I run errands for the cook. I do anything she tells me; and I teach the little ones their lessons."

"How did your father lose his money?" asked Mr Carrisford.

"He did not lose it himself," Sara answered.  "He had a friend he was very fond of. It was his friend who took his money. He trusted his friend too much."

"The friend might have MEANT to do no harm," said Mr Carrisford. "It might have happened through a mistake. What was your father's name?"

"His name was Ralph Crewe," Sara answered, feeling startled. "Captain Crewe. He died in India."

"It is the child!" said Mr Carrisford.


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