Go back to page 3                           Sara part 4

The first day that Sara was at school she noticed a girl looking very sad. She looked as if she could not understand the lessons and that she was very worried about it. When Mr Dufrage asked her a question it seemed that she could never remember the answer. She had spent a long time trying to learn what was in the French book but she could never remember that "la mere" meant "the mother and "le pere" meant "the father.

 Mr Dufrage was really a very kind person but he could not seem to be able to teach Emily anything. When he asked her to give the French for the "good loaf" he wanted the answer "le bon pain" but Emily said it was "lee bong pang," and Lavinia and Jessie looked at her and began to giggle.

After one French lesson, Emily felt upset and nervous and began to bite the ribbon that she had in her hair.  Miss Minchin almost shouted at her " What do you mean by behaving like that!. Take your ribbon out of your mouth and sit up properly!" Emily nearly jumped out of her skin and Lavinia and Jessie began to giggle once more.

Emily became even more upset and tears came into her eyes 

Picture of Sara with Emily

Sara was the kind of girl who always liked to help anyone in trouble. When she saw this she felt sorry for Emily and wondered if she could say anything to comfort her. When lessons were over Sara went up to Emily and began to talk to her. "Is there anything the matter?" asked Sara.

"Well, said Emily, "I find it very difficult to learn French. I wish I were clever like you. You see, my father is very clever. He can speak good French. He speaks German, Spanish and Italian too. He cannot understand why I am so poor at French. Sometimes he will say, 'Emily! Surely you cannot be that stupid.'"

"But is your father not kind to you most of the time?" said Sara.

"Well most of the time he sits in the library and reads things. He wants me to get on well so I suppose that is being kind in a way."

Emily also told how her father had said to Miss Minchin, "That girl must be made to learn!"
"What does your mother say about this?" said Sara.
"My mother is dead," said Emily sadly.

"My mother is also dead," said Sara. I think the two of us need to be friends."

"I would be so happy if you would be my friend," said Emily. Lavinia and Jessie always seem such good friends to each other."

" Well I don't think I would like to be like either of them!" said Sara. Their chief hobby seems to be laughing at other people. I don't think they are very nice."

"What is your father like?"
"He has been very kind to me," said Sara. Sometimes I think he has given me everything that I ever want. But....." and she put her head down and looked as if she was going to cry.

"What is it?" said Emily.

"I am so sad that he has left me here and gone away. I promised I would bear it,"she said. And I will. You have to bear things. Think of what soldiers have to bear! Father is a soldier. If there was a war he would have to bear marching in the heat until he was thirsty. He might have to put up with being wounded. He would never say a word. - not one word."

As time went on Sara and Emily became better and better friends. Sometimes Emily would come up and see Sara in her room and Sara would tell her all about India. Sometimes Sara would help Emily with her French lessons and her French improved.

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