On the first day of the term Miss Parker announced who the head-girl of the form was to be. The class were all agog to hear her and sat like mice whilst she rustled her papers and looked for her pencils
“I’m sure you all want to know who has been chosen for head-girl this term,” she said. “Well, I will not keep you in suspense long. After a short discussion at the staff meeting we decided on Sally Hope!’
The girls clapped and Sally blushed red. She was very pleased indeed. Miss Parker went on glancing at her notes as she spoke.
“You may perhaps like to know what girls were in the running for the position. Darrell Rivers was, Jean McDonald was another. Winnie Toms was a third.”
Everyone expected to hear Alica’s name mentioned or Irene’s, but Miss Parker did not give any more names at all. Irene didn’t mind; she knew she was a scatter-brain and she didn’t in the least want to be head of the form.
So long as she had her music she was happy. Being head of the form might rob her of some other practice time.
But Alicia did mind. She had been top of the form last term. She had a fine brain and an excellent memory and although she never needed to work hard, still she certainly had done well last term. And yet she wasn’t even in the running for the position of head-girl. She bit her lips and wished she could stop herself going red.
“There’s too much favouritism!” she told herself, fiercely, “Just because I play the fool sometimes and upset the mistresses they won’t even consider me as head!”
But Alicia was not altogether right. It was not playing the fool that made the staff pass over her name, but something else. It was Alica’s hardness to those she didn’t like, her sneers at those less clever than herself, who needed help, not her taunts. The staff laughed privately over Alica’s ridiculous tricks and enjoyed them but nobody liked her wild and unruly tongue and the sharp things it could say.
“She’ll get a lot of admiration and envy but she won’t get much love or real friendship from others,” Miss Grayling had said at the meeting. “As for Betty, her friend, she is clever, too, but a little empty-headed compared with Alicia, who really has it in her to make good if she tried. It isn’t Alicia’s brain that is at fault, it’s her heart.