Lo, Michael (Chapter 6, page 2 of 7)

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Chapter 6

Michael had sent out three invitations to commencement, one to Mr. Endicott, one to Starr, and one addressed to Buck, with the inner envelope bearing the words "For Buck and 'the kids,'" but no response had come to any of them. He had received back the one addressed to Buck with "Not Called For" in big pink letters stamped across the corner. It had reached him that morning, just before he came on the platform. He wished it had not come till night; it gave him a lonely, almost forsaken feeling. He was "educated" now, at least enough to know what he did not know; and there was no one to care.

When Michael sat down after his oration amid a storm of hearty applause, prolonged by his comrades into something like an ovation, some one handed him a letter and a package. There had been a mistake made at the post office in sorting the mail and these had not been put into the college box. One of the professors going down later found them and brought them up.

The letter was from Mr. Endicott containing a businesslike line of congratulations, a hope that the recipient would come to New York if he still felt of that mind, and a check for a hundred dollars.

Michael looked at the check awesomely, re-read the letter carefully and put both in his pocket. The package was tiny and addressed in Starr's handwriting. Michael saved that till he should go to his room. He did not want to open it before any curious eyes.

Starr's letters had been few and far between, girlish little epistles; and the last year they had ceased altogether. Starr was busy with life; finishing-school and dancing-school and music-lessons and good times. Michael was a dim and pleasant vision to her.

The package contained a scarf-pin of exquisite workmanship. Starr had pleased herself by picking out the very prettiest thing she could find. She had her father's permission to spend as much as she liked on it. It was in the form of an orchid, with a tiny diamond like a drop of dew on one petal.

Michael looked on it with wonder, the first suggestion of personal adornment that had ever come to him. He saw the reminder of their day together in the form of the orchid; studied the beautiful name, "Starr Delevan Endicott," engraved upon the card; then put them carefully back into their box and locked it into his bureau drawer. He would wear it the first time he went to see Starr. He was very happy that day.

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