Penny nodded soberly

Penny nodded soberly. “It’ll be–funny,” he agreed. “I don’t suppose
you’ll quite understand it, Thayer, but–well, this school is more like
a real home than any other place I know. You see, my mother died a long
while ago; I was just a toddler then; and my father married again. Then,
when I was eleven, he died and now I live with my stepmother and her
brother. He’s not a bad sort of man, Uncle Steve. I just call him uncle,
of course. But my stepmother never liked me much, and then, besides,
father didn’t leave much money when he died and she sort of feels that
she can’t afford to pay my education. I’ve always had to fight to get
back here every year. Uncle Steve helped me some, but he’s kind of
scared of ma and doesn’t dare say much. That’s why school seems like
home. When I go back to Parkerstown it’s more like going on a visit than
going home. And after this year it’s going to seem funny, unless I go
to college.”