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MARY COOK Mary Cook’s Memories Something was amiss at the Northcote School. First of all, Marguirite sneaked in like she had just been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. She usually made a grand entrance so that everyone could get a good look at whatever fancy outfit she had worn that day, but not only did she come in just as Miss Crosby rang the nine o’clock bell, she wore a wool toque and made no move to take it off, even though hats in school were strictly forbidden. She went right up to Miss Crosby’s desk and whispered in her ear. Miss Crosby looked at the hat, made a great sigh and nodded towards Marguirite’s desk. Every eye was on the young girl who didn’t have a friend in the entire school as she meekly took her seat. Well, if that didn’t just tie it -- she was going to be allowed to wear her hat in school. None of us would dare be so bold. Even the boys, the second they walked in the door, removed their caps and hung them on a hook at the back of the room. At recess Joyce, Velma and I got in a huddle to discuss this latest caper and none of us could imagine why Marguirite, who took such pride in her golden curls, would choose to hide them under a toque. We all knew Marguirite, who thought she was a dead ringer for Shirley Temple, got those curls from Ducharmes’ Beauty Parlour, and the golden hair right out of a bottle of dye from Ritza’s Drug Store in Renfrew.
Marguirite’s ruined hair under her toque has Northcote School students buzzing Even the boys at school noticed the toque. Cecil made some snide remarks and jabbed Emerson in the ribs, but that day that’s about all the attention they gave to Marguirite. There were more important things to do at recess, like pouring water from the pump on the small square of ice behind the schoolhouse. Miss Crosby rang the bell and recess was over. When we went inside, Marguirite’s head was still covered. Well, it was lunch time, and we all knew it wouldn’t be long before either Cecil or Emerson would get to the bottom of Marguirite’s hat. We were allowed to eat inside on winter days, but the second the last mouthful was down, we headed outside to play, either on the small patch of ice or on the excuse for a hill that the senior boys had built up by piling snow over the wood fence at the back of the yard. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Emerson and Cecil whispering and the look they both had on their faces spelled trouble. In one fell-swoop, they tore past Marguirite, with Cecil making a dive for the toque. They never stopped running until they reached the patch of ice at the back of the schoolhouse. Meanwhile, Marguirite looked like she had been shot with a gun. She stood frozen on the spot, and finally, we could all see why the toque never left her head. Right down the back, where there should have been a cascade of golden curls, was a streak of orange hair, and it was as straight as a stick. She clamped her hand over the spot and ran
into the schoolhouse like someone possessed. Before our lunch hour was over, Miss Crosby rang the big brass bell and we knew Cecil and Emerson were in for it. They had no idea where they had dropped the toque. My youngest brother Earl was sent out to look for it. The two culprits, without asking, knew what was coming. Without even being asked, they went up to Miss Crosby’s desk and held out a hand. She brought the strap down with a thunder that could be heard in Admaston. They boys never flinched. They got far worse fighting each other in the back yard. Earl got the toque, covered with snow, and handed it to Marguirite, who by this time was crying great running tears, wiping her eyes with one hand and covering the offending spot at the back of her head with the other. Marguirite always wanted everyone to believe she was born with golden hair and the curls to match. That day, everyone at school knew different, but the incident was soon forgotten and Marguirite’s mother must have made a fast trip into Renfrew, because when Marguirite walked into the classroom the next day, her head was a mass of golden curls. We had no idea how her mother got rid of the orange streak, but Joyce, Velma and I were pretty sure she had to cut it out with a pair of scissors. Joyce, the most kind hearted of the three of us thought we should all feel sorry for the girl, and maybe tell her so. But when we took a vote between the three of us, Joyce lost.
Friendship Club luncheon with election of executive is coming up Special to the News
The next Friendship Club luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 30 where there will be an election of the Club executive and the finan-
cial statement for 2012 will be presented. The menu will include Caesar salad, soup, garlic and plain bread, lasagna and dessert. If you wish to reserve a seat at this Janu-
ary luncheon, please phone Gloria at 613-8318819 or Rosemary at 613-836-6354 by this Friday, Jan. 25. Note that the Club’s January, February and
March luncheons are being held at the hall at the Johnny Leroux Stittsville Community Arena in Stittsville. Club luncheons are held on the last Wednesday of each month at 12 noon.
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36 Stittsville News EMC - Thursday, January 24, 2013