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Chilocco School Short Stories
Chilocco's Saint


Saint was a tiny wisp of a girl with fair glowing clear skin, shining dark brown hair always immaculately coiffed whatever the hour of the day. Sometimes it appeared she must have had her hair done before getting out of bed. Saint had a little way as to prove perfect in that she never seemed to wish to become too well acquainted. As she was turning away from the conversation her head and eyes are turned toward her acquaintance and, all the while, her body is slipping slowly away. One is rather aware she was there, but in a moment, like a spirit, she would be gone. Whether it was from this, she earned her nickname or from having the word saint in part of her actual name wasn't questioned.

There were no secrets among the girls at the boarding school and for this reason everyone knew that when Mildred received a letter from her cousin there was always a five-dollar bill there. It was at this time Saint appeared before Mildred's door.

"Why Saint!" "What a surprise!" Mildred truly was surprised. The very sophisticated "older" girl of the Senior class was always friendly but did not bother associating with the Junior girls. "What brings you here?" Mildred never had any trouble getting to the reason for the girl's visit since she knew it was not to do with being social. Sure enough Saint was to the point also.

In her hands she carried the most attractive small radio Mildred had ever seen. It was a dark brown color and spoke of elegance. Saint held the radio up as if to let Mildred see what she possessed. "I would like to borrow five dollars against this little radio?" She was handing it to Mildred.

Well, if the object had of been the Hope diamond or a Faberge Egg it wouldn't have been as appealing. Now how did this little tiny girl child know to tempt Mildred with something so desirable? In other words there would have been nothing more right and more to be coveted. This was the one thing the girl so missed since she had arrived. Music was something their family always used daily for keeping their spirit well and alive. Here within the heavy stone building and the stark furnishings there was nothing to soften the heavy regimen. The promise this little box held for relief and gaiety all was directly in front of the girl.

"Sure!" Mildred was all ready mentally in possession of the radio. When Saint was gone, she took it and discovered it was a perfect size for the window ledge. With the heavy drapes hanging over it the sound was there but no evidence of its existence was present.

As the days turned into months, Saint never reappeared to claim the radio. It played almost continually during the times the girls were in the room. If Mildred was not there, then her room mate enjoyed it.

One day, maybe six months later, the little girl showed up at Mildred's door with a five-dollar bill to reclaim her property. Of course, even though there would be a gap in their world without the sound of it, it after all did belong to Saint. So, with a loving brush over the top, as if to dust the object, Mildred handed the radio back to the owner.

The two girls, Mildred and her room mate, missed the music and chatter to come from its secret place there in the corner of the window ledge, but they made no complaints because, after all they had enjoyed it for months and months. They were just girls and probably, this would be the first experience Mildred would have with someone of the Osage tribe, other than her family. She well should have known about their acumen for the financial maneuvering. It was true, Mildred was protected from having to lend the radio out. If anyone asked she simply said, "It isn't mine, go ask Saint." "Where upon Saint would say, "No, I can't." "She is holding it as collateral." "I owe her five dollars." This was just a clever way of keeping the radio from bouncing from room to room maybe to become forever lost among the many places it would go.

The day soon arrived when Mildred received another letter from her cousin with the customary five dollars tucked between the pages of his lengthy note. This time when Saint appeared before her at the door with the little radio in hand there was no exchange of conversation. Mildred simply stepped to her dresser drawer, pulled out the five dollars and handed it to Saint.

Years slipped away and it was told to Mildred that Saint worked in a bank. "Now, why does that not surprise me." The woman smiled to herself.


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