“Does not all this sound admirably lucid and sensible? I want you to see that I am not losing my hold—that I have finally faced down the problem of the future. And there is one thing that has come to me out of all this, a wonderful thing; I have forgotten Fear. It seems to me that all my life I have lived in fear. Now I am not afraid....”
It was when Bubble was entering the post office for the purpose of posting this letter that he met Miss Milligan, coming out. Miss Milligan was evidently in a hurry, so great a hurry that she had not time to question Bubble upon affairs in general as was her usual custom. Instead she asked him to do something for her. It was a trifling service, only to deliver to Mrs. Coombe a small postal packet which she held in her hand.
“It will only take you a few moments, Zerubbabel,” she said. “I was going to deliver it myself but Mrs. Stanton wants a fitting right away. I ought not to have come down to the post at all. But I promised Mrs. Coombe—does Dr. Callandar permit you to run messages in your spare time?”
“Sure,” declared the youth, “only I don’t get much spare time. The doctor’s terrible busy. Since we got the phone in, it’s ringing all the time! But I guess I can slip over to Mrs. Coombe’s or if I see Jane I can give the parcel to her.”
“No!” Miss Milligan seemed struck with a sudden hesitancy. “You must not give it to Jane, you must give it to Mrs. Coombe. Dear me, I believe I had better take it myself.”
Without listening to the boy’s polite protests she hurried off again. Bubble gazed after her with relieved astonishment.
“Guess it must be something for the wedding,” declared he, sapiently.
The next day was the day of the Presbyterian Sunday school picnic. It was bound to be beautiful weather, because it always was. The Presbyterians seemed to have an understanding with Providence to that effect. But Jane, who must have been born a sceptic, was up very early just to see that there was no mistake.
There was a hint, just a hint, of autumn in the air. On the window-sill lay a golden leaf. It was the forerunner. The garden lay quiet, brooding; the rising sun shone softly through a yellow haze.
Jane shivered deliciously in her thin night gown. It was going to be a perfectly glorious, scrumptious day. She leaned farther out to make sure that the leaves of the small silver maple beneath her window were not turned wrong side up—a sure sign of rain. And as she looked, she noticed a curious thing—the side door was open.