“For you the hearth-fire glows.”
Would the words never stop ringing in his ears? Perhaps, after all, it would look queer to Mrs. Carey (he cared nothing for Popham or Harmon opinion) if he left the children to get home by themselves. Perhaps—
“FOR YOU THE HEARTH-FIRE GLOWS.”
Henry Lord, Ph.D., ascended the steps, and plied the knocker. Digby Popham came out of the parlor and opened the front door.
Everybody listened to see who was the late comer at the party.
“Will you kindly tell Miss Olive and Master Cyril Lord that their father has called for them?”
Mr. Lord’s cold, severe voice sounded clearly in the parlor, and every word could be distinctly heard.
Gilbert and Nancy were standing together, and Gilbert whispered instantly to his sister: “The old beast has actually called for Olive and Cyril!”
“Hush, Gilly! He must be a ‘new beast’ or he wouldn’t have come at all!” answered Nancy.
“TH’ ACTION FINE”
December, January, and February passed with a speed that had something of magic in it. The Careys had known nothing heretofore of the rigors of a State o’ Maine winter, but as yet they counted it all joy. They were young and hearty and merry, and the air seemed to give them all new energy. Kathleen’s delicate throat gave no trouble for the first time in years; Nancy’s cheeks bloomed more like roses than ever; Gilbert, growing broader shouldered and deeper chested daily, simply revelled in skating and coasting; even Julia was forced into an activity wholly alien to her nature, because it was impossible for her to keep warm unless she kept busy.
Mother Carey and Peter used to look from a bedroom window of a clear cold morning and see the gay little procession start for the academy. Over the dazzling snow crust Olive and Cyril Lord would be skimming to meet the Careys, always at the same point at the same hour. There were rough red coats and capes, red mittens, squirrel caps pulled well down over curly and smooth heads; glimpses of red woolen stockings; thick shoes with rubbers over them; great parcels of books in straps. They looked like a flock of cardinal birds, Mother Carey thought, as the upturned faces, all aglow with ruddy color, smiled their morning good-bye. Gilbert had “stoked” the great stove in the cellar full of hard wood logs before he left, and Mrs. Carey and Peter had a busy morning before them with the housework. The family had risen at seven. Julia had swept and dusted; Kathleen had opened the bedroom windows, made the washstands tidy, filled the water pitchers, and changed the towels. Gilbert had carried wood and Peter kindlings, for the fires that had to be laid on the hearths here and there. Mother had cooked the plain breakfast while Nancy put the dining room in order and set the table, and at eight o’clock, when they sat down