“I’m deeply grateful and appreciative of your bringing me here,” he added awkwardly.
“That was out of character, Jarvis. A month ago you would have taken it as your right.”
“I’m beginning to realize that others may have rights, that even you may have some, Miss Mite.”
“Never fear. I’ll protect mine,” she boasted.
On the morrow they turned their faces toward home and the Professor.
“It looks very out-of-the-worldly, doesn’t it?” Bambi said as they came in sight of home.
“It looks like Paradise to me,” sighed Jarvis, holding open the gate for her.
“Enter Eve, dragging the serpent,” she laughed as she passed in. “Eve never played in an arithmetical garden,” she added. “If she had, there would probably have been no immortal fall.”
“The number eights look tired,” Jarvis commented, ignoring her witticism.
She spied the Professor afar sitting at work on the piazza. She flew along the path and burst in upon him.
“Daddy!” she cried, and enveloped him. His astonishment was poignant.
“My dear,” he said, “my dear. Why, I must have forgotten that you were coming. I would have been at the station.”
“I knew you’d forget, so I didn’t bother you with it. How are you? Have you been lonesome? Did you miss us? Where’s Ardelia?” all in a breath. The Professor smiled.
“Question one, I am well. Two, I cannot say that I have been lonesome. Three, I did not miss you. Four, Ardelia is in the kitchen. How are you, Jarvis?” he added as his son-in-law appeared.
“I am well, sir. I trust you are the same.”
“Thank you. I enjoy good health.”
“Stop it! Sounds like the first aid to manners. Here’s Ardelia. Well, how do you do?”
Ardelia’s face was decorated with a most expansive grin.
“Howdy, Miss Bambi? Howdy, Massa Jarvis? I sho’r am glad to see you folks home again.” She shook hands with both of them.
“How’s everything, Ardelia?”
“All right, Miss. Eberything is all right. We got ’long fine together, the Perfessor and me. We des went about forgettin’ eberyting and habin’ a mighty comfortable time. Did you all have a good time on your honeymoon?”
“Fine,” said Bambi. “We brought you some presents, that will make your eyes ache, and, ’Delia, we’re famished.”
“Dog’s foot! Heah I stan’ a-gassin’ and a-talkin’ and you all hungry as wolfses.” She hurried off, muttering.
Jarvis and Bambi sat down.
“Isn’t there something you want to tell me? I can’t just remember what you went to New York for?”
“We went to sell my play,” Jarvis prompted.
“To be sure. It had escaped me for a moment. Were you successful?”
“We were not.”
“Oh, Jarvis, how can you say that? We don’t know yet. Belasco is considering it.”