From that moment the fun began for Bambi. He wrote daily about the outline, and weekly letters to the author were forwarded to her from the Frohman office. These she answered, disguised as the author, with many a chuckle of amusement. A sort of friendliness crept into these letters as they increased in number.
Christmas week arrived with no definite assurance from Jarvis as to his plans, but Bambi was confident that he would be at home for the holiday. Professor Parkhurst demanded daily bulletins of his son-in-law’s intentions, while Ardelia bemoaned and bewailed lest he fail to return.
The day before Kris Kringle was due a white snow descended like a benediction. Bambi and the Professor sat before a huge, crackling fire in the library. She was restless as a spirit. She sat at the piano and sang “O Lonely Pine Tree Standing,” until the Professor objected.
“Sing something gay, my child.”
“God rest ye,
Let nothing ye dismay,
For Jesus Christ, the Saviour,
Was born on Christmas Day,”
she sang gladly.
All at once her hands fell silent on the keys, while she stared at the doorway a full second before she rose. Jarvis stood there looking at her. He was powdered with snowflakes. He held his soft hat crushed against him, showing his hair, glistening with snow, and curled close to his head with dampness. It was his face that focussed her attention. The old proud carriage of the head was there, but an asking look had come into his eyes and mouth in place of the old arrogance. In the second she hesitated she saw all this—caught the glow and the beauty of him, as well as the appeal.
“Jarvis!” she cried, and met him halfway across the room, both hands out.
“Bambi!” he answered her huskily, and she knew that he was moved at the sight of her. He crushed her hands in his, and drank her in, from her shining eyes to her boots, oblivious to the startled Professor, who stood looking on.
“Welcome home!” said Bambi, unsteadily.
“Did you come through the roof?” inquired Professor Parkhurst.
“I had a passkey. How are you?” Jarvis laughed, mangling the Professor’s hand. The latter rescued and inspected his limp fingers.
“I am well, but I shall never use that hand again.”
“You have come home,” said Bambi, foolishly.
“I have. My, but it’s good to be here! I got Frohman’s approval on the framework of the play to-day, and ran for the first train.”
“Does the author approve, too?”
“She does. She is more or less a figurehead, but she seems reasonable.”
“Oh, Jarvis, you’re a nice Christmas present. Go put these wet things in the hall, call on Ardelia, and come back. It will take at least a week to say all the things I want to say to you.”
He smiled at her, and marched off to do her bidding.