On descending to the kitchen she awoke Caddy from a delicious dream, in which she had been presented with the black silk that they had seen in the shop window marked eighty-seven and a half cents a yard. In the dream she had determined to make it up with tight sleeves and infant waist, that being the most approved style at that period.
“Five breadths are not enough for the skirt, and if I take six I must skimp the waist and cape,” murmured she in her sleep.
“Wake up, girl! What are you thinking about?” said her mother, giving her another shake.
“Oh!” said Caddy, with a wild and disappointed look—“I was dreaming, wasn’t I? I declare I thought I had that silk frock in the window.”
“The girls’ heads are always running on finery—wake up, and come along, I’m going home.”
Caddy followed her mother out, leaving Aunt Rachel and Tom nodding at each other as they dozed before the fire.
That night Mr. Ellis and his wife had a long conversation upon the proposal of Mrs. Thomas; and after divers objections raised by him, and set aside by her, it was decided that Charlie should be permitted to go there for the holidays at least; after which, his father resolved he should be sent to school again.
Charlie, the next morning, looked very blank on being informed of his approaching fate. Caddy undertook with great alacrity to break the dismal tidings to him, and enlarged in a glowing manner upon what times he might expect from Aunt Rachel.
“I guess she’ll keep you straight;—you’ll see sights up there! She is cross as sin—she’ll make you wipe your feet when you go in and out, if no one else can.”
“Let him alone, Caddy,” gently interposed Esther; “it is bad enough to be compelled to live in a house with that frightful old woman, without being annoyed about it beforehand. If I could help it, Charlie, you should not go.”
“I know you’d keep me home if you could—but old Cad, here, she always rejoices if anything happens to me. I’ll be hanged if I stay there,” said he. “I won’t live at service—I’d rather be a sweep, or sell apples on the dock. I’m not going to be stuck up behind their carriage, dressed up like a monkey in a tail coat—I’ll cut off my own head first.” And with this sanguinary threat he left the house, with his school-books under his arm, intending to lay the case before his friend and adviser, the redoubtable and sympathising Kinch.
Charlie started for school with a heavy heart. Had it not been for his impending doom of service in Mr. Thomas’s family, he would have been the happiest boy that ever carried a school-bag.