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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 104 pages of information about The Happy Venture.

There was also a much blurred photograph of the fine old farm-house, from which it was difficult to deduce much except that it had a gambrel roof.

“But it does sound quite wonderful,” Felicia said to the attorney.  “We thought we wouldn’t go to see it because of its costing so much to travel there and back again.  But don’t you think it ought to be nice?  Peach and apple orchards,—­and only fifteen dollars a month!”

“I dare say it is wonderful,” said Mr. Dodge, smiling.  “At any rate, Asquam itself is a very pretty little bayside place—­I’ve been there.  Fearfully hard to get your luggage, but charming once you’re there.  Don’t forget me!  I’ll always be here.  And you’d better have a little more cash for your traveling expenses.”

“I hope it really came out of our money,” Ken said, when he saw the cash.

Nothing but a skeleton of a house, now.  No landmarks at all were left for Kirk, and he tumbled over boxes and crates, and lost himself in the bare, rugless halls.  The beds that were to be taken to Asquam were still set up,—­they would be crated next day,—­but there was really nothing else left in the rooms.  Three excited people, two of them very tired, ate supper on the corner of the kitchen table—­which was not going to the farm-house.  That house flowered hopefully in its new tenants’ minds.  Felicia saw it, tucked between its orchards, gray roof above gnarled limbs, its wide stone door-step inviting one to sit down and look at the view of the bay.  And there would be no need of spending anything there except that fifteen dollars a month—­“and something for food,” Felicia thought, “which oughtn’t to be much, there in the country with hens and things.”

It amused Kirk highly—­going to bed in an empty room.  He put his clothes on the floor, because he could find no other place for them.  Felicia remonstrated and suggested the end of the bed.

“Everything else you own is packed, you know,” said she.  “You’d better preserve those things carefully.”

“Sing to me,” he said, when he was finally tucked in.  “It’s the last night—­and—­everything’s so ugly.  I want to pretend it’s just the same.  Sing ‘Do-do, petit frere,’ Phil.”

Felicia sat on the edge of the bed and sang the little old French lullaby.  She had sung it to him often when she was quite a small girl, and he a very little boy.  She remembered just how he used to look—­a cuddly, sleepy three-year-old, with a tumble of dark hair and the same grave, unlit eyes.  He was often a little frightened, in those days, and needed to hold a warm substantial hand to link him with the mysterious world he could not see.

Do-do, p’tit frere, do-do.”

His hand groped down the blanket, now, for hers, and she took it and sang on a bit unsteadily in the echoing bareness of the dismantled room.

A long time afterward, when Kenelm was standing beside his window looking out into the starless dark, Felicia’s special knock sounded hollowly at his door.

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