The most remarkable feature, however, which was observed about Ottilie was that, for the first time, she had now unpacked the box, and had selected a variety of things out of it, which she had cut up, and which were intended evidently to make one complete suit for her. The rest, with Nanny’s assistance, she had endeavored to replace again, and she had been hardly able to get it done, the space being over full, although a portion had been taken out. The covetous little Nanny could never satisfy herself with looking at all the pretty things, especially as she found provision made there for every article of dress which could be wanted, even the smallest. Numbers of shoes and stockings, garters with devices on them, gloves, and various other things were left, and she begged Ottilie just to give her one or two of them. Ottilie refused to do that, but opened a drawer in her wardrobe, and told the girl to take what she liked. The latter hastily and awkwardly dashed in her hand and seized what she could, running off at once with her booty, to show it off and display her good fortune among the rest of the servants.
At last Ottilie succeeded in packing everything carefully into its place. She then opened a secret compartment which was contrived in the lid, where she kept a number of notes and letters from Edward, many dried flowers, the mementos of their early walks together, a lock of his hair, and various other little matters. She now added one more to them, her father’s portrait, and then locked it all up, and hung the delicate key by a gold chain about her neck, against her heart.
In the meantime, her friends had now in their hearts begun to entertain the best hopes for her. Charlotte was convinced that she would one day begin to speak again. She had latterly seen signs about her which implied that she was engaged in secret about something; a look of cheerful self-satisfaction, a smile like that which hangs about the face of persons who have something pleasant and delightful which they are keeping concealed from those whom they love. No one knew that she spent many hours in extreme exhaustion, and that only at rare intervals, when she appeared in public through the power of her will, she was able to rouse herself.