“It is, my dear. But is this the house where George Grant lives? I see that James has stopped the horses.”
“I do not know, indeed, Grandma; he only came to school at Michaelmas, and I know but little of him; yet, as he wished so very much to see the Crystal Palace, I thought that you would take him.”
“You thought right, Frank, and James shall ask his mother’s leave, or rather, perhaps, it will seem kinder if we alight ourselves and do so.”
“Thank you, Grandma,” cried Frank, “I am sure that he will not be disappointed now, as he expected, for no one can refuse you, when you ask a favor.”
Mrs. Grey smiled at his affectionate enthusiasm, and bade him follow her.
Mrs. Grey inquired for Mrs. Grant, and learnt with sorrow that she was too unwell to be seen by any visitors; she therefore sent a kind and civil message, requesting her permission to convey her little son to see the Crystal Palace, and promising to bring him home quite safely in two hours. The servant left them in the drawing-room, which, though not shabby, looked dusty and uncomfortable, and seemed to want the care and presence of a mistress, and to prove, besides, that those who served had not the fear of God within their hearts, or they would have done their duty faithfully, and kept it in far better order, though their poor lady was laid aside by illness.
The maid returned in a few minutes, and brought the grateful thanks of Mrs. Grant, with regret that she could not come down to see her guests, and then left the room to get her little master ready.
Mrs. Grey sat waiting long and patiently, whilst Frank trotted round the room, tried every chair and sofa,—examined every ornament about it,—and placed himself at last before the window, to watch the passers-by, for his amusement, saying at the time, “It seems as if George never meant to come, Grandma.”
“I must confess that they are very long in bringing him, my dear,” said Mrs. Grey; “but sickness in a house occasions often much confusion, and therefore we must have more patience.”
“How long have we been here, Grandma?” said Frank, after a long silence, as Mrs. Grey had taken up a book, and he would not interrupt her reading: “it seems almost a day to me.”
“It is almost an hour, indeed,” replied his Grandmama, looking at her watch; “and as the horses are more restive and impatient than my little Frank, and cannot so easily be taught their duty, I will ring, and ask the reason of so much delay.”
The maid appeared all fright and bustle, and said that, from the attic to the kitchen, she had sought for Master George, in vain.
Mrs. Grey was quite concerned, and said, “She feared some dreadful mischief had befallen him, and hoped his poor mamma would not be told.”
The girl then changed her tone, and appeared more angry than alarmed, and said, “It was only one of his old tricks,” and that “she wished he might be flogged when he was found.”