“Not bad at all,” was Dicky’s verdict. “Indeed, some of them are distinctly good. Now I’ll tell you what I will do,” he said, turning to Miss Draper. “Until you find out what time you can give to an art school, I will give you what little help I can in your work. If you can be quiet, and I think you can, you may work in my studio at odd times, when you are not posing. What do you think of it?”
“Think of it?” Miss Draper drew a long breath. “I accept your offer gladly. When shall I begin?”
“I will drop you a postal, notifying you a day or two ahead of time,” he returned.
We went out of the house and down the path to the gate before Dicky spoke.
“That was awfully decent of you, Madge, to square things with Mrs. Gorman like that. I appreciate it, I assure you.”
“It was nothing,” I said dispiritedly. I felt suddenly tired and old. “But I wish you would do something for me, Dicky.”
“Name it, and it is yours,” Dicky spoke grandiloquently.
“Take me home. We can see the harbor another time. I really feel too tired to do any more today.”
Dicky opened his mouth, evidently to remind me that my fatigue was of sudden development, but closed it again, and turned in silence toward the railroad station.
We had a silent journey back. Neither Dicky nor I spoke, except to exchange the veriest commonplaces. We reached home about 5 o’clock to Katie’s surprise.
“I’ll hurry, get dinner,” she said, evidently much flurried.
“We’re not very hungry, Katie,” I said. “Some cold meat and bread and butter, those little potato cakes you make so nicely, some sliced bananas for Mr. Graham and some coffee—that will be sufficient.”
For my own part I felt that I never wished to see or hear of food again. The silent journey home, added to the events of the day, had brought on one of my ugly morbid moods.
“I owe you too much”
“Bad news, Dicky?”
We were seated at the breakfast table, Dicky and I, the morning after our trip to Marvin, from which I had returned weary of body and sick of mind. Tacitly we had avoided all discussion of Grace Draper, the beautiful girl Dicky had discovered there and engaged as a model for his drawings, promising to help her with her art studies. But because of my feeling toward Dicky’s plans breakfast had been a formal affair.
Then had come a special delivery letter for Dicky. He had read it twice, and was turning back for a third perusal when my query made him raise his eyes.
“In a way, yes,” he said slowly. Then after a pause. “Read it.” He held out the letter.
It was postmarked Detroit. The writing reminded me of my mother; it was the hand of a woman of the older generation.
I, too, read the letter twice before making any comment upon it. I wondered if Dicky’s second reading had been for the same purpose as mine—to gain time to think.