A thanksgiving barbecue.
“This doesn’t seem a bit like Thanksgiving Day, Marie,” said Joyce, plaintively, as she sat up in bed to take the early breakfast that her maid brought in,—a cup of chocolate and a roll.
“In our country the very minute you wake up you can feel that it is a holiday. Outdoors it’s nearly always cold and gray, with everything covered with snow. Inside you can smell turkey and pies and all sorts of good spicy things. Here it is so warm that the windows are open and flowers blooming in the garden, and there isn’t a thing to make it seem different from any other old day.”
Here her grumbling was interrupted by a knock at the door, and Madame Greville’s maid, Berthe, came in with a message.
“Madame and monsieur intend spending the day in Tours, and since Mademoiselle Ware has written that Mademoiselle Joyce is to have no lessons on this American holiday, they will be pleased to have her accompany them in the carriage. She can spend the morning with them there or return immediately with Gabriel.”
“Of course I want to go,” cried Joyce. “I love to drive. But I’d rather come back here to lunch and have it by myself in the garden. Berthe, ask madame if I can’t have it served in the little kiosk at the end of the arbor.”
As soon as she had received a most gracious permission, Joyce began to make a little plan. It troubled her conscience somewhat, for she felt that she ought to mention it to madame, but she was almost certain that madame would object, and she had set her heart on carrying it out.
“I won’t speak about it now,” she said to herself, “because I am not sure that I am going to do it. Mamma would think it was all right, but foreigners are so queer about some things.”
Uncertain as Joyce may have been about her future actions, as they drove towards town, no sooner had madame and monsieur stepped from the carriage, on the Rue Nationale, than she was perfectly sure.
“Stop at the baker’s, Gabriel,” she ordered as they turned homeward, then at the big grocery on the corner. “Cousin Kate told me to treat myself to something nice,” she said apologetically to her conscience, as she gave up the twenty francs to the clerk to be changed.
If Gabriel wondered what was in the little parcels which she brought back to the carriage, he made no sign. He only touched his hat respectfully, as she gave the next order: “Stop where the road turns by the cemetery, Gabriel; at the house with the steps going up to an iron-barred gate. I’ll be back in two or three minutes,” she said, when she had reached it, and climbed from the carriage.
To his surprise, instead of entering the gate, she hurried on past it, around the bend in the road. In a little while she came running back, her shoes covered with damp earth, as if she had been walking in a freshly ploughed field.