“It will be a very great joy to dress you splendidly,” he said. “I would have done so always, if I had not known where the money would go; but we are going to settle all that now, and every one can be happy.”
It was not in her nature to beg and try to secure favors for her brother and Mimo without paying for them. She had agreed upon the price—herself. Now all she had to do was to obtain as much as possible for this.
“Mirko’s cough has come back again,” she said quietly. “Since I have consented I want him to be able to go into the warmth without delay. They are here in London now—he and his father—in a very poor place.”
“I have thought it all out,” Francis Markrute answered while he frowned, as he always did, at the mention of Mimo. “There is a wonderfully clever doctor at Bournemouth where the air is perfect for those delicate in the lungs. I have communicated with him; and he will take the child into his own house, where he will be beautifully cared for. There he can have a tutor, and when he is stronger he can return to Paris, or to Vienna, and have his talent for the violin cultivated. I want you to understand,” he continued, “that if you agree to my terms your brother will not be stinted in any way.”
And her thoughts said, “And Mimo?” but she felt it wiser not to ask anything about him just then. To have Mirko cared for by a really clever doctor, in good air, with some discipline as to bedtime, and not those unwholesome meals, snatched at odd hours at some restaurant, seemed a wonderfully good thing. If the little fellow would only be happy separated from his father; that was the question!
“Are there children in the house?” she asked. Mirko was peculiar, and did not like other little boys.
“The doctor has an only little girl of about your brother’s age. He is nine and a half, is it not so? And she is delicate, too, so they could play together.”
This sounded more promising.
“I would wish to go down and see the doctor first—and the home,” she said.
“You shall do so, of course, when you like. I will set aside a certain sum every year, to be invested for him, so that when he grows up he will have a competence—even a small fortune. I will have a deed drawn out for you to sign; it shall be all en regle.”
“That is well,” she said. “And now give me some money, please, that I may relieve their present necessities until my brother can go to this place. I do not consent to give myself, unless I am certain that I free those I love from anxieties. I should like, immediately, a thousand francs. Forty pounds of your money, isn’t it?”
“I will send the notes up in a few minutes,” Francis Markrute said. He was in the best of tempers to-day. “Meanwhile, that part of the arrangement being settled, I must ask you to pay some attention to the thought of seeing your fiance.”
“I do not wish to see him,” she announced.