“For how long is this, Edith, and how are you going to say good-bye to me?”
She raised tired, pain-filled eyes to his.
“I don’t know for how long it is,” she said. “It seems now as if it had been a slow eternity. I wish to my soul that God would be merciful to me and make something ‘snap’ in my heart, as there did in Phil’s, that would give me rest. I don’t know for how long, but I’m perfectly shameless with you, Hart. If peace ever comes and I want you, I won’t wait for you to find it out yourself, I’ll cable, Marconigraph, anything. As for how I say good-bye; any way you please, I don’t care in the least what happens to me.”
Henderson studied her intently.
“In that case, we will shake hands,” he said. “Good-bye, Edith. Don’t forget that every hour I am thinking of you and hoping all good things will come to you soon.”
WHEREIN PHILIP FINDS ELNORA, AND EDITH CARR OFFERS A YELLOW EMPEROR
“Oh, I need my own violin,” cried Elnora. “This one may be a thousand times more expensive, and much older than mine; but it wasn’t inspired and taught to sing by a man who knew how. It doesn’t know ‘beans,’ as mother would say, about the Limberlost.”
The guests in the O’More music-room laughed appreciatively.
“Why don’t you write your mother to come for a visit and bring yours?” suggested Freckles.
“I did that three days ago,” acknowledged Elnora. “I am half expecting her on the noon boat. That is one reason why this violin grows worse every minute. There is nothing at all the matter with me.”
“Splendid!” cried the Angel. “I’ve begged and begged her to do it. I know how anxious these mothers become. When did you send? What made you? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“‘When?’ Three days ago. ‘What made me?’ You. ‘Why didn’t I tell you?’ Because I can’t be sure in the least that she will come. Mother is the most individual person. She never does what every one expects she will. She may not come, and I didn’t want you to be disappointed.”
“How did I make you?” asked the Angel.
“Loving Alice. It made me realize that if you cared for your girl like that, with Mr. O’More and three other children, possibly my mother, with no one, might like to see me. I know I want to see her, and you had told me to so often, I just sent for her. Oh, I do hope she comes! I want her to see this lovely place.”
“I have been wondering what you thought of Mackinac,” said Freckles.
“Oh, it is a perfect picture, all of it! I should like to hang it on the wall, so I could see it whenever I wanted to; but it isn’t real, of course; it’s nothing but a picture.”
“These people won’t agree with you,” smiled Freckles.