Jean nodded at the girl in the glass.
“What you’ve got to do is to put him out of your head, and be thankful that you have lots to do, and a house to keep, and boys to make happy, and aren’t a heroine writhing about in a novel.”
But she sighed as she turned away. Doing one’s duty is a dreary business for three-and-twenty. It goes on for such a long time.
“It was told me I should
be rich by the fairies.”—A Winter’s
January is always a long, flat month: the Christmas festivities are over, the bills are waiting to be paid, the weather is very often of the dreariest, spring is yet far distant. With February, hope and the snowdrops begin to spring, but January is a month to be warstled through as best we can.
This January of which I write Jean felt to be a peculiarly long, dull month. She could not understand why, for David was at home, and she had always thought that to have the three boys with her made up the sum of her happiness. She told herself that it was Pamela she missed. It made such a difference knowing that the door would not open to admit that tall figure; the want of the embroidery frame seemed to take a brightness from the room, and the lack of that little gay laugh of Pamela’s left a dullness that the loudest voices did nothing to dispel.
Pamela wrote that the visit to Champertoun had been a signal success. The hitherto unknown cousins were delightful people, and she and her brother were prolonging their stay till the middle of January. Then, she said, she hoped to come back to Priorsford for a little, while Biddy went on to London.
How easy it all sounded, Jean thought. Historic houses full of all things lovely, leisured, delightful people, the money, and the freedom to go where one listed: no pinching, no striving, no sordid cares.