She moved about now with somewhat of anxiety to get sundry things out of the way, which yet there seemed no other place for; a frying pan was set up in a corner; a broom took position by the fire place; a pail of water was lifted on the table; and divers knives and forks and platters hustled into a chimney cupboard. Little room enough when all was done. At last the woman caught up the sprawling baby and sat down with it opposite the broom, on the other side the fire, in one of the three chairs the place contained. Sam had another. Logan was on a box. The woman’s eyes said, “Now I am ready to see all that comes.”
It was some time first, and the rain still did not fall. It was very black, and flashes from distant lightning with mutterings of the thunder were frequent and threatening; still no rain unless a few ominous drops. At last voices and fluttering muslins came down the road; the flutter came near, and in poured a stream of gay people at the door of the poor little room. Gay as to their dress and attire, that is; for gayety was not to be found at present in their words and behaviour. The woman in the chimney corner hugged up closer her dirty baby with the delight of so unwonted a feast to her eyes.
“Is there nothing better than this to be had?” said Mrs. Fish. And her tone was indescribable.
“How long have we got to remain here, doctor?” said a more cheery voice.
“Mrs. Stanfield, until the rain has come, and gone.”
“It would be better to be out in it,” whispered Theresa to her mother.
“My love, there is no other shelter on this side the river.”
“There will not be standing room for us all presently—” said Eloise Gary.
Pretty nearly so; for when the second detachment of the party arrived, in a minute more, people looked at each other across a throng of heads. They got in; that was all. To sit down or to move much was out of the question.
“Daisy, you can’t have this big chair of yours in here,” said Ransom in an energetic whisper. “Don’t you see there is no room for it?”
Daisy saw there was very little. She got up patiently and stood, though feeling very tired; while her chair was got out of the door with a good deal of difficulty.
“Are you tired, my darling?” said her father bending down to the pale little face.
“A little, papa,” said Daisy sighing.
No more words, but Mr. Randolph lifted Daisy in his arms and gave her a resting place there. Daisy was afraid she was too heavy for him, but it was very comfortable to sit there, with her arm on his shoulder. Her face looked its content; the only face in which such an expression could be seen at present; though the gentlemen took the thing coolly, and Mr. Randolph and the two Sandfords looked as usual. But now the delayed storm drew near. The thunder notified