Daisy pondered over the doctor’s counsel. It was friendly; but she hardly thought well advised. He did not know her father and mother so well as she did. Yet she went to find out Logan that afternoon on her return from the drive, and saw the rose-bush laid by the heels; with perhaps just a shadow of hope in her heart that her friend the doctor might mean to put in a plea for her somewhere. The hope faded when she got back to the house, and the doctor was gone, and Mrs. Randolph’s handsome face looked its usual calm impassiveness. What use to ask her such a thing as leave to go to the cripple’s cottage? No use at all, Daisy knew. The request alone would probably move displeasure. Every look at her mother’s face settled this conviction more and more deeply in Daisy’s mind; and she ended by giving up the subject. There was no hope. She could do nothing for any poor person, she was sure, under her mother’s permission, beyond carrying soup and jelly in her pony chaise and maybe going in to give it. And that was not much; and there were very few poor people around Melbourne that wanted just that sort of attention.
So Daisy gave up her scheme. Nevertheless next morning it gave her a twinge of heart to see her rose-bush laid by the heels, exactly like her hopes. Daisy stood and looked at it. The sweet half-blown rose at the top of the little tree hung ingloriously over the soil, and yet looked so lovely and smelt so sweet; and Daisy had hoped it might win poor Molly Skelton’s favour, or at least begin to open a way for it to come in due time.
“So ye didn’t get your bush planted—” said Logan coming up.
“Your hands were not strong enough to make the hole deep for it, Miss Daisy?”
“Yes, I think they could; but I met with an interruption yesterday, Logan.”
“Weel—it’ll just bide here till ye want it.”
Daisy wished it was back in its old place again; but she did not like to say so, and she went slowly back to the house. As she mounted the piazza steps she heard her father’s voice. He was there before the library windows.
“Come here, Daisy. What are you about?” he said drawing her up in his arms.
“How do you like doing nothing?”
“Papa, I think it is not at all agreeable.”
“You do! So I supposed. What were you about yesterday afternoon?”
“I went to ride with Dr. Sandford.”
“Did that occupy the whole afternoon?”
“O no, papa.”
“Were you doing nothing the rest of the time?”
“No sir, not nothing.”
“Daisy, I wish you would be a little more frank. Have you any objection to tell me what you were doing?”
“No, papa;—but I did not think it would give you any pleasure. I was only trying to do something.”
“It would give me pleasure to have you tell about it.”