I told her that I would be very happy, and scrambled away up the path to Sammy’s house. Then I looked back, before opening the door. I saw her still walking, followed by Frenchy who bore the salmon in triumph. I could see how lithe she was and how the health and strength of out-of-doors showed in her graceful gait.
“It is not good for man to live alone,” I told myself, and after Mrs. Sammy had informed me that there were no pressing demands for my services I had lunch, after which I went to my room to write to Dora. I am doing the best I can not to bother the little girl, yet I’m afraid I always turn out something like a begging letter. But she always answers in a way that is ever so friendly and nice. In her last letter she dragged in again the fact that we were both still young, with the quite inaccurate corollary that we didn’t know our own minds yet. I told her my mind was made up more inexorably than the laws of the Medes and the Persians, that it was not going to change, and that if her own mind was as yet so immature and youthful that it was not fully grown, she ought to give me a better chance to help in its development. I suppose that in her answer she will ignore this and speak of something else. That is what always makes me so mad at Dora, bless her little heart!
From Miss Helen Jelliffe to Miss Jane Van Zandt
Dearest Aunt Jennie:
I was looking at the calendar, this morning, and thought that some one had made an extraordinary mistake, but I am now convinced that it will be four weeks to-morrow since we first arrived in Sweetapple Cove. Your accounts of delightful doings in Newport are most interesting, yet I am sure that with you the time cannot possibly fly as it does here.
At present dear old Daddy is reclining in a steamer chair on the porch of our little house, and his crutches are resting against the wall. They are wonderful things manufactured by Frenchy, whom Dr. Grant considers as an universal genius. When they were first brought to us I was inclined to whimper a little, for I had a dreadful vision of them as a permanent thing. It was a regular attack of what Daddy, in his sarcastic moments, calls silly, female fears.
“Don’t tell me he is always going to need them!” I cried to the doctor.
This man has a way of setting all doubts at rest. Just one look of his frank clear eyes does it. I really am not surprised that these people all just grovel before him.
“Not a bit,” he answered decisively. “He doesn’t really need them now, but it will be a little safer to use them for the present. In a week or so we will make a bonfire of them.”
Daddy has been sitting as judge and jury over his poor leg. Such measurings with steel tape and squintings along the edge of his shin-bone, and such chapters of queries and answers! But now he is perfectly satisfied that it is what he calls an A 1 job, and looks at his limb with the prideful interest of a man who has acquired a rare and precious work of art.