“Oh yes,” cried Kitty, much more cheerfully, “and I hope he will get off soon, for I know he will get no rest while he is in Gorlay. I have never known father have a holiday.”
“Then let us all try to make it a really happy one now,” said Miss Pidsley, and she went away leaving Kitty much comforted.
Three days later Dr. Trenire came up to say “good-bye,” and at the end of a long, pleasant day together, happy in spite of the parting before them, Kitty bade him “good-bye” with a brave and smiling face, and sent him back to Gorlay cheered and comforted, and with at least one care less on his mind; for in his heart he had been dreading that day, because of Kitty’s grief at parting.
June had come, a brilliantly fine June, and overpoweringly hot. Wind-swept, treeless Gorlay lay shadeless and panting under the blazing sun, and the dwellers there determined that they preferred the cutting winds and driving rains to which they were better accustomed.
Dr. Trenire had gone, and Betty and Tony had been inconsolable. The “locum,” Dr. Yearsley, had come, and Jabez had long since announced that he had no great opinion of him, coming as he did from one of the northern counties.
“I don’t say but what he may be a nice enough gentleman,” he said; “but coming from so far up along it stands to reason he can’t know nothing of we or our ailments. I s’pose the master had his reasons for choosing him, but it do seem a pity.”
Aunt Pike did not approve of the newcomer, but for another reason. “He was so foolish about the children,” she complained. “It is very nice to say you are fond of them, but it is perfectly absurd to make so much of them; it only encourages them to be forward and opinionated, and puts them out of their place.” And to balance all this Aunt Pike herself became a little more strict than usual, and very cross. It may have been that she felt the heat very trying, and perhaps was not very well, but there was no doubt that she was very irritable and particular at that time—more so than she used to be—and nothing that the children did was, in her eyes, right.
Anna was irritable too, but there was much excuse for her, for having had pneumonia in the winter, and measles in the spring, her mother was determined that she should not have bronchitis, or rheumatism, or pneumonia again in the summer, and through that overpoweringly hot weather poor Anna was condemned to go about clothed in a fashion which might have been agreeable in the Highlands in January, but in Gorlay in the summer was really overwhelming, and kept poor Anna constantly in a state bordering on heat apoplexy, or exhaustion and collapse.