Mrs. Ledwith was thinking of her summer plans at this time, also. She remembered the large four-windowed room looking out over the meadow, that Mrs. Megilp and Glossy had at Mrs. Prendible’s, for twelve dollars a week, in And. She could do no better than that, at country boarding, anywhere; and Mr. Ledwith could sleep at the house in Shubarton Place, getting his meals down town during the week, and come up and spend his Sundays with them. A bedroom, in addition, for six dollars more, would be all they would want.
The Ripwinkleys were going up to Homesworth by and by for a little while, and would take Sulie Praile with them. Sulie was ecstatically happy. She had never been out of the city in all her life. She felt, she said, “as if she was going to heaven without dying.” Vash was to be left at Mrs. Scarup’s with her sister.
Miss Craydocke would be away at the mountains; all the little life that had gathered together in the Aspen Street neighborhood, seemed about to be broken up.
Uncle Titus Oldways never went out of town, unless on business. Rachel Froke stayed, and kept his house; she sat in the gray room, and thought over the summers she had had.
“Thee never loses anything out of thy life that has been in,” she said. “Summer times are like grains of musk; they keep their smell always, and flavor the shut-up places they are put away in.”
For you and me, reader, we are to go to Z—— again. I hope you like it.
But before that, I must tell you what Luclarion Grapp has done.
Partly from the principle of her life, and partly from the spirit of things which she would have caught at any rate, from the Ripwinkley home and the Craydocke “Beehive,”—for there is nothing truer than that the kingdom of heaven is like leaven,—I suppose she had been secretly thinking for a good while, that she was having too easy a time here, in her first floor kitchen and her garden bedroom; that this was not the life meant for her to live right on, without scruple or question; and so began in her own mind to expect some sort of “stump;” and even to look about for it.
“It isn’t as it was when Mrs. Ripwinkley was a widow, and poor,—that is, comparative; and it took all her and my contrivance to look after the place and keep things going, and paying, up in Homesworth; there was something to buckle to, then; but now, everything is eased and flatted out, as it were; it makes me res’less, like a child put to bed in the daytime.”
Luclarion went down to the North End with Miss Craydocke, on errands of mercy; she went in to the new Mission, and saw the heavenly beauty of its intent, and kindled up in her soul at it; and she came home, time after time, and had thoughts of her own about these things, and the work in the world there was to do.
She had cleaned up and set things going at Mrs. Scarup’s; she learned something in doing that, beyond what she knew when she set about it; her thoughts began to shape themselves to a theory; and the theory took to itself a text and a confirmation and a command.