“If he wants her, he must mean something by her. He is an old man; he might not live to give her back into her mother’s keeping; what would she do there, in that old house of his, if he should die, unless—he does mean something? He has taken a fancy to her; she is odd, as he is; and he isn’t so queer after all, but that his crotchets have a good, straightforward sense of justice in them. Uncle Titus knows what he is about; and what’s more, just what he ought to be about. It is a good thing to have Desire provided for; she is uncomfortable and full of notions, and she isn’t likely ever to be married.”
So Desire was given up, easily, she could not help feeling; but she knew she had been a puzzle and a vexation to her mother, and that Mrs. Ledwith had never had the least idea what to do with her; least of all had she now, what she should do with her abroad.
“It was so much better for her that Uncle Titus had taken her home.” With these last words Mrs. Ledwith reassured herself and cheered her child.
Perhaps it would have been the same—it came into Desire’s head, that would conceive strange things—if the angels had taken her.
Mrs. Ledwith went to New York; she stayed a few days with Mrs. Macmichael, who wanted her to buy lace for her in Brussels and Bohemian glass in Prague; then a few days more with her cousin, Geraldine Raxley; and then the City of Antwerp sailed.
NEIGHBORS AND NEXT OF KIN.
“I’ll tell you what to do with them, Luclarion,” said Hazel briskly. “Teach them to play.”
“Music! Pianners!” exclaimed Luclarion, dismayed.
“No. Games. Teach them to have good times. That was the first thing ever we learnt, wasn’t it, Dine? And we never could have got along without it.”
“It takes you!” said Luclarion, looking at Hazel with delighted admiration.
“Does it? Well I don’t know but it does. May I go, mother? Luclarion, haven’t you got a great big empty room up at the top of the house?”
“That’s just what it’s for, then. Couldn’t Mr. Gallilee put up a swing? And a ‘flying circle’ in the middle? You see they can’t go out on the roofs; so they must have something else that will seem kind of flighty. And I’ll tell you how they’ll learn their letters. Sulie and I will paint ’em; great big ones, all colors; and hang ’em up with ribbons, and every child that learns one, so as to know it everywhere, shall take it down and carry it home. Then we will have marbles for numbers; and they shall play addition games, and multiplication games, and get the sums for prizes; the ones that get to the head, you know. Why, you don’t understand objects, Luclarion!”