And then Laura gave right up, and had a good cry for five minutes. After that she felt better, and asked Mrs. Megilp how she thought a house in Spiller Street would do.
But she couldn’t rip any more of those breadths that morning.
Agatha and Florence came in from some calls at the Goldthwaites and the Haddens, and the news was told, and they had their bonnets to take off, and the dinner-bell rang, and the smell of the spicy pigeon-stew came up the stairs, all together. And they went down, talking fast; and one said “house,” and another “carpets,” and another “music and German;” and Desire, trailing a breadth of green silk in her hand that she had never let go since the letter was read, cried out, “oratorios!” And nobody quite knew what they were going down stairs for, or had presence of mind to realize the pigeons, or help each other or themselves properly, when they got there! Except Mrs. Megilp, who was polite and hospitable to them all, and picked two birds in the most composed and elegant manner.
When the dessert was put upon the table, and Christina, confusedly enlightened as to the family excitement, and excessively curious, had gone away into the kitchen, Mrs. Ledwith said to Mrs. Megilp,—
“I’m not sure I should fancy Spiller Street, after all; it’s a sort of a corner. Westmoreland Street or Helvellyn Park might be nice. I know people down that way,—Mrs. Inchdeepe.”
“Mrs. Inchdeepe isn’t exactly ‘people,’” said Mrs. Megilp, in a quiet way that implied more than grammar. “Don’t get into ‘And’ in Boston, Laura!—With such an addition to your income, and what your uncle gives you toward a house, I don’t see why you might not think of Republic Avenue.”
“We shall have plenty of thinking to do about everything,” said Laura.
“Mamma,” said Agatha, insinuatingly, “I’m thinking, already; about that rose-pink paper for my room. I’m glad now I didn’t have it here.”
Agatha had been restless for white lace, and rose-pink, and a Brussels carpet ever since her friend Zarah Thoole had come home from Europe and furnished a morning-room.
All this time Mr. Grant Ledwith, quite unconscious of the impending changes with which his family were so far advanced in imagination, was busy among bales and samples in Devonshire Street. It got to be an old story by the time the seven o’clock train was in, and he reached home. It was almost as if it had all happened a year ago, and they had been waiting for him to come home from Australia.
There was so much to explain to him that it was really hard to make him understand, and to bring him up to the point from which they could go on together.
The Ledwiths took apartments in Boston for a month. They packed away the furniture they wanted to keep for upper rooms, in the attics of their house at Z——. They had an auction of all the furniture of their drawing-room, dining-room, library, and first floor of sleeping-rooms. Then they were to let their house. Meanwhile, one was to be fixed upon and fitted up in Boston. In all this Mrs. Megilp advised, invaluably.