I want a garden; and,—perhaps it’s funny,—
But now and then I want a little money.
I want an easy way to do my hair;
I want an extra dress or two to wear;
I want more patience; and when all is given,
I think I want to die and go to heaven!’”
“I never saw such bright people in all my life!” said Ada Geoffrey, when the outcry of applause for Dorris had subsided, and they began to rise to go. “But the worst of all is papa! I’ll never get over it of you, see if I do! Such a cheat! Why, it’s like playing dumb all your life, and then just speaking up suddenly in a quiet way, some day, as if it was nothing particular, and nobody cared!”
With Hazel’s little divining-rod, Mrs. Ripwinkley had reached out, testing the world for her, to see what some of it might be really made of. Mrs. Geoffrey, from her side, had reached out in turn, also, into this fresh and simple opportunity, to see what might be there worth while.
“How was it, Aleck?” she asked of her husband, as they sat together in her dressing-room, while she brushed out her beautiful hair.
“Brightest people I have been among for a long time—and nicest,” said the banker, concisely. “A real, fresh little home, with a mother in it. Good place for Ada to go, and good girls for her to know; like the ones I fell in love with a hundred years ago.”
“That rhymed oracle,—to say nothing of the fraction of a compliment,—ought to settle it,” said Mrs. Geoffrey, laughing.
“Rhymes have been the order of the evening. I expect to talk in verse for a week at least.”
And then he told her about the “Crambo.”
A week after, Mrs. Ledwith was astonished to find, lying on the mantel in her sister’s room, a card that had been sent up the day before,—
“MRS. ALEXANDER H. GEOFFREY.”
Hazel was asked to the Geoffreys’ to dinner.
Before this, she and Diana had both been asked to take tea, and spend an evening, but this was Hazel’s little especial “invite,” as she called it, because she and Ada were writing a dialogue together for a composition at school.
The Geoffreys dined at the good old-fashioned hour of half past two, except when they had formal dinner company; and Hazel was to come right home from school with Ada, and stay and spend the afternoon.
“What intimacy!” Florence Ledwith had exclaimed, when she heard of it.
“But it isn’t at all on the grand style side; people like the Geoffreys do such things quite apart from their regular connection; it is a sort of ‘behind the scenes;’” said Glossy Megilp, who was standing at Florence’s dressing-glass, touching up the little heap of “friz” across her forehead.
“Where’s my poker?” she asked, suddenly, breaking off from the Geoffrey subject, and rummaging in a dressing box, intent upon tutoring some little obstinate loop of hair that would be too frizzy.