“I’ve found another for you, Aleck,” she said, that night at the hair-brushing, to her husband.
He always came to sit in her dressing-room, then; and it was at this quiet time that they gave each other, out of the day they had lived in their partly separate ways and duties, that which made it for each like a day lived twice, so that the years of their life counted up double.
“He is a young architect, who hasn’t architected much, because he doesn’t know the people who build things; and he wouldn’t be a gold broker with his uncle in New York, because he believes in doing money’s worth in the world for the world’s money. Isn’t he one?”
“Sounds like it,” said Mr. Geoffrey. “What is his name?”
“Nephew of James R. Kincaid?” said Mr. Geoffrey, with an interrogation that was also an exclamation. “And wouldn’t go in with him! Why, it was just to have picked up dollars!”
“Exactly,” replied his wife. “That was what he objected to.”
“I should like to see the fellow.”
“Don’t you remember? You have seen him! The night you went for Ada to the Aspen Street party, and got into ‘Crambo.’ He was there; and it was his sister who wanted thirteen things. I guess they do!”
“Ask them here,” said the banker.
“I mean to,” Mrs. Geoffrey answered. “That is, after I’ve seen Hapsie Craydocke. She knows everything. I’ll go there to-morrow morning.”
* * * * *
“‘Behind’ is a pretty good way to get in—to some places,” said Desire Ledwith, coming into the rose-pink room with news. “Especially an omnibus. And the Ripwinkleys, and the Kincaids, and old Miss Craydocke, and for all I know, Mrs. Scarup and Luclarion Grapp are going to Summit Street to tea to-night. Boston is topsy-turvey; Holmes was a prophet; and ’Brattle Street and Temple Place are interchanging cards!’ Mother, we ought to get intimate with the family over the grocer’s shop. Who knows what would come of it? There are fairies about in disguise, I’m sure; or else it’s the millennium. Whichever it is, it’s all right for Hazel, though; she’s ready. Don’t you feel like foolish virgins, Flo and Nag? I do.”
I am afraid it was when Desire felt a little inclination to “nag” her elder sister, that she called her by that reprehensible name. Agatha only looked lofty, and vouchsafed no reply; but Florence said,—
“There’s no need of any little triumphs or mortifications. Nobody crows, and nobody cries. I’m glad. Diana’s a dear, and Hazel’s a duck, besides being my cousins; why shouldn’t I? Only there is a large hole for the cats, and a little hole for the kittens; and I’d as lief, myself, go in with the cats.”
“The Marchbankses are staying there, and Professor Gregory. I don’t know about cats,” said Desire, demurely.
“It’s a reason-why party, for all that,” said Agatha, carelessly, recovering her good humor.