Rosamond bade the Ripwinkleys good-night with a most sweet cordiality, and thanks for the pleasure she had had, and she told Hazel and her mother that it was “neither beginning nor end, she believed; for it seemed to her that she had only found a little new piece of her world, and that Aspen Street led right out of Westover in the invisible geography, she was sure.”
“Come!” said Miss Craydocke, standing on the doorsteps. “It is all invisible geography out here, pretty nearly; and we’ve all our different ways to go, and only these two unhappy gentlemen to insist on seeing everybody home.”
So first the whole party went round with Miss Hapsie, and then Kenneth and Dorris, who always went home with Desire, walked up Hanley Street with the Schermans and Rosamond, and so across through Dane Street to Shubarton Place.
But while they were on their way, Hazel Ripwinkley was saying to her mother, up in her room, where they made sometimes such long good-nights,—
“Mother! there were some little children taken away from you before we came, you know? And now we’ve got this great big house, and plenty of things, more than it takes for us.”
“Don’t you think it’s expected that we should do something with the corners? There’s room for some real good little times for somebody. I think we ought to begin a beehive.”
Mrs. Ripwinkley kissed Hazel very tenderly, and said, only,—
“We can wait, and see.”
Those are just the words that mothers so often put children off with! But Mrs. Ripwinkley, being one of the real folks, meant it; the very heart of it.
In that little talk, they took the consecration in; they would wait and see; when people do that, with an expectation, the beehive begins.
* * * * *
Up Hanley Street, the six fell into pairs.
Mrs. Scherman and Desire, Dorris and Mr. Scherman,
It only took from Bridgeley Street up to Dane, to tell Kenneth Kincaid so much about Westover, in answer to his questions, that he too thought he had found a new little piece of his world. What Rosamond thought, I do not know; but a girl never gives a young man so much as she gave Kenneth in that little walk without having some of the blessed consciousness that comes with giving. The sun knows it shines, I dare say; or else there is a great waste of hydrogen and other things.
There was not much left for poor little Desire after they parted from the Schermans and turned the corner of Dane Street. Only a little bit of a way, in which new talk could hardly begin, and just time for a pause that showed how the talk that had come to an end was missed or how, perhaps, it stayed in the mind, repeating itself, and keeping it full.
Nobody said anything till they had crossed B—— Street; and then Dorris said, “How beautiful,—real beautiful, Rosamond Holabird is!” And Kenneth answered, “Did you hear what she said to Mrs. Ripwinkley?”