She had already turned to go, then suddenly faced about. “Here, Jan,” she said, holding out the things. “You may have the stick and cap, for I want them to be in good, honest hands. I daren’t take them home again lest I be forced to turn them over to Lars; so you keep them as a memento of the old master, who always thought well of you.”
Then she walked away, erect and proud, and there Jan stood holding the cap and stick. He hardly knew how it had come about. He had never expected to be so honoured. Were these heirlooms now to be his? Then in a moment, he found an explanation: Glory Goldie was back of it all. The old mistress knew that he was soon to be elevated to a station so exalted that nothing would be too good for him. Indeed, had the stick been of silver and the cap of gold they would have been even more suitable for the father of Glory Goldie.
No letter had come from Glory Goldie to either her father or mother. But it mattered very little now that Jan knew she was silent simply because she wished her parents to be all the more surprised and happy when the time came for her to proclaim the good tidings.
But, in any case, it was a good thing for him that he had peeped into her cards. Otherwise he might easily have been made a fool of by persons who thought they knew more about Glory’s doings than he did. For instance, there was Katrina’s experience at church the first Sunday in Advent. Katrina had been to service, and upon her return Jan had noticed that she was both alarmed and depressed.
She had seen a couple of youths who were just back from Stockholm standing on the church knoll talking with a group of young boys and girls. Thinking they might be able to give her some news of Glory Goldie, she had gone up to them to make inquiries.
The youths were evidently telling of some of their escapades, for all the men, at least, laughed uproariously. Katrina thought their behaviour very unseemly, considering they were on church ground. The men must have realized this themselves, for when she came up they nudged one another and hushed. She had caught only a few words, spoken by a youth whose back was turned to her, and who had not seen her.
“And to think that she was clothed in satin!” he said.
Instantly a young girl gave him a push that silenced him, then, glancing round, he saw Katrina just behind him and his face went red as blood; but immediately after he tossed his head, and said in a loud voice:
“What’s the matter with you? Why can’t I be allowed to say that the queen was arrayed in satin?”
When he said that the young people laughed louder than ever. Then Katrina went her way, unable to bring herself to question them. And when she came home she was so unhappy that Jan was almost tempted to come out with the truth about Glory Goldie; but on second thought, he asked her to tell him again what had been said about the queen.