“You and the boy and my workshop are all I want in the world,” said he.
“And not Wiggleswick?”
One of his rare smiles passed across his face.
“I think Wiggleswick will be upset.”
Emmy laughed again. “What a funny household it will be—Wiggleswick and Madame Bolivard! It will be lovely!”
Septimus reflected for an anxious moment. “Do you know, dear,” he said diffidently, “I’ve dreamed of something all my life—I mean ever since I left home. It has always seemed somehow beyond my reach. I wonder whether it can come true now. So many wonderful things have happened to me that perhaps this, too—”
“What is it, dear?” she asked, very softly.
“I seem to be so marked off from other men; but I’ve dreamed all my life of having in my house a neat, proper, real parlor maid in a pretty white cap and apron. Do you think it can be managed?”
With her head on his knee she said in a queer voice:
“Yes, I think it can.”
He touched her cheek and suddenly drew his hand away.
“Why, you’re crying! What a selfish brute I am! Of course we won’t have her if she would be in your way.”
Emmy lifted her face to him.
“Oh, you dear, beautiful, silly Septimus,” she said, “don’t you understand? Isn’t it just like you? You give every one else the earth, and in return you ask for a parlor maid.”
“Well, you see,” he said in a tone of distressed apology, “she would come in so handy. I could teach her to mind the guns.”
“You dear!” cried Emmy.