“Oh, Buddha!” she cried softly, struggling with her mortification, “no wonder they rejected it! There’s a mistake in the very second line—a mistake in spelling!” She felt her face grow hotter as she said it, and instinctively she lowered her voice. Her vanity was pricked as with a sword; for a moment she suffered keenly. Her fabric of hope underwent a horrible collapse; the blow was at its very foundation. While the minute hand of her mother’s old-fashioned gold watch travelled to its next point, or for nearly as long as that, Elfrida was under the impression that a person who spelled “artificially” with one L could never succeed in literature. She believed she had counted the possibilities of failure. She had thought of style, she had thought of sense—she had never thought of spelling! She began with a penknife to make the word right, and almost fearfully let herself read the first few fines. “There are no more!” she said to herself, with a sigh of relief. Turning the page, she read on, and the irritation began to fade out of her face. She turned the next page and the next, and her eyes grew interested, absorbed, enthusiastic. There were some more, one or two, but she did not see them. Her house of hope built itself again. “A mere slip,” she said, reassured; and then, as her eye fell on a little fat dictionary that held down a pile of papers, “But I’ll go over them all in the morning, to make sore, with that.”
Then she turned with new pleasure to the finished work of the night, settled the sheets together, put them in an envelope, and addressed it:
6 Tibby’s Lane,
Fleet Street, E. C.