Janet was conscious of the smile and of the paraphrasing. In reprisal—though she would not have admitted it was that—she kept her own missives from Elfrida to herself whenever it occurred to her to check the generous impulse of sharing the pleasure they gave her, which was not often, after all. It was the seldomer because she could not help feeling that her father was thoroughly aware of her action, and fancying that he speculated upon the reason of it. It was unendurable that daddy should speculate about the reason of anything she did in connection with Frida, or with any other young lady. Her conduct was perfectly simple; there was no reason whatever why it should not be perfectly simple.
When Miss Kimpsey arrived at Euston Station next day, with all her company, to take the train For Scotland; she found Elfrida waiting for her, a picturesque figure in the hurrying crowd with her hair blown about her face with the gusts of wind and rain, and her wide dark eyes looking quietly about her. She had a bunch of azaleas in her hand, and as Miss Kimpsey was saying with gratification that Elfrida’s coming down to see her off was a thing she did not expect, Miss Bell offered her these.
“They will be pleasant in the train perhaps,” said she. “And do you think you could find room for this in one of your boxes? It isn’t very bulky—a trifle I should like so much to send to my mother, Miss Kimpsey. It might go by post, I know, but the pleasure will be much greater to her if you could take it.”
In due course Mrs. Bell received the packet. It contained a delicate lace head-dress, which cost Elfrida the full pay and emoluments of a fortnight. Mrs. Bell wore it at all social gatherings of any importance in Sparta the following winter, and often reflected with considerable pleasure upon the taste and unselfishness that so obviously accompanied the gift.