Mrs. Kurd carried the message to Mrs. Ehrenreich, who came directly, followed by Dora, who wore a thick bandage upon her arm, and looked very pale and delicate. After the first greetings, Mrs. Birkenfeld took Dora’s hand tenderly in her own, and inquired with sympathy about the wound. She then turned to Aunt Ninette and told her how deeply she regretted the accident, and inquired in a friendly way after her health and that of Mr. Ehrenreich. Aunt Ninette lost no time in giving her full particulars of her husband’s illness; how he had sadly needed fresh country air, and how she had made inquiries for a quiet secluded spot, and had at last chosen this very place; how he had to keep the windows shut tight, because he could not bear the least sound when he was writing, and therefore he never got any fresh air after all; and how anxious she was all the time, lest the vertigo instead of being cured by his being here, should come on worse than ever.
“I am very sorry indeed, that Mr. Ehrenreich should suffer from my children’s noise;” said Mrs. Birkenfeld, understanding at once the state of the case, “if Mr. Ehrenreich does not walk out at all, he certainly ought to have an unusually airy place to work in. I have an idea; quite at the farthest end of our garden, away from the house, and from the frequented part of the grounds, stands a cool summer house, with seats and a table. If Mr. Ehrenreich would use that for his study, I would direct the children to keep entirely away from that part of the garden.”
Aunt Ninette was delighted with this proposal; she said she would suggest it to her husband, and she was sure that he would accept it with many thanks.
“And you, my dear little girl, I hope your Aunt will allow you to come to see us to-day and every day. You shall get well in our garden; my children have much to make up to you for.”
“Can I really go into that beautiful garden where the children are?” asked little Dora, who could scarcely believe in her good fortune; and such a look of gladness shot from her eyes at the thought, that her aunt looked at her with surprise, for she had never seen an expression like that in them before. This beam of delight that transfigured the child’s face, spoke so directly to Mrs. Birkenfeld’s heart, that tears came to her eyes, and she loved the child from that moment. She did not know why or wherefore; yet these joyfully-beaming eyes had stirred a whole world of slumbering recollections in her heart.
It was arranged that directly after dinner Dora should go over into the garden, and stay there till late in the evening. Thereupon Mrs. Birkenfeld took her leave.