“Yes, my darling.”
“The children cannot always know what they are missing, but the old can, and my heart aches for them often—aches until it really hurts.”
“My dear girl!”
“They are so alike, Con, the babies and the very aged. They need the same things—the coddling, the play, the pretty toys to amuse them—until they fall asleep.”
“Lynda, you are all nerves and fancies. Pretty ones—but dangerous. We’ll have our tree—we’ll call it Uncle William’s. We’ll take any one—every one who is sent to us—and be grateful. And that makes me think, we must have a particularly giddy celebration up at the Sanatorium. McPherson and I were speaking of it to-day.”
“Con, I wonder how many secret interests you have of which I do not know?”
Truedale laughed, a bit embarrassed. “Well,” he said, suddenly changing the subject, “talking about nerves reminds me that when the holidays are over you and I are going away on a honeymoon. After this we are to have one a year. We’ll drop everything and indulge in the heaven-given luxury of loafing. You need it. Your eyes are too big and your face too pale. I don’t see what has ailed me not to notice before. But right after Christmas, dear, I’m going to run away with you.... What are you thinking about, Lyn?”
“Oh, only the blessedness of being taken care of! It’s strange, but I know now that all my life—before this—I was gazing at things through closed windows. Alone in my cell I looked out—sometimes through beautiful stained glass, to be sure—at trees waving and people passing. Now and then some one paused and spoke to me, but always with the barrier between. Now—I touch people—there is nothing to keep us apart. I’m just like everybody else; and your love and care, Con, have set the windows wide!”
“This will never do, Lyn. Such fancies! I may have to take you away before Christmas.” Truedale spoke lightly but his look was anxious.
“In the meantime, let us go out for a walk in the snow. There’s enough wind to make it a tussle. Come, dear!”
Two days later Lynda came down from her workshop by the back stairs, and passed through William Truedale’s bedchamber on the way to the library. It was only ten o’clock in the morning but Truedale had a habit, if he happened to be in the neighbourhood, of dropping in for a moment at this hour. If he should to-day Lynda wanted to confer with him about some details concerning the disrobing of the Saxe infants. She was particularly light hearted and merry. A telephone call from Betty had put her in the sunniest humour.
To her surprise, as she entered the library, she saw a small, most peculiar-looking woman sitting quite straight on the edge of a chair in the middle of the room.
It was a cast-iron rule that Lynda must not be disturbed at her morning work. Thomas generally disposed of visitors without mercy.