Billie laughed comfortably, perching himself just below her on the heavy timbers of the old sluice gate.
“Grandfather says I have a great responsibility on my shoulders, because I’m the last of the Ellis family. He says there’s always been an Ellis in the State Legislature at Hartford, ever since there was a Legislature, and just as soon as I’m old enough, he’s going to set me to reading law. Gee, I wish he wouldn’t. Think of being shut up all day long in an office.”
Far down the lane they heard the others calling them and Kit sprang up, scattering the apples as she did so.
“I’d forgotten all about the party,” she exclaimed. “Anyway, I’m glad we had a chance to talk, because I won’t see you again before I leave. If I were you, I’d just read and study everything I could lay my hands on about entymology, all the time I was in school, and then when the Judge sees that you’re in dead earnest about it, he’ll let you go on if Cousin Roxy says so. I heard Dad say that Mr. Howard knew more about insects than any man he’d ever met, and that he was considered one of the coming experts in government work. Why, Billie, it’s just like a great surgeon or doctor, who is able to discover a certain germ that can be used as a toxin, only you doctor Mother Nature.”
“I know,” Billie agreed, enthusiastically. “There was some fellow who discovered the cause of the wheat blight in the south a few years ago, and somebody else is trying to land whatever is killing our chestnuts off. Kit, you’re a bully pal. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know whether I’d ever have seen a chance to win out or not, but you do spur a fellow on.”
Kit laughed, and tagged him on the shoulder as she broke into a run.
“You’re it,” she cried. “Don’t give any one else the credit for starting you off in the way you know you ought to go. Just take a good deep breath and race for it.”
Mr. Robbins had answered the first letter from Delphi, under Kit’s careful supervision, and the acceptance was couched in language ambiguous enough to please even her.
It aroused no suspicions whatever in the minds of Dean Peabody or Miss Daphne. The only question was, who was to meet the child in Chicago. The through express would leave him there, and in order to connect with the Wisconsin trains it was necessary to make the change over to the Northwestern Depot.
Miss Daphne was far more perturbed over it than her brother. One of the latter’s favorite mottoes was inscribed in old English lettering over his desk:
“Never set in motion forces
you cannot control.”