“Fiddlesticks,” she said. “No girl of Kit’s age knows what she wants two minutes of the time. She’s doing good missionary work out there, and she must not become weary in well doing or draw back her hand from the plow. You don’t need her here at all, Elizabeth. Helen’s getting plenty old enough to take hold and help.”
“Oh, but she’s so young, Roxy, to have responsibility thrust upon her.”
“Can’t have it too young,” retorted Mrs. Ellis, buoyantly. “It’s what tones up the muscles of the spirit. From what I know about Cassius Cato Peabody, I should say that what he needed most was a trumpet call from the Lord to make him take an interest in the land of the living instead of mummies and buried cities.”
So two letters went back to Kit, and in hers the Mother Bird could not resist slipping a hint that perhaps it would be a wise thing to ask the Dean about terminating her visit at Christmas time. But Jean added in hers:
“Mother’s afraid you are homesick, or that they may be tired of you by this time, but if I were in your place, Kit, I’d try to stay until June. Father thinks the Hall may be done in time for us to go into it next month, but we’ve had lots of wet weather, and Cousin Roxy says it would be horribly unhealthful to move in before the plaster has had a chance to thoroughly dry. Shad goes down every day with father, and they’ve kept the fire going in the furnace, so I suppose that will help some, but there isn’t a particle of need for your coming back, except mother’s dread that you may be homesick, and you’re getting too old to mollycoddle yourself, Kit, where there’s a big interest at stake.”
Kit read this with lowering brow.
“It’s so nice to have been born Jean, and speak on any subject as the eldest sister,” she said, scornfully. “I know perfectly well that mother needs me when she is moving back into the new house, and I never expected to stay so long when I came, anyway.”
She stopped short, meditating on just what this queer, choky feeling was that had swept over her. Helen and Jean always liked to take a new emotion and analyze it, but Kit rarely concerned herself with motives or causes. And now she only knew that she would have given up everything, future hopes of the Dean’s bestowing bequests broadcast in the robins’ nest, and all the winter’s fun at Hope College, just to be safely back home with all the dear familiar faces around her.
SHOPPING FOR SHAKESPEARE
It was Saturday morning. She had been elected a member of the Portia Club, and even now rehearsals were under way for the first performance the second week in December. There was to be one that morning at Amy’s study, the scene between Rosalind, Orlando, and Celia. Kit was Orlando on account of her height and carriage. As Amy said:
“You’ve got the air, Kit, that goes with doublet and hose and Lincoln green.”