Jasmine’s interview with this editor caused her to come away in very high spirits, for he had not only promised most carefully to consider her poem, “The Flight of the Beautiful,” but he had also said he was wanting a serial story to run through the pages of The Joy-bell, and if hers happened to suit him he would be happy to use it. Finally, she went away, leaving both her story and her poems in his hands, and with a large parcel of Joy-bells under her arm.
“I will let you know my decision in a few days,” said the editor, with a very suave smile. “Oh, yes, as to terms, we can talk them over when I discover if your story is likely to suit me.”
Then Jasmine went away trembling with delight.
“Oh, Poppy!” she said, “how very, very happy I am.”
Mrs. Ellsworthy had by no means forgotten the girls—they had all three taken her fancy, and, as she said to her husband, she could not get them out of her head. Arthur Noel, who was a sort of adopted son of the house, often now brought her information about her favorites, but the good little lady was impatient to see the girls herself, and felt much annoyed at not being able to induce Arthur to give her their address.
“I don’t want them to succeed,” she said, talking one day to the young man. “I have plenty of money, more than I really know what to do with, and I particularly want to spend some of it on these girls. If they succeed in what they are about they won’t want my money, and of course that is the last thing I wish. If I cannot adopt all three, why at least can I not have Jasmine?—Jasmine is my favorite, although I love that little pet Daisy too. Arthur, you may talk to me from morning to night, but you will never persuade me but that Jasmine is the sort of girl who would shine better in prosperity than in adversity.”
“You cannot take her from her sisters,” said Noel; “I do not believe you would get her to leave them—but if you were to try and were to succeed, you would certainly lower her character, and having done this, you could not say she would be a better girl in prosperity than in adversity.”
“You are so particular, Arthur,” half grumbled Mrs. Ellsworthy; “you must have forgotten your own very poor days, or you would not speak so warmly for adversity.”
“I don’t quite forget them,” said Arthur, a cloud coming over his face, which was a particularly bright one. “I have a dim memory about them, and a very, very dim memory about a mother and an old nurse, who loved me very much. I can just recall crying night after night for my mother, and being beaten, and silenced, and half starved. Then I suppose I was ill, for I know there is a blank which I never can fill up; but I shall always remember that day when I stood in the snowy street, and cried so bitterly, and tried to ask for pennies, and how my hat blew off, and I ran to catch it, and then—”