Then Daisy laughed quite strangely, and said, in a wistful little voice—
“Of course, Primrose, this is only fairy-talk. I always was fond of fairies, wasn’t I? Primrose, darling, I want you to do a little thing for me, will you?”
“Of course, Daisy. Why, how you are trembling, dear!”
“Hold my hand,” said Daisy, “and let me put my head on your shoulder. Now I’ll ask you about the little thing, Primrose; there’s your letter from Mr. Danesfield on the table.”
“Has it come?” said Primrose; “I am glad. I expected it yesterday morning.”
“It’s on the table,” repeated Daisy. “Will you open it, Primrose? I’d like to see what’s inside.”
“Oh, there’ll be nothing very pretty inside, darling; it is probably a postal order for our quarter’s money.”
“Yes, but let me see it, Primrose.”
Primrose moved slowly to the table, took up the letter, and opened it.
“It’s just as I said, Daisy,” she remarked, “only, no—it’s not a postal order, it’s a cheque. I must write my name on the back, and take it to the Metropolitan Bank to cash to-morrow.”
“Let me see you writing your name on the back, please, Primrose,” said Daisy, in a queer, constrained little voice.
Primrose smiled to herself at the child’s caprice but, taking up a pen, she put her signature across the back of the cheque.
“May I take it in my hand, Primrose?” said Daisy. “Oh, thank you! My hand shakes, doesn’t it? but that’s because I’m so dreadfully subject to starts. Isn’t it funny, Primrose, to think that this little paper should mean a lot of golden sovereigns? Doesn’t it make you feel rich to have it, Primrose?”
“It makes me feel that with it and the help of my weekly salary we shall be able to pay for our bread and butter, Daisy.”
Daisy turned ghastly white.
“Oh, yes,” she said, “oh, yes, dear Primrose. Will you put the cheque back into the envelope, and may I sleep with it under my pillow? I’ll stay so quiet and still, and I’ll not start at all if I have the cheque that you have signed under my pillow.”
Primrose was so anxious to soothe Daisy that she allowed her without a moment’s hesitation to have her way. The moment the child felt her hot little fingers clasping the letter with its precious enclosure she became quiet, and ceased to speak. Primrose had undressed her, and placed her in bed, and she now turned her back on her sister, and still clasping the letter tightly, closed her eyes. Primrose hoped she was asleep, and went softly out of the room to talk over matters with Jasmine and Miss Egerton. Miss Egerton could throw no light on the subject of Daisy’s queer attack, and when Primrose at last went to bed she had to own that her anxieties with regard to her little sister had returned.