The Palace Beautiful eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about The Palace Beautiful.

CHAPTER XL.

A BITTER DISAPPOINTMENT.

There are little girls of ten years old who in the present day are possessed of a large amount of self-possession.  Some of these little maids are, in their own way, quite womanly—­they can ask their way without faltering, and they can even walk about alone in a great world like London without losing themselves.

But to this class of self-possessed little girls Daisy Mainwaring did not belong.  She had a charming, babyish little face, and was something of the baby still in the confiding and wistful way in which she leaned on others for support.  Daisy was, perhaps, in all particulars younger than her years.  When at last, after inconceivable difficulties—­after being jostled about by an indifferent crowd, and pushed rudely against by more than one stupid, blundering porter—­she did find her way to the right ticket-office, and did secure her single third to Rosebury, and then get a very small allowance of room in a crowded third-class carriage her heart was beating so loudly that she almost wondered it did not burst.  The great train, however, moved out of the terminus, and Daisy felt herself whirling away through the night, and then she became conscious of a little sensation of thankfulness.  Surely the worst of her journey was over now; surely she and the Pink would be received very kindly and very lovingly by Mrs. Ellsworthy; surely Mrs. Ellsworthy would listen with full credence to the little tale Daisy would make up about an ogre having stolen away her money, and would hasten to fill the poor empty little purse from her own abundant stores.  Daisy thought such happy and hopeful thoughts as she was commencing her weary journey, and then she clasped the basket which contained the Pink tightly in her little arms, and presently, from sheer weariness, dropped asleep.  When the little head bobbed forward two or three times a good-natured neighbor put her arm round the child, and after a little even took her into her arms, where Daisy, after many hours of deep slumber, awoke.  The night train to Rosebury went very slowly, stopping at every little wayside station, and sometimes seeming to the exasperated passengers scarcely to move at all; but all these weary hours Daisy slumbered peacefully, and when she awoke the sun was shining brightly, and a new day had begun.

“Well, my dear, you have had a hearty sleep,” said the good-natured woman; “and where are you bound, if I may make so bold as to ask, little miss?”

“I am going to Rosebury,” said Daisy.  “Oh! how kind of you to let me sleep in your arms.  I’ve had quite a nice nap, and I’m not so very tired.  Thank you very much for being so very good to me.  Are we near Rosebury now, please?”

“In half an hour you’ll get there, dear.  Now I must say good-bye, for this is my station.  Good-bye, missy, and a safe journey to you.”

“I’m so sorry you are going away,” said Daisy, and she raised her little lips to kiss her friend.

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The Palace Beautiful from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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