“But the Ellsworthys are in London,” he said, when he heard that Daisy had gone to them.
On hearing this news poor Jasmine burst into floods of fresh weeping.
“Oh, then she’s sure to be quite lost!” she said. “Oh, Mr. Noel, if you are in any sense a true friend, won’t you try to find her?”
“Yes, Jasmine; I will never rest until I find her. I am glad I came in to-day. I came to ask you to do something for me, but I find you want my help instead. I will come here this evening, about the time your sister is likely to be back, and I will then go and look for Daisy, in case she is not found. Don’t be frightened, Jasmine, I am quite sure we shall soon get tidings of the dear little girl.”
“And do you know,” said Jasmine, who felt a little comforted, “that we have not only lost Daisy, but all our quarter’s money. It is most mysterious. Primrose gave Daisy a check to take care of for her, and Daisy says she has gone away because the cheque is lost. We have no money now that the cheque is lost, except just what Primrose earns from Mrs. Mortlock.”
“There’s a likelihood of some more earnings presently, Miss Jasmine,” here interposed Poppy, in a cheerful voice; “there’s a likelihood of a good bit more money when this powerful and thrilling romance is published.”
“Your story, Jasmine?” said Noel, “and in type? Who did you get to publish it, my dear child? Oh, you must let me read this.”
“Another time, please, Mr. Noel. I don’t think I could quite bear it to-day,” said Jasmine.
Noel looked at her earnestly.
“I wonder, Jasmine,” he said, “even though you are in such trouble, if you would be brave enough to help me, and to earn a little money to day? I want you to do quite a simple thing, and something you will probably enjoy. I have never read any of your romances, but I have often noticed that you possess rather remarkable artistic tastes, and that you have a very correct eye for the arrangement of color. I have been struck with this even in this little room, and I happened to mention my observations one day to a lady who is a friend of mine. That lady is giving a dinner-party to-night, and she wants some one to arrange the flowers on her table in as fresh and new a style as possible. Will you come with me to her house now, and see what you can do? She will provide you with the flowers and the glasses to put them into, and you can arrange them on the table just as you like best. She will give you a guinea for the work, and I think you will find it light and pleasant.”
Jasmine’s eyes began to sparkle.
“Oh! at another time it would be delightful,” she said.
“But don’t you want a guinea very badly now? Don’t you think you had better put on your hat and come away with me, and try to earn it?”
“I will,” said Jasmine, with sudden enthusiasm. “Oh, Mr. Noel, how good you are! How I wish I had a brother, and that you were he!”