“My name is Arthur Noel.”
“Well, what a small world we live in; it was only to-day I heard talk of you. When Miss Primrose and I were down at Rosebury we came across a gentleman of the name of Danesfield, and he came straight up to Miss Primrose and said he had had a letter from you which he had not been able to answer, because he was away. He said a lot to Miss Primrose about the letter you wrote him; it seems that somebody must have stolen three five-pound notes, which Mr. Danesfield put into a closed envelope, and gave Miss Primrose for a kind of emergency fund when she left her home. The poor lassie turned as white as a sheet when he talked to her. Well, young man, you look white enough yourself at the present moment, but I’ll tell you, now, what has struck me, that whoever took the three five-pound notes helped himself or herself to that cheque of Miss Primrose’s, and that poor little Daisy knows about it.”
“I should not be the least surprised if you were right, Mrs. Dredge,” answered Noel. “Well, I must go now if I want to catch my train. Good-bye, Jasmine keep up your heart—expect good news soon, and get all the orders you can for dressing dinner-tables.”
IN THE FIELD.
Poor little Daisy, very faint and tired, and with a feeling of almost despair in her little heart, presently crept through a gap in one of the hedges, and sat down on the grass in a large field. She was so foot-sore she could not walk another step; she was also terribly weak from long fasting, and as she now had no hope at all of bringing Primrose back her money, she felt disinclined to walk another step.
“I suppose I’ll soon die,” she said to herself. “I wonder if God will take me to heaven? I know I was very selfish about the dungeon. I might have gone to the dungeon, and dear Primrose would have had her money, and she and Jasmine would not have starved; but Mr. Dove did so terrify me I really had not courage. Please, dear Jesus, I had not courage. I’m only a very weak, frightened little girl, and I gave Mr. Dove Primrose’s money, and now I can’t get it back from him, and I think my heart is broken. I know, Jesus, you are angry with me, but please don’t go on being angry; please forgive me, for I am all alone now without Primrose and Jasmine, and I think I’ll soon die, for I feel so very weak. I didn’t tell a lie, either, Jesus; I never told any one about Mr. Dove and the sticky sweetmeats—no, though I am a coward about the dungeon, I would not go so far as to break my word. I often longed to tell the Prince, for I felt he would deliver me from the ogre, but I couldn’t tell a lie even to be saved. Please, Jesus, forgive me for being such a cowardly little girl.”
By this time the drizzling mist of the early morning had passed away, the sun had come out, and the robins and thrushes in the hedge close to Daisy began to sing. They poured out full notes of thrilling sweetness and their music comforted the child, and she began to smile very faintly to herself, and to hope that as God had let the sun come out, and the birds sing, so He had forgiven her.