Finding that the child continued slightly feverish, and most unnaturally weak—finding that the dainties she prepared were only just tasted by the little sufferer—Hannah looked well into her little store of hardly-earned money, and finding that she had sufficient to pay him, called in the village doctor.
Of course, with his limited experience, this good man could little understand Daisy’s case. He ordered medicine for her, and plenty of cooling drinks, and said that he could not find anything very much the matter, only she was most unnaturally weak.
“It’s my thinking, sir,” said Hannah, “that this is the kind of weakness that ends in death. My little lady is all on the pine for something or some one, and unless she gets what she wants soon she will die.”
Hannah’s view of the case was rather puzzling to the doctor, who stared at her, and considered her from that day forward a very fanciful woman. He repeated his injunctions to give Daisy plenty of milk, and to see that she took her tonic three times a day; and then he took his leave.
When he was gone Hannah went to her next-door neighbor and asked her if she would be so very kind as to go and sit in the child’s room for a couple of hours. Then she put on her bonnet and neat black cloak, and started off on foot to Rosebury. She had made up her mind to get Mrs. Ellsworthy’s address from some one, and to write to her about Daisy. In due time she arrived at the lodge, saw the woman who kept the gates, obtained from her without much difficulty Mrs. Ellsworthy’s address, and then prepared to return home. Just as she reached the stile, however, which led into the field where she had found Daisy, a thought struck her—she had no writing-paper in the house, and what could be bought at Teckford was almost too bad to use. Hannah made up her mind to go to Rosebury, which was a much more important village than Teckford, and get a few sheets of note-paper, and an envelope or two. She walked very fast, for she did not like to leave Daisy so long by herself, and, panting and hurried, she at last arrived at the little stationer’s shop. The stationer’s wife knew Hannah, and greeted her with effusion.
“I’m truly pleased to see you, Mrs. Martin,” she said. “Why you’re quite a stranger in these parts, and I did not expect to see you round now, with one of your young ladies returned and all.”
Hannah heaved a profound sigh.
“She’s very, very ill, poor darling,” she said. “Very dangerously weak and ill; and I must trouble you to hasten with the paper, Mrs. Jones. One penn’orth of your most shining note, and two envelopes to match. Mind you, give me a paper with a good gloss on it, Mrs. Jones.”
Mrs. Jones stared at Hannah Martin; but fetching down a box of note-paper, prepared to wrap some sheets in tissue paper.
“I shouldn’t say Miss Primrose was ill,” she remarked as she did so, “though she do seem worried, dear young lady.”