“Never mind, Mrs. Dove, my only love, even fourteen years comes to an end somehow, and when we meets again we’ll make a rule for there being no attic lodgers.”
“To the very end his was a poetic turn,” his wife afterwards remarked to her favorite cronies.
With the weight of her secret removed Daisy began slowly, very slowly, to mend. The strain she had undergone had been too great for her quickly to recover her strength; but little by little a faint color did return to her white cheeks, she slept more peacefully, and began to eat again.
“There’s nothing at all for you to do, Miss Primrose,” said Hannah, “but to give up that post of continually screaming out book and newspaper stuff to a deaf old lady.”
“She isn’t deaf, Hannah,” interrupted Primrose. “She wants me to read to her because her sight is very bad.”
“Well, well,” replied Hannah Martin, in a testy tone, “whether she’s deaf or whether she’s blind, it ain’t no way a fit post for you, Miss Primrose. You’ve got to stay here now, and take care of that precious little lamb, and you had better send for Miss Jasmine to keep you company.”
“I am certainly not going to leave Daisy at present,” replied Primrose. “I’ve got money enough to go on with, but I must go back to town as soon as possible in order to earn enough to return Mr. Noel’s money to him. As to Jasmine, do you know, Hannah, she has got quite a nice way of making a little income? You remember how cleverly she always arranged the flowers in our drawing-room at dear Rosebury, and how our mother always asked her to make bouquets for her? It now seems that Jasmine has got rather remarkable taste, and some fine ladies in London are employing her to arrange flowers on their dinner-tables. They pay her very well indeed for this, and the labor is nothing at all.”
“Hoot!” said Hannah; “I think it’s rather demeaning of herself. Well, Miss Primrose, I suppose the poor dear will want a holiday the same as the rest of you. To tell the truth, Miss Primrose, my old eyes ache to see the darling, she was always such a bonny one.”
“When the fine ladies go out of town, Hannah, we will have Jasmine down, and you shall squeeze us all into that nice, cosy little bedroom of yours. What a good thing it was, Hannah; that you did not follow us to London, but that you started this nice shop in the country, for now we three girls can have our change in the country at such small expense.”
Tears started to Hannah’s eyes.
“I’ve been always saving up for this, Miss Primrose, and if you will talk of paying me at all, I’ll never forgive you; aren’t you my nurslings, all three of you, and the only creatures I have got to live for?”
In the meantime while things were mending for Primrose and Daisy, and Daisy was beginning once more to get that soft pink in her cheeks which gave her such a curious and touching likeness to her name-flower, poor little Jasmine, left behind in her Palace Beautiful, was not having quite so good a time.