When the girls left Rosebury, Primrose made a very careful division of her mother’s possessions. To Jasmine’s share had come some really beautiful Spanish lace. Jasmine had not particularly admired it, but Primrose fancied that it would some day suit her speaking and vivacious face better than it would herself or Daisy. Jasmine had jammed the lace into a corner of her trunk, and but for the memory of dear mamma which it called up, would have made it a present to anybody. But one day it so happened that Miss Egerton caught sight of it; she exclaimed at its beauty, and said that it was really worth a considerable sum of money.
The lace consisted of a handsome shawl of black Spanish, and what was more beautiful, and also rarer, two very lovely flounces of white.
Miss Egerton was quite right when she spoke of the lace as valuable, but her ideas of value and Jasmine’s were widely different. Jasmine would have thought herself well repaid if any one had given her Poppy’s wages for the old lace; she would indeed have opened her eyes had she known at what sum Miss Egerton valued it. In addition to the lace Jasmine had a little thin gold ring which Mrs. Mainwaring had worn as a guard to her wedding-ring. Jasmine much preferred the ring to the lace, but she slipped it on her finger, intending to part with it also, if the lace did not fetch enough money. She knew that Primrose would be deeply hurt at the lace being sold, for she had over and over said that come what might, they would not part with their few little home mementoes; but Jasmine was past caring even for what Primrose said to-night. With her lace wrapped up in an untidy parcel she slipped downstairs. Bridget came into the hall to speak to her.
“Look here, missie, is it not a little late for you to be going out?”
“Oh, not at all, Biddy, dear. I am going a little way. I won’t be long.”
Then Jasmine went up to the old servant and spoke in her most coaxing and fascinating tones.
“Biddy, what did you say was the sign of a pawnshop?”
“A pawnshop, Miss Jasmine? Why, bless us and save us, miss, what have you got to say to such places?”
“Oh, nothing in particular, Bridget, only I thought I would like to know. I am always trying to get information on every kind of subject. Is the pawnshop the sign of the three balls, Biddy?”
“Yes, yes, miss—what a curious young lady! There, run out and take your walk quick, and come back as soon as possible, for though it’s close on Midsummer Day we’ll have the night on us before you return if you are not quick.”
Jasmine left the house, nodding brightly to Bridget as she did so, and the old servant returned to her interrupted work.
“She’s a bright bonnie girl,” she said to herself, “and hasn’t she got a winsome way? I hope she drank up her milk, for she is looking a bit pale, and I hope she won’t stay out late, for it may turn damp when the dew begins to fall.”