“A little,” answered Jasmine. “I mean,” she added, “that I never again will offer my stories to papers recommended by people like Mr. and Mrs. Dove.”
A DAZZLING DAY.
Mrs. Ellsworthy felt very much excited when Miss Egerton left her. She paced up and down her pretty boudoir, her cheeks were flushed and her pretty eyes bore traces of tears. Miss Egerton had told the good little lady for the first time the sad story of Daisy’s terrible adventure with Mr. Dove. All the poor little child’s terror, and her final flight into the country, were graphically described by the good woman.
“She went to find me, little darling, little darling,” repeated Mrs. Ellsworthy, tears running down her cheeks. “Oh, my dear little girl! to think of her being turned away from my very gates.”
When Miss Egerton at last took her leave Mrs. Ellsworthy felt too much excited to stay quiet; and when her husband came into the room he found her much perturbed.
“Joseph,” she said, running up to him, “I have such a story for you,” and then she once again repeated little Daisy’s adventure.
“And Joseph,” she added, “Miss Egerton and I have quite agreed that you and I are to educate the girls; and, Joseph, the dear good creature is resolved that they shall stay with her in town, and that you and I are only to have the pleasure of spending any amount of money on them; but I will not have it. Joseph, I am resolved that they shall come to us at Shortlands, and have the instructions of the very best governess I can procure for them, and then in the spring the darlings shall come up to town, and have masters for every conceivable sort of accomplishment. Oh, Joseph, we shall have our Jasmine yet, as our very own.”
Mr. Ellsworthy smiled, kissed his wife, patted her on the cheek, told her to do just what she liked, and went downstairs to his beloved books. But Mrs. Ellsworthy’s excitement kept her on thorns for the greater part of the evening.
That night she dreamt of the Mainwarings; dreamt that she saw Daisy’s piteous little face when she was turned away from her gates; dreamt again a brighter dream, that Jasmine had her arms round her neck, and was calling her mother; that Primrose, with none of her sweet dignity abated, was smiling at her, and saying gratefully, “I accept your kindness; I will gladly take your money; I will come and live with you at Shortlands, and be to you as a daughter.” And Daisy was saying, in that funny little sententious voice of hers which she sometimes used, “Weren’t we all naughty, and aren’t we good now, and is it not a good thing that our pride should have a fall?”
Mrs. Ellsworthy sighed deeply when she awoke from this beautiful dream.
“It was but a dream,” she said to herself, and she went downstairs sadly and soberly to her breakfast.
Mr. Ellsworthy had breakfasted at a much earlier hour, and the little lady had her beautifully-appointed table to herself.