“We will take her too for a drive in the Park,” said Mrs. Ellsworthy. “I have heard a great deal of that Poppy of yours, and I think she is quite a splendid kind of girl.”
Thus a very delightful programme was unexpectedly realized by two little hard-working London girls, for Mrs. Ellsworthy gave herself up to be enchanting, and took Poppy away from her work of drudgery, and from the astonished ladies of the boarding-house.
Poppy, in her dazzlingly brilliant hat, and with her cheeks quite flaming with excitement, stepped into the carriage, and drove away, facing Mrs. Ellsworthy and Jasmine, to the great scandal of the footman, who was obliged, sorely against his will, to assist her to her place.
Mrs. Ellsworthy took the girls all round the Park, and then to a place of amusement, and finally she presented Poppy with a very neat brown dress and jacket, and hat to match, saying, as she did so, that really Jasmine, even though she forbade her to offer her any presents, could not lay a like embargo with regard to her friends.
“It’s of all the dazzlings, the most blindingly beautiful,” was Poppy’s oft-reiterated comment. “Oh! won’t I have something to tell them ladies about bye-and-bye! Oh, my! Miss Jasmine, what a neat hat, miss! I don’t mind denuding this one now, for I has got a ’at from a West End shop what beats anything that Miss Slowcum wears for gentility.”
Finally, Jasmine and Poppy both returned to their respective homes, tired, but wonderfully happy little girls.
Mrs. Ellsworthy also laid her head that night on her pillow with a wonderful sense of satisfaction.
“Even if they do not come to me—although they must come,” she soliloquized, “I am glad—I shall all my life be glad that I gave Jasmine a happy day.”
A morning or two after this, when Daisy had greatly advanced towards convalescence, and was sitting up in Hannah’s tiny little sitting-room to partake of a very dainty little breakfast, Primrose received a long letter from Miss Egerton. This was what it contained:—
“MY DEAR PRIMROSE,
“You of course know that that wicked man Dove has received the sentence which he so richly deserves. Alas, we cannot get back all the stolen money, but we must manage without it, dear, and you are never even to talk of repaying me for the furnishing of dear little Daisy’s Palace Beautiful. It has been a joy to me to have you, dear, and I hope you will be able to bring Daisy back with you, and to live here in peace and comfort next winter. Dear Primrose, it is more and more evident to me that young girls should not venture to come to London alone. You showed much bravery in your undertaking; but, my dear girl, the pitfalls you exposed yourselves to were awful to contemplate. I don’t want to make you unhappy, dear, after all you have suffered with regard