“I think I wouldn’t, darling,” she said. “Poppy could not really help you about publishers. Look here, Jasmine and Daisy; here is a letter I found in mamma’s cabinet yesterday—it is directed to me, but the news it contains is for us all; will you and Daisy go out into the garden and read it together. You will be very much astonished when you read the letter—poor mamma, what she must have suffered! While you are reading I will go out. Mr. Danesfield says I may consult him, and as I know he is a wise man, I will do so.”
“Would you like to take my ode with you?” inquired Jasmine.
“No, not to-day, dear—if I am not in to dinner, don’t wait for me.”
“I know one thing; we’ll be very saving about that dinner,” remarked Jasmine, shaking back her curly locks. “If you are not in, Primrose, Daisy and I will divide an egg between us—I read somewhere that eggs were very nourishing, and half a one each will do fine. Come into the garden now, Eyebright. Oh, Primrose! I don’t feel a bit low about adding to our income. If we choose we can eat so very little, and then if the —— Review likes my poetry, I can spin it off by the yard.”
BREAD AND BUTTER.
Primrose, her head a little more erect than usual, her step firm, and a proud bright light in her eyes, went quickly down the little rambling village street. The plain black dress she wore set off her yellow hair and extremely fair complexion to the best advantage. She had never looked sweeter or more independent than at this moment, when, for the first time in her young life, she was about to ask for help.
Mr. Danesfield was not so busy this morning, and he saw his young visitor without delay.
“Sit down, my dear,” he said; “I am very pleased to see you. You want to ask for my advice? I will give it with the greatest pleasure.”
Primrose raised her head slowly. “I have been thinking over what you said yesterday,” she began. “As it is quite impossible for my sisters and me to live on our little income, even with the help of what you have in the bank, we must try to help ourselves, must we not?”
“This is a brave thought, my dear—of course you must help yourselves, and you will be none the worse for doing so.”
“We must earn money,” continued Primrose. “How can girls like us, who are not educated—for I know we are not really educated—add to our incomes?”
Mr. Danesfield knit his brows. “Child,” he said, “you ask me a puzzler. I have no children of my own, and I know very little about young folk. Of one thing, however, I am quite certain; Daisy can earn no money, nor can Jasmine. You, Primrose, might with some difficulty get a little place as a nursery governess; you are a nice, presentable-looking girl, my dear.”
Primrose flushed, and the tears, wrung from great pain, came into her eyes.