“Go on,” continued Jasmine, “go on talking, Primrose—we are quite with you, Daisy and I—what nonsense the people must have in their heads if they think we three are going to part!”
“But we are in a very painful and difficult position,” continued Primrose. “We have certainly got to earn our bread, and we don’t at all know how to earn it. We are not educated enough to go anywhere as governesses, although Miss Martineau did say that I might perhaps get a little place in the nursery; but in any case people would not want three governesses in one family, and, of course, Daisy is too young to earn anything for many a long day. Jasmine, I have been thinking over all this most seriously—I have been thinking over it for some hours, and it seems to me there is nothing at all for us to do but to go to London.”
“Where Poppy is going?” interrupted Jasmine; “delicious—lovely—my dream of dreams! Go on, Primrose darling; I could listen to you all night.”
“But we mustn’t go only for pleasure,” continued Primrose; “indeed, we must not go at all for pleasure. We must go to work hard, and to learn, so that bye-and-bye we may be really able to support ourselves. Now, there is only one way in which we can do that. We must take that two hundred pounds which Mr. Danesfield has in the bank, and we must live on it while we are being educated. We can go to a cheap part of London, and find poor lodgings—we won’t mind how poor they are, if only they are very clean, with white curtains, and dimity round the beds. We’ll be quite happy there, and we’ll make our two hundred pounds go very far. With great care, and with our thirty pounds a year, it might last for four or five years, and by that time Daisy will have grown big, and you, Jasmine, will have grown up, and—and—perhaps you will have found a magazine to take your poems.”
“Oh! oh! I never heard of anything so delicious!” exclaimed Jasmine. “Long before the five years are out I’ll be on the pinnacle of fame. London will inspire me; oh, it is the home of beauty and delight! Where is Mrs. Ellsworthy’s letter?—we will never finish it? I am going to burn it on the spot rather than allow any other idea to be put into your head, Primrose?”
Primrose smiled again, and before she could prevent her, her impetuous sister had torn Mrs. Ellsworthy’s letter into ribbons, and had set fire to it in the empty grate.
“We must not be too sanguine about London,” she said; “only it does seem the only independent thing to do. Then, too, there is that letter of dear mamma’s and all that sad account of the little baby brother who was lost so long ago. Hannah says that he was lost in London—he must be a man now; perhaps we shall meet him in London. It certainly does seem as if it were right for us to go.”