“Our plan is this,” said Primrose, “I have asked Mr. Danesfield to give us what money he has of ours, and then we three are going to sell our furniture here, and to give up the cottage, and say good-bye to dear Hannah, and we are going to London. In London we shall learn. I am going to have lessons in painting, and Jasmine shall study English composition, and she shall be taught how to write properly; and Daisy, too, must be taught, and we will do that with our money which is now in the bank, and when it is spent we shall be able to support ourselves. After all, it is a very simple plan, and the best thing about it is that it will keep us together.”
When Primrose began to talk Mrs. Ellsworthy threw down her hands in her lap with a gesture of great impatience. Now she asked in a short dry voice, “May I ask what money you have in the bank?”
“Yes, certainly—we have two hundred pounds—a little of that must be spent in paying one or two small accounts, but then we shall have the money as well from the sale of our furniture. Yes, I think we shall have quite two hundred pounds to take to London.”
“And we are going to be very economical,” interposed Jasmine. “We are going at first for a couple of nights to a boarding-house for ladies only. It is called Penelope Mansion, and is in a street off the Edgware Road—we have a friend, she is only a village girl, but we call her our friend—her name is Poppy Jenkins, who has just gone to Penelope Mansion to help her aunt, who is the owner of the boarding-house. While we are there we will see the sights, for of course that must be part of our education. We will go to Westminster Abbey to be solemnized, and we will go to the Tower to perfect our knowledge of the tragical part of English history, and we must take Daisy to the Zoo, for she has always longed to see a lot of monkeys all together. I don’t think we’ll have any time for looking in at the shop windows, for we shall be very busy, and very, very earnest, but these places we must see. I daresay Poppy and her aunt, and some of the nice ladies in the boarding-house, will go with us. When Poppy has dusted up and put things straight in the morning, of course she’ll have lots and lots of time. Oh, it does seem such an easy, sensible plan.”
“My poor, poor children!” exclaimed Mrs. Ellsworthy, “my poor, deluded, silly, obstinate children!” and then the good little woman burst into tears.
IN SPITE OF OPPOSITION.
But although Mrs. Ellsworthy wept and lamented, although she tried both persuasions and scoldings, and finally left the cottage in a state of deep offence, vowing within herself that she would never trouble her head again over the affairs of such silly and obstinate girls, she could not in the least shake Primrose’s quiet resolve.
Primrose said over and over again: “Two things are absolutely indispensable—we must be independent, and we must keep together. I can think of no better plan than this—it may fail, but we can but try it—we are certainly going to try it.”