“Go on with Daisy, Poppy,” she said to her companion; “I will rest here for a little;” then she seated herself on one of the chairs, and in a moment or two went down on her knees and covered her childish face with her hands.
Not at all long was Jasmine’s prayer, but somehow it was very fervent, and it certainly reached a Presence which gives strength and peace. She was no longer oppressed by St. Paul’s—she was comforted and strengthened.
“I do hope God will help us,” she said to herself. “Oh! was it very, very rash of us to come up here?—and yet, what else could we do? It was Primrose’s thought, too, and she is always so wise, and so grown-up.”
Jasmine looked round the cathedral, hoping to see her party—they were, of course, nowhere within sight, and the little girl began to walk about by herself, hoping soon to rejoin them. She dropped her umbrella, and a gentleman who had been watching her for some time with interest stooped to pick it up. He was a young man of about six-and-twenty, with a bright and pleasant face.
“This is your first visit here?” he said, looking kindly at the child.
“Oh, yes,” said Jasmine. Then feeling that she had a sympathetic listener, she continued—“It is so beautiful here!”
“Yes,” answered her companion; then he added, with a second glance at the forlorn little figure, “Are you alone, or have you lost your party?”
Jasmine half laughed.
“I cannot find my party at the present moment,” she said; “but I am by no means alone—my two sisters have come here also to-day for the first time, and a friend is with us, and a lady has very kindly brought us here.”
“I see,” said the stranger. “Well, it is a curious coincidence, but neither am I alone—I have brought a little lad here to show him the cathedral—he has gone into the Whispering Gallery, and I am waiting for him. Perhaps your friends have also gone into the gallery. While we are both waiting, shall we look round this delightful place? and may I tell you a little of what I know about it?”