“Yes,” said Jasmine, “I’ll run down at once.”
Mr. and Mrs. Dove were greatly concerned when they heard of Daisy’s illness—in especial, Mr. Dove was concerned, and expressed himself willing to do all in his power for the sweet, pretty little lady. He said he knew a doctor of the name of Jones, who was a dab hand with children, and if the young ladies liked he would run round to Dr. Jones’s house, and fetch him in at once.
Jasmine thought Mr. Dove very good-natured, and she expressed her great gratitude to him for the trouble he was about to take, and requested him to seek Dr. Jones and to bring him to see Daisy without a moment’s delay. Accordingly, in a very short time the doctor of Dove’s selection stood by Daisy’s bedside and pronounced her to be suffering from nothing whatever but a common cold, ordered some medicine for her cough, and went away with the assurance that she would be as cheerful as ever on the morrow. But Daisy was not cheerful the next day; and day after day passed without bringing back either her sweet calm, or any of the brightness which used to characterize her little face. Daisy possessed in a certain degree Primrose’s characteristics, but she was naturally more highly strung and more nervous than her eldest sister. After a little time her cold got better, but her nightly terrors, the look of watchfulness and anxiety, grew and deepened as the time wore on. Daisy’s sweet little face was altering, and Primrose at last resolved to dismiss Dr. Jones, who was doing the child no good whatever, and to consult Miss Egerton about the little one. It may be added that Primrose was able to pay Dr. Jones’s account without breaking into Mr. Danesfield’s money.
Miss Egerton from the very first had taken a great interest in the girls, and when Primrose went to her, and told her pitiful little story, the kind governess’s eyes filled with tears.
“My dear,” she said, in conclusion, “whatever is or is not the matter with that nice little sister of yours, I am sure she wants one thing, and that is change. Now, I am not so greatly taken with those rooms of yours, Primrose. You remember I paid you a visit at Christmas, and you tried to show me all the beauties of your apartments. They were neatly kept, dear, and were clean, and were furnished with some little attempt at taste, but the ceilings were very low, the window sashes fitted badly, and there was such a draught from under the door—and, my dear child, now that you have come to me in confidence I may as well tell you that I did not admire your landlady Mrs. Dove.”
“She is rather fond of borrowing money, certainly,” said Primrose, in a thoughtful voice, “but on the whole I believe she is good-natured—she lends Jasmine books, and yesterday she baked a cake herself for Daisy, and her husband brought it up to her.”
“All the same,” repeated Miss Egerton, “I don’t admire the woman. I have never seen the man; but I would rather you were in a nice house. Now I have a proposal to make. I too have got some attics—they are quite as large as Mrs. Dove’s, and can soon be made as cheerful. I can also promise you that the windows will not shake, nor will a draught as keen as a knife come in from under the door. My attics, however, I grieve to say, are unfurnished. Now, my dear, what do you pay at Mrs. Dove’s?”