“Twelve shillings a week,” said Primrose.
“That is a great deal for such rooms; I knew you were being imposed upon. Now, I would let you have mine for five, only somehow or other you must contrive to help me to furnish them. I can give you a carpet for your sitting-room, and a warm rug for your bedroom floor, and I believe I can supply you with bedsteads and beds, and there is a famous deep cupboard in the sitting-room, and two in the bedroom where you could easily keep all your clothes; but do you think you could provide the rest of the furniture? I would help you to get it as cheap as possible and would show you how to make old things look like new; for, my dear, I’ve gone through the contriving experience a long time ago. Now what do you say to my plan? You will not be cheated, you will be cared for, and you will be in the house of a friend—for I want to be your friend, my dear girl.”
“Oh, how kind you are!” said Primrose, her eyes glistening. “Yes, you know how to give real help—the kind of help we girls want. I should love your plan, but I must try and find out if we really have the money. How much money will it take to put in very simple furniture—just enough for us to go on with, Miss Egerton?”
“You might manage it for ten pounds, dear, perhaps even for less, if you have that sum by you; you will soon save it in your lowered rent. Go home, and think it over, Primrose. I know Daisy will be much, much better in my house than at the Doves’. Go and think about it, and let me know what you decide to-morrow.”
Primrose thanked Miss Egerton, and went back to her lodgings with a full heart. This offer from so good a friend had come, she felt, at the right moment. Accept it she must; find the ten pounds she must; and once again she thought with a feeling of satisfaction of Mr. Danesfield’s letter, and felt glad that she had been able to pay Dr. Jones’s bill without breaking into its contents.
She went upstairs, and instantly told Jasmine of the proposed change.
“But we can’t do it,” said Jasmine; “you know that we have not ten pounds to spare.”
“I think,” said Primrose, “that perhaps the time has come when we should open that letter Mr. Danesfield put into my hand the morning we left Rosebury. You know, Jasmine, how we determined to keep it, and return it to him unopened some day if we possibly could; but we also resolved to use it if a time of necessity really came—we resolved not to be proud about this. You know, Jasmine, it has come over me more than once lately that I have been headstrong in coming to London, only I could not endure being dependent on any one.”