“Oh, Daisy! what a funny child you are! If Mr. Dove is your friend, why should you not wish to see him? He is not my friend, however; indeed, I may say frankly that I don’t like him at all. Now drink up your beef-tea, darling.”
THE POOR DOVES.
The next morning early Primrose opened her trunk, and unlocking a certain little morocco case, which contained her mother’s letter about her lost brother, one or two trinkets which had belonged to that same mother, and Mr. Danesfield’s envelope, she took the latter out of the case, and slipped it into her pocket. After breakfast she went round to see Miss Egerton.
“An old friend,” she said, “in the village where we lived—I would rather not say his name—gave me this. I believe it contains money. I have a kind of idea that it contains three bank notes for L5 each. I have never opened it, and I never wish to. I meant to return it some day to this kind friend—yes, I know he meant to be very kind. This is what he has written on the outside of the envelope.”
Miss Egerton read aloud—“When you want me, use me; don’t return me, and never abuse me.”
“There must be money here, my dear,” she said.
“Yes, I know there is money,” said Primrose, “for he wanted to press fifteen pounds on me when I went to say good-bye; but I was too proud to accept it, so now I think he has thought of this way of helping us. We could buy our furniture out of some of that money, Miss Egerton.”
“Quite so, dear,” said Miss Egerton, in a very cheerful voice. “Give me the letter, Primrose, and I will put it carefully away for you; you need not open it just at this moment. I will order just as little furniture as possible, and have it sent in to-day, and then when the bill comes you shall pay out of this envelope. I should not be surprised if we did our furnishing for seven pounds; I thought of so many nice, cheap little expedients last night. Now go home, dear, and come to me again in the evening, and I will tell you what I have done. I have no doubt I can have your rooms ready by to-morrow; is Daisy pleased at the idea of coming?”
“Yes, she is delighted,” said Primrose; “her dear little face quite changed when I spoke about it. I am sure you are right, Miss Egerton, and the change will do her lots of good.”
“I mean to make your attics quite charming,” said Miss Egerton. “They shall be converted into a kind of beautiful palace for my brave young workers. Yes, Primrose, I admire your spirit, and if I can do anything to aid you three girls to conquer fate, I will.”