“But please don’t put in about the Doves,” said Daisy. “I think they are such dread—I mean, of course, they are my friends, particularly Mr. Dove, he’s my real, real friend, but I mean that I don’t think they’d come well into a book, Jasmine—I don’t think they’re book people a bit—book people should be princes and knights and lovely ladies, and there should be no houses, and no attics, only there might be fairy palaces, and all the little girls should be happy, and kept safe from ogres—the little girls in the books shouldn’t even have an ogre for a friend. Oh, Jasmine, Jasmine! I’m so very miserable!”
Daisy again broke into weak sobs, and poor Jasmine could scarcely soothe her.
A little before noon Primrose and Miss Egerton, and a tall, grave, kind-looking man, who went by the name of Dr. Griffiths, and was a great friend of Miss Egerton’s, came up the stairs.
Both Dove and his wife saw them go, and Dove shook his hand at Dr. Griffiths, as that gentleman walked up the stairs. They all three went into the attics, and the doctor had a long talk with the little patient—he felt her pulse and her head, and looked into her eyes, and tried to induce her to laugh, and did succeed in getting one little startled and half-frightened sound from the child; then he went back into the sitting-room, and had a long talk with Primrose and Miss Egerton. The upshot of this was that Miss Egerton went sorrowfully away, for the doctor absolutely forbade the girls to move from their present quarters for another week or fortnight. At the end of that time he said Daisy would be better, and might have got over the foolish fancy which now troubled her, but for the time being she must be yielded to, and at any risk kept easy in her mind.
Miss Egerton went very sorrowfully away, and upstairs to the rooms she meant to make so pretty.
“There is no special hurry about the furnishing, Bridget,” she said to her servant. “Little Miss Daisy is too ill to be moved for the present.”
“The men have come round to be paid for the bits of furniture, leastways, ma’am,” answered Bridget, “and the foreman from the other shop is standing in the hall, and wants to know if you’ll settle with him now, or if he shall call again.”
“I’ll settle with him now, Bridget. Dear Miss Primrose left some money in my charge yesterday morning, and I can pay the man at once.”
One of the rules of Miss Egerton’s life was never to leave a bill unpaid for twenty-four hours, if possible—she hated accounts, and always paid ready money for everything. She now ran downstairs, and unlocking her desk, took out Mr. Danesfield’s envelope. Primrose had begged of her to open it when the bills came in, and pay for the furniture—Primrose seemed to have an absolute prejudice against unfastening that envelope herself.