That very night, therefore, Miss Egerton’s nice rooms were occupied, and that good lady laid her head on her own pillow with a light and thankful heart.
Fortunately for Daisy, Dove was out while the packing was going on, and only Mrs. Dove, with a very black scowl on her face, saw the girls drive away in a four-wheeler. She refused to say good-bye to them, and was heard to mutter that the “ongratitude of some folks was past enduring.”
“Here, Dove,” she said, when late that night her lord and master came in, “those pretty young ladies as you thought so much of—’the attics’ I called them, and always will call them—well, they’re gone. They had a four-wheeler, and off they’ve gone, bag and baggage. For my part I ain’t sorry, for now that them attics are painted up and cleaned, which they did out of their own money, I may be able to rise my rent. Those young ladies and I couldn’t have kept together much longer. Disobliging, I call them—disobliging, and shabby, and mistrustful; it was only this morning I asked Miss Mainwaring for the loan of seven and sixpence, and she up and said, ’I’m sorry I can’t oblige you, Mrs. Dove.’ Those kind of young ladies don’t suit me, and I’m thankful they’re gone. Why, Dove, how you do stare!—there’s a letter waiting for you on the table.”
Dove took up his letter and read it carefully once or twice; after his second reading he put it into his pocket, and turned to his wife—
“They’ve gone round to Miss Egerton’s; isn’t that so, my love?”
“Who do you mean by ‘they,’ Dove?”
“The three young ladies, of course.”
“Oh, I suppose so; but I neither know nor care—I wash my hands of them from this day forward!”
“Well, then, look here, Mrs. Dove, my love,” said the husband, “I don’t wash my hands of them—no, not by no means. It’s all right if they’re gone to Miss Egerton’s—there are trap-doors in the roof at Miss Egerton’s; I know the build of the house. There are trap-doors in the roof, and quarter-day is coming on, Mrs. Dove, my only love!”
“Law, Dove! you have a most startling way of saying them poetic lines,” answered his wife.
A “CONTINUAL READER.”
A few days after the girls were comfortably settled in their new quarters Primrose went out. She went out all alone, for by this time London streets and London ways were familiar to her. Neatly and very quietly dressed, with the usual serene light on her sweet face, and that dignity about her whole bearing which prevented any one from ever being rude to her, she went, not to her china-painting as usual, but simply to take exercise in the London streets.