With all the art he knew he described the beautiful small courtesies and tender ways of the little household at Rose Bank; and he made it appear that this young lady, brought up amidst the sweet observances of the South, was making an enormous sacrifice in offering to brave, for his sake, the transference to the harder and harsher ways of the North.
“And, you know, Keith, she speaks a good deal for her self,” Janet Macleod said, turning over the photographs and looking at them perhaps a little wistfully. “It is a pretty face. It must make many friends for her. If she were here herself now, I don’t think auntie would hold out for a moment.”
“That is what I know,” said he, eagerly. “That is why I am anxious she should come here. And if it were only possible to bring her now, there would be no more trouble; and I think we could get her to leave the stage—at least I would try. But how could we ask her to Dare in the winter time? The sea and the rain would frighten her, and she would never consent to live here. And perhaps she needs time to quite make up her mind. She said she would educate herself all the winter through, and that, when I saw her again, she would be a thorough Highland woman. That shows you how willing she is to make any sacrifice if she thinks it right.”
“But if she is convinced,” said Janet, doubtfully, “that she ought to leave the stage, why does she not do so at once? You say her father has enough money to support the family?”
“Oh yes, he has,” said Macleod; and then he added, with some hesitation, “well, Janet, I did not like to press that. She has already granted so much. But I might ask her.”
At this moment Lady Macleod’s maid came into the hall and said that her mistress wished to see Miss Macleod.
“Perhaps auntie thinks I am conspiring with you Keith,” she said, laughing, when the girl had gone. “Well, you will leave the whole thing in my hands, and I will do what I can. And be patient and reasonable, Keith, even if your mother won’t hear of it for a day or two. We women are very prejudiced against each other, you know; and we have quick tempers, and we want a little coaxing and persuasion—that is all.”
“You have always been a good friend to me, Janet,” he said.
“And I hope it will all turn out for your happiness, Keith,” she said, gently, as she left.