“Of course I don’t mind. You go with him. It’s quite one to me.”
She gave a tiny little start.
“Oh, I didn’t mean that at all,” she cried. “I meant—I meant—you see it’s all been a little tiring—and to-morrow’s Sunday anyway and I—I Wanted to— to ask you if we couldn’t go out at eleven instead of ten?”
She looked so sweetly questioning, and his relief was so great, and his joy—
(Probably don’t care a rap for Holloway!)
—so intense, that he could hardly refrain from seizing her in his arms.
But he only seized her little hand instead and pressed it fervently to his lips. When he raised his eyes she was smiling, and her smile filled him with happiness.
“You’re such a boy!” she said softly, and turned and left him there in the window recess alone again,—but this time he didn’t care.
It was during that drive the next morning that Jack buoyed up by memories of Saturday and hopes of coming Saturdays, poured out the history of his life at Mrs. Rosscott’s knees. He told her the whole story of Aunt Mary, and his side of the cat, the cabman, and Kalamazoo. It interested her, for she had arrived too recently to have had the full details in the newspapers beforehand, but when he spoke of Aunt Mary’s last letter she grew large-eyed and shook her head gravely.
“You will have to be very good now,” she said seriously.
“Why?” he asked. “Just to keep from being disinherited? That wouldn’t be so awful.”
“Wouldn’t it be awful to you?” she asked, turning her bright eyes upon him. “What could be worse?”
“Things,” he said very vaguely.
Then she touched up the cob a little; and, after a minute or two, as she said nothing, he continued:
“I almost fancy quitting college and going to work. I was thinking about it last night.”
She touched up the cob a little more, and remained silent.
Finally he said:
“What would you think of my doing that?”
“I don’t know,” she said slowly. “You see, I’m a great philosopher. I never fret or worry, because I regard it as useless; similarly, I never rebel at the way fate shapes my life—I regard that as something past helping. I believe in predestination; do you?”
She turned and looked at him so seriously—so unlike her riante self—that he felt startled, and did not know what to say for a minute.
“I don’t know,” he said slowly; “I don’t know that I dare to. It rather startles me to think that maybe all of our future is laid out now.”
“It doesn’t startle me,” she said. “It seems to me the natural plan of the universe. I believe that everything that crosses our path—down to the tiniest gnat—comes there in the fulfillment of a purpose.”
“I’m sure that all the mosquitoes that ever crossed my path came there in the fulfillment of a purpose,” Jack interrupted. “I never doubted that.”