“I wish mother could see me now,” she sighed at last. “And oh, wouldn’t it be nice if she was here, too. She’d love a beautiful tea like this.”
Patience Dawson did not know what reply to make, her feelings brought a sob to her throat, and the old ache back to her heart.
“Oh, I expect she is having quite as good a tea as we are,” she said at last, for want of something else to say. But Jessie shook her head sagely.
“I don’t ’spect she is; we didn’t have tea—only sometimes, and we never had cake, never!”
“Well, p’raps mother and you and me will all come here together one day,” she said, trying to speak cheerfully, though she little expected such a thing to happen.
“And granp too?” said Jessie eagerly.
“Oh yes, granp too, of course.” But her grandmother noticed that she never once expressed a wish that her father should join them.
When at last the meal was over, and Mrs. Dawson had paid the bill and talked a little with the woman who had served them, they made their way slowly into the street.
“I think,” said Mrs. Dawson musingly, standing still and turning things over in her mind, “I think we had better go home by train; ’tis a good step, a mile and a half, for you to walk, and for me, too, with all these parcels; it isn’t nearly so far to walk home from the station.” So two days following Jessie arrived at Springbrook station, and when she got out of the train the station-master and the porter both recognized her and smiled at her.
“Why, you’ve become quite a traveller, missie,” said Mr. Simmons jokingly; “supposing we had let you sleep on! where would you have been by this time, I wonder?”
“I don’t know,” answered Jessie, looking quite alarmed.
“I hope you’ve got your purse safe, missie,” said the porter, as he passed her.
“Yes, thank you,” answered Jessie gravely, putting her hand down and feeling it in her pocket.
“Good-night!” they all said to each other as they parted, which Jessie thought was very polite and friendly of them. Then she and her granny stepped out into the road, and walked quickly through the fast-deepening twilight to the little cottage where the light was already glowing a welcome to them from the kitchen window, and grandfather was waiting supper for them.
A GARDEN SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
Springbrook village lay near Springbrook station. It was a very small village, but those who lived in it thought it a very pretty one. It consisted of the church, the vicarage, the doctor’s house, three or four small private houses and a number of picturesque cottages.