“Oh, no, we will bring those. Now,” as the train drew up, “please get out!”
She drew forward the curtain and hid behind it. Miss Barley and Miss Patch clambered out and walked away. Half-way down the platform they met Mr. Dawson, he was pale and trembling, but his blue eyes, bright with eagerness, looked for one face and figure only, and saw no other; Miss Patch and Miss Barley passed him quite unobserved; Miss Grace smiled to herself, and they turned to watch.
Along the platform he went, peering eagerly into every carriage. Jessie, in her corner, breathless with excitement, thought he would never come. The time seemed so long, so very long, she began to fear that the train would move on and carry her with it. In her excitement she thrust back the curtain, and leaned forward—and the next minute she was in his arms!
“Not asleep this time, granp!” she cried excitedly, “not asleep this time! Oh, granp! granp!” and she hugged and kissed him again and again.
The guard came in at last, to warn them that the train was about to move, and then there was a hasty gathering up of Miss Patch’s eight parcels and her rose, and Jessie’s three parcels and her geranium, and at last they all stood together on Springbrook platform, with the sun shining on them, the breeze blowing, the birds singing—and granny at home waiting to welcome them to the new happy life which lay before them.
Miss Grace led Miss Patch out, and they got into a carriage which had been sent from Norton for the purpose, but Jessie and her grandfather begged to walk back, as on that first occasion. He did not carry her now, though he leaned on her instead, and seemed glad of the support. He leaned heavily, too, she noticed, and she realized vaguely that there was one more change than she had thought of. In the past she had leaned all her weight on him, now it was he who would lean on her; and she hoped, with all the strength of her warm little heart, that she might be able to prove herself a real prop and staff to him and the dear granny who loved her so.
“God make my life
a little staff,
Whereon the weak may rest.”
She repeated to herself.
“Here’s granny,” said granp joyfully, as they reached the garden gate. Run on to her, child! and—and remember—one arm is helpless still. You must be her right arm now, Jessie.”
“I will,” said Jessie eagerly, and the next moment was at her granny’s side.