Lucy turned to Frank with her face glowing.
“It’s all right now,” she said. “When Ada takes hold she never lets go; and now she’s taken hold right!”
A MORNING RIDE
Mrs. Evringham’s listeners thanked her, then discussed the story a few minutes.
“I’d like to get acquainted with Alma,” said Jewel, “and help be kind to her.”
“Oh, she’s going to have a very good time now,” replied Mr. Evringham. “One can see that with half an eye. Were there any Almas where you went to school, Jewel?”
“No, there weren’t. We didn’t bring lunches and we went home in a ’bus.”
“Jewel went to a very nice private school,” said Mrs. Evringham. “Her teachers were Christian Scientists and I made their dresses for them in payment.”
The logs were red in the fireplace now, and the roar of the wind-driven sea came from the beach.
“Well, we’ve a good school for her,” replied Mr. Evringham, “and there’ll be no dresses to make either.”
His daughter looked at him wistfully. “I’m very happy when I think of it,” she answered, “for there is other work I would rather do.”
“I should think so, indeed. Catering to the whims of a lot of silly women who don’t know their own minds! It must be the very—yes, very unpleasant. Yes, we have a fine school in Bel-Air. Jewel, we’re going to work you hard next winter. How shall you like that?”
“My music lessons will be the most fun,” returned Jewel.
“And dancing school beside.”
“Oh, grandpa, I’ll love that! I used to know girls who went, in Chicago.”
“Yes, I’m sure you will. You shall learn all the latest jigs and flings, too, that any of the children know. I think you ought to learn them quickly. You’ve been hopping up and down ever since I knew you.”
Jewel exchanged a happy glance with her mother and clapped her hands at the joyful prospect.
Mrs. Evringham looked wistfully at her father-in-law. “I hope you’ll be willing I should do the work I want to, father.”
“What’s that? Writing books? Perfectly willing, I assure you. I think you’ve made a very good start.”
Mrs. Evringham smiled. “No, not writing books. Practicing Christian Science.”
“Well, you do that all the time, don’t you?”
“I mean taking patients.”
“What!” Mr. Evringham straightened up in his chair and frowned at her incredulously. “Anybody? Tom, Dick, and Harry? You can’t mean it!”
His tone was so severe that Jewel rose from her place on the rug and, climbing into his lap, rested her head on his breast. His hand closed on the soft little one unconsciously. “I suppose I don’t understand you,” he added, a shade more mildly.
“Not in your house, father,” returned Julia. She had been preparing in thought for this moment for days. “Of course it wouldn’t do to have strangers coming and going there.”