“How beautiful!” exclaimed Mrs. Evringham, while Jewel hopped up and down, as wide awake as any little girl in town, delighted with the gala appearance of everything.
Mr. Evringham looked critically into the face of his daughter-in-law. Here was the woman to whom he owed Jewel, and all that she was and all that she had taught him. Her face was what he might have expected. It looked very charming now as the pretty eyes met his. She was well-dressed, too, and Mr. Evringham liked that.
“I hope you will be very much at home here, Julia,” he said; and though he did not smile, it was certain that, whether from a sense of duty or not, he had taken pains to make their welcome a pleasant one.
Jewel had, evidently, no slightest fear of his cold reserve. With the child’s hand in hers, Julia took courage to reply warmly: “Thank you, father, it is a joy to be here.”
She had called him “father,” this elegant stranger, and her heart beat a little faster, but her husband’s arm went around her.
“America’s all right, eh, Julia?”
“Come in cousin Eloise’s room,” cried Jewel. “That’s all lighted, too. Are they going to have them both, grandpa?”
She danced ahead, through a spacious white-tiled bathroom and into the adjoining apartment. There an unexpected sight met the child’s eyes. In the rosy depths of a large chintz chair sat Anna Belle, loyally keeping her eyes open in spite of the hour.
Jewel rushed toward her. There were plenty of flowers scattered about in this room, also, and the child suddenly caught sight of her own toilet articles on the dresser.
“My things are down here in cousin Eloise’s room, grandpa!” she cried, so surprised that she delayed picking up her doll.
“Why, why!” said Mr. Evringham, throwing open the door of the large closet and then opening a bureau drawer. Within both receptacles were Jewel’s belongings, neatly arranged. “This is odd!” he added.
“Grandpa, grandpa!” cried the child, rushing at him and clasping her arms around his waist. “You’re going to let me sleep down here by father and mother!”
Mr. Evringham regarded her unsmilingly. Jewel’s parents both looked on, more than half expecting a snub to meet the energetic onslaught. “You won’t object, will you?” he asked.
Jewel pulled him down and whispered something in his ear. The curious on-lookers saw the sweeping mustache curve in a smile as he straightened up again. As a matter of fact they were both curious to know what she had said to him.
“You’re whispering in company, Jewel,” remarked her father.
“Oh, please excuse me!” said the child. “I forgot to remember. Here’s Anna Belle, father.”
“My, my, my!” ejaculated Harry Evringham, coming forward. “How that child has grown!”
ON THE VERANDA