“Great Scott! What do you know about that outfit?” he asked.
The child nodded wisely. “I know people believe in them sometimes; but you needn’t think grandpa does, because he doesn’t.”
“Mr. Evringham’s all right,” agreed Zeke, “but he isn’t going to be the only pebble any longer. Your father and mother will be the whole thing now.”
The child was thoughtful a moment, then she began earnestly: “Oh, I’m sure grandpa knows how it is about loving. The more people you love, the more you can love. I can love father and mother more because I’ve learned to love grandpa, and he can love them more too, because he has learned to love me.”
“Humph! We’ll see,” remarked the other, smiling.
“Is error talking to you, Zeke? Are you laying laws on grandpa?”
“Well, if I am, I’ll stop it mighty quick. You don’t catch me taking any such liberties. Whoa!” drawing on imaginary reins as the engine slackened at a station.
Jewel laughed, and from that time until they reached New York they chatted about her pony Star, and other less important horses, and of the child’s anticipation of showing her mother the joys of Bel-Air Park.
THE BROKER’S OFFICE
It was the first time Jewel had visited her grandfather’s office and she was impressed anew with his importance as she entered the stone building and ascended in the elevator to mysterious heights.
Arrived in an electric-lighted anteroom, Zeke’s request to see Mr. Evringham was met by a sharp-eyed young man who denied it with a cold, inquiring stare. Then the glance of this factotum fell to Jewel’s uplifted, rose-tinted face and her trustful gaze fixed on his own.
Zeke twirled his hat slowly between his hands.
“You just step into Mr. Evringham’s office,” he said quietly, “and tell him the young lady he invited has arrived.”
Jewel wondered how this person, who had the privilege of being near her grandfather all day, could look so forbidding; but in her happy excitement she could not refrain from smiling at him under the nodding hat brim.
“I’m going to dinner with him,” she said softly, “and I think we’re going to have Nesselrode pudding.”
The young man’s eyes stared and then began to twinkle. “Oh,” he returned, “in that case”—then he turned and left the visitors.
When he entered the sanctum of his employer he was smiling. Mr. Evringham did not look up at once. When he did, it was with a brief, “Well?”
“A young lady insists upon seeing you, sir.”
“Kindly stop grinning, Masterson, and tell her she must state her business.”
“She has done so, sir,” but Masterson did not stop grinning. “She looks like a summer girl, and I guess she is one.”
Mr. Evringham frowned at this unprecedented levity. “What is her business, briefly?” he asked curtly.