Gertrude was now very happy. The selled together, concerning the proper relations of capital and labor, and since the explosion they studied the question more earnestly than ever. Their scheme involved not only improved works in a new location, but also a plan to harmonize, if possible, capital and labor, which they hoped might work great good to humanity. Gertrude told George Ingram that his golden opportunity had come, and she resolved to render him all the assistance possible.
COLONEL HARRIS FOLLOWS HIS FAMILY ABROAD
Gertrude’s receipt for growing oranges in a northern climate was as follows: Let a child hold a large and a small orange in her hands, and give away the large orange, and the smaller will begin to grow until, when eaten, it will look bigger and taste sweeter than the large fruit given away. “Try it!” Gertrude often said.
That was the principle by which Gertrude Harris was always acting. If she had flowers, fruit, books, pretty gifts, or money, her first thought always was, “How can I make somebody happy?” With such a generous soul, part nature’s gift and part acquired by self-sacrifice, the life of Gertrude was as buoyant and happy as the birds in a flower garden.
The decision of Gertrude’s father to take her and meet his family in Europe was not known in Harrisville except to a few. Most of the colonel’s friends supposed that he was busy planning some new business adventure, in which he might employ his surplus capital and his undoubted business abilities. Because of the recent calamity, and the hardships of the employees in connection with their strike, he thought it unwise to make public mention of his future projects.
The more Gertrude meditated upon her father’s plan, the more dissatisfied with herself she became. The idea of going to Europe and leaving George behind was unendurable. He needed rest more than she. True, he was to follow later, but she wanted him to cross the ocean on the same steamer, and she earnestly desired that the one she loved best should share all of her enjoyments. It was, perhaps, a test of her love that she constantly longed to lose herself in him, or better, possibly, to find herself in him.
Two days before the date fixed for their sailing, as George left the Harris home, Gertrude was urging him to accompany her and her father, when he ventured to say, “Gertrude, this is what would please me immensely, take my sister May with you. I will gladly pay her expenses. And when your summer’s travel is over, I want May to study music abroad.”
“Capital!” said Gertrude. “Both you and your sister May shall join our party. Please don’t say another word on the subject, nor tell father, till we meet tomorrow evening,” and she kissed him an affectionate good-night.