If any one had told me when I came to Twickenham Town that the chief thing I would find out before I went away was that I wouldn’t really mind owning a life-preserver, my head would have gone up and I would have been as chesty as a hen who tries to crow; and now I’m nothing but a humble-minded person waiting for a high-handed one to come and take me back home. And I am perfectly willing to go. Another thing I have found out this summer is that it doesn’t much matter where you are or what you are doing; whether there is purple and fine linen or just ancestors, or both together, or neither; if the one you want most isn’t with you, you will be pretty lonely after a while.
I have had a grand time in Twickenham Town, but I don’t want to come here again by myself. If Mrs. William Spencer Sloane wants to take her son away with her next summer, she won’t be able to do it. Her son will be twenty-one next summer, and though I hope he will always be respectful and obedient, as far as possible, to his mother’s wishes, still, she will have to remember there are other wishes in this world besides hers. I trust she will be nice about the discovery. Mrs. Sloane is a very handsome woman, but spoiled. And very fond of having her own way.
We are not apt to have much money, Billy and I. We have often said we thought young people ought to do their own scrambling, and I think that’s what we’ll have to do, as our fathers think much the same way. I’m not fond of herbs, but I can stand a dinner of them if Billy can, and besides, it will be nice for us to work up together and not have too quick a shove. And another thing we agree about. We know the thing that counts most, and we are going to keep a good deal of it on hand. Father says neither poverty nor riches can kill love if it is the right sort. I know Billy’s is the right sort, but I am crazy to hear him put it into words.
He will have traveled thousands of miles to say something he could have written, to tell me I am engaged to him and I might as well understand it; but there won’t be an extra sentence in the way he says it. He will be here to-morrow, and I bet the best thing I’ve got that all he will say is: “Kitty Canary, we are going to decide right now on the day and the month and the year. I will wait until you get through college, as you say I’ve got to, but I won’t wait a day longer. Let’s get a calendar and work it out.”
And I, being a weak-minded person at times, will say, “All right, Billy,” and then—