Calvin was passing things expertly. Randy smiled at Becky as he filled her plate.
“You don’t look it.”
“No. You’re not a bread and butter sort of person.”
“What kind am I?”
“Sugar and spice and everything nice.”
“Did you learn to say such things in France?”
“Haven’t I always said them?”
“Not in quite the same way. You’ve grown up, Randy. You seem years older.”
“Do you like me—older?”
“Of course.” There was warmth in her voice but no coquetry. “What a silly thing to ask, Randy.”
Calvin, having served the lunch, ate his own particular feast of chicken backs and necks under the surrey from a pasteboard box cover. Having thus separated himself as it were from those he served, he was at his ease. He knew his place and was happy in it.
Mary Flippin also knew her place. But she was not happy. She sat higher up on the hill with her child asleep in her arms, and looked down on the Judge’s party. Except for an accident of birth, she might be sitting now among them. Would she ever sit among them? Would her little daughter, Fidelity?
“We are the only one of the old families who are eating lunch out of a basket,” said Caroline Paine; “next year we shall have to go to the Country Club with the rest of them.”
“I shall never go to the Country Club,” said Judge Bannister, “as long as there is a nigger to fry chicken for me.”
“We may have to swim with the tide.”
“Don’t tell me that you’d rather be up there than here, Caroline.”
“I’d like it for some things,” Mrs. Paine admitted frankly; “you should see the clothes that those Waterman women are wearing.”
“What do you care what they wear. You don’t want to be like them, do you?”
“I may not care to be like them, but I want to look like them. I got the pattern of this sweater I am knitting from one of my boarders. Do you want it, Claudia?”
Mrs. Beaufort winced at the word “boarders.” She hated to think that Caroline must—— “I never wear sweaters, Caroline. They are not my style. But I am knitting one for Becky.”
“Is it blue?” Randy asked. “Becky ought always to wear blue, except when she wears pale yellow. That was a heavenly thing you had on at dinner the night we arrived, wasn’t it, Major?”
“Everything was heavenly. I felt like one who expecting a barren plain sees—Paradise.”
It was not flattery and they knew it. They were hospitable souls, and in a week he had become, as it were, one of them.
Randy, returning to the subject in hand, asked, “Will you wear the blue if I come up to-night, Becky?”
“I will not.” Becky was making herself a chaplet of yellow leaves, and her bronze hair caught the light. “I will not. I shall probably put on my old white if I dress for dinner.”