He gazed down at her now with an almost uncanny intelligence. She laughed a little and standing on tiptoe laid her cheek against the cool glass. “When I am married,” was her wordless question, “will you sound your trumpet high up near the moon?”
There came to Huntersfield the next morning at about the same moment, Kemp in his little car with a small parcel for Becky, and Calvin with a big box from the express office.
Becky was in her room at breakfast when Calvin brought the boxes up to her. It was a sunshiny morning, and the Judge had gone a-fishing with Mr. Flippin. Becky, in a lace cap and a robe that was delicately blue, sat in a big chair with a low table in front of her.
There were white roses on the table in a silver bowl. The Judge had sent them to her. The Judge had for the women of his family a feeling that was almost youthfully romantic, and which was, unquestionably, old-fashioned. He liked to think that they had roses for their little noses, ribbons and laces for their pretty faces. He wanted no harsh winds to blow on them. And in return for the softness and ease with which he would surround them, he wanted their deference to his masculine point of view.
With the box which George sent was a note. It was the first that Becky had ever received from her lover. George’s code did not include much correspondence. Flaming sentiment on paper was apt to look silly when the affair ended.
To Becky, her name on the outside of the envelope seemed written in gold. She was all blushing expectation.
“There ain’t no answer,” Calvin said, and she waited for him to go before she opened it.
She read it and sat there drained of all feeling. She was as white as the roses on her table. She read the note again and her hands shook.
“Flora is very ill. We are taking her up to New York. After that we shall go to the North Shore. There isn’t time for me to come and say, ‘Good-bye.’ Perhaps it is better not to come. It has been a wonderful summer, and it is you who have made it wonderful for me. The memory will linger with me always—like a sweet dream or a rare old tale. I am sending you a little token—for remembrance. Think of me sometimes, Becky.”
That was all, except a scrawled “G. D.” at the end. No word of coming back. No word of writing to her again. No word of any future in which she would have a part.
She opened the box. Within on a slender chain was a pendant—a square sapphire set in platinum, and surrounded by diamonds. George had ordered it in anticipation of this crisis. He had, hitherto, found such things rather effective in the cure of broken hearts.