“I don’t see why you won’t ask him because he’s a grocer,” Eddy called, indignantly, after her. “He’s the nicest man here, and he always lets us have things, whether we pay him or not. I have heard you say so. I think you are awful mean to take his groceries, and eat ’em, and use them for Ina’s wedding, and then not ask him, just because he is a grocer.”
Anna’s laughter floated back, and the boy wondered angrily what she was laughing at. Then he went by himself about righting wrongs. He hunted about until he found on his mother’s desk some left-over wedding-cards, and he sent invitations to both the wedding and reception to Randolph Anderson and his mother, which were received that night.
Randolph carried them home, and his mother examined them with considerable satisfaction.
“We might go to the ceremony,” said she, with doubtful eyes on her son’s face.
“I really think we had better not, mother.”
“You think we had better not, simply to the ceremony? Of course I admit that we could not go to the reception at the house, since we have not called, but the ceremony?”
“I think we had better not; this very late invitation—”
“Oh, Randolph, that is easily accounted for. It is so easy to overlook an invitation.”
But Randolph persisted in his dissent to the proposition to attend. He was quite sure how the invitation had happened to come at all, and later on in the day he was confirmed in his opinion when Eddy Carroll made a rush into his office and inquired, breathlessly, if he had received his invitation and if he was coming.
“Because I found out you hadn’t been asked, and I told them it was mean, and I sent you one myself,” said he, with generous indignation.
Anderson finally compromised by going with him to the church and viewing the completed decorations. He also presented him with a package of candy from his glass jars when he followed him back to the store.
“Say, you are a brick,” Eddy assured him. “When I am a man I am going to keep a grocery store. I’d a great deal rather do that than have a business like papa’s. If you have the things yourself in your own store, you don’t have to owe anybody for them. Good-bye. If you should get those letters done, you come, and your mother, and I’ll look out you have everything you want; and I’ll save seats in the pew where I sit, too.”
“Thank you,” said Anderson, and was conscious of an exceedingly warm feeling for the child flying out of the store with his package of sweets under his arm.
Carroll had arrived home very unexpectedly that Sunday morning. The family were at the breakfast-table. As a usual thing, Sunday-morning breakfast at the Carrolls’ was a desultory and uncertain ceremony, but when Major Arms was there it was promptly on the table at eight o’clock. He had not yet, in the relaxation of civilian life, gotten over the regular habits acquired in the army.