“We decided to have the picnic to-morrow, anyhow, Judy,” she said. “We thought maybe you would like it after it was all planned.”
Judy jumped up from the bench and began a rapid ascent of the stairway. Half-way up she turned and looked down at the three conspirators. “I sha’n’t like it,” she cried, shrilly, “and I sha’n’t go.”
“Judy!” remonstrated the Judge.
“Oh, Judy,” cried poor little Anne.
But Perkins, who had lived with the Judge in the days of Judy’s lady grandmother, turned his offended back on this self-willed and unworthy scion of a noble race, and marched into the kitchen to make the coffee.
“Your grandmother, my dear”
Judy had reached the door of her room when the Judge called her.
“Come down,” he said, “I want to talk to you.”
“I’m tired,” said Judy, in a stifled voice, and Anne, who had followed her, saw that she was crying.
“I know,” the Judge’s voice was gentle, “I know, but I won’t keep you long. Come.”
Judy went reluctantly, and he led the way to the garden bench.
It was very still out there in the garden—just the splash of the little fountain, and the drone of lazy insects. The moon hung low, a golden disk above the distant line of dark hills.
“Judy,” began the Judge, “do you know, my dear, that you are very like your grandmother?”
Judy looked at him, surprised at the turn the conversation was taking. “Am I?” she asked.
“Yes,” continued the Judge, “and especially in two things.” His eyes were fixed dreamily on a bed of tall lilies that shone pale in the half light.
“What things?” Judy was interested. She had expected a lecture, but this did not sound like one.
“In your love of flowers—and in your temper—my dear.”
Judy’s head went up haughtily. “Grandfather!”
“You don’t probably call it temper. But your grandmother did, and she conquered hers—and I am going to tell you how she did it, because I know she would want me to tell you, Judy.”
Judy sat sulkily as far from her grandfather as she could get. Her hands were clasped around her knees and she stared out over the dusky garden, wide-eyed, and it must be confessed a little obstinate. Judy knew she had faults, but if the truth must be told, she was a little proud of her temper—“I have an awful temper,” she had confessed on several occasions, and when meek admirers had murmured, “How dreadful,” she had tossed her head and had said, “But I can’t help it, you know, all of my family have had tempers,” and as Judy’s family was known to be aristocratic and exclusive, her more plebeian friends had envied and had tried to emulate her, generally with disastrous results.
She was not quite sure that she wanted to conquer it. It often gave her what she wanted, and that was something.