So she gave away a part of his gift, and thanked him with her eyes.
It was after the boys had gone that Derry had a talk alone with Dr. McKenzie.
“But you haven’t known her a month—”
“I have wanted her all my life.”
“I see—how old are you?”
“You don’t look it.”
“No. And I don’t feel it. Not to-day.”
“And you think that she cares?”
“What do you think, sir?”
The Doctor threw up his hands. “Oh, lad, lad, there’s all the wonder of it in her eyes when she looks at you.”
When Derry went at last to find Jean, she was not in the library. He crossed the hall to the little drawing-room. His love sat by the fire alone.
Thus she came to his arms. But even then he held her gently, worshipping her innocence and respecting it.
The next morning he brought her a ring. It was such a wonderful ring that she held her breath. She sat on the rose-colored davenport while he put it on her finger.
“If I had been the girl in the Toy Shop,” she told him, “and you had been the shabby boy, you would have given me a gold band with three little stones—and I should have liked that, too.”
“You shall have the gold ring some day, and it won’t have stones in it—and it will be a wedding ring.”
“And when yon wear it I shall call you—Friend Wife—”
Are men made only for this?
In the afternoon the lovers made a triumphant pilgrimage to the place where they had first met. All the toys in the little shop stared at them—the clowns and the dancers in pink and yellow and the bisque babies and the glassy-eyed dogs and cats.
The white elephant was again in the window. “He seemed so lonely,” Emily explained, “and with Christmas coming I couldn’t feel comfortable to think of him away from it all.”
Jean showed Derry her midnight camels. “I am going to do peacocks next,” she told him. “I am so proud.”
He bought all of the camels and a lot of other things. “We’ll take them to Margaret Morgan’s kiddies tomorrow; I want you to meet her.”
Miss Emily found her lavish customer interesting, but demoralizing. “Run away with him, Jean,” she said. “I am not used to Croesuses. He won’t leave anything to sell, and then what shall I say to the people who want to buy?”
“Shut up your shop and go to tea with us at Chevy Chase,” Derry suggested.
Emily smiled at him. “It is good of you to ask me, but I can’t. I am not in love, and I have my day’s work to do. But I think if you would like to take Jean—”
“Alone?” eagerly. “Do you think I might?”
“I was almost afraid to suggest it.”