“I should think you’d be almost afraid to keep so much ready money by you, with all those men workin’ outside,” she commented.
“They’re all Brookville men,” said Lydia. “I have to have money to pay them with. Besides, I have Martha.”
“You mean your hired girl, I suppose,” inferred Miss Daggett, rubbing her nose thoughtfully.
“She isn’t exactly—a servant,” hesitated Lydia. “We give the men their noon meal,” she added. “Martha helps me with that.”
“You give them their dinner! Well, I never! Did you hear that, Abby? She gives them their dinner. Didn’t you know men-folks generally bring their noonings in a pail? Land! I don’t know how you get hearty victuals enough for all those men. Where do they eat?”
“In the new barn,” said Lydia, smiling. “We have a cook stove out there.”
“Ain’t that just lovely!” beamed Mrs. Daggett, squeezing the girl’s slim hand in both her own. “Most folks wouldn’t go to the trouble of doing anything so nice. No wonder they’re hustling.”
“Mebbe they won’t hustle so fast toward the end of the job,” said Lois Daggett. “You’ll find men-folks are always ready to take advantage of any kind of foolishness. Come, Abby; we must be going. You’ll get those books in about two weeks, Miss Orr. A big order takes more time, I always tell people.”
“Thank you, Miss Daggett. But wouldn’t you—if you are in a hurry, you know; Mr. Dodge is going to the village in the automobile; we’re expecting some supplies for the house. He’ll be glad to take you.”
“Who, Jim Dodge? You don’t mean to tell me Jim Dodge can drive an auto! I never stepped foot inside of one of those contraptions. But I don’t know but I might’s well die for a sheep as a lamb.”
Lois Daggett followed the girl from the room in a flutter of joyous excitement.
“You can come home when you get ready, Abby,” she said over her shoulder. “But you want to be careful driving that horse of yours; he might cut up something scandalous if he was to meet an auto.”
Mrs. Daggett was sitting by the window gazing dreamily out, when Lydia returned after witnessing the triumphant departure of the promoter of Famous People.
“It kind of brings it all back to me,” said Mrs. Daggett, furtively wiping her eyes. “It’s going t’ look pretty near’s it used to. Only I remember Mis’ Bolton used to have a flower garden all along that stone wall over there; she was awful fond of flowers. I remember I gave her some roots of pinies and iris out of our yard, and she gave me a new kind of lilac bush—pink, it is, and sweet! My! you can smell it a mile off when it’s in blow.”
“Then you knew—the Bolton family?”
The girl’s blue eyes widened wistfully as she asked the question.