Still she did not speak. Mr. Evringham was divided between a desire to shake her and the wish to see the familiar fondness return to her face.
“You wrote that Eloise thinks I do not want her and her mother here. Her intelligence is of a higher order than I feared. Well, what can be done about it? I’ve been asking myself that for some time. How would it do to settle some money upon them and then say good-by?”
“If you did it with love,” suggested Jewel.
“It’s my impression that they could dispense with the love under those circumstances.” The broker gave a slight smile.
The child put an impulsive little hand on his shoulder. “No indeed, grandpa. Nobody can do without love. It hurts cousin Eloise because she isn’t your real relation. She doesn’t know how kind you are inside.” The child’s lips closed suddenly.
“She fixed your hair very nicely,” Mr. Evringham viewed the flaxen head critically. “That’s one thing in her favor.”
“She’s full of things in her favor,” returned Jewel warmly. “Error’s using you, grandpa, not to love her. If we don’t love people we can’t be sure anything we do to them is right.”
Mr. Evringham raised one hand and scratched his head slowly, regarding Jewel with what she felt was intended to be a humorous air.
“Couldn’t you give me an easier one?” he asked.
“Oh grandpa,” the flaxen head nestled against his breast and the child sighed. “I wish everybody knew how kind you are,” and the broker patted her shoulder and enjoyed the clinging pressure of her cheek, for it assured him that again he stood firmly on the pedestal.
The rain and wind lasted for three days, clearing at last on an evening which proved eventful.
Mr. Evringham had taken a long ride into the country roundabout, and Jewel had been down at the gate to greet his return. He swung her up into the saddle with him, and in triumph she rode to the barn.
Mrs. Evringham observed this from the window and reported to Eloise.
“I didn’t suppose father would be so indulgent to any living thing as he is to that child,” she said rather dejectedly. “Do you know, Eloise, Mrs. Forbes says that Jewel spends every evening with him in his study.”
“Indeed? I’m not surprised. He had to take pity on her since we would not.”
Mrs. Evringham sighed. “I really believe nobody was ever so exasperating as you are,” she returned. “When Jewel first came, if you remember, I wished to welcome her,—in fact I did,—but you refused to be decently civil. Now you speak as if we had made a mistake, and that it was my fault. I wish you would let Dr. Ballard prescribe for you. I don’t think you are well.”
“He does prescribe roses and chocolates, and I take them, don’t I?”
“Yes, and after this you can have some golf. It will do you good.”