“Is he poor?”
“Yes, he is poor and expensive. It is a bad combination; it is almost as bad as being poor and extravagant. His mother is a widow, and they haven’t much, but what there was she has insisted on spending on him—that is, all she could spare from the doctor’s bills.”
“She needs Science then, doesn’t she?”
“Jewel, that would be one thing that would keep me from wanting to be a Scientist. What’s the fun of being one unless everybody else is? My mother, for instance.”
“Yes; but then you’d find out how to help her.”
Eloise glanced at the child curiously. She thought it would be interesting to peep into Jewel’s mind and see her estimate of Aunt Madge.
“My mother has a great deal to trouble her,” she said loyally.
“Yes, I know she thinks she has,” returned the child.
Again her response surprised her companion.
“I’ll take you as you are, Jewel,” she said. “I’m glad you’re not grown up. You’re fresher from the workshop.”
AN EFFORT FOR TRUTH
When Eloise spoke in the ravine of talking with her grandfather, it was because for a few days she had been trying to make up her mind to an interview with him. A fortnight ago she would have felt this to be impossible; but subtle changes had been going on in herself, and, she thought, in him. If her mother would undertake the interview now and take that stand with Mr. Evringham which Eloise felt that self-respect demanded, the girl would gladly escape it; but there was no prospect of such a thing. Mrs. Evringham was only too glad to benefit by her father-in-law’s modified mood, to glide along the surface of things and wait—Eloise knew it, knew it every day, in moments when her cheeks flushed hot—for Dr. Ballard to throw the handkerchief.
The girl wished to talk with Mr. Evringham without her mother’s knowledge, and the prospect was a dreaded ordeal. She felt that they had won his contempt, and she feared the loss of her own self-control when she should come to touch upon the sore spots.
“What would you do, Jewel,” she asked the next morning, after they had read the lesson; “what would you do if you were afraid of somebody?”
“I wouldn’t be,” returned the child quickly.
“Well, I am. Now what am I going to do about it?”
Anna Belle, who always gave unwinking attention to the lesson, was in Jewel’s lap, and the child twisted out the in-turning morocco foot as she spoke.
“Why, I’d know that one thought of God couldn’t be afraid of another,” she replied in the conclusive tone to which Eloise could never grow accustomed.
“Oh, Jewel, child,” the girl said impatiently, “we’d be sorry to think most of the people we know are thoughts of God.”
“That’s because you get the error man mixed up with the real one. Mother explains that to me when we ride in cable cars and places where we see error people with sorry faces. There’s a real man, a real thought of God, behind every one of them; and when you remember to think right about people every minute, you are doing them good. Did you say you’re afraid of somebody?”