Jewel’s eyes questioned Eloise that evening when she reached home, and she received the smiling, significant nod her cousin gave her with satisfaction.
It was an apparently united family party that gathered about the dinner table. Mr. Evringham and Eloise discussed their game, while Mrs. Evringham fairly rustled with complacence.
As Jewel clung to her grandfather’s neck that evening in bidding him good-night, she whispered:—
“How happy we all are!”
“Are we, really? Well now, that’s very gratifying, I’m sure. Good-night, Jewel.”
IN THE HARNESS ROOM
“Mother, can I have three dollars?” asked Eloise the next morning.
“Were you thinking of a new riding hat, dear? I do wish you had it to wear this afternoon. Yours is shabby, certainly, but you can’t get it for that, child.”
“No; I was thinking of a copy of ‘Science and Health.’ I don’t like to take Jewel’s any longer, and I’m convinced.”
“What of—sin?” asked Mrs. Evringham in dismay.
“No, just the opposite—that there needn’t be any. The book teaches the truth. I know it.”
“Well, whether it does or doesn’t, you haven’t any three dollars to spend for a book, Eloise,” was the firm reply. “The idea, when I can barely rake and scrape enough together to keep us presentable!”
“Where do you get our money?” asked the girl.
“Father gives me a check every fortnight. Of course you know that he has charge of our affairs.”
Eloise’s serene expression did not change. She looked at the little black book in her hand. “This edition costs five dollars,” she said.
“Scandalous!” exclaimed Mrs. Evringham. “I can tell you this is no time for us to be collecting editions de luxe. Wait till you’re married.”
“I’m going to run in town for a while this morning, mother.”
“You are? Well don’t get belated. You know that you are to ride with Dr. Ballard at half past four. Dear me,” her brow drawn, “you ought to have that hat. Now I think that I could get on without that jet bolero.”
Eloise laughed softly and drew her mother to her. “Have your jet bolero, dear,” she answered. “My hat isn’t bad.”
Eloise went to her room, and closing the door, took from one of her drawers a box. It contained her girlish treasures, the ornaments and jewels her father had given her from time to time. She took out a small diamond ring and pressed it to her lips.
“Dear papa! I love it because you gave it to me, but I can get with it a wonderful thing, a truth which, if we had known it, would have saved you all those torturing hours, would have saved your dear life. I know how gladly you would have me get it now, for you are learning it too; and it will be your gift, dear, dear papa, your gift just the same.”