Mrs. Evringham lifted her eyes hopefully.
“I shall eke out the little income which is left to you with sufficient for you to live—not as you have done—but comfortably.”
The eager light faded from his listener’s eyes.
“Eloise and I have arranged that,” he continued, “and she is satisfied. Take my advice, Madge. Go to View Point.”
“I suppose Eloise doesn’t need horses so long as Jewel has them,” said Mrs. Evringham rising.
Her host followed her example. “She thinks not,” he returned concisely; then he opened the library door, and his daughter-in-law swept from his presence with all the dignity she could muster.
It was Sunday, and Mr. Bonnell was dining at Bel-Air Park. Had Jewel thought of it, she might have contrasted the expression of Mrs. Forbes’s face as she waited at table this evening with the look it wore on the day she first arrived; might have noted the cheerful flow of talk which enlivened the board, in distinction from the stiff silence or bitter repartee which once chilled her. As she responded to the smiles hovering now about Eloise’s lovely lips, she might have remembered the once sombre sadness of those eyes. Even Mrs. Evringham had buried the Macbethian dagger, and wore the meek and patient air of one misunderstood; but nothing would have amazed the child so much as to be told that she had had anything to do with this metamorphosis.
Anna Belle,—deserted often now, perforce, on account of the pony, whose life was a strenuous one, owing to the variety of Jewel’s attentions,—Anna Belle was petted with extra fondness when her turn came; and she sat at table now in a pleasing trance, her smile an impartial benediction upon all.
It had been a glorious June day, the park was at its best. After dinner the family strolled out toward the piazza.
Mrs. Forbes had attended her own Baptist church that morning, and the familiar Sunday-school tune that the children sang floated through her mind as she looked after the group.
“When He cometh,
when He cometh,
To make up His jewels,
All His pure ones, all His bright ones,
His loved and His own.
Who love their Redeemer,
Are the jewels, precious jewels,
His loved and His own.”
“What is Mr. Evringham going to do without that child?” she thought.
The broker was invaded with the same problem as Jewel lingered with him on the piazza, while the others walked on toward a seat beneath a spreading maple.
He ensconced himself in his favorite chair. The thrushes were singing vespers. The pure air was faintly and deliciously scented.
“Grandpa, is it too late to bring Star out for a nibble?” asked the little girl wistfully.