“I don’t believe I could, child,” said aunt Madge, glancing with amusement at the striped bag. “Keep them for yourself.”
“You’ll have some, won’t you, Mrs. Forbes?” asked Jewel, and the housekeeper so strongly disapproved of Mrs. Evringham’s manner that she accepted.
“Perhaps you would like to try some of our candy, Julia,” said Mrs. Evringham, as the child followed her aunt and cousin upstairs.
Jewel paused while aunt Madge brought from her room into the hall a large box, beribboned and laced, full of a variety of confections.
“How pretty!” exclaimed the child.
“This is from your friend, Dr. Ballard,” said her aunt. “He sent it to the charming little girl, Eloise.”
Jewel, running on up to her room eating the creamy chocolate, wondered still more why her cousin should seem so sorry, with so much to make her happy.
“Now, Anna Belle, the time has really come,” she said happily to her doll, as she took her in her arms and began putting on her jacket and hat. “We’re going away from Castle Discord to seek our fortunes. We’re going to leave the giantess, and leave the impolite error fairy, and leave the poor enchanted maiden, and go to find the ravine and the brook. Wait till I put on my oldest shoes, for we shall have to climb deep, deep down to get near to father.”
At last she was ready, and when she had closed the heavy house door behind her, and had run down the driveway to the park road, a delicious sense of freedom possessed her.
“There goes the little Westerner,” observed Mrs. Evringham, looking from her window. “It’s a good thing she knows how to amuse herself.”
“A good thing, indeed,” returned Eloise. “There is no one here to do anything for her.”
“She has wonderful assurance for such a plain little monkey,” went on Mrs. Evringham.
“She has extremely good breeding,” returned her daughter, coming to the window and following Jewel’s retreating figure with her eyes, “and a charming face when she smiles.”
“Very well. Look out for yourself, then. I thought last night, once or twice, at dinner, that she was rather entertaining to her grandfather.”
“She has her doll,” said Eloise wistfully. “Where can she be going? I wish I were going with her.”
Mrs. Evringham laughed. “Well, you are bored. Pshaw, my dear! Lie down and get a little beauty sleep. Then we will go driving and see that charming spot Dr. Ballard told us about. I’m sure he will call to-night.”
Outside the well-kept roads of Bel-Air Park, Nature had been encouraged to work her sweet will. The drive wound along the edge of a picturesque gorge, and it was not long before Jewel found the scene of her father’s favorite stories.
The sides of the ravine were studded with tall trees, and in its depths flowed a brook, unusually full now from the spring rains.