“I’m not surprised,” said the broker at last. “If there is anything she does not mention to her Creator, I have yet to learn what it is. How did you get around her, Ballard?”
“Oh, I used a little justifiable hocus-pocus about the medicine. That’s all.”
“And you think it’s not anything very serious, then?”
“I think not. Where there’s so much temperature it is a little hard to tell at first with a child. This evening I shall make a more thorough examination. The ice is broken now, and it will be easier. She will be less excited. I see,” glancing at the yellow chicken, whose beady eyes appeared to be following the conversation, “the little girl has found her way even into this sanctum.”
Mr. Evringham cleared his throat as he followed the doctor’s glance. “No,” he responded shortly. “She has not found her way in here yet. That is—my chicken. She bought it for me.”
Dr. Ballard lifted his eyebrows and smiled as he arose.
“Come back before dinner if possible, Ballard. I shall be uneasy.”
Mrs. Forbes entered Jewel’s room after speaking with the doctor. The little girl looked at her eagerly. A plan had formed in her mind which depended for its success largely on the housekeeper’s complaisance, and she wished to propitiate her.
“I want to fix it so you can call me when you need anything, Julia,” she said. “The doctor has told you about taking the medicine, and here is a little clock I’m going to put on your table right by the bed, and I’ve brought up a bell. I shall leave the farther door open so the sound of this bell will go right down the backstairs, and one of us will come up whenever you ring. Dr. Ballard says it’s best for you to be quiet.”
“Yes’m,” replied Jewel. “Do you think, Mrs. Forbes—would it be too much trouble—would he have time—could I see Jeremiah just a few minutes?”
“Jeremiah—the gentleman who lives with the horses.”
“Do you mean my son Ezekiel?”
“Oh, yes’m. Ezekiel. I knew it was a prophet. He always speaks very kindly to me, and I like him. I wish I could see him just a few minutes.”
Mrs. Forbes was very much astonished and somewhat flattered. “It’s wonderful, the fancy that child has taken to me and mine,” she thought.
“Well, folks must be humored when they’re sick,” she replied. “Let me see,” looking at the little clock, “yes, Mr. Evringham’s missed the second train. There’ll be five or ten minutes yet, and ’Zekiel’s got to wait anyway. I guess he can come up and see you.”
“Oh, thank you, Mrs. Forbes!” returned Jewel.
The housekeeper made her way out to the barn, where her son in his livery was waiting and reading the paper.
“The doctor’s gone, Zeke, and the child wants to see you.”