“I don’t know,” he replied, his mood altered by her tone, “but I should like to know what you think about it. Your cure was a rather surprising one to us all.”
“I can tell you some of the things I know.”
“Do so then.”
“Well”—a pause—“there wasn’t anything to cure, you see.”
“Ah! You weren’t ill then!”
“No—o,” scornfully, “of course not. I knew it all the time, but it seemed so real to me, and so hot, I knew I’d have to have some one else handle the claim for me.”
“It certainly did seem rather real.” Mr. Evringham smiled.
Jewel saw that he did not in the least comprehend.
“You know there isn’t any devil, don’t you, grandpa?” she asked patiently.
“Well, sometimes I have my doubts.”
The little girl tried to discover by his eyes if he were in earnest.
“If you believe there is, then you could believe that I was really sick; but if you believe there isn’t, and that God created everybody and everything, then it is so easy to understand that I wasn’t. Think of God creating anything bad!”
Mr. Evringham nodded vaguely. “When mother comes home she’ll tell you about it, if you want her to.” She sighed a little and abruptly changed the subject. “Grandpa, are you going to be working at your desk?”
“Yes, for a while.”
“Could I sit over at that table and write a letter while you’re busy? I wouldn’t speak.” She slipped down from his knee.
“I don’t know about your having ink. You’re a rather small girl to be writing letters.”
“Oh no, I’ll take a pencil—because sometimes I move quickly and ink tips over.”
“Quite so. I’m glad you realize that, else I should be afraid to have you come to my study.”
“You’d better not be afraid,” the child shook her head sagely, “because that makes things happen.”
Her grandfather regarded her curiously. This small Bible student, who couldn’t tie her own hair ribbons, was an increasing problem to him.
He continued to watch the child furtively, while she made her arrangements for writing. Finding that no chair in the room would bring her to a proper height for the table, she looked all about, and finally skipped over to the morocco lounge and tugged from it a pillow almost too heavy for her to carry; but she arrived with it at the chair, much to the amusement of Mr. Evringham, who affected absorption in his papers, while he enjoyed the exhibition of the child’s energy and independence.
“She’s the kind that ‘makes old shears cut,’ as my mother used to say,” he mused, and turning, the better to view the situation, he found Jewel mounted on her perch and watching him fixedly.
She looked relieved. “I didn’t want to disturb you, grandpa, but may I ask one question?”