The broker laughed. “She’s an Evringham, an Evringham!” he said.
“You may laugh, sir, but what do you think of her wheedling me into sending Zeke up, and then getting him off on the sly with that telegram? I faced him down with it to-night, and Zeke isn’t any good at fibbing.”
“I’ll be hanged if I don’t think it was a pretty good thing for me,” rejoined Mr. Evringham, “and money in my pocket. It looked as if I was in for Ballard for a matter of weeks.”
“But the—the—the audacity of it!” protested Mrs. Forbes. “What do you think she said after you and Dr. Ballard had done downstairs? I tried to bring her to a sense of what she’d done, and all she answered was that she had known that God would deliver her out of the snare of the fowler. Now I should like to ask you, Mr. Evringham,” added Mrs. Forbes in an access of outraged virtue, “which of us three do you think she called the fowler?”
“Give it up, I’m sure,” returned the broker; “but I can imagine that we seemed three pretty determined giants for one small girl to outwit.”
“She’d outwit a regiment, sir; and I don’t see how you can permit it.”
Mr. Evringham endeavored to compose his countenance. “We must allow her religious liberty, I suppose, Mrs. Forbes. It’s a matter of religion with her—that is, we must allow it as long as she keeps well. If Ballard had found her worse to-night, I assure you I should have consigned all Christian Scientists to the bottom of the sea, and that little zealot would have taken her medicine from my own hand. All’s well that ends well, eh?”
Mrs. Forbes had caught sight of the incongruous adornment of her employer’s desk.
With majestic strides she advanced upon the yellow chicken and swept it into her apron. “Julia must be taught not to litter your room, sir.”
“I beg your pardon,” returned the broker firmly, also advancing and holding out his hand. “That is my chicken.”
Slowly Mrs. Forbes restored the confiscated property, and Mr. Evringham examined it carefully to see that it was intact, and then set it carefully on his desk.
Mrs. Forbes recalled the confectioner’s window. “She must have bought that chicken when my back was turned!” she thought. “That young one could have given points to Napoleon.”
A RAINY MORNING
The next morning it rained so heavily that Mr. Evringham was obliged to forego his ride. Wet weather was an unmixed ill to him. It not only made riding and golf miserable, but it reminded him that rheumatism was getting a grip on one of his shoulders.
“It is disgusting, perfectly disgusting to grow old,” he muttered as he descended the broad staircase. On the lower landing Jewel rose up out of the dusk, where she had been sitting near the beautiful clock. Her bright little face shone up at him like a sunbeam.