“How Jewel? Supposing you don’t know how.”
“You can learn how,” replied the child earnestly, “right in those books. Lots of sorry people grow glad studying them.”
While Jewel still stood turning over in her mind what she had heard, charming strains of music began coming up through the hall. Cousin Eloise had gone to the piano.
“I almost which I hadn’t made her tell me,” thought the child, “for how can I help grandpa not to be sorry they are here? Wouldn’t I be sorry to have aunt Madge come and live with me when I never asked her to?” She stood for some minutes wrestling with the problem, but suddenly her expression changed. “I was forgetting!” she exclaimed. “I mustn’t get sorry too. God is All. Mortal mind can’t do anything about it.” She closed her eyes, and pressing her hand to her lips, stood for a minute in mute realization; then with a smile of relief, she took up Anna Belle.
“Let’s go down, dearie, and hear the music,” she said light heartedly.
When the summons to luncheon sounded and Mrs. Evringham entered the parlor, she found the child curled up in a big chair, her doll in her lap, listening absorbedly to the last strains of a Chopin Ballade.
“Do you like music, Julia?” she asked patronizingly, as her daughter finished and turned about.
“The child’s name is Jewel,” said Eloise.
“Yes, aunt Madge, I love it,” replied the little girl; “and I didn’t know people could play the piano the way cousin Eloise does.”
Mrs. Evringham smiled. “I suppose you’ve not heard much good music.”
“Yes’m, I’ve heard our organist in church.”
“And Jewel can make good music herself,” said Eloise. “She can sing like a little lark. I’ve been up in her room this morning.”
Mrs. Evringham welcomed the look on her daughter’s face as she made the statement. “Thank fortune Eloise has played herself into good humor,” she thought.
“Indeed? I must hear her sing some time. You’re playing unusually well this morning, my dear. I wish Dr. Ballard could have heard you. Come to luncheon.”
The three repaired to the dining-room, where Mrs. Forbes’s glance immediately noted the presence of Anna Belle. She took her from Jewel’s arms and placed her on a remote corner of the sideboard, in the middle of which glowed the American Beauty roses.
Mrs. Evringham approached them with solicitude.
“They’re looking finely, Mrs. Forbes,” she said suavely. “You surely understand the care of roses.” She lifted the silver scissors that hung from her chatelaine and succeeded in severing one of the long stems.
“Here, little girl,” she added, advancing to Eloise, “you need this in your white gown to cheer us up this rainy day.”
The girl shrank and opened her lips to decline, but restrained herself and submitted to have the flower pinned amid her laces.