In a month, Jennie had grown so deft at her work and made herself so appreciated, that she was practically indispensable to the elderly woman, and therefore the greatest comfort to John. Immediately he saw that his mother was properly cared for, sympathetically and even lovingly, he made it his business to smooth Jennie’s path in every way possible. In turn she studied him, and in many ways made herself useful to him. Often she looked at him with large and speculative eyes as he sat reading letters, or papers, or smoking.
The world was all right with Kate when they crossed the sand dunes as they neared the city. She was sorry about the situation in her home, but she smiled sardonically as she thought how soon her father would forget his anger when he heard about the city home and the kind of farm she could have, merely by consenting to take it. She was that sure of John Jardine; yet he had not asked her to marry him. He had seemed on the verge of it a dozen times, and then had paused as if better judgment told him it would be wise to wait a little longer. Now Kate had concluded that there was a definite thing he might be waiting for, since that talk about land.
She thought possibly she understood what it was. He was a business man; he knew nothing else; he said so frankly. He wanted to show her his home, his business, his city, his friends, and then he required — he had almost put it into words — that he be shown her home and her people. Kate not only acquiesced, she approved. She wanted to know as much of a man she married as Nancy Ellen had known, and Robert had taken her to his home and told his people she was his betrothed wife before he married her.
Kate’s eyes were wide open and her brain busy, as they entered a finely appointed carriage and she heard John say: “Rather sultry. Home down the lake shore, George.” She wished their driver had not been named “George,” but after all it made no difference. There could not be a commoner name than John, and she knew of but one that she liked better. For the ensuing three days she lived in a Lake Shore home of wealth. She watched closely not to trip in the heavy rugs and carpets. She looked at wonderful paintings and long shelves of books. She never had touched such china, or tasted such food or seen so good service. She understood why John had opposed his mother’s undertaking the trip without him, for everyone in the house seemed busy serving the little woman.
Jennie Weeks was frankly enchanted.
“My sakes!” she said to Kate. “If I’m not grateful to you for getting me into a place like this. I wouldn’t give it up for all the school-teaching in the world. I’m going to snuggle right in here, and make myself so useful I won’t have to leave until I die. I hope you won’t turn me out when to come to take charge.”
“Don’t you think you’re presuming?” said Kate.
Jennie drew back with a swift apology, but there was a flash in the little eyes and a spiteful look on the small face as she withdrew.