She argued the point with eloquence, even excitedly; and when she had brought him to reason—very willing to be brought—leaned back in her chair with a joyous air.
“Oh, we will arrange it!” she reassured him. “There are plenty of ways. I’ll tell you”—bending forward again and gazing earnestly into eyes from which something that had been looking out of them seemed to have drawn back hastily—“you shall introduce me to her, and I will bring him away up here for a visit. He ought to be in the country in summer, and he will come with me, I know, and won’t miss her after a couple of days. I can get you a nurse cheap from some of the selectors, and one more or less makes not the slightest difference in a house like this; and I will take care of him for you until you come back next voyage, or for just as long as you will trust him to me. So the difficulty will solve itself without any fuss. Do you see?”
Guthrie Carey felt unable to reply. He could only murmur again and again: “You are awfully good, Miss Urquhart. ’Pon my word, you are too good altogether.” Later, he declared more firmly that he could not think of troubling her.
“Nonsense!” she returned lightly. “It is all settled.”
Decidedly he was a coward, with all his brawn and inches; for he dared not protest straight-forwardly that all was not settled. He certainly told himself that he did not know what to do, but he also told himself that he would be a fool to do practically the same thing that he had done before. He passed a sleepless night, poor fellow, cogitating the matter; and in the morning, when the moon was gone, saw clearly himself where the path of prudence lay. Still he lacked courage to make it clear to Miss Urquhart, even while he saw her laying out, with enthusiasm, that road of her own which his terrified imagination pictured her marching along presently, bearing the baby aloft in her arms, and dragging him on a dog-chain behind her. It was not until mid-day that he suddenly became a brave man—about five minutes after the arrival of Deborah Pennycuick.
She rode over from Redford, all by herself, as her frequent custom was, to see how Five Creeks was getting on, and to talk over plans for Christmas. She wore a brown holland habit over the most beautifully moulded form, and, entering the house, tossed aside a shady hat from the most beautiful face that ever delighted eyes of man and virile heart of three-and-twenty. It is in such plain terms that one must describe this noble creature; words in half-tones are unworthy of the theme. Being introduced by Alice Urquhart, Guthrie Carey, in a sense, expanded on the spot into a fresh stage, a larger scope of being, with his unleaping recognition of her inspiring greatness. It seemed to him that he had never looked upon a woman before. Lily, of course, had been an angel. “I thought I should just strike lunch,” she said, as she came like a sunbeam into the dim, low-ceiled, threadbare, comfortable room where the meal was ready. “I’m as hungry as a hunter, Mrs Urquhart.”