‘It is all very pretty except that rose,’ said Katherine, ’but I am sure that is an unnatural colour.—Is it not, Anne ?’
‘I do not think that I ever saw one like it,’ said Anne; ’but that is no proof that there is no such flower.’
‘What do you think, Lizzie?’ said Katherine; ’ought not Helen to alter it?’
Anne was rather alarmed by this appeal; but Elizabeth answered carelessly, without looking up, ’Oh! you know I know nothing about that kind of work.’
‘But you can tell what colour a rose is,’ persisted Katherine; ’now do not you think Helen will spoil her work with that orange-coloured rose? who ever heard of such a thing?’
Helen was on the point of saying that one of the gable-ends of the house at Dykelands was covered with a single rose of that colour, but she remembered that Dykelands was not a safe subject, and refrained.
’Come, do not have a York and Lancaster war about an orange-coloured rose, Kate,’ said Elizabeth, coming up to Helen; ’why, Anne, where are your eyes? did you never see an Austrian briar, just the the colour of Helen’s lambs-wools?’
Though this was a mere trifle, Helen was pleased to find that Elizabeth could sometimes be on her side of the question, and worked on in a more cheerful spirit.
‘Why, Anne,’ said Elizabeth, presently after, ’you are doing that old wreath over again, that you were about last year, when I was at Merton Hall.’
‘Yes,’ said Anne; ‘it is a pattern which I like very much.’
‘Do you like working the same thing over again?’ said Katherine; ’I always get tired of it.’
‘I like it very much,’ said Anne; ’going over the same stitches puts me in mind of things that were going on when I was working them before.—Now, Lizzie, the edge of that poppy seems to have written in it all that delightful talk we had together, at home, about growing up, that day when Papa and Mamma dined out, and we had it all to ourselves. And the iris has the whole of Don Quixote folded up in it, because Papa was reading it to us, when I was at work upon it.’
’There certainly seems to be a use and pleasure in never sitting down three minutes without that carpet-work, which I should never have suspected,’ said Elizabeth.
‘Anne thinks as I do,’ said Mrs. Woodbourne; ’I find carpet-work quite a companion to me, but I cannot persuade Lizzie to take any pleasure in it.’
‘I have not time for it,’ said Elizabeth, ’nor patience if I had time. It is all I can persuade myself to do to keep my clothes from being absolute rags.’
‘Yes,’ said Katherine; ’you always read with Meg in your lap, when you have no mending to do; you have been six months braiding that frock.’
‘Oh! that is company work,’ said Elizabeth; ’I began it at Merton Hall for Dora, but I believe Winifred must have it now. But now it is so nearly done, that I shall finish while you are here.’