She feared with a grave dread the giving of the contents of this treasure house, knowing full well that, if she gave at all, she would bestow with a lavish hand, believing the priceless riches of her love to be but a humble offering upon the shrine of the loved one.
For all this consciousness that she would be as wax in the hands of the man she would some day love, she had much of a conviction that, somehow, things would come right.
Beyond thanking the Almighty for the beauties of nature, sunlight, and the happiness that danced in her veins, she did not bother herself overmuch with public religious observances. She had a fixed idea that, if she did her duty in life, and tried to help others to the best of her small ability, God would, in some measure, reward her very much as her dear father would have done, if he had been spared; also, that, if she did ill, she would offend Him and might be visited with some sign of His displeasure, just as her own father might have done if he had been still on earth to advise and protect her.
Then, all such thoughts faded from her mind; she looked out of the carriage window as the train rushed through Didcot Junction. She felt hungry after the meagre breakfast she had made; she remembered the sandwiches, and, untying the greasy little parcel, was glad to eat them. When she had finished the sandwiches, she lit another cigarette; after smoking this, she closed her eyes the better to reflect.
Then she remembered nothing till the calling of “Melkbridge!” “Melkbridge!” seemed to suffuse her senses. She awoke with a start, to find that she had reached her destination.
FRIENDS IN NEED
Mavis scrambled out of the train, just in time to prevent herself from being carried on to the next stopping—place. She smoothed her ruffled plumage and looked about her. She found the station much smaller than she had believed it to be; she hardly remembered any of its features, till the scent of the stocks planted in the station-master’s garden assisted her memory. She gave up her ticket, and looked about her, thinking that very likely she would be met, if not by a member of the Devitt family, by some conveyance; but, beyond the station ‘bus and two or three farmers’ gigs, there was nothing in the nature of cart or carriage. She asked the hobbledehoy, who took her ticket, where Mrs Devitt lived, at which the youth looked at her in a manner that evidently questioned her sanity at being ignorant of such an important person’s whereabouts. Mavis repeated her question more sharply than before. The ticket-collector looked at her open—mouthed, glanced up the road and then again to Mavis, before saying:
“Here her be.”
“Noa. The trap. Mebbe your eyes hain’t so ‘peart’ as mine.”