She put it aside on the table. “I thought you might not have money enough to come at once, and he needed you.”
“Yes, he needed me. He’s better.”
Her face lightened. The rays of color awoke and played in it. “You have cured him.”
“Well,”—Uncle William was judicious,—“I give him a pill.”
She laughed out. “He needed you,” she said.
“Did he?” Uncle William leaned forward. “I never had anybody need me—not really need me.” His tone confided it to her.
She looked back at him. “I should think every one would.”
He looked a little puzzled. “I dunno. But I see, from the way you wrote, that he did, so I come right along.”
“He will get well now.”
“He was middlin’ discouraged,” said Uncle William.
“He couldn’t see anything the way it is.” Her face had flushed a little, but the light in her eyes was clear.
Uncle William met it. “You showed a good deal of sense,” he said.
The face, as she pushed back the hair from it, looked tired. “I had to think for two.”
Uncle William nodded. “He wants to see you.”
She mused over it. “Do you think I’d better?”
“No,” said Uncle William, promptly.
Her lips remained parted. “Not to-morrow?” she said. Her lips closed on the word gently.
“Not for a considabul spell.” Uncle William shook his head. “He ain’t acted right.”
“He was ill.”
“He was sick,” admitted Uncle William, “—some. But it was some cussedness, too. That ain’t the main thing though.” Uncle William leaned nearer. “He’ll get well faster if he has suthin’ to kind o’ pester him.”
She looked at him with open eyes.
“It’s the way men be,” said Uncle William. “The Lord knew how ’t was, I reckon, when he made ’em. He hadn’t more’n got ’em done, ’fore he made wimmen.” He beamed on her genially. “He’ll get well a good deal faster if the’ ‘s suthin’ he thinks he wants and can’t have.”
“Yes. How will you keep him away?” A little twinkle sounded in her voice.
“I’ll take him home with me,” said Uncle William, “up to Arichat.”
“Well, in a day or two—soon’s it’s safe. It’d do anybody good.” His face grew wistful. “If you jest see it once, the way it is, you’d know what I mean: kind o’ big sweeps,”—he waved his arm over acres of moor,—“an’ a good deal o’ sky—room enough for clouds, sizable ones, and wind. You’d o’t to hear our wind.” He paused, helpless, before the wind. He could not convey it.
“I have heard it.”
He stared at her. “You been there?”
“I’ve seen it, I mean—in Alan’s pictures.”
“Oh, them!” His tone reduced them to mere art. But a thought hung on it. “Where be they?” he asked.
“At the ‘Exhibition of American Artists.’” It was the tone of sheer pride.