“They took ’em, did they?” said William.
“They couldn’t help it. They sent back one for lack of room, but he will have four hung.”
“That’s good. You haven’t told him?”
“I only heard an hour ago, and I had copying to finish. I have a little recital, of my pupils, this evening. I was planning to write the letter and mail it on the way out.”
Uncle William started up. “I’m hinderin’ ye.”
“No—please.” She had forced him back gently. “I shall not have to write the letter now. Tell me about him.” Her face was alight.
Uncle William considered. “The’ ain’t much to tell, I guess. He’s gettin’ better. He’s actin’ the way men gen’ally do.”
“Yes—?” Her voice sang a little. “And he wants to see me?”
“Wust way,” said Uncle William; “but he ain’t goin’ to. What was you copyin’ when I come in?”
“Some music—for one of the big houses. It helps out.”
Uncle William was looking at her thoughtfully. “He’d better give up his place when we go,” he said. “He’ll, like enough, stay with me all summer.”
“His rooms, you mean?” She mused a little. “Yes, perhaps—”
“They must cost a good deal,” said Uncle William.
“They do.” She paused a minute. “He is almost sure to take a prize,” she said. “It’s the best work he has done.”
“That’ll be good,” said Uncle William. “But we won’t count too much on it. He won’t need money in Arichat. A little goes a long ways up there. Good night.” He was holding out his hand.
She placed hers in it slowly. Uncle William lifted the slim fingers. He patted them benignly. “They don’t look good for much, but they’re pretty,” he said.
She laughed out quietly. “They have to be,” she said. “They’re my tools. I have to be careful of them. That is one of the things we quarreled about—Alan and I. He knew I ought not to use them and he wouldn’t let me do things for him, and he wouldn’t have a nurse, nor go to the hospital.” She sighed a little. “He was very obstinate.”
“Just like a mule,” assented Uncle William. He was stroking the fingers gently. “But he’s got a new driver this time.” He chuckled a little.
She looked up quickly. “Has he consented to go?”
“Well, we’re goin’.—It comes to the same thing I reckon,” said Uncle William. He was looking at the dark face with the darker lines beneath the eyes. “You’ll hev an easier time,” he said. “It’s been putty hard on you.”
“Oh, I don’t mind,” quickly, “—only the misunderstandings—and the quarrels—”
“That was the fever,” said Uncle William.
“But I didn’t have the fever,” said the girl. “I might have been patient.”