“Perry—that’s that old chap’s name—said that he would be in this week, at the office. I’ll bet he doesn’t come.”
“No, I don’t suppose he will,” Nancy said.
“I impressed it on his son that it meant—something, to me, to have him ask for me, if he did come,” said Bert, then.
“Bert, you’d better skip lunches, this week,” Nancy suggested thoughtfully.
“I will—that’s a good idea,” he said. She noticed that he was more than usually gentle and helpful with the children, that night. Nancy felt his strain, and her own, and went through Monday sick with suspense.
“Nothing doing!” said Bert cheerfully, coming in on Monday evening. Tuesday went by—Wednesday went by. On Thursday Nancy had an especially nice dinner, because Bert’s mother had come down, for a few days’ visit. The two women were good friends, and Nancy was never so capable, brisk, and busy as when these sharp but approving eyes were upon her.
The elder Mrs. Bradley approved of the children heartily, and boasted about them and their clever mother when she went home. Bert’s wife was so careful as to manners, so sensible about food and clothes, such a wonderful manager.
To-night Anne was in her grandmother’s lap, commandingly directing the reading of a fairy-story. Whenever the plot seemed thin to Anne she threw in a casual demand for additional lions, dragons or giants, as her fancy dictated. Mrs. Bradley giving Nancy a tremendously amused and sympathetic smile, supplied these horrors duly, and the boys, supposedly eating their suppers at one end of the dining-room table, alternately laughed at Anne and agonized with her.
Nancy was superintending the boys, the elderly woman had a comfortable chair by the fire, and Hannah was slowly and ponderously setting the table. It was a pretty scene for Bert’s eyes to find, as he came in, and he gave his mother and his wife a more than usually affectionate greeting.
Nancy followed him into their room, taking Anne. She was pleased that the children had been so sweet with their grandmother, pleased that her deep dish pie had come out so well, happy to be cosy and safe at home while the last heavy rains of October battened at the windows.
She had lowered Anne, already undressed, into her crib when Bert suddenly drew her away, and tipped up her face with his hand under her chin, and stared into her surprised eyes.
“Well, old girl, I got it! It was all settled inside of twenty minutes, at five o’clock!”
“The—? But Bert—–I don’t understand—” Nancy stammered. And then suddenly, with a rush of awed delight, “Bert Bradley! Not the Witcher Place!”
“Yep!” Bert answered briefly. “He took it. It’s all settled.”
So the Bradleys had a bank account. And even before the precious money was actually paid them, and deposited in the bank, Nancy knew what they were going to do with it. There was only one sensible thing for young persons who were raising a family on a small salary to do. They must buy a country home.