“What is this little book, in which you were so absorbed as I came upon you?” he resumed, as he picked it up from the seat where she had laid it and turned to the title page. “U-m! another production by that remarkable woman! Do you understand it?”
“I am growing to understand it better every time I read it. There is much that is beautiful and helpful in it.”
“Well, one would need to read over and over to comprehend what she teaches, and”—reflectively—“I am not sure but what it would be well worth one’s while. But I must go. Dorrie will think I am very late this afternoon. An, revoir, Miss Minturn,” and slipping the book into Katherine’s hands, he lifted his hat and went his way, while she looked after him with shining eyes.
“Mamma sowed better than she knew, there; the soil is good and the seed is taking root,” she told herself as she turned with a light heart back to her book.
Sadie receives an opportune invitation.
The last weeks of the school year just seemed to melt away until only one remained, and this was filled full with many duties, various class meetings, preparations for graduating day, class receptions, etc.
For some time Katherine had observed that Sadie appeared absent-minded and depressed; in fact, wholly unlike herself, and twice of late she had surprised her in violent weeping. But the girl would give no reason, made light of it as “nervousness,” and evaded all questions.
One day, while looking over their personal belongings and packing away things no longer needed, preparatory to their flitting, Katherine abruptly inquired:
“Sadie, where are you going to spend your summer?”
The girl started violently and turned a vivid scarlet.
“I—I don’t know, honey. I reckon I may travel some,” she said, after a moment of hesitation.
“With your guardian and his family?”
“N-o; they’re going to Europe, but I don’t care to go with them.”
“But you surely cannot travel by yourself,” Katherine observed, in surprise, while she regarded the averted face opposite her curiously, an unaccountable feeling of uneasiness taking possession of her.
“I—I suppose I can’t; perhaps I shan’t, after all,” Sadie stammered. “I may go to some quiet place and board.”
“Even in that case you would need a chaperon,” Katherine objected.
“Well, Mr. Farnsworth wants me to go to his sister in Genesee County. She’s a stiff, little old maid who lives by herself, and he says if I will not go to Europe I must stay with her. But I might as well be shut up in a convent, and—I won’t,” and there was a resonant note of defiance in Miss Minot’s voice as she concluded.
“But what is your objection to the European trip, Sadie? I should think you would like it; I am sure you could have no better opportunity than to go with the Farnsworths,” argued Katherine, who was more and more perplexed by her roommate’s strange caprice.