‘Oh, Harry, can’t we stay and see Henry VII.’s Chapel, and Poets’ Corner, and Edward I.’s monument?’ pleaded the sister.
’I am afraid we must not, Gill. I have to see after some vases, and to get a lot of things at the Stores, and it will soon be dark. If I don’t go to Southampton to-morrow, I will take you then. Now then, feet or cab?’
‘Oh, let us walk! It is ten times the fun.’
‘Then mind you don’t jerk me back at the crossings.’
There are few pleasures greater of their kind than that of the youthful country cousin under the safe escort of a brother or father in London streets. The sisters looked in at windows, wondered and enjoyed, till they had to own their feet worn out, and submit to a four-wheeler.
’An hour of London is more than a month of Rockquay, or a year of Silverfold,’ cried Gillian.
‘Dear old Silverfold,’ said Mysie; ‘when shall we go back?’
‘By the bye,’ said Harry, ’how about the great things that were to be done for mother?’
‘Primrose is all right,’ said Mysie. ’The dear little thing has written a nice copybook, and hemmed a whole set of handkerchiefs for papa. She is so happy with them.’
‘And you, little Mouse?’
’I have done my translation—–not quite well, I am afraid, and made the little girl’s clothes. I wonder if I may go and take them to her.’
‘And Val has finished her crewel cushion, thanks to the aunts,’ said Gillian.
‘Fergus’s machine, how about that? Perpetual motion, wasn’t it?’
‘That has turned into mineralogy, worse luck,’ said Gillian.
‘Gill has done a beautiful sketch of Rockquay,’ added Mysie.
‘Oh! don’t talk of me,’ said Gillian. ’I have only made a most unmitigated mess of everything.’
But here attention was diverted by Harry’s exclaiming—–
‘Hullo! was that Henderson?’
‘Nonsense; the Wardours are at Cork.’
‘He may be on leave.’
‘Or retired. He is capable of it.’
‘I believe it was old Fangs.’
The discussion lasted to Belgrave Square.
And then Sunday was spent upon memorable churches and services under the charge of Harry, who was making the most of his holiday. The trio went to Evensong at St. Wulstan’s, and a grand idea occurred to Gillian—–could not Theodore White become one of those young choristers, who had their home in the Clergy House.
CHAPTER XVIII. FATHER AND MOTHER
The telegram came early on Monday morning. Admiral Merrifield and Harry started by the earliest train, deciding not to take the girls; whereupon their kind host, to mitigate the suspense, placed himself at the young ladies’ disposal for anything in the world that they might wish to see. It was too good an opportunity of seeing the Houses of Parliament to be lost, and the spell of Westminster Abbey was upon Mysie.