When the door closed, Rose gathered up the music he had forgotten, and put it away. Isabel came to her contritely. “Cousin Rose, I’m so sorry I said that! I didn’t think!”
“Don’t bother about it,” Rose replied, kindly. “It was nothing at all, and, besides, it’s true.”
“‘Tell the truth and shame the—family,’” misquoted Madame Bernard. “Age and false hair are not things to be flaunted, Isabel, remember that.”
Isabel flushed at the rebuke, and her cheeks were still burning when she went to her room.
“I don’t care,” she said to herself, with a swift change of mood. “I’m glad I told him. They’d never have done it, and it’s just as well for him to know.”
Madame Bernard and Rose soon followed her example, but Rose could not sleep. Through the night the voice of the violin sounded through her consciousness, calling, calling, calling—heedless of the answer that thrilled her to the depths of her soul.
THE CROSBY TWINS
The Crosby twins were making a formal call upon Isabel. They had been skating and still carried their skates, but Juliet wore white gloves and had pinned her unruly hair into some semblance of order while they waited at the door. She wore a red tam-o’-shanter on her brown curls and a white sweater under her dark green skating costume, which was short enough to show the heavy little boots, just now filling the room with the unpleasant odour of damp leather.
“Won’t you take off your coat?” asked Isabel. “You’ll catch cold when you go out, if you don’t take it off.”
“Thanks,” responded Juliet, somewhat stiffly. Then she stretched out both hands to her hostess, laughing as she did so. “Look!” The sweater sleeves had crept up to her elbows, displaying several inches of bare, red arm between the sleeves and the short white gloves.
“That’s just like us,” remarked Romeo. “If we try to be elegant, something always happens.”
The twins looked very much alike. They were quite tall and still retained the dear awkwardness of youth, in spite of the near approach of their twenty-first birthday. They had light brown curly hair, frank blue eyes that met the world with interest and delight, well-shaped mouths, not too small, and stubborn little chins. A high colour bloomed on their cheeks and they fairly radiated the joy of living.
“Can you skate?” inquired Romeo.
“No,” smiled Isabel.
“Juliet can. She can skate as far as I can, and almost as fast.”
“Romie taught me,” observed Juliet, with becoming modesty.
“Do you play hockey? No, of course you don’t, if you don’t skate,” he went on, answering his own question. “Can you swim?”
“No,” responded Isabel, sweetly.
“Jule’s a fine swimmer. She saved a man’s life once, two Summers ago.”
“Romie taught me,” said Juliet, beaming at her brother.