He was nailing up this box one afternoon, and humming as he did so, -
“But I alone am
left to pine,
And sit beneath the withy tree,
For truth and honesty be gone” —
when the painter came in behind him.
“Stop that doleful strain, Giotto, I beg; you’ve been painfully sentimental the last day or two.”
“It’s an old song they sing about here, sir,” said Jan.
“Never mind the song, you’ve been doleful yourself, Giotto! I believe you’re dissatisfied that we do not push the search for your father. Is it money you want, child? Believe me, riches enough lie between your fingers and your miller’s thumb. Or do you want a more fashionable protector than the old artist?”
“No, no, sir!” cried Jan. “I never want to leave you; and it’s not money I want, but” —
“Well, my boy? Don’t be afraid.”
“It’s my mother, sir,” said Jan, with flushed cheeks. “My real mother, I mean. She didn’t desert me, sir; she died—when I was born. I doubt nobody sees to her grave, sir. Perhaps there’s nobody but me who would. I can’t do any thing for her now, sir, I know; but it seems as if I hardly did my duty in not knowing where she lies.”
The painter’s hands were already deep in his loose pockets, from which, jumbled up with chalk, india-rubber, bits of wash-leather, cakes of color, reed pens, a penknife, and some drawing-pins, he brought the balance of his loose cash, and became absorbed in calculations. “Is that box ready?” he asked. “We start to-morrow, mind. You are right, and I was wrong; but my wish was to spare you possible pain. I now think it is your duty to risk the possible pain. If those rascally creatures who stole you are in London, the police will find them. Be content, Giotto; you shall stand by your mother’s grave!”
D’arcy sees bogy.—The academy.—The painter’s picture.
The Ammabys were in London. Amabel preferred the country; but she bore the town as she bore with many other things that were not quite to her taste, including painfully short petticoats, and Mademoiselle, the French governess. She was in the garden of the square one morning, when D’Arcy ran in.
“O Amabel!” he cried, “I’m so glad you’re alone! Whom do you think I’ve seen? The boy you called Bogy. It must be he; I’ve looked in the glass, and oh, he is like me!”
“Where did you see him?” asked Amabel.
“Well, you know I’ve told you I get up very early just now?”
“I wish you wouldn’t tell me,” interrupted Amabel, “when you know Mademoiselle won’t let me get up till half-past eight. Oh, I wish we were going home this week!”
“I’m very sorry, Amabel, but do listen. I was down by the river, and there he was sketching; and oh, so beautifully! I shall burn all my copies; I can never draw like him. Amabel, he is awfully like me, and he must be very near my age. He’s like what people’s twin-brothers are, you know. I wish he were my twin-brother!”