How simple it was all said. Mrs. Harold was more and more puzzled. The drive was longer than she had expected it to be and she had ample time to observe her young hostess.
“And your mother or aunt, whom I infer is my correspondent, shall I meet her at Severndale!”
“My mother is not living, Mrs. Harold, and I have no own aunt; only an aunt by marriage, the widow of Daddy’s only brother, but I have never seen her.”
“Then I am at a loss to understand with whom I have been corresponding about a wonderful horse called Silver Star. Someone who signs her letters Margaret C. Stewart, and who evidently knows what she is writing about, too, for she writes to the point and has told me a dozen things which no one but an experienced business woman would think of telling. Yet you tell me there is neither a Mrs. nor Miss Stewart at Severndale.”
“I am afraid I am the only Miss Stewart at Severndale, though I am never called Miss Stewart. I’m just Miss Peggy to the help, and Peggy to my friends. But, of course, when I write business letters I have to sign my full name.”
“You write business letters. Do you mean to tell me you wrote those letters’?”
“I’m the only Margaret Stewart,” answered Peggy, her eyes twinkling. “But here we are at Severndale.”
The span made a sharp turn and sped along a beautiful avenue over-arched by golden beeches and a moment later swept up to a stately old colonial mansion which must have looked out over the reaches of Round Bay for many generations.
It must be admitted that during the drive from the station Peggy’s curiosity concerning her guests had been fully as lively as theirs regarding her. She had never known girl friends; there was but one home within reasonable reach of her own which harbored a girl near her own age and during the past year even this one had been sent off to boarding school, her parents realizing that the place was too remote to afford her the advantages her age demanded. Consequently, Peggy experienced a little thrill when she met Polly Howland. Here was a girl of her own age, her own station, and, if intuition meant anything, a kindred spirit. The moment of their introduction had been too brief for Peggy to have a good look at Polly, but now that they had reached Severndale she meant to have it, and while Mrs. Howland and Polly were exclaiming over the beauty of the old place, and the former was wondering how she could have lived in Annapolis so long without even being aware of its existence, Peggy, while apparently occupied in caring for her guests’ welfare, was scrutinizing those guests very closely.