The First Evening
In the excitement of the early morning start, Jewel had eaten little
breakfast, but the soft resonance of the Japanese gong, when it sounded
in the hall below, found her unready for food.
However, she judged the mellow sound to be her summons and obediently
left her seat by the window. As she went down she looked askance at
the tall dark clock which, even as she passed, chimed the half hour
rtainly her important grandfather lived in a wonderful
house. She paused to hear the last notes of the bells, but catching
sight of the figure of Mrs. Forbes waiting below, she started and moved
"That's right. Come along," said the housekeeper. "Mr. Evringham likes
everybody to be punctual in his house."
"Oh, has grandpa come home?" inquired Jewel eagerly.
"No, he won't be home for hours yet. Come this way."
The little girl followed to the dining-room, which she thought quite as
wonderful as the clock; but her admiration of all she saw was no longer
unmixed. Mrs. Forbes seemed to cast a shadow.
One place was laid at the table, one handsome chair was drawn up to it.
Jewel longed to call Anna Belle's attention to the glittering array on
the sideboard and behind the crystal doors of cabinets, but something
She looked questioningly at the housekeeper. "I think I'll draw up
another chair for Anna Belle," she said.
Mrs. Forbes had already decided, from small signs of assurance, that
this Western child was bold. "Give her an inch, and she'll take an ell,"
she had said to herself. "I know her sort."
"Do you mean the doll?" she returned. "Put it down anywhere. You must
never bring it to the table. Mr. Evringham wouldn't like it."
In silence Jewel seated the doll in the nearest chair against the wall,
and as she slid up into her own, a neat maid appeared with a puffy and
Mrs. Forbes filled the child's glass with water, and the maid set down
the omelet and departed.
Jewel's heart sank while Mrs. Forbes presented the souffle.
"I'm sorry," she began hesitatingly, "I never--I can't"--then she
swallowed hard in her desperate plight. "Isn't it pretty?" she said
"It's very good," returned the housekeeper briefly, misconstruing the
child's hesitation. "Shall I help you?"
"I--could I have a drink of milk? I don't--I don't eat eggs."
"Don't eat eggs?" repeated the housekeeper severely. "I'm sorry you
have been allowed to be notional. Children should eat what is set before
them. Taste of it."
"I--I couldn't, please." Jewel's face was averted.
Mrs. Forbes touched an electric bell. The maid reappeared. "Remove the
omelet, Sarah, and bring Miss Julia a glass of milk."
That was the order, but oh, the tone of it! Jewel's heart beat a little
faster as she took some bread and butter and drank the milk, Mrs. Forbes
standing by, a portentous, solemn, black-robed figure, awful in its
When the child set down the glass empty, she started to push back her
"Wait," said Mrs. Forbes laconically. She again touched an electric
bell. The maid reappeared, removed the bread and milk and served a
dainty dessert of preserved peaches, cream, and cake.
"I've really had enough," said Jewel politely.
"Don't you eat peaches and cream, or cake either?" asked Mrs. Forbes
"Yes'm," returned the child, and ate them without further ado.
"Your trunk has come," said Mrs. Forbes when at last Jewel slipped down
from the table. "I will come up and help you unpack it."
"If only she wouldn't!" thought the child as she lifted Anna Belle, but
the housekeeper preceded her up the stairs, breathing rather heavily.
Sure enough, when they reached the white room, there stood the new trunk
that had been packed with so much anticipation. The bright black letters
on the side, J. E., had power even now to send a little glow of pride
through its possessor. She stole a glance at Mrs. Forbes, but, strange
as it may appear, the housekeeper gave no evidence of admiration.
"I don't need to trouble you, Mrs. Forbes. I can unpack it," said the
"I'm up here now, and anyway, I'd better show you where to keep your
things. Where's your key?"
Jewel laid down the doll and opened her leather side-bag, producing the
key tied with a little ribbon.
Mrs. Forbes unlocked the trunk, lifted out the tray, and began in a
business-like manner to dispose of the small belongings that had last
been handled so tenderly.
"Mrs. Harry certainly knows how to pack," ran her thoughts, "and she'd
naturally know how to sew. These things are as neat as wax, and the
child's well fixed." In the tray, among other things, were a number of
doll's clothes, some writing materials, a box of different colored hair
ribbons, and a few books.
"Glad to see a Bible," thought Mrs. Forbes. "Shows Mrs. Harry is
respectable." She glanced at the three other books. One was a copy of
"Heidi," one was "Alice in Wonderland," and the third a small black book
with the design of a cross and crown in gilt on the cover. Mrs. Forbes
looked from this up at the child.
"What's this? Some kind of a daily book, Julia?"
"I--yes, I read it every day."
"Well, I hope you'll be faithful now your mother's gone. She's taken the
trouble to put it in."
Jewel's eyes had caught a glimpse of green color. Eagerly she reached
down into the trunk and drew out carefully a dress in tiny checks of
green and white.
"That's my silk dress," she said, regarding it fondly.
"It is very neatly made," returned Mrs. Forbes repressively. "It doesn't
matter at all what little girls have on if they are clean and neat. It
only matters that they shall be obedient and good."
Jewel regarded her with the patience which children exercise toward
the inevitable. "I'd like to fix Anna Belle's drawer myself," she said
"Very well, you may. Now here are your shoes and slippers, but I don't
find any rubbers."
"No, I never wear rubbers."
"What? Doesn't it rain in Chicago?"
"Oh yes indeed, it rains."
"Then you must get your feet wet. I think you better have had rubbers
than a silk dress! What was your mother thinking of?"
Jewel sighed vaguely. She wondered how soon Mrs. Forbes would go away.
This happy event occurred before long, and the little girl amused
herself for a while with rearranging somewhat the closet and drawers.
Then putting on her hat and taking her doll with her, she stole quietly
down the thickly carpeted stairs, and opening the heavy hall door, went
out upon the piazza. It was sheltered from the wind, and wicker chairs
were scattered about. Jewel looked off curiously amid the trees to where
she knew, by her father's description, she should find, after a few
minutes' ramble, the ravine and brook. Pretty soon she would wander out
there. Just now the sun was warm here, and the roomy chairs held out
inviting arms. The child climbed into one of them. Father would come
back here some happy day and find her. The thought brought a smile,
and with the smile on her lips, her head fell back against a yielding
cushion, and in a minute she had fallen asleep. Anna Belle toppled
over backward. Her plumed hat was pushed rakishly askew, but little she
cared. Her eyelids had fallen, too.
Mrs. Evringham and Eloise, returning late from their luncheon, came upon
the little sleeping figure as they walked around the long piazza.
"There she is!" exclaimed Mrs. Evringham softly, putting up her
lorgnette. "Behold your rival!"
Eloise regarded the sleeper without curiosity.
"At least she has not come uninvited," was her only comment.
"But she has come unwelcome, my dear," returned Mrs. Evringham with
relish. "Just wait until our gracious host realizes what he has let
himself in for. Oh, there's a good time coming, you may be sure. Hush,
don't waken her! It would be a blessed dispensation if she were always
to sleep while her grandfather is absent," and Mrs. Evringham led the
way into the house, her laces fluttering.
On the first landing the ladies met Mrs. Forbes, troubled of
"I am looking for the child Julia," she said. "I can't think where she
can have disappeared."
"You've not far to seek," returned Mrs. Evringham airily. "She is asleep
on the piazza."
"Thank you." Mrs. Forbes hastened downstairs and out of doors. Glancing
about she quickly perceived the short legs stretched in a reclining
chair, and advanced toward the relaxed little figure.
"Julia, wake up!" she said, touching her.
The child stirred and opened her eyes. Her movement made the doll slip
to the floor, and this caused her to come to herself suddenly.
"Why, I fell asleep, didn't I?" she said drowsily, reaching for the
"Yes, and in Mr. Evringham's own chair!" responded Mrs. Forbes.
"They're all his, aren't they?" asked the child.
"Yes, but this is his special favorite, where he always lies to rest.
Remember!" returned Mrs. Forbes. "Come right upstairs now and change
your dress for dinner. He will be coming home in a few minutes."
"Oh, good!" exclaimed Jewel with satisfaction, and passed into the
house. Mrs. Forbes was following ponderously. "Oh, you don't need to
come with me," protested the child earnestly. "I can do it all myself."
"Are you sure?" doubtfully.
"Oh, ye--es!" replied the little girl, running lightly up the stairs.
"I ought to put her on the second floor," mused Mrs. Forbes, "if I've
got to be running up and down; but I suppose she has done for herself a
great deal. I suppose the mother hadn't time to be bothered. I'd like to
make Mamzell change rooms with her."
Jewel hummed a tune as she took off her sailor suit, performed her
ablutions, and then went to her closet to choose a frock for dinner. She
decided on a blue dress with white dots chiefly because she would
not have to change her hair ribbons. She had never herself tied those
At last she was ready and danced toward the door, but some novel
timidity made her hesitate and go back sedately to the chair by the
window. Mrs. Forbes's impressive figure seemed to loom up with an order
to her to wait the summons of the gong.
She sat there for what seemed a very long time, and at last a knock
sounded at the door. Perhaps grandpa had come up. Jewel flew to open to
him--and saw the white capped maid who had appeared at luncheon.
"They are all at table, and Mr. Evringham wishes you to come down," she
"But I was waiting for the gong."
"We only have that at noon."
Jewel's feet flew down the stairs. Her grandfather had sent for her. She
was eager to reach him, yet when she entered the dining-room, her little
face all alight, it was not so easy to run to him as she had fancied.
He sat stiffly at the foot of the table. Opposite him was aunt Madge,
and at her left sat the prettiest young lady the child had ever seen.
Mrs. Forbes stood near Mr. Evringham, looking very serious.
Jewel took in all this at a glance, and contenting herself with greeting
her grandfather's lifted eyes with a smile, she ran to Mrs. Evringham
and turned her back.
"There's just one button in the middle, aunt Madge, that I can't reach,"
she explained softly.
Every eye at the table was regarding the child curiously, but she took
no note of any one but her grandfather, and her dress buttoned, she
ran to her chair and slid up on its smooth morocco. Eloise observed the
little girl's loving expression.
"I am sorry you are late, Julia," said Mr. Evringham.
"Yes, so am I, grandpa," was the prompt response. "I wanted to be down
here as soon as you came home, but I thought I ought to wait for the
gong, and then it didn't ring."
Her eyes roved to where, directly opposite, the beautiful young lady was
regarding her soberly.
Mrs. Evringham spoke. "That is your cousin Eloise, Julia."
Eloise inclined her graceful head, but made no further recognition of
the child's admiring look.
"They haven't met before?" said Mr. Evringham, looking from one to the
"No," returned Mrs. Evringham with her most gracious manner. "It just
happened that Eloise and I were engaged at luncheon to-day, and when we
returned the little girl was taking a nap."
By this time Mrs. Forbes had brought Jewel's soup and she was eating.
She looked up brightly at Mr. Evringham.
"Yes, grandpa, I went to sleep in your big chair on the piazza. I didn't
know it was your special chair until Mrs. Forbes waked me up."
Her grandfather regarded her from under his heavy brows. He was
resenting the fact that Eloise had made no effort to welcome the child.
"Indeed?" he returned. "What did she wake you up for?"
"Because it was time to get ready for dinner," returned Jewel. "It
reminded me of the story of Golden Hair, when she had gone to sleep on
the bear's bed, the way Mrs. Forbes said, 'This is your grandfather's
She looked around the table, expectant of sympathy. Only Mrs. Evringham
seemed to wish to laugh, and she was making heroic efforts not to do so.
Lovely Eloise kept her serious eyes downcast.
"Ha!" ejaculated Mr. Evringham, after a lightning glance of suspicion
at his daughter-in-law. "I think I remember something about that. But
Golden Hair tried three beds, I believe."
"Yes, she did, but you see there wasn't any little bear's chair on the
"Very true. Very true."
"Golden Hair was a great beauty, I believe," suggested Mrs. Evringham,
looking at the child oddly. "She had yellow hair like yours."
Jewel put up a quick hand to the short tight braid which ended behind
her ear. "Oh no, long, lovely, floating hair. Don't you remember?"
"It's a good while since I read it," returned Mrs. Evringham, laughing
low and glancing at Eloise. Her father-in-law sent her a look of
displeasure and turned back to Jewel.
"Dr. Ballard found you on the train, I suppose?"
"Yes, grandpa. We had a nice time. He is a very kind man." The child
glanced across at her cousin again. She wished cousin Eloise would lift
her eyes and not look so sorry. "I wonder," she added aloud, "why Dr.
Ballard called cousin Eloise a little girl."
No one spoke, so Mrs. Evringham broke the momentary silence. "Did he?"
"Yes, he said that my cousin Eloise was a very charming little girl."
Jewel wondered why Eloise flushed and looked still sorrier, and why aunt
Madge raised her napkin and turned her laugh into a cough. Perhaps it
teased young ladies to be called little girls. Jewel regretted having
"I guess he was just April-fooling me," she suggested comfortingly, and
the insistence of her soft gaze was such that Eloise looked up and met a
smile so irresistible, that in spite of herself, her expression relaxed.
The softened look was a relief to the child. "I've heard about you, of
course, cousin Eloise," she said, "and I couldn't forget, because your
name is so nice and--and slippery. Eloise Evringham. Eloise Evringham.
It sounds just like--like--oh, like sliding down the banisters. Don't
you think so?"
Eloise smiled a little. "I hadn't thought of it," she returned, then
relapsed into quiet.
Mrs. Forbes's countenance was stony. "Children should be seen and not
heard," was her doctrine, and this dressmaker's child had an assurance
beyond belief. She seemed to feel no awe whatever in her grandfather's
The housekeeper caught Jewel's eye and gave her such a quenching look
that thenceforward the little girl succumbed to the silence which the
others seemed to prefer.
After dinner she would have a good visit with grandpa and talk about
when father was a little boy. Her hopes were dashed, for just as they
were rising from the table, a man was announced, with whom Mr. Evringham
closeted himself in the library.
In the drawing-room aunt Madge and cousin Eloise both set themselves at
letter-writing, and entirely ignored Jewel. The child looked listlessly
at a book with pictures, which she found on the table, until half-past
eight, when Mrs. Forbes came to say it was time for her to go to bed.
She rose and stood a moment, turning hesitatingly from her aunt to her
"Oh, is it bedtime?" asked aunt Madge, looking up from her letter.
"Good-night, Julia. I hope you'll sleep well." Then she returned to her
Eloise bit her lip as she regarded the little girl with a moment's
hesitation, but no, she had decided on her plan of action. Mrs. Forbes
was observing her. Eloise knew the housekeeper's attitude toward them
was defensive, if not offensive. "Good-night," she said briefly, and
looked down again.
"Good-night," returned Jewel quietly, and went out.
In the hall she hesitated. "I want to say good-night to grandpa," she
"Well, you can't," returned Mrs. Forbes decidedly. "He is talking
business and mustn't be disturbed."
She followed the child up the staircase.
"I could go to bed alone, if I only knew where the matches are."
"You said you could dress alone, but you had to ask Mrs. Evringham to
button your frock. Remember after this that I am the one to ask. She and
Miss Eloise don't want to be bothered."
"Is it a bother to do a kindness?" asked Jewel in a subdued tone.
"To some folks it is," was the response. They had reached the door of
the child's room; "but some folks can see their duty and do it," she
Jewel realized regretfully that her present companion belonged to the
"Now here, right inside the door," proceeded Mrs. Forbes, "is the
switch. There's electricity all over this house, and you don't need
any matches. See?" Mrs. Forbes turned the switch and the white room was
flooded with light.
A few hours ago this magic would have evoked much enthusiasm. Even now
Jewel was pleased to turn the light on and off several times, as Mrs.
Forbes told her to do.
"Now I'll see if you can undress yourself," said the housekeeper.
Jewel's deft fingers flew over the buttons in her eagerness to prove her
independence. When at last she stood in her little white nightgown, so
neat and fine in its small decorations, Mrs. Forbes said, "Do you want
me to hear you say your prayers?"
"No, I thank you." With her hasty response Jewel promptly jumped into
the bed, from which the white spread had been removed.
"I hope you always say them," said Mrs. Forbes, regarding her
"Yes'm, I always do."
The child cuddled down under the covers with her face to the wall, lest
Mrs. Forbes should see a further duty and do it.
"You ought to say them on your knees," continued the housekeeper.
"I'd just as lief," replied Jewel, "but I don't believe God cares."
"Well," returned Mrs. Forbes solemnly, "it is a matter for your own
conscience, Julia, if your mother didn't train you to it. Good-night."
"Good-night," came faintly from beneath the bedclothes.
Mrs. Forbes turned off the light and went out, closing the door behind
"If she'd always speak when she's spoken to, and be quiet and modest as
she is with me, she'd be a very well-behaved child," she soliloquized.
"I could train her. I shouldn't wonder at all if her mother should see a
great difference in her when she comes back."
The housekeeper went heavily downstairs. Jewel, pushing off the
bedclothes, listened attentively to the retiring steps, and when they
could no longer be heard, she jumped out of bed nimbly, and feeling for
the electric switch, turned on the light. Her breath was coming rather
unevenly, and she ran over the soft carpet to where her doll lay.
Catching her up, she pressed her to her breast, then sitting down in the
big chair, she began to undress her, crossing one little bare foot over
the other knee to make a lap.
"Darling Anna Belle, did you think I'd forgotten you?" she asked
breathlessly. "Did you think you weren't going to have any one to
kiss you good-night? It's hard not to have any one you love kiss you
good-night." Jewel dashed her hand across her eyes quickly, then went
swiftly on with her work. "You might have known that I was only waiting
until that--that giantess went away. She wouldn't let me bring you down
to dinner, dearie, but you didn't miss anything. Poor grandpa, I don't
wonder any longer that he doesn't look happy. He has the sorriest people
all around him that you ever saw. He lives in a big, beautiful castle,
but it's Castle Discord. I named it that at dinner. Nobody loves
one another. Of course grandpa loves me, because I'm his own little
grandchild, but he's too sorry to show it. The beautiful enchanted
maiden, and the Error fairy, and the giantess, are all making discord
around him. A little flat is better than a big castle, isn't it? We know
a flat--let's call it Harmony Flat, Anna Belle. Perhaps if we're very,
very, good, we'll get back there some time." Jewel suddenly pressed
the doll's nightdress against her wet eyes. "Don't, don't, dearie! I
know it does seem a year since--since the boat this morning. If all the
days were as long as this, we'd be very, very old when father and mother
come home." The soft voice broke in a sob. "I don't know what I should
do if you weren't a Christian Scientist, Anna Belle. We'll help each
other all we can. Now come--come into bed and say your prayers."
"Say your--your prayer first, dearie," she whispered, sobbing:--
"'Father, Mother, God,
Guard me when I sleep;
Guide my little feet
Up to Thee.'
"Now you'll feel--better, dearie. In a minute you won't be so--homesick
for--for--father and mother. Hush, while I say mine."
Jewel repeated the Lord's Prayer. When she had finished, her breath
still caught convulsively, so she continued:--
"Dear Father, Mother, God, loving me, help me to know that I am close
to Thee. Help me to remember that things that are unhappy aren't real
things. Help me to know that everything is good and harmonious, and that
the people in this castle are Thy children, even if they do seem to have
eyes like fishes. Help me to love one another, even the giantess, and
please show grandpa how to meet error. Please let Dr. Ballard come to
see me soon, because he has kind eyes, and I'm sure he doesn't know it's
wrong to believe in materia medica. Please take more care of father and
mother than anything, and say 'Peace be still' if the wind blows the
sea. I know, dear Father in Heaven, that Thou dost not forget anything,
but I say it to make me feel better. I am Thy little Jewel, and Anna
Belle loves Thee, too. Take us into the everlasting arms of Love while
we go to sleep. Amen."
Jewel brushed away the tears as she ceased, and with her usual quickness
of motion, jumped out of bed to get a handkerchief. Turning on the
electric light, she went to the chair over which hung the dotted dress.
She remembered having slipped a clean handkerchief into its pocket
before going to dinner.
In reaching for it her fingers encountered a scrap of paper in the
depths of the pocket. She drew it forth. It was folded. She opened it
and found it written over in a clear round hand.
"Is my little darling loving every one around her? People do not always
seem lovely at first, but remember that every one is lovable because he
is a thought of God. Those who seem unlovely are always unhappy, too,
in their hearts. We must help them, and the best way to help is to love.
Mother is thinking about her little Jewel, and no seas can divide us."
A slow smile gladdened the child's tear-stained face. She read the
message again, then turned out the light for the last time and cuddled
down in bed, her warm cheek pressing the scrap of paper in her hand, her
breath still catching.
"Mother has spoken to us, Anna Belle," she whispered, clasping the
doll close. "Wasn't it just like God to let her!" Then she fell asleep