Jewel's Story Book

Publisher: DigiLibraries.com
ISBN: N/A
Language: English
Published: 1 month ago
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Excerpt

CHAPTER I

OVER THE 'PHONE

Mrs. Forbes, Mr. Evringham's housekeeper, answered the telephone one afternoon. She was just starting to climb to the second story and did not wish to be hindered, so her "hello" had a somewhat impatient brevity.

"Mrs. Forbes?"

"Oh," with a total change of voice and face, "is that you, Mr. Evringham?"

"Please send Jewel to the 'phone."

"Yes, sir."

She laid down the receiver, and moving to the foot of the stairs called loudly, "Jewel!"

"Drat the little lamb!" groaned the housekeeper, "If I was only sure she was up there; I've got to go up anyway. Jewel!" louder.

"Ye—es!" came faintly from above, then a door opened. "Is somebody calling me?"

Mrs. Forbes began to climb the stairs deliberately while she spoke with energy. "Hurry down, Jewel. Mr. Evringham wants you on the 'phone."

"Goody, goody!" cried the child, her feet pattering on the thick carpet as she flew down one flight and then passed the housekeeper on the next. "Perhaps he is coming out early to ride."

"Nothing would surprise me less," remarked Mrs. Forbes dryly as she mounted.

Jewel flitted to the telephone and picked up the receiver.

"Hello, grandpa, are you coming out?" she asked.

"No, I thought perhaps you would like to come in."

"In where? Into New York?"

"Yes."

"What are we going to do?" eagerly.

Mr. Evringham, sitting at the desk in his private office, his head resting on his hand, moved and smiled. His mind pictured the expression on the face addressing him quite as distinctly as if no miles divided them.

"Well, we'll have dinner, for one thing. Where shall it be? At the Waldorf?"

Jewel had never heard the word.

"Do they have Nesselrode pudding?" she asked, with keen interest. Mrs. Forbes had taken her in town one day and given her some at a restaurant.

"Perhaps so. You see I've heard from the Steamship Company, and they think that the boat will get in this evening."

"Oh, grandpa! grandpa! grandpa!"

"Softly, softly. Don't break the 'phone. I hear you through the window."

"When shall I come? Oh, oh, oh!"

"Wait, Jewel. Don't be excited. Listen. Tell Zeke to bring you in to my office on the three o'clock train."

"Yes, grandpa. Oh, please wait a minute. Do you think it would be too extravagant for me to wear my silk dress?"

"No, let's be reckless and go the whole figure."

"All right," tremulously.

"Good-by."

"Oh, grandpa, wait. Can I bring Anna Belle?" but only silence remained.

Jewel hung up the receiver with a hand that was unsteady, and then ran through the house and out of doors, leaving every door open behind her in a manner which would have brought reproof from Mrs. Forbes, who had begun to be Argus-eyed for flies.

Racing out to the barn, she appeared to 'Zekiel in the harness room like a small whirlwind.

"Get on your best things, Zeke," she cried, hopping up and down; "my father and mother are coming."

"Is this an india rubber girl?" inquired the coachman, pausing to look at her with a smile. "What train?"

"Three o'clock. You're going with me to New York. Grandpa says so; to his office, and the boat's coming to-night. Get ready quick, Zeke, please. I'm going to wear my silk dress."

"Hold on, kid," for she was flying off. "I'm to go in town with you, am I? Are you sure? I don't want to fix up till I make Solomon look like thirty cents and then find out there's some misdeal."

"Grandpa wants you to bring me to his office, that's what he said," returned the child earnestly. "Let's start real soon!"

Like a sprite she was back at the house and running upstairs, calling for Mrs. Forbes.

The housekeeper appeared at the door of the front room, empty now for two days of Mrs. Evringham's trunks, and Jewel with flushed cheeks and sparkling eyes told her great news.

Mrs. Forbes was instantly sympathetic. "Come right upstairs and let me help you get ready. Dear me, to-night! I wonder if they'll want any supper when they get here."

"I don't know. I don't know!" sang Jewel to a tune of her own improvising, as she skipped ahead....