Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Short Stories > The Queen of Farrandale > CHAPTER XVI MISS FRINK MAKES A CALL
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 At the tears on Millicent’s face now, Hugh laughed aloud. She was looking aghast. “To-morrow everybody will know it!” she ejaculated.
“Know what?”
“That Mr. Grimshaw couldn’t find us.” And crystal drops began again to race down her cheeks.
“You cry-baby!” said Hugh, regarding her curiously. “Here, I have more of a handkerchief than that. Come here and I’ll bail while you pour.”
“Oh, am I crying?” she returned, distractedly mopping her cheeks. “I must speak to Damaris as soon as Grandpa gets through. You don’t know what it is to live in a little town.”
“Oh, is that it?” returned Hugh, regarding her flushed, troubled face, and thinking it was as sweet as a dew-washed flower. “They’ll say we eloped, eh? I’ll tell the world I thank ’em for the compliment.”
Colonel Duane here reappeared and Millicent dashed by him into the house. He seemed to be serenely unaware of his grandchild’s[188] excitement, and, telling Hugh not to talk, but to rest, he seated himself a little way off, and Hugh had the full benefit of the one-sided conversation within.
It was a particularly cheerful and care-free voice speaking, with little gulps in the throat that caught it at unexpected moments.
“Oh, yes, Damaris, it’s Millicent. I was sorry Mr. Grimshaw had to trouble you.”
“Oh, yes, I’m home. It was such a beautiful day, you know, we walked over.”
“Yes, Mr. Stanwood had business with Grandpa, and—and he didn’t understand that Mr. Grimshaw—What? Yes, didn’t know that he was expected to wait for the carriage. What? Yes, it was queer Mr. Grimshaw didn’t see us. We were just—walking along, you know, just walking along. What? Yes, he’s here. He and Grandpa are together. Did you say Mr. Grimshaw looked scared? Why, what for? Yes, of course, Mr. Stanwood isn’t entirely strong yet. Oh, that’s all right. I just wanted you to know that nobody is lost, strayed, or stolen.” Suddenly, with great dignity, the voice changed. “No, no, indeed. Good-bye.”
When Millicent went back to the piazza after washing her face and applying powder[189] where it would be most effective, she found her grandfather seated by his recumbent guest and asking him about his previous studies.
“You might bring Mr. Stanwood a cup of bouillon, Milly,” said the Colonel, and the girl went back into the house.
When she reappeared, her own fresh, fair, and demure self, bearing her offering, Hugh looked at her approvingly.
“My life is just one tray after another,” he said.
The patient had just taken his last swallow when a sound of wheels was heard. Miss Frink’s victoria stopped before the gate, and that lady herself dismounted and came up the path. Colonel Duane hastened to meet her. Millicent stood up, holding the tray undecidedly, with an expression of face which seemed to be bracing for a coup de grace, and Hugh flung a long leg out of the hammock.
“Lie still, Hugh,” ordered the visitor, waving her parasol authoritatively.
Hugh withdrew the leg. Miss Frink had never walked up on that piazza before, although it was her own property. She looked around approvingly.
“You’ve made this place lovely, Colonel Duane.”
“Well, we think it is a good deal of a paradise this time of year.”
“So you overdid yourself,” said Miss Frink, seating herself in the offered chair by the hammock.
Colonel Duane lifted Millicent’s tray and carried it into the house, and the girl took a chair near the visitor.
“What makes you think so?” inquired Hugh blandly.
“You didn’t come by the road. There was only one other way you could come.”
No one in the world ever looked guiltier than Millicent at this moment. Her awe of Miss Frink kept her eyes dry and very large, but she saw her job disappearing, and herself stingingly rebuked.
Miss Frink’s gaze turned upon her.
“What was your idea?” she asked bluntly, but she was conscious of the picture made by the blue-gowned girl against the background of apple blossoms.
Millicent’s lips opened and closed several times without a sound emerging.
Miss Frink laughed, and exchanged a look with Hugh.
“You took him down Lover’s Lane. That’s what you did,” said Miss Frink, regarding the[191] girl accusingly. “Of course, it’s ever so much more romantic than the highroad; but we’ve got to build Prince Charming up before you can cut up any such didos as that.”
“Oh, Miss Frink!” It was a gasp, not only of extreme embarrassment, but also of relief that the matter might be treated jocosely.
“You’re barking up the wrong tree,” said Hugh, grinning. “I’ve found out what she did it for. She was hiding me.” Miss Frink grimaced her glasses off. “Yes, madam, she lives in a small town and she was hiding me.”
“And set every dog and goose to barking and cackling,” declared Miss Frink.
“But I revenged myself on her. I waited till we came to a mossy couch under an apple tree, and then I keeled over.—Look out”—a warning hand toward Millicent—“don’t you cry now. She was the best little sport you ever heard of. I nearly crushed her poor little wing while she and Colonel Duane were getting me up here, and they have filled me with the milk of human kindness and beef tea ever since.”
“It was all Grimshaw’s stupidity,” said Miss Frink. “I put it in his hands and he didn’t order the carriage in time.” Her lips twitched amusedly. “He tried to shift the responsibility,[192] and make out that you preferred to walk; but I X-rayed him. He hadn’t a chance. Did I ever tell you, Hugh, to beware of my X-ray mind?” She regarded hi............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved