Here am I, installed once more as a country `schoolma'am' at Valley Road, boarding at `Wayside,' the home of Miss Janet Sweet.
"For a few minutes I thought I wasn't going to like Janet as much as I had expected at first sight.
The front door walk is bordered with quahog clam-shells -- `cow-hawks,' Janet calls them; there is Virginia Creeper over the porch and moss on the roof.
Between the vases is a cheerful decoration of preserved coffin plates -- five in all, pertaining respectively to Janet's father and mother, a brother, her sister Anne, and a hired man who died here once!
"Aunt Janet, Uncle Blair is here," I announced breathlessly at the kitchen door.
Aunt Janet, who was kneading her bread, turned round and lifted floury hands.
"Dear me!" said Aunt Janet, sitting down helplessly.
But Aunt Janet's welcome was cordial enough, though a trifle flustered.
The envelope, which was unclosed, bore this address: "Lady Janet Roy, Mablethorpe House, Kensington, London." Mercy took the inclosure from the open envelope.
Fervent expressions of gratitude followed, addressed to Lady Janet. "I owe it to you," the letter concluded, "that I am dying with my mind at ease about the future of my darling girl.
A woman of rank and fortune waiting to receive her--a woman so merciful and so generous that the father's mind had been easy about the daughter on his deathbed--and there the daughter lay, beyond the reach of Lady Janet's kindness, beyond the need of Lady Janet's help!
What if she were to ask Lady Janet Roy to let her supply Miss Roseberry's place?