Mrs. Ellmother's face brightened. "That's kindly thought of, sir--if you don't mind the trouble."
"My good lady, nothing is a trouble in your young mistress's service. Give me the doctor's name and address--and tell me what to say to him."
"There's one thing you must be careful of," Mrs. Ellmother answered. "He mustn't come here, as if he had been sent for--she would refuse to see him."
Mirabel understood her. "I will not forget to caution him. Kindly tell Miss Emily I called--my name is Mirabel. I will return to-morrow."
He hastened away on his errand--only to find that he had arrived too late. Doctor Allday had left London; called away to a serious case of illness. He was not expected to get back until late in the afternoon. Mirabel left a message, saying that he would return in the evening.
The next visitor who arrived at the cottage was the trusty friend, in whose generous nature Mrs. Ellmother had wisely placed confidence. Miss Ladd had resolved to answer the telegram in person, the moment she read it.
"If there is bad news," she said, "let me hear it at once. I am not well enough to bear suspense; my busy life at the school is beginning to tell on me."
"There is nothing that need alarm you, ma'am--but there is a great deal to say, before you see Miss Emily. My stupid head turns giddy with thinking of it. I hardly know where to begin."