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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Palace Beautiful: A Story For Girls - Chapter 37. Endorsing A Cheque
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The Palace Beautiful: A Story For Girls - Chapter 37. Endorsing A Cheque Post by :Bonuses Category :Long Stories Author :L. T. Meade Date :May 2012 Read :2547

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The Palace Beautiful: A Story For Girls - Chapter 37. Endorsing A Cheque

CHAPTER XXXVII. ENDORSING A CHEQUE

Primrose's life was very busy at this time. Certainly nothing could be more irksome than the daily task of reading to poor Mrs. Mortlock, but the fifteen shillings a week which she now earned regularly was a wonderful help to the household purse, and Primrose performed her irksome duties with a cheerful, and even thankful heart. Her anxieties about Daisy were almost laid to rest. Since the child had been moved to Miss Egerton's house she seemed quite a changed creature. Her old cheerfulness and sweet calm were returning to her. Morning after morning she bade Primrose good-bye with a bright smile on her little face, and however long and dull her day was, she greeted her sister happily at night. What, therefore, was poor Primrose's consternation to find, on returning home the evening after Jasmine had made arrangements for the publication of her manuscript not only Jasmine, but Miss Egerton and Bridget all surrounding poor little Daisy, who lay on the sofa with a ghastly white face, and burst into nervous troubled weeping whenever she was spoken to.

"We found her in such a queer state," said Jasmine; but Miss Egerton held up a warning hand.

"Let it rest now, my dear," she said; "we need not go into the story in Daisy's presence; she wants perfect quiet. Primrose, she has been longing so for you; will you sit down by her, and hold her hand?"

Daisy opened her eyes when she heard Primrose's name, and held up a hot little hand to her sister, who clasped it very firmly.

"I want to speak to you all by yourself, Primrose," she whispered. "Please ask Jasmine, and Miss Egerton, and Bridget to go away. I want to say something most important to you."

"Leave us for a moment," said Primrose to the others; and Jasmine went down with Miss Egerton to the sitting-room.

The moment Daisy found herself quite alone with Primrose she raised her head, ceased crying, and looked at her sister with bright feverish eyes, and cheeks that burned.

"Primrose," she said, "would you think it very, very wrong of me if I did something that wasn't in itself the very best thing to do, but something that I had to do to prevent a dreadful ogre putting me down into a dark dungeon? Would it be very wrong of me to do a very little thing to prevent it, Primrose?"

"My darling," said Primrose, "your poor little head must be wandering. I don't understand what you mean, my dear little one. Of course it would be only right of you to keep away from an ogre, and not to allow one to touch you--but there are no ogres. Daisy love--there never were such creatures. You need not make yourself unhappy about beings that never existed. The fact is, Daisy, you are too much alone, and your little head has got quite full of the idea of fairies. I must ask Mr. Noel not to talk to you in so fanciful a manner."

"Oh don't, Primrose, for it is my one and only comfort. Oh! I am glad you think I ought to keep out of the ogre's power. He is a dreadful, dreadful ogre, and he has tried to get into the Palace, and I am awfully afraid of him."

Then Daisy laughed quite strangely, and said, in a wistful little voice--

"Of course, Primrose, this is only fairy-talk. I always was fond of fairies, wasn't I? Primrose, darling, I want you to do a little thing for me, will you?"

"Of course, Daisy. Why, how you are trembling, dear!"

"Hold my hand," said Daisy, "and let me put my head on your shoulder. Now I'll ask you about the little thing, Primrose; there's your letter from Mr. Danesfield on the table."

"Has it come?" said Primrose; "I am glad. I expected it yesterday morning."

"It's on the table," repeated Daisy. "Will you open it, Primrose? I'd like to see what's inside."

"Oh, there'll be nothing very pretty inside, darling; it is probably a postal order for our quarter's money."

"Yes, but let me see it, Primrose."

Primrose moved slowly to the table, took up the letter, and opened it.

"It's just as I said, Daisy," she remarked, "only, no--it's not a postal order, it's a cheque. I must write my name on the back, and take it to the Metropolitan Bank to cash to-morrow."

"Let me see you writing your name on the back, please, Primrose," said Daisy, in a queer, constrained little voice.

Primrose smiled to herself at the child's caprice but, taking up a pen, she put her signature across the back of the cheque.

"May I take it in my hand, Primrose?" said Daisy. "Oh, thank you! My hand shakes, doesn't it? but that's because I'm so dreadfully subject to starts. Isn't it funny, Primrose, to think that this little paper should mean a lot of golden sovereigns? Doesn't it make you feel rich to have it, Primrose?"

"It makes me feel that with it and the help of my weekly salary we shall be able to pay for our bread and butter, Daisy."

Daisy turned ghastly white.

"Oh, yes," she said, "oh, yes, dear Primrose. Will you put the cheque back into the envelope, and may I sleep with it under my pillow? I'll stay so quiet and still, and I'll not start at all if I have the cheque that you have signed under my pillow."

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