'And some day, Celestina, Biddy went on, 'I want you to ask your mamma to ask me to tea, for I want to see your dolls. Celestina looked rather grave. 'I'll ask mother, she said, but there was a little hesitation in her manner. This did not come from any false shame Celestina did not know what false shame was but from very serious doubts as to what her father and mother would think of it.
'It will give Celestina a little experience, she said; 'and even if there should be a little disappointment mixed up with it in any way, it will do her no harm, and Celestina is a reasonable child. She was very quiet but very happy as she set off with Miss Neale.
Hence it is easily seen that neither to Wilton in general nor to Celestina in particular was Willie Spence a trial. No, it was to himself that Willie was the torment. "I plague myself 'most to death, Tiny," he would not infrequently confess when the two sat together at dusk in the little room that looked out on the reach of blue sea. "It's gettin' all these idees that drives me distracted.
Celestina had been turning her bright brown eyes from one parent to another in turn as they spoke. 'Is London much grander than Seacove? she asked. 'I thought the Rectory was such a fine house. Mrs. Fairchild smiled. 'It might be made very nice. There's plenty of room any way. And many clergymen's families are very simple and homely. 'I wonder if there are any little girls, said Celestina.
He said, with no motive but to confirm her belief that the world was full of interest, "You must go on with your Spanish, you know. Don't just treat it as a commercial language. There's a lot of fine stuff in Spanish literature." He hesitated, feeling uncertain as to whether "Celestina" or "Juan de Ruiz" were really suitable for a young girl.
"Monsieur said that your account " "The miserable old hunks! His heart's no bigger than a pin-head!" "Please, I'm so sorry!" spoke up Celestina, a suspicious moisture in her eyes. "I know it, my dear," returned Straws. "Your heart is as big as his whole body. One of your tears is more precious than his most priceless nectar." "I beg-ged him that's why I I stayed so long!" half-sobbed Celestina.
That the final assertion was false Robert Morton read in the woman's brave attempt to control the pitiful little quiver of her lips; nevertheless he blessed her for her deception. "You're a dear, Aunt Tiny," he exclaimed heartily, stooping to kiss her cheek. "Had I dreamed half how nice you were, wild horses couldn't have kept me away from Wilton." Celestina blushed with pleasure.
'How pretty it must be up in the lighthouse to-day, said Celestina as they were turning away. This was the signal for Bridget's quarrelsomeness again. 'Miss Neale, she said, shading her eyes from the sun, as she gazed out towards the sea, 'Celestina does talk such nonsense. She says you can't walk over the sands to the lighthouse. Now can't you? I can see sand all the way.
The fire was burning brightly, that was some comfort, and Celestina sat down on the rug in front of it, propping her two little dolls against the fender. 'To-morrow, she said to herself, 'as soon as I've made a frock for Eleanor, I'll have a tea-party.
"Pooh! Twenty! What's twenty?" Zenas Henry cried derisively. "Why, I'm three times that already an' more too, an' I ain't old. So are you, Tiny. Twenty? Nonsense!" "But Delight is twenty, Zenas Henry," persisted Celestina. "What of it?" "Well, you mustn't forget it, that's all," continued the woman softly. "Many a girl her age is married an' " "Married!" burst out the man with indignation.