She had blindly lost her temper. Something kept crying out to her that she was an old maid. Perhaps she shouldn't have minded. She was finicky and squeamish. A girl had to have some privacy in the place she entertained her company. But Maida and the cook! The thought of that flat, pasty, sullen face stirred in her a sudden repulsion.
Maida knew exactly what she was thinking. Rosie was trying to make up her mind whether he was a boy or a man. The problem seemed to grow more perplexing as the evening went on. For part of the time Billy played with them, sitting on the floor like a boy, and part of the time he talked with Granny, sitting in a chair like a man.
He spoke as if that were the finest tribute that he could pay his little sister. “Granny,” Maida said that noon at lunch, “Laura Lathrop came here and invited me to come to see her this afternoon and I just hate the thought of going—I don’t know why. Then Dicky came and invited me to come and see him to-morrow afternoon and I just love the thought of going. Isn’t it strange?”
“I don’t know how I ever managed to get along without one,” Dr. Pierce declared, his curls bobbing. “As for me—I shall probably save about a third of my income in the future,” Billy announced. All three were so pleased that they laughed for a long time. “I’m going to give you another Christmas present, Maida,” Mr. Westabrook said suddenly, “I’m going to give us both one—a vacation.
Why, Maida, your life must have been just like a fairy-tale when you lived there.” “It seems more like a fairy-tale here.” They laughed at this difference of opinion. “Dicky,” Maida asked suddenly, “do you know that Rosie steals out of her window at night sometimes when her mother doesn’t know it?” “Sure—I know that. You see,” he went on to explain, “it’s like this.
We had tried eavesdropping upon it, but to no avail. Tarrano's close-flung barrage checked every wave we could send against it. Time passed a month or more. We were worried over Elza naturally. Yet the saving grace was that we knew Tarrano would treat her kindly; that for the present at least, she was in no danger. Georg and Maida took possession of the Central State.
Out of this visit came a picture called "A Scene at Abbotsford," in which the dog Maida, so loved by Scott, was the prominent figure; six weeks after it was finished the dog died.
At the door, Argo had appeared. From a black object in his hand, the beam was streaming. He rested the black thing on a wall ledge so that the beam hung level. "Stand where you are, all of you." He started toward Maida, behind the beam from the rest of us. Georg made as though to leap forward, but Wolfgar restrained him. "Wait! You don't understand that's death!"
A lonely, barren little world, with its single, primitive race of spindly beings timid, frail beings, half-human, half insect. We took him there Maida and Georg, Elza and I. He anticipated his dislike of the asteroid's slight gravity, and demanded weighted shoes so that he might walk with the normal feeling of Earth and Venus. "You give me too much freedom," he told us solemnly.
The house has a dark look, being built of the native whinstone, or grau-wacke, as the Germans call it, relieved by the quoins and projections of the windows and turrets in freestone. All look classic, and not too large for the poet and antiquarian builder. The dog Maida lies in stone on the right hand of the door in the court, with the well known inscription.