A LUNCHEON WITH UNBIDDEN GUESTS
Too Long; Didn't Read“Now this is what I call delightful,” said Cyrus, as he set the disreputable looking coffee-pot down upon the pile of boards, which was serving us both as a table and seats. He wiped his heated brow wearily. Impossible as it seemed, Cyrus had been roasting himself making Dave’s coffee. The river flowed at our feet, blue, and softly singing, the April sun was caressingly soft and warm and the greening earth a fragrant joy.
“Can sorrow live with April days?” I murmured. But the lines of carking care had come back to Cyrus’ face, as he seated himself on the pile near the projecting board which was serving Alice Yorke as a tilt—we all called them “tilters” in Palmyra.
“I think I won’t go up to the house to dinner,” he said. “I’m not hungry, and since you are here, Bathsheba, there is no need. I was going only to give you this.” And he calmly drew a telegram from his pocket. “They seemed to think at the office that a telegram meant business and must be sent to the counting-room.”
Now telegrams addressed to Miss Bathsheba Dill might have been as thick as leaves in Vallambrosa for all the agitation Cyrus showed; but as for me, the blood rushed to my head and for an instant Alice Yorke, on her tilter seemed to be leading a race into the river.
I heard, as in a dream, Dave say, “Will you have some coffee, Miss Yorke?” and noted vaguely that he was just as gallant and graceful as if the cup were not old and cracked. And then, although my hands shook like a leaf, I was face to face with the first telegram of my life.
“The best design. I think a great thing. Salter will write your brother.
My heart leaped for joy. The best design! A great thing! I wanted to shout it out to the four winds of heaven, but that provoking Dave had sat down beside Alice Yorke and they were making merry over their lunch. He had left the basket with another cracked cup and a tin can at our end of the pile, and the coffee-pot was set down midway, but so shakily that it seemed likely to tip off.