DAVID had so much to tell Jack and Jill that he went to see them
the very next day after his second visit to Sunnycrest. He
carried his violin with him. He found, however, only Jill at
home. She was sitting on the veranda steps.
There was not so much embarrassment between them this time,
perhaps because they were in the freedom of the wide
out-of-doors, and David felt more at ease. He was plainly
disappointed, however, that Mr. Jack was not there.
"But I wanted to see him! I wanted to see him 'specially," he
"You'd better stay, then. He'll be home by and by," comforted
Jill. "He's gone pot-boiling."
"Pot-boiling! What's that?"
"Well, you see, really it's this way: he sells something to boil
in other people's pots so he
 can have something to boil in ours,
he says. It's stuff from the garden, you know. We raise it to
sell. Poor Jack—and he does hate it so!"
David nodded sympathetically.
"I know—and it must be awful, just hoeing and weeding all the
"Still, of course he knows he's got to do it, because it's out of
doors, and he just has to be out of doors all he can," rejoined
the girl. "He's sick, you know, and sometimes he's so unhappy! He
does n't say much. Jack never says much—only with his face. But
I know, and it—it just makes me want to cry."
At David's dismayed exclamation Jill jumped to her feet. It occurred
to her suddenly that she was telling this unknown boy altogether
too many of the family secrets. She proposed at once a race to
the foot of the hill; and then, to drive David's mind still
farther away from the subject under recent consideration, she
deliberately lost, and proclaimed him the victor.
Very soon, however, there arose new complications in the shape of
a little gate that led to a path which, in its turn, led to a
footbridge across the narrow span of the little stream.
 Above the trees on the other side peeped the top of Sunnycrest's
"To the Lady of the Roses!" cried David eagerly. "I know it goes
there. Come, let's see!"
The little girl shook her head.
"Jack won't let me."
"But it goes to a beautiful place; I was there yesterday," argued
David. "And I was up in the tower and almost waved to Mr. Jack on
the piazza back there. I saw him. And maybe she'd let you and me
go up there again to-day."
"But I can't, I say," repeated Jill, a little impatiently. "Jack
won't let me even start."
"Why not? Maybe he does n't know where it goes to."
Jill hung her head. Then she raised it defiantly.
"Oh, yes, he does, 'cause I told him. I used to go when I was
littler and he was n't here. I went once, after he
came,—halfway,—and he saw me and called to me. I had got
halfway across the bridge, but I had to come back. He was very
angry, yet sort of—queer, too. His
 face was all stern and white,
and his lips snapped tight shut after every word. He said never,
never, never to let him find me the other side of that gate."
David frowned as they turned to go up the hill. Unhesitatingly he
determined to instruct Mr. Jack in this little matter. He would
tell him what a beautiful place Sunnycrest was, and he would try
to convince him how very desirable it was that he and Jill, and
even Mr. Jack himself, should go across the bridge at the very
first opportunity that offered.
Mr. Jack came home before long, but David quite forgot to speak
of the footbridge just then, chiefly because Mr. Jack got out his
violin and asked David to come in and play a duet with him. The
duet, however, soon became a solo, for so great was Mr. Jack's
delight in David's playing that he placed before the boy one
sheet of music after another, begging and still begging for more.
David, nothing loath, played on and on. Most of the music he
knew, having already learned it in his mountain home. Like old
friends the melodies seemed, and so glad was David to see their
notes again that he finished
 each production with a little
improvised cadenza of ecstatic welcome—to Mr. Jack's increasing
surprise and delight.
"Great Scott! you're a wonder, David," he exclaimed, at last.
"Pooh! as if that was anything wonderful," laughed the boy. "Why,
I knew those ages ago, Mr. Jack. It's only that I'm so glad to
see them again—the notes, you know. You see, I have n't any
music now. It was all in the bag (what we brought), and we left
that on the way."
"You left it!"
"Yes, 't was so heavy," murmured David abstractedly, his fingers
busy with the pile of music before him. "Oh, and here's another
one," he cried exultingly. "This is where the wind sighs,
through the pines. Listen!" And he was away again
on the wings of his violin. When he had returned Mr. Jack drew a
"David, you are a wonder," he declared again. "And that violin of
yours is a wonder, too, if I'm not mistaken,—though I don't know
enough to tell whether it's really a rare one or not. Was it your
 "Oh, no. He had one, too, and they both are good ones. Father
said so. Joe's got father's now."
"You don't mean Widow Glaspell's Joe, the blind boy? I did n't
know he could play."
"He could n't till I showed him. But he likes to hear me play.
And he understood—right away, I mean."
"What I was playing, you know. And he was almost the first one
that did—since father went away. And now I play every time I go
there. Joe says he never knew before how trees and grass and
sunsets and sunrises and birds and little brooks did look, till I
told him with my violin. Now he says he thinks he can see them
better than I can, because as long as his outside eyes can't see
anything, they can't see those ugly things all around him, and so
he can just make his inside eyes see only the beautiful things
that he'd like to see. And that's the kind he does see when I
play. That's why I said he understood."
For a moment there was silence. In Mr.
 Jack's eyes there was an
odd look as they rested on David's face. Then, abruptly, he
"David, I wish I had money. I'd put you then where you belonged,"
"Do you mean—where I'd find my work to do?" asked the boy
"Well—yes; you might say it that way," smiled the man, after a
moment's hesitation—not yet was Mr. Jack quite used to this boy
who was at times so very un-boylike.
"Father told me 't was waiting for me—somewhere."
Mr. Jack frowned thoughtfully.
"And he was right, David. The only trouble is, we like to pick it
out for ourselves, pretty well,—too well, as we find out
sometimes, when we're called off—for another job."
"I know, Mr. Jack, I know," breathed David. And the man, looking
into the glowing dark eyes, wondered at what he found there. It
was almost as if the boy really understood about his own life's
disappointment—and cared; though that, of course, could not be!
"And it's all the harder to keep ourselves in tune then, too, is
n't it?" went on David, a little wistfully.
 "In tune?"
"With the rest of the Orchestra."
"Oh!" And Mr. Jack, who had already heard about the "Orchestra
of Life," smiled a bit sadly. "That's just it, my boy. And if
we're handed another instrument to play on than the one we want
to play on, we're apt to—to let fly a discord. Anyhow, I am.
But"—he went on more lightly—"now, in your case, David, little
as I know about the violin, I know enough to understand that you
ought to be where you can take up your study of it again; where
you can hear good music, and where you can be among those who
know enough to appreciate what you do."
David's eyes sparkled.
"And where there would n't be any pulling weeds or hoeing dirt?"
"Well, I had n't thought of including either of those pastimes."
"My, but I would like that, Mr. Jack!—but that would n't be
work, so that could n't be what father meant." David's face fell.
"Hm-m; well, I would n't worry about the 'work' part," laughed
Mr. Jack, "particularly as you are n't going to do it just now.
 the money, you know,—and we have n't got that."
"And it takes money?"
"Well—yes. You can't get those things here in Hinsdale, you
know; and it takes money, to get away, and to live away after you
A sudden light transfigured David's face.
"Mr. Jack, would gold do it?—lots of little round gold-pieces?"
"I think it would, David, if there were enough of them."
"Many as a hundred?"
"Sure—if they were big enough. Anyway, David, they'd start you,
and I'm thinking you would n't need but a start before you'd be
coining gold-pieces of your own out of that violin of yours. But
why? Anybody you know got as 'many as a hundred' gold-pieces he
wants to get rid of?"
For a moment David, his delighted thoughts flying to the
gold-pieces in the chimney cupboard of his room, was tempted to
tell his secret. Then he remembered the woman with the bread and
the pail of milk, and decided not to. He would wait. When he knew
 better—perhaps then he would tell; but not now. Now
Mr. Jack might think he was a thief, and that he could not bear.
So he took up his violin and began to play; and in the charm of
the music Mr. Jack seemed to forget the gold-pieces—which was
exactly what David had intended should happen.
Not until David had said good-bye some time later, did he
remember the purpose—the special purpose—for which he had come.
He turned back with a radiant face.
"Oh, and Mr. Jack, I 'most forgot," he cried. "I was going to
tell you. I saw you yesterday—I did, and I almost waved to you."
"Did you? Where were you?"
"Over there in the window—the tower window," he crowed
"Oh, you went again, then, I suppose, to see Miss Holbrook."
The man's voice sounded so oddly cold and distant that David
noticed it at once. He was reminded suddenly of the gate and the
footbridge which Jill was forbidden to cross; but he dared not
speak of it then—not when Mr. Jack looked like that. He did say,
 "Oh, but, Mr. Jack, it's such a beautiful place! You don't know
what a beautiful place it is."
"Is it? Then, you like it so much?"
"Oh, so much! But—did n't you ever—see it?"
"Why, yes, I believe I did, David, long ago," murmured Mr. Jack
with what seemed to David amazing indifference.
"And did you see her—my Lady of the Roses?"
"Why, y—yes—I believe so."
"And is that all you remember about it?" resented David, highly
The man gave a laugh—a little short, hard laugh that David did
"But, let me see; you said you almost waved, did n't you? Why did
n't you, quite?" asked the man.
David drew himself suddenly erect. Instinctively he felt that his
Lady of the Roses needed defense.
"Because she did n't want me to; so I did n't, of course," he
rejoined with dignity. "She took away my handkerchief."
"I'll warrant she did," muttered the man,
 behind his teeth. Aloud
he only laughed again, as he turned away.
David went on down the steps, dissatisfied vaguely with himself,
with Mr. Jack, and even with the Lady of the Roses.
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