"Why, she's going!" she gasped, before Evelina could question her about Miss Mellins. "Did she start up again by herself?"
"Oh, no; but I couldn't stand not knowing what time it was, I've got so accustomed to having her round; and just after you went upstairs Mrs. Hawkins dropped in, so I asked her to tend the store for a minute, and I clapped on my things and ran right round to Mr. Ramy's. It turned out there wasn't anything the matter with her-- nothin' on'y a speck of dust in the works--and he fixed her for me in a minute and I brought her right back. Ain't it lovely to hear her going again? But tell me about Miss Mellins, quick!"
For a moment Ann Eliza found no words. Not till she learned that she had missed her chance did she understand how many hopes had hung upon it. Even now she did not know why she had wanted so much to see the clock-maker again.
"I s'pose it's because nothing's ever happened to me," she thought, with a twinge of envy for the fate which gave Evelina every opportunity that came their way. "She had the Sunday-school teacher too," Ann Eliza murmured to herself; but she was well-trained in the arts of renunciation, and after a scarcely perceptible pause she plunged into a detailed description of the dress-maker's "turn."
Evelina, when her curiosity was roused, was an insatiable questioner, and it was supper-time before she had come to the end of her enquiries about Miss Mellins; but when the two sisters had seated themselves at their evening meal Ann Eliza at last found a chance to say: "So she on'y had a speck of dust in her."
Evelina understood at once that the reference was not to Miss Mellins. "Yes--at least he thinks so," she answered, helping herself as a matter of course to the first cup of tea.
"On'y to think!" murmured Ann Eliza.
"But he isn't SURE," Evelina continued, absently pushing the teapot toward her sister. "It may be something wrong with the--I forget what he called it. Anyhow, he said he'd call round and see, day after to-morrow, after supper."