Two days afterward, Ann Eliza noticed that Evelina, before they sat down to supper, pinned a crimson bow under her collar; and when the meal was finished the younger sister, who seldom concerned herself with the clearing of the table, set about with nervous haste to help Ann Eliza in the removal of the dishes.
"I hate to see food mussing about," she grumbled. "Ain't it hateful having to do everything in one room?"
"Oh, Evelina, I've always thought we was so comfortable," Ann Eliza protested.
"Well, so we are, comfortable enough; but I don't suppose there's any harm in my saying I wisht we had a parlour, is there? Anyway, we might manage to buy a screen to hide the bed."
Ann Eliza coloured. There was something vaguely embarrassing in Evelina's suggestion.
"I always think if we ask for more what we have may be taken from us," she ventured.
"Well, whoever took it wouldn't get much," Evelina retorted with a laugh as she swept up the table-cloth.
A few moments later the back room was in its usual flawless order and the two sisters had seated themselves near the lamp. Ann Eliza had taken up her sewing, and Evelina was preparing to make artificial flowers. The sisters usually relegated this more delicate business to the long leisure of the summer months; but to-night Evelina had brought out the box which lay all winter under the bed, and spread before her a bright array of muslin petals, yellow stamens and green corollas, and a tray of little implements curiously suggestive of the dental art. Ann Eliza made no remark on this unusual proceeding; perhaps she guessed why, for that evening her sister had chosen a graceful task.