the garden in search of me; and she had a word of advice to offer, after noticing my face when I stepped out of the shadow of the tree: "Try to look more like yourself, miss, before you let them see you at the tea-table."
Papa and Miss Jillgall were sitting together talking, when I opened the door. They left off when they saw me; and I supposed, quite correctly as it turned out, that I had been one of the subjects in their course of conversation. My poor father seemed to be sadly anxious and out of sorts. Miss Jillgall, if I had been in the humor to enjoy it, would have been more amusing than ever. One of her funny little eyes persisted in winking at me, and her heavy foot had something to say to my foot, under the table, which meant a great deal perhaps, but which only succeeded in hurting me.
My father left us; and Miss Jillgall explained herself.
"I know, dearest Eunice, that we have only been acquainted for a day or two, and that I ought not perhaps to have expected you to confide in me so soon. Can I trust you not to betray me if I set an example of confidence? Ah, I see I can trust you! And, my dear, I do so enjoy telling secrets to a friend. Hush! Your father, your excellent father, has been talking to me about young Mr. Dunboyne."
She provokingly stopped there. I entreated her to go on. She invited me to sit on her knee. "I want to whisper," she said. It was too ridiculous--but I did it. Miss Jillgall's whisper told me serious news.
"The minister has some reason, Eunice, for disaproving of Mr. Dunboyne; but, mind this, I don't think he has a bad opinion of the young man himself. He is going to return Mr. Dunboyne's call. Oh, I do so hate formality; I really can't go on talking of Mr. Dunboyne. Tell me his Christian name. Ah, what a noble name! How I long to be useful to him! To-morrow, my dear, after the one o'clock dinner, your papa will call on Philip at his hotel. I hope he won't be out just at the wrong time."
I resolved to prevent that unlucky accident by writing to Philip. If Miss Jillgall would have allowed it, I should have begun my letter at once. But she had more to say; and she was stronger than I was, and still kept me on her knee.
"It all looks bright enough so far, doesn't it, dear sister? Will you let me be your third sister? I do so love
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Publication information: Book title: The Legacy of Cain. Contributors: Wilkie Collins - Author. Publisher: John W. Lovell Company. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1891. Page number: 89.