Your esteemed contribution entitled WarehamWildflowers has been accepted forThe Pilot, Miss Perkins," said Rebecca,entering the room where Emma Jane was darningthe firm's stockings. "I stayed to tea with MissMaxwell, but came home early to tell you.""You are joking, Becky!" faltered Emma Jane,looking up from her work.
"Not a bit; the senior editor read it and thoughtit highly instructive; it appears in the next issue.""Not in the same number with your poem aboutthe golden gates that close behind us when we leaveschool?"--and Emma Jane held her breath as sheawaited the reply.
"Even so, Miss Perkins.""Rebecca," said Emma Jane, with the nearestapproach to tragedy that her nature would permit,"I don't know as I shall be able to bear it, and ifanything happens to me, I ask you solemnly to burythat number of The Pilot with me."Rebecca did not seem to think this the expressionof an exaggerated state of feeling, inasmuch asshe replied, "I know; that's just the way it seemedto me at first, and even now, whenever I'm aloneand take out the Pilot back numbers to read overmy contributions, I almost burst with pleasure; andit's not that they are good either, for they lookworse to me every time I read them.""If you would only live with me in some littlehouse when we get older," mused Emma Jane, aswith her darning needle poised in air she regardedthe opposite wall dreamily, "I would do the houseworkand cooking, and copy all your poems andstories, and take them to the post-office, and youneedn't do anything but write. It would beperfectly elergant!""I'd like nothing better, if I hadn't promised tokeep house for John," replied Rebecca.
"He won't have a house for a good many years,will he?""No," sighed Rebecca ruefully, flinging herselfdown by the table and resting her head on her hand.
"Not unless we can contrive to pay off that detestablemortgage. The day grows farther off insteadof nearer now that we haven't paid the interestthis year."She pulled a piece of paper towards her, andscribbling idly on it read aloud in a moment or two:--"Will you pay a little faster?" said the mortgage to the farm;"I confess I'm very tired of this place.""The weariness is mutual," Rebecca Randall cried;"I would I'd never gazed upon your face!""A note has a `face,'" observed Emma Jane, whowas gifted in arithmetic. "I didn't know that amortgage had.""Our mortgage has," said Rebecca revengefully.
"I should know him if I met him in the dark. Waitand I'll draw him for you. It will be good for youto know how he looks, and then when you have ahusband and seven children, you won't allow him tocome anywhere within a mile of your farm."The sketch when completed was of a sort to beshunned by a timid person on the verge of slumber.
There was a tiny house on the right, and a weepingfamily gathered in front of it. The mortgage wasdepicted as a cross between a fiend and an ogre,and held an axe uplifted in his red right hand. Afigure with streaming black locks was staying theblow, and this, Rebecca explained complacently, wasintended as a likeness of herself, though she wasrather vague as to the method she should use inattaining her end.