For this let each remember—life cannot all be play.
The New Year’s Answer.
But the children’s plans for the next day did not come to pass. Unluckily, Leonore had caught cold. It was nothing very bad, but she was subject to sore throats sometimes, which made Fraulein doubly careful, if ever she saw any symptoms of her having had a chill. And for some days to come the little girl was not allowed to go out.
At first she felt rather dull and depressed, but as her friends were soon satisfied that there was not much the matter with her, Hildegarde was allowed to come to see her.
‘How did you catch cold?’ were her visitor’s first words; ‘it couldn’t surely have been from’ and she stopped short with a smile, for curiously enough the children did not talk very much when they were together, in an ordinary way, of their fairy adventures Leonore gave a little laugh.
‘From riding on a cloud,’ she said softly. ‘No, I am quite sure it was not from that, though certainly if we told anybody about it, they would think it a sure way of catching cold.’
‘They wouldn’t believe it,’ said Hildegarde, ‘or at least they would think we had been dreaming, but do you know, Leonore,’ she went on eagerly, ‘I shouldn’t wonder if some good came of your cold; it’s only a fortnight to Christmas now, and what grandmamma said that last day you were at the Castle seems coming true. There are all the signs of a hard winter, they say, and though grandmamma hasn’t told me so, I have a great idea that they are planning for you all to come and stay at the Castle with us.’ Leonore’s eyes danced with pleasure.
‘How lovely that would be,’ she said, ‘do tell me what makes you think so, Hildegarde?’
‘Two or three things,’ was the reply. ‘I heard grandpapa talking about this house, “Aunt Anna’s little house,” he called it.
He said the roof should have something done to it, in case of heavy snow, and that the bailiff should have told him of this before, for it scarcely could be done while the ladies were living in it. Then grandmamma smiled, and said that she thought the difficulty might be got over. And once or twice lately I have met old Maria on her way to the blue-silk room.
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