Then Grace dictated, and Mr. Carden wrote:
"DEAR SIR,--My daughter informs me that, as yet, you have received no remuneration for the lessons you have given her. I beg your acceptance of the inclosed check, and, at the same time, should be glad if you would put a price on the admirable bust you have executed of her.
The reply to this letter surprised Mr. Carden, so that he brought it to Grace, and showed it her.
"DEAR SIR,--The lessons are not worth speaking of. I have learned more in your house than I taught. I beg to return the check with thanks. Price of the bust, five hundred guineas.
Grace colored up, and her eyes sparkled. "That young man wants humbling."
"I don't see that, really. He is very civil, and I presume this five hundred guineas is just a polite way of saying that he means to keep it. Wants it for an advertisement, eh?"
Grace smiled and bit her lip. "Oh, what a man of business you are!" And a little while after the tears came into her eyes. "Madman!" said she to herself. "He won't let me be his friend. Well, I can't help it."
After the brief excitement of this correspondence, Little soon relapsed into dull misery. His mother was alarmed, and could restrain herself no longer. She implored his confidence. "Make me the partner of your grief, dear," she said; "not that you can tell me anything I have not guessed already; but, dearest, it will do you good to open your heart; and, who knows, I may assist you. I know my sex much better than you do."