The Old Lady and Curdie 227
much obliged to you, Irene, for getting me out of that hole, but I wish you hadn't made a fool of me afterwards."
He said this as he opened the door, which he left open, and, without another word, went down the stair. Irene listened with dismay to his departing footsteps. Then turning again to the lady—
"What does it all mean, grandmother?" she sobbed, and burst into fresh tears.
"It means, my love, that I did not mean to show myself. Curdie is not yet able to believe some things. Seeing is not believing—it is only seeing. You remember I told you that if Lootie were to see me, she would rub her eyes, forget the half she saw, and call the other half nonsense."
"Yes; but I should have thought Curdie------"
"You are right. Curdie is much farther on than Lootie, and you will see what will come of it. But in the meantime, you must be content, I say, to be misunderstood for a while. We are all very anxious to be understood, and it is very hard not to be. But there is one thing much more necessary."