expression of absent-mindedness that was meant to indicate that the last thing he expected to see was the sight of Mrs. Roundway smiling and beckoning from the window and holding a cookie boy in her hand.
He was surprised and slightly embarrassed one morning when Mrs. Roundway, instead of thrusting the cookie boy into his hands and running back to her cottage as usual, suddenly began to talk to him. She seemed very much excited. She told him that her sister was coming to live with her. Her sister, she said, was a widow who had been a housekeeper in Sydney and whose employer had just died, leaving her a handsome legacy.
" I ain't seed her for nigh on twenty years," ended Mrs. Roundway breathlessly. " I'm that excited I can't tell you, dearie. There you are—though I'm afraid that what with the excitement an' all his legs isn't quite straight, but he'll taste all right."
William walked down the road, thoughtfully nibbling his cookie boy. He was wondering how the arrival of Mrs. Round way's sister would affect his supply of cookie boys. It would be too much to hope that she should be another Mrs. Roundway. William had a large experience of elderly ladies and most of them were as unlike Mrs. Roundway as it is possible to imagine. Mrs. Roundway was, in fact, in William's eyes a sort of oasis in a desert.
He threw a very cautious glance at the cottage window when he passed it the next week.
" Shouldn't be surprised," he muttered to himself morosely, " if she even stops her making cookie boys."
But that cautious glance reassured him. It was as if there were two Mrs. Round ways standing at the cottage window—both nodding and smiling and beckoning. They came down together to the cottage gate.
" This is my sister, William," said Mrs. Roundway, smiling, " and this is William, Maggie. He's the friend