"Is anybody ever missed, Mrs. Little? Believe me, few persons are welcomed back so cordially as you are."
"That is very flattering, Mr. Coventry. It is for my son's sake I have returned to society."
"No doubt; but you will remain there for your own. Society is your place. You are at home in it, and were born to shine in it."
"What makes you think that, pray?" and the widow's cheek flushed a little.
"Oh, Mrs. Little, I have seen something of the world. Count me amongst your most respectful admirers. It is a sentiment I have a right to, since I inherit it."
"Well, Mr. Coventry, then I give you leave to admire me--if you can. Ah, here they come. Two minutes! I am afraid it was neither gossip nor flirtation, but only botany."
Grace and Henry came back, looking very radiant.
"What do you think?" said Grace, "I never was more surprised in my life, there really is a cactus, and a night cereus into the bargain. Mrs. Little, behold a penitent. I bring you my apology, and a jardenia."