The question that had haunted her was what if her aunt should die or lose her money. What would happen then if she had not learned to do something?
When the train pulled up at Edgewater, June got out feeling strange and lonely. Her gay, independent feelings were gone for the time. What if she really could not find a place? what would she do? She couldn't, she wouldn't go back.
The station was small and dirty and only a few loungers were in sight. There were a few houses near, and all around lay the fields smiling in the early summer sunshine.
June decided to go farther back into the country, so she started down a shady road and soon was out of Edgewater, and with no human habitation in sight. The river flowed by the road on one side, its banks heavily fringed with willows, reflected in the clear water below. The birds sang from the thickets and June drank it all in with a delightful abandon. She sat down presently near a little spring which bubbled into the river, and ate her lunch. She knew that she ought to be on her way, but it was so delightful not to have her aunt remind her of any duty. At last she arose and hurried along the road. Night would soon come, and she did not care to spend it out of doors. Before long she came in sight of a small board house set well back in an apple orchard. Timidly she went up to the front door and knocked. In a few minutes the door was opened a crack and a woman's head appeared.
"We don't buy of agents!" she snapped.
"But I am not an agent," faltered June, her face growing hot.
The door opened wider. "What be you then?" asked the cautious inmate.
"I--I am looking for a place," was the answer.
"Well, we don't want any city servants," snapped the woman; "but, say, "relenting at June's sweet anxious face, "if you really want to work, I bet they'd take you up to Gresham's. She's laid up with a broken leg, and he has all the house work atop his own farm work to do. That's their place up by them Lombardy poplars."
June thanked the woman and started. Her courage seemed gone, why had she come? but pride and an empty pocket book forbade her return. As she drew near to "Gresham's," she was impressed with the well kept farm. The yard full of flowering shrubs and beds of flowers. Roses clambered over the porch, peeping in at the windows, and pansies lifted sweet faces below. It seemed almost like home to June.
In answer to her knock a pleasant voice bade her come in. The girl opened the door into a cheery little room. On a white bed lay a sweet-faced young woman, whom June guessed must be Mrs. Gresham, for she smiled and glanced inquiringly at her.
"Do you want a girl to work? faltered June, "I--I heard you did."
The little lady laughed. "Sit right down and rest and we will talk it over, you look very tired."