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.‘Ma will be delighted.In fact, you’ve completely upstaged me,’ he went on, laughing wryly.‘I was seriously thinking of asking McGredys or Dicksons to name a rose for her.It’s quite expensive, but that doesn’t matter.Knowing my Ma, she’ll be far happier with what you produce.You must tell her about it yourself, right away.She did go up for a little rest, but she sent me to fetch you.She wants to have a word with you before she comes down.’‘Oh,’ said Ellie, taken aback, ‘are you sure she doesn’t just want to be quiet a bit longer?’‘Quite sure.I had strict instructions.Ellie and only Ellie was what the lady said.She’s in her bedroom, but she’s not even lying down,’ he said as he turned and strode away.‘Oh Ellie, what a pretty dress.Is that the material you and Ruth bought when you were up on holiday?’‘Yes, it is, the one I was worried about because of cutting on the bias,’ she admitted, smiling ruefully when she remembered sharing her anxiety with Rose.‘Come and sit here.I must go down quite soon, because there are people who have a long way to go and they’ll want to say goodbye,’ she explained, moving over on the window-seat to leave room for her.‘Now, tell me.Any news from George since you wrote to me? Or, more precisely, has he said anything since then about coming home or setting a date.’Ellie shook her head.‘No, all he says is that he misses me and longs for us to be together.But he says that every time,’ she confessed sadly.‘Well, he needs to do better than that, Ellie.He may not be naturally thoughtful, but in this situation, he simply has to learn and learn quickly.Now I think it’s time you took more thought for what you want.No, let me finish,’ she said, as Ellie opened her mouth to protest.‘We all have things we can do nothing about, like working in a lumber camp with no accommodation for women, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t talk about them, share them, see what could be done.Remember Ellie, in every situation there’s always something a person can do.That’s why so often, in the face of even a great disaster, people make a cup of tea.And one action often leads to another and that is when things start to improve.Do you see what I mean?’‘Yes, I do,’ Ellie said firmly, thinking of the night when Daisy and her family were face with eviction and they went together for an ice-cream.‘I think you should tell George how difficult it is for you here at home, not knowing what he’s thinking about your future.I also think you ought to make it clear that you want him to come home to be married.’‘But why so, Rose? I really don’t mind where we’re married, just as long as we can be together again.’‘But Ellie dear, you and the George that went away are unlikely to be at all the same people by the time you’re able to meet up.It’s just over a year since he went, isn’t it? Well, he’s clearly not coming this season, so it won’t be before the ice melts in March next year.He doesn’t say enough for you to know if he’s changed, and besides don’t you think you yourself have changed if you think about it?’Ellie blushed slightly.‘Well, no, I don’t think I had thought about it.’‘I didn’t imagine you had.I’ve noticed you tend not to think about Ellie, so that’s my job.Old ladies shouldn’t give advice, but some of them can’t resist, so I’m going to ask you to do one thing for me.Don’t go out to marry George.Stay here at home.Let him come to you and then make sure he really is the man you want, not just a man that looks the same as a man you loved when you were younger.Do you understand?’Ellie nodded and caught her lip.‘Now we must go, but you’ll be up again soon for your holiday won’t you? I think Annie said August.We can talk about it then, but in the meantime, remember to tell George what you want.If he loves you, then he’ll want that too, whether it’s possible or not.At least he can write about it, can’t he?’ said Rose crisply, as she got to her feet, kissed her and gave her a hug [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]