Christopher and Columbus
And so it came about that just as the reunited Twists, mother, son and daughter, were
sitting in the drawing-room, a little tired after a long afternoon of affection, waiting for
seven o'clock to strike and, with the striking, Amanda the head maid to appear and
announce supper, but waiting with lassitude, for they had not yet recovered from an
elaborate welcoming dinner, the Twinklers, in the lovely twilight of a golden day, were
hastening up the winding road from the station towards them. Silent, and a little
exhausted, the unconscious Twists sat in their drawing-room, a place of marble and
antimacassars, while these light figures, their shoes white with the dust of a country-
side that had had no rain for weeks, sped every moment nearer.
The road wound gently upwards through fields and woods, through quiet, delicious
evening country, and there was one little star twinkling encouragingly at the twins from
over where they supposed Clark would be. At the station there had been neither porter
nor conveyance, nor indeed anybody or anything at all except themselves, their
luggage, and a thin, kind man who represented authority. Clark is two miles away from
its station, and all the way to it is uninhabited. Just at the station are a cluster of those
hasty buildings America flings down in out-of-the-way places till she shall have leisure to
make a splendid city; but the road immediately curved away from these up into solitude
and the evening sky.
"You can't miss it," encouraged the station-master. "Keep right along after your noses till
they knock up against Mrs. Twist's front gate. I'll look after the menagerie—" thus did he
describe the Twinkler luggage. "Guess Mrs. Twist'll be sending for it as soon as you get
there. Guess she forgot you. Guess she's shaken up by young Mr. Twist's arriving this
very day. I wouldn't have forgotten you. No, not for a dozen young Mr. Twists," he
"Why do you call him young Mr. Twist," inquired Anna-Felicitas, "when he isn't? He must
be at least thirty or forty or fifty."
"You see, we know him quite well," said Anna-Rose proudly, as they walked off. "He's a
great friend of ours."
"You don't say," said the station-master, who was chewing gum; and as the twins had
not yet seen this being done they concluded he had been interrupted in the middle of a
meal by the arrival of the train.
"Now mind," he called after them, "you do whatever the road does. Give yourselves up
to it, and however much it winds about stick to it. You'll meet other roads, but don't you
take any notice of them."