Christopher and Columbus HTML version
But she didn't come by it at once.
They got into the car first, which was waiting for them in the scented road at the bottom
of the field they had walked across, and they got into it in silence and were driven back
to their hotel for tea, and her brain was still unvisited by inspiration.
They were all tired and thirsty, and were disappointed at being thwarted in their desire
to sit at a little green table under whispering trees and rest, and drink tea, and had no
sort of wish to have it at the Cosmopolitan. But both Mr. Twist, who had been corrupted
by Europe, and the twins, who had the habits of their mother, couldn't imagine doing
without it in the afternoon, and they would have it in the hotel sooner than not have it at
all. It was brought to them after a long time of waiting. Nobody else was having any at
that hour, and the waiter, when at last one was found, had difficulty apparently in
believing that they were serious. When at last he did bring it, it was toast and
marmalade and table-napkins, for all the world as though it had been breakfast.
Then it was that, contemplating this with discomfort and distaste, as well as the place
they were sitting in and its rocking-chairs and marble and rugs, Anna-Felicitas was
suddenly smitten by her idea.
It fell upon her like a blow. It struck her fairly, as it were, between the eyes. She wasn't
used to ideas, and she stopped dead in the middle of a piece of toast and looked at the
others. They stopped too in their eating and looked at her.
"What's the matter?" asked Anna-Rose. "Has another button come off?"
At this Mr. Twist considered it wisest to turn his head away, for experience had taught
him that Anna-Felicitas easily came undone.
"I've thought of something," said Anna-Felicitas.
Mr. Twist turned his head back again. "You don't say," he said, mildly sarcastic.
"Ich gratuliere," said Anna-Rose, also mildly sarcastic.
"I've got an idea," said Anna-Felicitas. "But it's so luminous," she said, looking from one
to the other in a kind of surprise. "Of course. That's what we'll do. Ridiculous to waste
time bothering about schools."
There was a new expression on her face that silenced the comments rising to Anna-
Rose's and Mr. Twist's tongues, both of whom had tired feet and were therefore
disposed to sarcasm.