"Perhaps I may see it again when I am grown old; I did not think exactly what 'never' meant; it is so very long since I was there, and I don't see any chance of my going for years and years at any rate."
"Why, Ruth, you--we may go next Sunday afternoon, if you like."
She looked up at him with a lovely light of pleasure in her face at the idea. "How, sir? Can I walk it between afternoon-service and the time Mrs. Mason comes home? I would go for only one glimpse; but if I could get into the house--oh, sir! if I could just see mamma's room again!"
He was revolving plans in his head for giving her this pleasure, and he had also his own in view. If they went in any of his carriages, the loitering charm of the walk would be lost; and they must, to a certain degree, be encumbered by, and exposed to the notice of servants.
"Are you a good walker, Ruth? Do you think you can manage six miles? If we set off at two o'clock, we shall be there by four, without hurrying; or say half-past four. Then we might stay two hours, and you could show me all the old walks and old places you love, and we could still come leisurely home. Oh, it's all arranged directly!"
"But do you think it would be right, sir? It seems as if it would be such a great pleasure, that it must be in some way wrong."
"Why, you little goose, what can be wrong in it?"
"In the first place, I miss going to church by setting out at two," said Ruth, a little gravely.
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