But he wanted to show her that he was grateful, and the only mode that occurred to him was to offer Aaron a bit more cake.
Dolly sighed gently as she held out the cakes to Silas, who thanked her kindly and looked very close at them, absently, being accustomed to look so at everything he took into his hand--eyed all the while by the wondering bright orbs of the small Aaron, who had made an outwork of his mother's chair, and was peeping round from behind it.
"Well, whativer the letters are, they've a good meaning; and it's a stamp as has been in our house, Ben says, ever since he was a little un, and his mother used to put it on the cakes, and I've allays put it on too; for if there's any good, we've need of it i' this world."
And George and Tom moved to a comfortable seat in the chimney-corner, while Aunte Chloe, after baking a goodly pile of cakes
, took her baby on her lap, and began alternately filling its mouth and her own, and distributing to Mose and Pete, who seemed rather to prefer eating theirs as they rolled about on the floor under the table, tickling each other, and occasionally pulling the baby's toes.
"You 've hit it this time, Polly; you certainly have a gift for putting a good deal of both articles into your own and other people's lives, which is lucky, as, we all have to eat that sort of cake, whether we like it or not," observed Tom, so soberly that Polly opened her eyes, and Maud exclaimed, "I do believe he 's preaching."
But in the well-made cake, the plums are wisely scattered all through, and every mouthful is a pleasure.
Now, Maud, bring on the citron;" and Polly began to put the cake together in what seemed a most careless and chaotic manner, while Tom and Maud watched with absorbing interest till it was safely in the oven.
Very likely, if the truth were known, there was somebody below who passed him up regular supplies of cake and cocoa.
The girl upstairs had broken his heart, ruined his life, and practically compared him to Roland Bean, and his pride should have built up an impassable wall between them, but--she had cake and cocoa.
It is probable that the spectacle which at that moment attracted all looks in that direction, would have made them forget completely the Rat-Hole, and the halt which they intended to make there, if big Eustache, six years of age, whom Mahiette was dragging along by the hand, had not abruptly recalled the object to them: "Mother," said he, as though some instinct warned him that the Rat-Hole was behind him, "can I eat the cake now?"
If Eustache had been more adroit, that is to say, less greedy, he would have continued to wait, and would only have hazarded that simple question, "Mother, can I eat the cake, now?" on their return to the University, to Master Andry Musnier's, Rue Madame la Valence, when he had the two arms of the Seine and the five bridges of the city between the Rat-Hole and the cake.
The last time I made a cake I forgot to put the flour in.
"Let me give you a bit of fruit cake and some of the cherry preserves.
She filled the cups, and sighed as she looked at the cake. "If Cecilia was here, how she would enjoy it!" With that complimentary tribute to her friend, she handed a slice to Alban.
Besides, he despised her cake. "I want to know why you object," she said; taking back the neglected slice, and eating it herself.