This Hsi-feng, upon hearing these words, lost no time in converting her sorrow into joy.
“Quite right,” she remarked. “But at the sight of my cousin, my whole heart was absorbed in her, and I felt happy, and yet wounded at heart: but having disregarded my venerable ancestor’s presence, I deserve to be beaten, I do indeed!”
And hastily taking once more Tai-yü‘s hand in her own: “How old are you, cousin?” she inquired; “Have you been to school? What medicines are you taking? while you live here, you mustn’t feel homesick; and if there’s anything you would like to eat, or to play with, mind you come and tell me! or should the waiting maids or the matrons fail in their duties, don’t forget also to report them to me.”
Addressing at the same time the matrons, she went on to ask, “Have Miss Lin’s luggage and effects been brought in? How many servants has she brought along with her? Go, as soon as you can, and sweep two lower rooms and ask them to go and rest.”
As she spake, tea and refreshments had already been served, and Hsi-feng herself handed round the cups and offered the fruits.
Upon hearing the question further put by her maternal aunt Secunda, “Whether the issue of the monthly allowances of money had been finished or not yet?” Hsi-feng replied: “The issue of the money has also been completed; but a few moments back, when I went along with several servants to the back upper-loft, in search of the satins, we looked for ever so long, but we saw nothing of the kind of satins alluded to by you, madame, yesterday; so may it not be that your memory misgives you?”
亚博体育开户亚博体育yb亚博体育yb“Whether there be any or not, of that special kind, is of no consequence,” observed madame Wang. “You should take out,” she therefore went on to add, “any two pieces which first come under your hand, for this cousin of yours to make herself dresses with; and in the evening, if I don’t forget, I’ll send some one to fetch them.”
“I’ve in fact already made every provision,” rejoined Hsi-feng;
“knowing very well that my cousin would be arriving within these two days,
I have had everything got ready for her. And when you, madame, go back,
if you will pass an eye over everything,
I shall be able to send them round.”