38. CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT
When John came down at last, expecting to find a pensive
or reproachful wife, he was agreeably surprised to find Meg
placidly trimming a bonnet, and to be greeted with the request
to read something about the election, if he was not
too tired. John saw in a minute that a revolution of some
kind was going on, but wisely asked no questions, knowing
that Meg was such a transparent little person, she couldn't
keep a secret to save her life, and therefore the clue would
soon appear. He read a long debate with the most amiable
readiness and then explained it in his most lucid manner,
while Meg tried to look deeply interested, to ask intelligent
questions, and keep her thoughts from wandering from the
state of the nation to the state of her bonnet. In her secret
soul, however, she decided that politics were as bad as mathematics,
and the the mission of politicians seemed to be calling
each other names, but she kept these feminine ideas to herself,
and when John paused, shook her head and said with what she
thought diplomatic ambiguity, "Well, I really don't see what
we are coming to."
John laughed, and watched her for a minute, as she poised
a pretty little preparation of lace and flowers on her hand,
and regarded it with the genuine interest which his harangue
had failed to waken.
"She is trying to like politics for my sake, so I'll try and
like millinery for hers, that's only fair," thought John the Just,
adding aloud, "That's very pretty. Is it what you call a breakfast cap?"
"My dear man, it's a bonnet! My very best go-to-concert-and-theater bonnet."
"I beg your pardon, it was so small, I naturally mistook
it for one of the flyaway things you sometimes wear.
How do you keep it on?"
"These bits of lace are fastened under the chin with a rosebud, so."
And Meg illustrated by putting on the bonnet and regarding
him with an air of calm satisfaction that was irresistible.
"It's a love of a bonnet, but I prefer the face inside, for
it looks young and happy again." And John kissed the smiling
face, to the great detriment of the rosebud under the chin.