The following Saturday Ann Eliza was sitting alone in the shop when the door opened and Mr. Ramy entered. He had never before called at that hour, and she wondered a little anxiously what had brought him.
"Has anything happened?" she asked, pushing aside the basketful of buttons she had been sorting.
"Not's I know of," said Mr. Ramy tranquilly. "But I always close up the store at two o'clock Saturdays at this season, so I thought I might as well call round and see you."
"I'm real glad, I'm sure," said Ann Eliza; "but Evelina's out."
"I know dat," Mr. Ramy answered. "I met her round de corner. She told me she got to go to dat new dyer's up in Forty-eighth Street. She won't be back for a couple of hours, har'ly, will she?"
Ann Eliza looked at him with rising bewilderment. "No, I guess not," she answered; her instinctive hospitality prompting her to add: "Won't you set down jest the same?"
Mr. Ramy sat down on the stool beside the counter, and Ann Eliza returned to her place behind it.
"I can't leave the store," she explained.