“I sang Polly Wolly just the same as the rest of you,” said Una’s weak little voice, “so I had to be punished, too.”
Mrs. Clow came with a glass of milk, Faith and Jerry and Carl sneaked off to the pantry, and John Meredith went into his study, where he sat in the darkness for a long time, alone with his bitter thoughts. So his children were bringing themselves up because there was “nobody to do it”—struggling along amid their little perplexities without a hand to guide or a voice to counsel. Faith’s innocently uttered phrase rankled in her father’s mind like a barbed shaft. There was “nobody” to look after them—to comfort their little souls and care for their little bodies.