We went back and forth a few times, then I caught Jan's eye and we had a silent conversation. Put into words, it would have gone something like this:
Me: Leave us alone for a minute.
Me: Give me a moment–
Her: No. What are you up to?
Me: Trust me.
Me: I know what I'm doing.
"I have to step out for a moment, Ron," she said, getting to her feet. "I'll be right back." Her voice was pleasant, but she gave a bit of extra emphasis to the last two words.
As she limped off, Ron said, "It's funny when you make faces at each other like that."
"So, what's the big secret?"
"Just a question." I put my arm around her shoulders and leaned over to whisper. "Don't you want to grow up to be like her?" I asked.
She looked around to make sure nobody else could hear, then she whispered, "Yeah."
"Well, she didn't get to be that way without going to school."
She frowned. "I can't go to school," she said after a moment's thought. "I have to deliver the mail."
"Tomorrow, after you deliver the mail, I'll go to the school with you. We'll get you enrolled, and I'll tell the school people that you can only come in the afternoons, because of your responsibilities."