“Why would not he let Jonas go?” asked Lucy.
“I do not know. Mother said it was because I did not ask him right.”
“How did you ask him?”
“O, I interrupted him. He was reading.”
“O, that is not the way. I never interrupt my father if I want to ask him any thing.”
“Suppose he is busy, and you want to know that very minute; what do you do?”
“I will show you. Come with me and I will ask him to let me stay with you to-day.”
So Lucy and Rollo walked in. When they came to the parlor door, they saw that their parents were sitting on the sofa, talking about other things.
Rollo stopped at the door, but Lucy went in gently. She walked up to her father’s side, and stood there still.
Her father took no notice of her at first, but went on talking with Rollo’s father. Lucy stood very patiently until, after a few minutes, her father stopped talking, and said,
“Lucy, my dear, do you want to speak to me?”
“Yes, sir,” said Lucy, “I wanted to ask you if you were willing to let me stay here to-day and play with Rollo, if you do not go to the mountain.”
“I do not know,” said her father, hesitating, and patting Lucy on the head—“that is a new idea; however, I believe I have no objection.”
Lucy ran back joyfully to Rollo, and after a short time, her father went home. Rollo, however, did not feel in any better humor, and all Lucy’s endeavors to engage him in some amusement, failed. She proposed building with bricks, or going up into his little room, and drawing pictures on their slates, or getting his storybooks out and reading stories, and various other things, but Rollo would not be pleased.
Rollo ought, now, when he found that he must be disappointed about his ride, to have immediately banished it from his mind altogether, and turned his thoughts to other pleasures; but like all ill-humored people, he would keep thinking and talking, all the time, about the thing which caused his ill-humor. So he sat in a large back entry, where he and Lucy were, looking out at the door, and saying a great many ill-natured things about the weather, and his father’s giving up the ride just for a little sprinkling of rain that would not last half an hour. He said it was a shame, too, for it to rain that day, just because he was going to ride.
Just then, his father spoke to him from the window, and called him in.
He and Lucy went in together into the parlor.
“Rollo,” said his father, “did you know you were doing very wrong?”
Rollo felt a little guilty, but he said rather faintly, “No, sir, I was not doing any thing.”
“You are committing a great many sins, all at once.”
Rollo was silent. He knew his father meant sins of the heart.
“Your heart is in a very wicked state. You are under the dominion of some of the worst of feelings; you are self-conceited, ungrateful, undutiful, unjust, selfish, and,” he added in a lower and more solemn tone, “even impious.”