But the good lady was undoubtedly taking her morning nap on the shores of old England. There was no danger to be apprehended from her unexpected arrival, they thought; and just as the clock struck one the young men sought their rooms, greatly to the relief of Mrs. Jeffrey, who, in her long night robe, with streaming candle in hand, had more than a dozen times leaned over the banister, wondering if the “carouse” would ever end.
It did end at last; and, tired and sleepy, Theo went directly to her chamber, while Maggie stayed below, thinking to arrange matters a little, for their guests were to leave on the first train, and she had ordered an early breakfast. But it was a hopeless task, the putting of that room to rights; and trusting much to the good-nature of the housekeeper, she finally gave it up and went to bed, forgetting in her drowsiness to fasten the outer door, or yet to extinguish the lamp which burned upon the sideboard.
At the delightful country seat of Arthur Carrollton Madam Conway had passed many pleasant days, and was fully intending to while away several more, when an unexpected summons from his father made it necessary for the young man to go immediately to London; and, as an American steamer was about to leave the port of Liverpool, Madam Conway determined to start for home at once. Accordingly, she wrote for Anna Jeffrey, whom she had promised to take with her, to meet her in Liverpool, and a few days previous to the arrival of George Douglas and Henry Warner at Hillsdale, the two ladies embarked with an endless variety of luggage, to say nothing of Miss Anna’s guitar-case, bird-cage, and favorite lap-dog “Lottie.”
Once fairly on the sea, Madam Conway became exceedingly impatient and disagreeable, complaining both of fare and speed, and at length came on deck one morning with the firm belief that something dreadful had happened to Maggie! She was dangerously sick, she knew, for never but once before had she been visited with a like presentiment, and that was just before her daughter died. Then it came to her just as this had done, in her sleep, and very nervously the lady paced the vessel’s deck, counting the days as they passed, and almost weeping for joy when told Boston was in sight. Immediately after landing she made inquiries as to when the next train passing Hillsdale station would leave the city, and though it was midnight she resolved at all hazards to go on, for if Maggie were really ill there was no time to be lost!