“Daisy,” he said, “your father was stunned by his blow, and needs to be kept in perfect quiet for a time, until he is quite over it. People after such a fall often do; but I do not know that any other consequences whatever will follow.”
“He was stunned—” repeated Daisy.
The child did not say any more, yet her eyes of searching eagerness plainly asked for fuller information. They were not content nor at rest.
“Can’t you have patience and hope for other tidings to-morrow?”
“May I?—” said Daisy.
“May you? Certainly. It was your mother’s wish to send you here—not mine. It was not needful; though if you could be content, I think it would be well.”
She looked a little relieved; very little.
“Now what are you doing? Am I to have two patients on my hand in your family?”
“What are you doing then, up so late? Watching the stars?”
“I am your physician—you know you must tell me everything. What were you about, Daisy?”
“Dr. Sandford,” said Daisy, in difficulty how to speak,—“I was seeking comfort.”
And with the word, somehow, Daisy’s self-restraint failed; her head went down on the doctor’s shoulder; and when she lifted it up there were two or three tears that needed to be brushed away. No more; but the doctor felt the slight little frame tremble.
“Did you find comfort, Daisy?” he said kindly. “I ask as your physician; because if you are using wrong measures for that end I shall forbid them. What were you doing to get comfort?”
“I did not want to go to sleep, sir.”
“Daisy, I am going to carry you down to have some supper.”
“O, I do not want any, Dr. Sandford!”
“Are you ready to go down?”
“No sir—in a minute,—I only want to brush my hair.”
“Brush it, then.”
Which Daisy did; then coming to her friend with a face as smoothly in order as the little round head, she repeated humbly,
“I do not want anything, Dr. Sandford.”
“Shall I carry you down?”
“O no, sir.”
“Come then. One way or the other. And Daisy, when we are down stairs, and when you come up again, you must obey my orders.”
The supper-table was laid. Mrs. Sandford expressed delight at seeing Daisy come in, but it would maybe have been of little avail had her kindness been the only force at work. It was not. The doctor prescribed peaches and bread, and gave Daisy grapes and a little bit of cold chicken; and was very kind and very imperative too; and Daisy did not dare nor like to disobey him. She eat the supper, which tasted good when he made her eat it; and then was dismissed up stairs to bed, with orders to go straight to sleep. And Daisy did as she was told.