“She is very much occupied,” replied Laura, grandly taking up the Oferr style. “She visits a great deal, and she goes out in the carriage. You have to change your dress every day for dinner, and I’m to take French lessons.”
The absurd little sinner was actually proud of her magnificent temptations. She was only a child. Men and women never are, of course.
“I’m afraid it will be pretty hard to remember,” repeated Laura, with condescension.
“That’s your stump!”
Luclarion fixed the steadfast arrow of her look straight upon her, and drew the bow with this twang.
How Mrs. Grapp ever came to, was the wonder. Her having the baby was nothing. Her having the name for it was the astonishment.
Her own name was Lucy; her husband’s Luther: that, perhaps, accounted for the first syllable; afterwards, whether her mind lapsed off into combinations of such outshining appellatives as “Clara” and “Marion,” or whether Mr. Grapp having played the clarionet, and wooed her sweetly with it in her youth, had anything to do with it, cannot be told; but in those prescriptive days of quiet which followed the domestic advent, the name did somehow grow together in the fancy of Mrs. Luther; and in due time the life-atom which had been born indistinguishable into the natural world, was baptized into the Christian Church as “Luclarion” Grapp. Thenceforth, and no wonder, it took to itself a very especial individuality, and became what this story will partly tell.
Marcus Grapp, who had the start of Luclarion in this “meander,”—as their father called the vale of tears,—by just two years’ time, and was y-clipped, by everybody but his mother “Mark,”—in his turn, as they grew old together, cut his sister down to “Luke.” Then Luther Grapp called them both “The Apostles.” And not far wrong; since if ever the kingdom of heaven does send forth its Apostles—nay, its little Christs—into the work on earth, in these days, it is as little children into loving homes.
The Apostles got up early one autumn morning, when Mark was about six years old, and Luke four. They crept out of their small trundle-bed in their mother’s room adjoining the great kitchen, and made their way out softly to the warm wide hearth.
There were new shoes, a pair apiece, brought home from the Mills the night before, set under the little crickets in the corners. These had got into their dreams, somehow, and into the red rooster’s first halloo from the end room roof, and into the streak of pale daylight that just stirred and lifted the darkness, and showed doors and windows, but not yet the blue meeting-houses on the yellow wall-paper, by which they always knew when it was really morning; and while Mrs. Grapp was taking that last beguiling nap in which one is conscious that one means to get up presently, and rests so sweetly on one’s good intentions, letting the hazy mirage of the day’s work that is to be done play along the horizon of dim thoughts with its unrisen activities,—two little flannel night-gowns were cuddled in small heaps by the chimney-side, little bare feet were trying themselves into the new shoes, and lifting themselves up, crippled with two inches of stout string between the heels.