She could not entirely suppress a sigh as she spoke, nor keep the tears from filling her eyes.
Her father saw and appreciated the sacrifice she would make for him.
“Thank you, my darling,” he said. “It seems selfish in me to ask it of you, but though partly for my own gratification, it is really still more for your sake; I think the change will be for your health and happiness.”
“And I have the highest opinion of my father’s wisdom,” she said, “and should never, never think of selfishness as connected with him.”
Mrs. Dinsmore came in at this moment.
“Ah, my dear,” she said, “I was in search of you. What is to be done about Bob and Betty Johnson? You know they will be coming home in a day or two for their summer vacation.”
“They can stay at Roselands with their cousins Calhoun and Arthur Conly; or at the Oaks, if Horace and his family do not join us in the trip to Nantucket.”
“Cannot Bob and Betty go with us, papa?” Elsie asked. “I have no doubt it would be a very great treat to them.”
“Our party promises to be very large,” he replied; “but if you two ladies are agreed to invite them I shall raise no objection.”
“Shall we not, mamma?” Elsie asked, and Rose gave a hearty assent.
“Now, how much dressmaking has to be done before the family can be ready for the trip?” asked Mr. Dinsmore.
“Very little,” the ladies told him, Elsie adding, “At least if you are willing to let me wear black dresses when it is too cool for white, papa. Mamma, he has asked me to lay aside my mourning.”
“I knew he intended to,” Rose said, “and I think you are a dear good daughter to do it.”
“It is nothing new; she has always been the best of daughters,” Mr. Dinsmore remarked, with a tenderly affectionate look at Elsie. “And, my dear child, I certainly shall not ask you to stay a day longer than necessary in this hot place, merely to have new dresses made when you have enough even of black ones. We must set sail as soon as possible. Now, I must have a little business chat with you. Don’t go, Rose; it is nothing that either of us would care to have you hear.”
“Where the broad ocean leans against the land.”
Elsie felt somewhat apprehensive that this early laying aside of her mourning for their father might not meet the approval of her older son and daughters; but it gave them pleasure; one and all were delighted to see her resume the dress of the happy days when he was with them.
Zoe, too, was very much pleased. “Mamma,” she said, “you do look so young and lovely in white; and it was so nice in you to begin wearing it again on the anniversary of our wedding-day. Just think, it’s a whole year to-day since Edward and I were married. How fast time flies!”
“Yes,” Elsie said; “it seems a very little while since I was as young and light-hearted as you are now, and now I am a grandmother.”