But their waiting-time would not be very long. As soon as Miss Elliott’s stipulated two weeks had expired, she would leave Woodburn, and they would take possession immediately. Their father and his young wife were quite as eager as they to begin the new order of things.
IN THE NEW HOME.
The moving to Woodburn was not a formidable affair, there being little to carry from Ion besides the personal belongings of parents and children; and, indeed, nearly every thing, even of that kind, had been sent over beforehand.
Miss Elliott went one morning; and the Raymonds drove over scarcely an hour later, to find the greater part of the house in perfect order, a full staff of competent servants, and an excellent dinner in course of preparation.
Max and his sisters had been directed to stay away from the place ever since the day when their rooms were assigned them, and now a glad surprise awaited them.
“Come up-stairs,” their father said, when they had made the circuit of the lower rooms. “My dear,” to Violet, “will you please come too?”
“With all my heart,” she returned gayly, and tripped lightly after him up the broad stairway, the children following.
He led them first to her apartments, and on through them into those of the little girls, greatly enjoying the exclamations of wonder and delight from her and the children.
They had all supposed the work of renovation and improvement was not to be begun till after the departure of Miss Elliott; but they found it not only begun, but finished; the new papers they had chosen were already on the walls, the carpets down, the curtains up, mirrors and pictures hung, and furniture in place.
Max’s rooms, visited last, were found to be in like condition,—not at all inferior to those of his sisters in any respect.
Violet was greatly pleased; the children were wild with delight; every thing was so dainty and fresh, there was such an air of elegance and refinement about the appointments of each room, that all were charmed with the effect.
They were hardly yet satisfied with gazing and commenting, when the summons to dinner came.
They trooped down to the dining-room, the captain and Violet leading the way, and seated themselves at the table.
Here, too, all was new and handsome; the napery, china, glass and silver ware, such as would not have suffered by comparison with what they had been accustomed to at Ion and Viamede.
Lulu was beginning to express that opinion, when her father silenced her by a gesture.
All quieted down at once, while he reverently gave thanks for their food, and asked God’s blessing upon it.
“May I talk now, papa?” she asked, a moment after he had finished.
“Yes, if you have any thing to say worth our hearing.”
“I’m not sure about that,” she said; “but I wanted to tell you how beautiful I think the china and glass and silver are.”