To that Max gave a hearty assent. “They are the kindest people in the world,” he said.
“How terrible is passion!”
The summer passed quickly and pleasantly to our friends of Ion and Fairview. The plans they had made for themselves before leaving home were carried out, with, perhaps, some slight variations.
Lulu had her greatly desired visit to Cliff Cottage, and enjoyed it nearly as much as she had hoped to; a good deal less than she would if she could have quite forgotten her past misconduct, and its impending consequences.
As matters stood, she could seldom entirely banish the thought that the time was daily drawing nearer when her father’s sentence would be carried out, to her sad exclusion from the pleasant family circle of which she had now been so long a member.
She experienced the truth of the saying, that blessings brighten as they take their flight, and would have given much to undo the past, so that she might prove herself worthy of a continuance of those she had rated so far below their real value, that, in spite of her father’s repeated warnings, she had wantonly thrown them away.
She kept her promise to Violet, and strove earnestly to deserve a repeal of her sentence, though her hope of gaining it was very faint. All summer long she had exercised sufficient control over her temper to avoid any outbursts of passion, and generally had behaved quite amiably.
By the 1st of October the two families were again at home at Ion and Fairview, pursuing the even tenor of their way, Lulu with them, as of old, no new home having yet been found for her. No one had cared to make much effort in that direction. It was just as well, Mr. Dinsmore, Elsie his daughter, and Violet thought, simply to let things take their course till her father should return, and take matters into his own hands.
There was no certainty when that would be: his letters still alluded to his coming that fall as merely a possibility.
But Lulu had been so amiable and docile for months past, that no one was in haste to be rid of her presence. Even Rosie was quite friendly with her, had ceased to tease and vex her; and mutual forbearance had given each a better opinion of the other than she had formerly entertained.
But Lulu grew self-confident, and began to relax her vigilance: it was so long since her temper had got decidedly the better of her, that she thought it conquered, or so nearly so that she need not be continually on the watch against it.
Rosie had brought home with her a new pet,—a beautiful puppy as mischievous as he was handsome.