“I don’t know, papa,” she answered doubtfully.
“Well, I will send you some; and you can eat it, or not, as you feel inclined.”
“After the storm, a calm; after the rain, sunlight.”
As Capt. Raymond passed through the hall on which Lulu’s room opened, a little girl, dressed in deep mourning, rose from the broad, low sill of the front window, where she had been sitting waiting for the last few minutes, and came forward to meet him. She was a rather delicate-looking, sweet-faced child, with large dark eyes, full of intelligence.
“Capt. Raymond?” she said inquiringly, and with a timid look up into his face.
“Yes,” he said, holding out his hand to her with a fatherly smile: “and you, I suppose, are my Lulu’s little friend, Evelyn Leland?”
“Yes, sir: we—uncle Lester, aunt Elsie, little Ned, and I—have been away visiting at some distance, and did not hear of—of the baby’s bad fall till we came home this afternoon. We are all so sorry, so very sorry! Aunt Elsie is with aunt Vi now; and I—oh! please, sir, may I go to Lulu?”
“My dear little girl, I should like to say yes, for your sake,—and Lulu’s too,—but for the present I think best not to allow her to see any one,” he said in a kindly tone, and affectionately pressing the little hand she had put into his. “But,” seeing the disappointment in her face, “I entirely approve of the intimacy, and hope it will be kept up; for I think it has been of benefit to Lulu.”
“Thank you, sir,” she returned, coloring with pleasure. “But Lulu told me you had quite determined to send her away from here: I hope you will reconsider, and—let her stay,” with a very coaxing look up into his face.
He smiled. “Can you keep a secret?” he asked,—“one from Lulu only, and that for but a few days?”
“Try me, sir,” she answered brightly.
“I will. I have left the navy, and expect to settle down in this neighborhood. In that case, you and Lulu will not be separated; for my strongest reason for the change was, that I might have her constantly with me, and train her up as I think she should be trained; as perhaps no one but her father can train her.”
Evelyn’s face had grown very bright. “Oh, how delighted, how happy Lu will be when she hears it!” she exclaimed; “for, do you know, sir, she thinks there is nobody in the world to compare to her father?”
Those words brought a glad look into his face for the moment.
“Yes,” he said, “she is a warm-hearted, affectionate child; a dear child, in spite of her quick temper.”
A door had opened and closed: a step was coming down the hall, and a cheerful voice in his rear said, “Captain, I have good news for you: there has been a great, a really wonderful change for the better in the last hour; the child will live, and I hope, I believe, entirely recover from the injuries caused by her fall.”