“Yes; and my wife and boy and the Dinsmores,” added Leland with a faint smile. “Travilla, my good friend, I can never thank you enough for this kindness.”
“Tut, man! ’tis nothing! are we not told to lay down our lives for the brethren? Let me help you to bed; I fear that leg will keep you there for some days.”
“I fear so indeed, but am sincerely thankful to have gotten off so well,” replied Leland, accepting the offered assistance.
“A most comfortable, nay luxurious prison cell,” he remarked cheerily, glancing about upon the elegant and tasteful furniture, “truly the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.”
Mr. Travilla smiled. “We will do what we can to make amends for the loss of liberty. It can not be far from daybreak now: I will remove the light, throw open the shutters and leave you to rest. You must of course be anxious about your family. I will ride over to Fairview and bring you news of them within the hour.”
“It gives me wonder, great is my content,
To see you here before me.”
“Sir, you are very welcome to our house.”
Day had fully dawned when Mr. Travilla re-entered his sleeping apartment to find Elsie in bed again, but lying there with wide open eyes.
“How very quietly you came in; careful not to disturb me I suppose, my good, kind husband,” she said greeting him with a loving look and smile, as he drew near her couch.
“Yes,” he answered, bending over her and fondly stroking her hair. “I hoped you were taking another nap.”
“No, I feel as if I should never be sleepy again. I’m thinking of poor Mrs. Leland. How troubled, anxious and distressed she must feel.”
“Yes; I shall ride over there directly.”
“And take me with you?”
“Gladly, if you like to go. You will do her more good than I.”
“I doubt it; but perhaps both together may be better than either one alone. Didn’t she act bravely?”
“Yes; she’s a noble woman.”
They spent some moments in consulting together how to make their guest comfortable and at the same time effectually conceal his presence in the house.
They rejoiced in the fact that no one but themselves—his own son excepted—had been cognizant of his arrival, and Elsie agreed with her husband that it should be kept secret from the children; servants also save Aunt Chloe and Uncle Joe, whose services would be needed, and who could be trusted not to divulge the matter.
“Mammy will manage about his meals, I know,” said Elsie, “and Dr. Barton’s visits may be supposed to be paid to Violet. The darling! how glad and thankful I am that she seems to be losing her inclination to sleep-walking.”
“And I,” said her husband; “thankful to God for his blessing on the means used, and to Barton, who is certainly an excellent physician.”