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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 255 pages of information about Elsie's Womanhood.

“My dearest daughter, no; did I not say you were henceforth mistress of this house?”

“Yes, from its master down to the very horses in the stable and dogs in the kennel,” laughed Mr. Travilla, coming softly up and stealing an arm about his wife’s waist.

Everybody laughed.

“No, sir; I don’t like to contradict you,” retorted Elsie, coloring but looking lovingly into the eyes bent so fondly upon her, “but I am—­nothing to you but your little wife;” and her voice sank almost to a whisper with the last word.

“Ah?  Well, dear child, that’s enough for me,” he said, in the same low tone.

“But, Lottie,” she remarked aloud, “you are tying on your hat.  Won’t you stay?”

“Not to-night, thank you, Mrs. Travilla,” answered the gay girl in her merry, lively tones.

“You are to be at the Oaks to-morrow, and perhaps I—­well, we can settle the time there.”

“And you, auntie?”

“Why, dearie, I think you’d better get your housekeeping a little used to your ways first.  And it’s better for starting out that young folks should be alone.”

Mr. Dinsmore had stepped into the hall for his hat, and while the other ladies were making their adieus to her new mother, Elsie stole softly after him.

“My good-night kiss, papa,” she whispered, putting her arms about his neck.

“My dear darling! my precious, precious child! how glad I am to be able to give it to you once more, and to take my own from your own sweet lips,” he said, clasping her closer.  “God bless you and keep you, and ever cause His face to shine upon you.”

CHAPTER EIGHTEENTH.

                 “O what passions then

What melting sentiments of kindly care,
On the new parents seize.” 

                                            —­THOMPSON’S AGAMEMNON.

                              “There is none

In all this cold and hollow world, no fount
Of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within
A mother’s heart!”

          
                                                    —­MRS. HEMANS.

Finding it so evidently the wish of both her husband and his mother, Elsie quietly and at once assumed the reins of government.

But with that mother to go to for advice in every doubt and perplexity, and with a dozen or more of well-trained servants at her command, her post, though no sinecure, did not burden her with its duties; she still could find time for the cultivation of mind and heart, for daily walks and rides, and the enjoyment of society both at home and abroad.

Shortly after the return of the newly married pair, there was a grand party given in their honor at Roselands; another at Ashlands, one at Pinegrove, at the Oaks, and several other places; then a return was made by a brilliant affair of the kind at Ion.

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