It was not an envious sigh that accompanied the words, but born of mingled emotions,—the half-formed thought, “Shall I ever know such pleasures. Alas, they are not for me!” quickly succeeded by another,—“Ah, that sweet child cannot live to maturity, and be always as happy and free from care, as now.”
Her mother’s shrill voice recalled her to herself, “Why do you stand there? What’s that they gave you?”
“A note, mother. It’s directed to me.”
“Then make haste and read it.”
“Shall I not give you your breakfast first?”
“No, no! do as I bid you.”
So the girl read the missive aloud without delay.
It was from Mrs. Travilla, and stated that she had already written to engage a room for Mrs. Gibson in a cottage in a quiet little seaside town; a place recommended by Doctor Morton as very suitable; and that she would secure a competent nurse to go with her.
“Why can’t she send you, too, instead of hiring a stranger to go with me?” here interrupted Mrs. Gibson, angrily.
“Wait, mother,” said Sally in quivering tones, tears of joy and gratitude filling her eyes.
She dashed them away and read on.
“I have another plan for you. Doctor Morton told you his opinion,—that your case was hopeless. But do not despair; mistakes are often made even by the most skilful men. A friend of mine, whose trouble was very similar to yours—consulted a number of excellent oculists all of whom told her the nerve of her eye was affected and there was no help for it, she would certainly go blind; then as a last hope she went to Doctor Thomson of Philadelphia, who succeeded in giving her entire relief. If you are willing, I will send you to him. And now the first thing is to provide your mother and yourself each with a suitable outfit. Come up to the Crags as early this morning as you can, and we will make arrangements.”
“When we see the flower seeds wafted,
From the nurturing mother tree,
Tell we can, wherever planted,
What the harvesting will be;
Never from the blasting thistle,
Was there gathered golden grain,
Thus the seal the child receiveth,
From its mother will remain.”
For once Mrs. Gibson had the grace to feel a passing emotion of gratitude to this kind benefactor, and shame that she herself had been so ready with fault-finding instead of thanks.
As for Sally, she was completely overcome, and dropping into a chair, hid her face and cried heartily.
“Come, don’t be a fool,” her mother said at last; “there’s too much to be done to waste time in crying, and besides you’ll hurt your eyes.”
Sally rose hastily, removed the traces of her tears, and began setting the table for their morning meal.