It would be no easy or agreeable task for the old lady, but she was sure not to object in view of the fact that quiet was essential to the recovery of the sufferers at Roselands.
“Great minds, like heaven, are pleased in doing good,
Though the ungrateful subjects of their favors
Are barren in return.”
The short winter day was closing in. At Ion, five eager, expectant little faces were looking out upon the avenue, where slowly and softly, tiny snowflakes were falling, the only moving thing within range of their vision.
“Oh, dear, what does keep papa and mamma so long!” cried Vi, impatiently; “it seems most like a year since they started.”
“Oh, no, Vi, not half a day yet!”
“I don’t mean it is, Eddie, but it does seem like it to me. Elsie, do you think anything’s happened?”
“One of the horses may have lost a shoe,” Elsie said, trying to be very cheerful, and putting her arm round Violet as she spoke. “I remember that happened once a good while ago. But if mamma were here, don’t you know what she would say, little sister?”
“Yes; ’don’t fret; don’t meet trouble half way, but trust in God, our Father, who loves us so dearly, that he will never let any real harm come to us.’”
“I think our mamma is very wise,” remarked Eddie; “so very much wiser than Aunt Lucy, who gets frightened at every little thing.”
“Oh, Eddie dear, would mamma or papa like that?” said Elsie softly.
“Well, it’s true,” he said reddening.
But they’ve both told us that unkind remarks should not be made even if true: unless it is quite necessary.”
“Oh, why don’t papa and mamma come?” “Oh, I wis dey would! I so tired watchin’ for ’em!” burst out Harold and Herbert, nearly ready to cry.
“Look! look!” cried the others in chorus, “they are coming, the carriage is just turning in at the gate!”
But it was growing so dark now, and the tiny flakes were coming down so thick and fast, that none of them were quite sure the carriage was their own, until it drew up before the door, and two dear familiar forms alighted and came up the veranda steps.
They were greeted with as joyous a welcome as if they had been absent for weeks or months, and returned the sweet caresses as lovingly as they were bestowed, smiling tenderly upon each darling of their hearts.
But almost instantly little Elsie perceived something unusual in the sweet, fair face she loved so dearly, and was wont to study with such fond, tender scrutiny.
“Mamma, dear mamma, what is wrong?” she asked.
“A sad accident, daughter,” Elsie answered, her voice faltering with emotion, “poor grandpa and Aunt Enna have been badly hurt.”