“Dear child, I am interested now and always in all your pains and pleasures,” responded the latter, “and shall heartily rejoice in any good that has come to you.”
Then Molly, blushing and happy, explained that she had been using her spare time for months past, in making a translation of a French story, had offered it for publication, and, after weeks of anxious waiting, had that morning received a letter announcing its acceptance, and enclosing a check for a hundred dollars.
“My dear child, I am proud of you—of the energy, patience and perseverance you have shown,” her cousin said warmly, and with a look of great gratification. “Success, so gained, must be very sweet, and I offer you my hearty congratulations.”
The younger cousins added theirs, Elsie and Vi rejoicing as at a great good to themselves, and Isa expressing extreme surprise at the discovery that Molly had attained to so much knowledge, and possessed sufficient talent for such an undertaking.
“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”
The winter and spring passed very quietly at Ion. At Roselands there was more gayety, the girls going out frequently, and receiving a good deal of company at home.
Virginia was seldom at Ion, but Isadore spent an hour there almost every day pursuing the investigation proposed by her Cousin Elsie.
She was an honest and earnest inquirer after truth, and at length acknowledged herself entirely convinced of the errors into which she had been led, entirely restored to the evangelical faith; and more than that, she became a sincere and devoted Christian; much to the disgust and chagrin of her worldly-minded mother and Aunt Delaford, who would have been far better pleased to see her a mere butterfly of fashion, as were her sister and most of her younger friends.
But to her brother Arthur, and at both the Oaks and Ion, the change in Isa was a source of deep joy and thankfulness.
Also it was the means of leading Calhoun, who had long been halting between two opinions, to come out decidedly upon the Lord’s side.
Old Mr. Dinsmore had become quite infirm, and Cal now took entire charge of the plantation. Arthur was busy in his profession, and Walter was at West Point preparing to enter the army.
Herbert and Meta Carrington were at the North; the one attending college, the other at boarding-school. Old Mrs. Carrington was still living; making her home at Ashlands; and through her, the Rosses were frequently heard from.
They were still enjoying a large measure of worldly prosperity, Mr. Ross being a very successful merchant. He had taken his son Philip into partnership a year ago, and Lucy’s letter spoke much of the lad as delighting his father and herself, by his business ability and shrewdness.