“Well, mamma, I shall try if only to please you. But do tell me, did grandpa punish you very severely when you were naughty?”
“His punishment was seldom anything more severe than the gentle rebuke, ’I am not pleased with you,’ but I think I felt it more than many a child would a whipping; I did so dearly love my father that his displeasure was terrible to me.”
“Yes, I know you and he love each other dearly yet, and he often says you were a very good, conscientious little girl.”
“But to return to Lulu,” said Mrs. Travilla, “I had thought she would be a nice companion for you, and until this evening I have not seen her show any naughty temper since the first week she was here.”
“No, mamma, she has been quite well-behaved, I believe, and perhaps she will prove a pleasant companion. I am sorry for her, too, because she hasn’t a dear, wise, kind mother like mine,” Rosie added, putting her arms about her mother’s neck, “and because the father, I am sure she loves very much, must soon go away and leave her.”
“Farewell, God knows
when we shall meet again.”
The next morning the captain and Max were out together on the beach before Violet and the little girls had left their rooms. The lad liked to be alone with his father sometimes. He had always been proud and fond of him, and the past few months of constant intercourse had greatly strengthened the bonds of affection between them. The boy’s heart was sore at thought of the parting that must soon come, the captain’s hardly less so. He talked very kindly with his son, urging him to make the best use of his time, talents and opportunities, and grow up to be a good, honorable and useful man.
“I want to be just such a man as you are, papa,” Max said, with an admiring, affectionate look up into his father’s face, and slipping his hand into his as he spoke.
The captain clasped the hand lovingly in his, and held it fast.
“I hope you will be a better and more talented man, my boy,” he said, “but always remember my most ardent wish is to see you a truly good man, a Christian, serving God with all your powers.”
At this moment a voice behind them said, “Good-mornin’, cap’n. I’se got a lettah hyah for you, sah.”
“Ah, good-morning, Ben, and thank you for bringing it,” said the captain, turning round to receive it.
“You’s bery welcom, sah,” responded Ben, touching his hat respectfully, then walking away toward Mr. Dinsmore’s cottage.
“From Washington,” the captain remarked, more to himself than to Max, as he broke the seal.
Max watched him while he read, then asked, a little tremulously, “Must you go very soon, papa?”
“Within three days, my boy. But we won’t say anything about it until after prayers, but let Mamma Vi and your sisters enjoy their breakfast in peace.”