“Suppose you all delay a little and unite with us in evening family worship,” said Mr. Dinsmore. “It is a good while since I have had all three of my children present with me at such a service.”
All complied with his request, and immediately afterward took leave. Then with an exchange of affectionate good-nights the family separated and scattered to their rooms.
Lulu was not quite ready for bed when Violet came in, and putting her arm around her, asked, with a gentle kiss, “Do you feel strange and lonely in this new place, little girl?”
“Oh, no, Mamma Vi! it seems such a nice home that I am very glad to be in it.”
“That is right,” Violet said, repeating her caress. “I hope you will sleep well and wake refreshed. I shall leave the door open between your room and mine, so that you need not feel timid, and can run right in to me whenever you wish. Good-night, dear.”
“Good-night, Mamma Vi. Thank you for being so good to me, and to Gracie and Max,” Lulu said, clinging to her in an affectionate way.
“My child,” returned Violet, “how could I be anything else to the children of my dear husband? Ah, I must go! Mamma calls me,” she added, hurrying away as a soft, sweet voice was heard coming from the adjoining room.
Lulu finished undressing, said her prayers, and had just laid her head on her pillow, when some one glided noiselessly to the bedside and a soft hand passed caressingly over her hair.
The child opened her eyes, which had already closed in sleep, and saw by the moonlight a sweet and beautiful face bending lovingly over her.
“Grandma Elsie,” she murmured sleepily.
“Yes, dear. Rosie and Walter never like to go to sleep without a good-night kiss from mamma, and you must have the same now, as you are to be one of my dear children.”
Lulu, now wide awake, started up to put both arms round the neck of her visitor. “Oh, I do love you!” she said, “and I’ll try hard to be a good child to you.”
“I believe it, dear,” Elsie said, pressing the child to her heart. “Will you join my children in their half-hour with mamma in her dressing-room before breakfast? I shall be glad to have you, but you must do just as you please about it.”
“Thank you, ma’am; I’ll come,” said Lulu.
“That is right. Now lie down and go to sleep. You need a long night’s rest.”
“Her fancy followed
him through foaming wares
To distant shores.”
Violet in her night-dress and with her beautiful hair unbound and hanging about her like a golden cloud, stood before her dressing-table, gazing through a mist of unshed tears upon a miniature which she held in her hand.
“Ah, where are you now, love?” she sighed half aloud.
Her mother’s voice answered close at her side, in gentle, tender accents, “In God’s keeping, my darling. He is the God of the sea as well as of the land.”