“It’s only because I couldn’t run about and play like Lulu, and so I just sat beside Aunt Beulah and learned to hem and back-stitch and run and overseam,” said Gracie. “But Lulu can do everything else better than I can.”
“And she will soon equal you in that, I trust,” said Violet, with an affectionate glance from one to the other; “I am quite sure she will if she continues to try as she has done to-day. And it makes my heart rejoice to see how you love one another, dear children.”
“I think everybody loves Gracie, because she’s hardly ever naughty,” said Lulu; “I wish I’d been made so.”
“Where’er I roam, whatever
realms to see,
My heart untravelled fondly turns to thee.”
“How very pretty, Zoe!” said Violet, examining her young sister-in-law’s work, a piece of black satin upon which she was embroidering leaves and flowers in bright-colored silks.
“Oh, isn’t it!” cried Lulu, in delighted admiration. “Mamma Vi, I’d like to learn that kind of sewing.”
“So you shall, dear, some day; but mamma’s theory is that plain sewing should be thoroughly mastered first. That has been her plan with all her children, and Rosie has done scarcely any fancy work yet.”
“But mamma has promised to let me learn all I can about it this winter,” remarked Rosie, with much satisfaction.
“Mamma,” Zoe said, with a blush, “I’m afraid I ought to join your plain-sewing class. I should be really ashamed to exhibit any of my work in that line.”
“Well, dear child, I shall be glad to receive you as a pupil if you desire it,” Elsie returned, giving her a motherly glance and smile.
“Hark!” exclaimed Zoe, hastily gathering up her work, her cheeks rosy and eyes sparkling with pleasure. “I hear Edward’s step and voice,” and she tripped out of the room.
“How fond she is of him!” Violet remarked, looking after her with a pleased smile.
“Yes,” said her mother, “it does my heart good to see how they love each other. And I think we are all growing fond of Zoe.”
“Yes, indeed, mamma!” came in chorus from her three daughters.
“I’m sure we are; my husband and I as well as the rest,” added Mrs. Dinsmore.
“And, Vi,” said Elsie Leland laughingly, “I really think mamma’s new sons are as highly appreciated in the family as her new daughter, and that all three doat upon their new mother. Mamma, Lester says you are a pattern mother-in-law, and I answer, ’Of course; mamma is a pattern in every relation in life.’”
“My child, don’t allow yourself to become a flatterer,” returned her mother gravely.
“Zoe, Zoe, where are you?” Edward was calling from below.
“Here,” she answered, running down to meet him. “I’ve been in the school-room with mamma and the others,” she added, as she gained his side, and looking up brightly into his face as she spoke.