“Which I don’t believe there will be,” said Walter, “for everybody I saw to-day looked the picture of good nature.”
“Yes,” said his mother, “and no wonder; the thought has come to me again and again, when gazing upon the beauties of that wonderful Court of Honor, especially at night when we have the added charm of the electric lights and the fountains in full play, if earthly scenes can be made so lovely what must the glories of heaven be! Ah, it makes one long for the sight of them.”
“Oh, mamma, don’t, don’t say that,” murmured Rosie in low, tremulous tones; taking her mother’s hand in a tender clasp, for they were sitting side by side, “we can’t spare you yet.”
“The longing is not likely to hasten my departure, dear,” replied the sweet voice of her mother, “and I am well content to stay a while longer with my dear ones here if the will of God be so.”
“Oh!” exclaimed Lulu, suddenly breaking the momentary silence, “to-morrow is the Fourth, the glorious Fourth! I wonder what is going to be done here to celebrate it?”
“I presume it will be celebrated in much the usual way,” replied Mr. Dinsmore. “To-day’s papers say there have been great preparations on the part of Exposition officials and exhibitors, and that there are to be a number of patriotic addresses delivered in different parts of the grounds. Also there will be, without doubt, a great display of bunting, abundance of fire crackers, the thunder of cannon and so forth.”
“And we, I suppose, will pass the day on shore doing our part in the business of celebrating our nation’s birthday,” remarked Rosie.
“Why, of course,” said Walter. “Such patriotic Americans as we are would never think of neglecting our duty in that line.”
“No, certainly not,” replied his mother, with a smile; “we are all too patriotic not to do our full share to show our many foreign guests how we love this free land of ours, and how highly we value her liberties.”
“I propose,” said the captain, “that we spend the day on shore, first consulting the morning papers as to where we will be likely to find the smallest crowd or the best speaker, and after hearing the oration we will doubtless find abundance of amusement in the Court of Honor and Midway Plaisance.”
“And perhaps Cousin Ronald can and will make some fun for us,” remarked Walter, giving the old gentleman a laughing, persuasive look.
“Ah, laddie, you must not expect or ask too much of your auld kinsman,” returned Mr. Lilburn with a slight smile and a dubious shake of the head.
At that moment Violet rejoined them, the short evening service was held, and then all retired to rest, leaving further discussion of the morrow’s doings to be carried on in the morning.
Everybody was ready for an early start the next morning and Harold and Herbert were waiting for them in the Peristyle. Some time was spent there and in the Court of Honor, then in the Midway Plaisance. Watching the crowds was very amusing—the wild people from Dahomey wearing American flags around their dusky thighs, the Turks, the Arabs, and men, women, and children of many other nations all in their peculiar costumes, so different from the dress of our own people.