“With some help from my mamma and me,” said the other Elsie in a tone that seemed to imply some fear that their choice might not be altogether to her taste.
“Tut! tut!” said her father. “You need not be in the least afraid that such good judges will fail to select as handsome and suitable material as could be desired.”
“But please, Uncle Horace, let her have a vote on the question,” said Violet pleasantly. “There may be several pieces of goods of the chosen colour, equally desirable; nor is it necessary that the two dresses should be off the same piece; only that they match in colour.”
“And I feel sure there will be no difficulty in settling upon which will be satisfactory to all parties,” added Mrs. Dinsmore.
With a little more chat all the arrangements for the morrow’s shopping expedition were concluded. Then the Woodburn party bade good-bye and returned to their home.
The weather the next morning proved all that could be desired, and the shopping expedition a grand success—everybody being not only satisfied but charmed with the results.
Mrs. Travilla and Rosie returned to Ion that evening, but scarcely a day passed while the preparations for the wedding were going on, without more or less interchange of visits among the young people of that place, Woodburn, Fairview, and the Oaks and Pinegrove.
Naturally the deepest interest was felt and shown by the ladies and young girls, but brothers and cousins were by no means indifferent. Harold and Herbert, though well pleased with the idea of taking their friend Croly into the family, were loath to part with Rosie, their youngest and only single sister, the only one now left in the Ion family. She had always been somewhat of a pet with them, and during these last weeks of her life with them they treated her as one for whom they could not do enough; while her manner toward them showed full appreciation of their kindness and affection. Much of her time and thoughts was necessarily taken up with the preparations for her approaching marriage; but in leisure moments she had many sad thoughts in regard to the coming separation from home and all there whom she so loved; especially the tender mother who had been, until within a few months, her dearest earthly friend.
“Mamma dear, dearest mamma, I can hardly endure the thought of leaving you,” she sighed one day with starting tears, as they sat together over their needlework in Mrs. Travilla’s dressing room.
They were quite alone at the moment, Zoe, who had been with them, having just gone out with her little ones.
“No one can ever take your place in my heart or home,” continued Rosie with almost a sob, “and oh, how I shall miss you—your love, your sweet motherly counsels, your tender sympathy in all my joys and sorrows—oh, mamma, mamma! at times the very thought of it all is almost unendurable, and I am tempted to say to Will that he may come to me if he likes, but that I can never tear myself away from my dear home and the precious mother who has been everything to me since I first drew the breath of life!” and dropping her work she knelt at her mother’s feet, lifting to hers eyes full of tears.