However, her childish heart was sore beyond immediate healing, for the wounds received from kindness spurned and turned back as a weapon against one’s self are deep.
In every household which includes a beloved child there is apt to be one above another, who acts as an intercessor towards furthering its little plans and ends. Little Lucina’s was her father. Her mother was no less indulgent in effect, but she was anxiously solicitous lest too much concession spoil the child, and had often to reconcile a permission to her own conscience before giving it, even in trivial matters.
Therefore little Lucina, having in mind some walk abroad or childish treasure, would often seek her father, and, lifting up her face like a flower against his rough-coated breast, beg him, in that small, wheedling voice which he so loved, to ask her mother that she might go or have; for well she knew, being astute, though so small and innocent and gentle, that such a measure was calculated to serve her ends, and allay her mother’s scruples through a shift of responsibility.
However, to-day, since her father was away fishing, Lucina was driven to seek other aid in the carrying out of a small plan which she had formed for her delectation.
Right anxiously the child watched for her father to come home to the noonday dinner; but he did not come, and she and her mother ate alone. Then she stole away up-stairs to her little dimity-hung chamber, opening out of her parents’ and facing towards the sun, and all twinkling and swaying with little white tassels on curtains and covers and counterpane, in the draught, as she opened the door. Then she went down on her knees beside her bed and prayed, in the simplicity of her heart, which would seek a Heavenly Father in lieu of an earthly one, for all her small desires, and think no irreverence: “Our Father, who art in heaven, please make mother let me go to Aunt Camilla’s this afternoon. Amen.”
Then she rose, with no delay for lack of faith, and went straight down to her mother, and proffered her request timidly, and yet with a confidence as of one who has a larger voice of authority at her back.
“Please, mother, may I go over to Aunt Camilla’s this afternoon?” asked little Lucina.
And her mother, not knowing what principle of childish faith was involved, hesitated, knitting her small, dark face, which had no look like Lucina’s, perplexedly.
“I don’t know, child,” said she.
“I am afraid you’ll trouble your aunt, Lucina.”
“No, I won’t, mother! I’ll take my doll, and I’ll play with her real quiet.”
“I am afraid your aunt Camilla will have something else to do.”
“She can do it, mother. I won’t trouble her—I won’t speak to her—honest! Please, mother.”
“You ought to sit down at home this afternoon and do some work, Lucina.”