“It is too much, Miss Lu,” Alma said, blushing, and with tears in her eyes. “I could never ask such a thing as that of a young lady like you.”
“Indeed, my behavior has been very unladylike to-day,” sighed Lulu; “and papa is very, very much displeased with me.”
“I am sorry, Miss,” Alma responded, in a sympathizing tone. “But the captain will not stay angry; he is so very fond of his children.”
“Yes; and so kind and indulgent that I ought to be the best girl in the world. Oh, I wish I had not behaved so badly!”
“He will forgive you, Miss; he will not stay displeased, for his love for you is so very great,” returned Alma. “There, Miss, the dress does fit you now. See in the glass. Does it not?”
“Yes,” Lulu replied, surveying herself in the mirror; “I could not ask a better fit, Alma.”
“It is lovely, Miss Lu; the stuff so fine and soft, and the colors so beautiful!” remarked the girl, gazing upon it with admiring eyes. “It is good, Miss Lu, to have a kind papa, rich enough to gif you all things needful for a young lady to wear.”
“Yes, and so generous and kind as mine is,” sighed Lulu. “It is a very great shame that I ever do anything to displease him.”
Alma went back to the sewing-room, and Lulu hastened to the door of the room where her father had been when he called to her. But a glance within showed her that he was not there now. Then she ran downstairs and through library, parlors, halls,—everywhere,—looking for him.
“Oh, where is he?” she sighed. “I must find him and tell him how sorry I am for my naughtiness. I can’t have one minute of happiness till I have done so and got a kiss of forgiveness.”
Snatching a hat from the rack and putting it on as she went, she ran out and round the porches and the grounds; but nowhere was he to be seen.
“Miss Lu,” called a servant, at length, “is you lookin’ fo’ de cap’n? He’s done gone to Ion, I ’spects; kase dere’s whar Miss Wi’let went in de kerridge.”
“Did he say when he would come back?” asked Lulu, steadying her voice with quite an effort.
“He gwine come back dis evenin’ fo’ suah, Miss Lu, to see ’bout de work on de plantation,” was the reply, as the man turned to his employment again. And with a heavy sigh Lulu turned about and re-entered the house.
“Oh, it’s so lonesome for me here all by myself!” she said half-aloud.
But there was no one near enough to hear her, and she went back to her tasks, trying to forget her troubles in study; an effort in which she was for the time partially successful.