“But, mamma, I must pray that you may be cured and live with us for many, many years. It will not be wrong to ask him for that?”
“No, not if you ask in submission to his will, remembering that no one of us knows what is really for our highest good. Remember his own prayer in his agony there in the garden of Gethsemane, ’Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.’
“He is our example and we must strive to be equally submissive to the Father’s will. Remember what the dear Master said to Peter, ’What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.’”
“Mamma, I will try to be perfectly submissive to his will, even if it is to take you away from me; but oh, I must pray, pray, pray as hard as I can that it may please him to spare your dear life and let me keep my mother at least till I am grown to be a man. It won’t be wrong, mamma?”
“No, my darling boy, I think not—if with it all you can truly, from your heart, say, ‘thy will, not mine, be done.’”
When Captain Raymond followed his wife and little ones to Ion, he found there a distressed household, anxious and sorely troubled over the suffering and danger of the dearly beloved mother and mistress. Violet met him on the veranda, her cheeks pale and showing traces of tears, her eyes full of them.
“My darling!” he exclaimed in surprise and alarm, “what is the matter?”
He clasped her in his arms as he spoke, and dropping her head upon his shoulder, she sobbed out the story of her mother’s suffering and the trial that awaited her on the morrow.
His grief and concern were scarcely less than her own, but he tried to speak words of comfort to both her and the others to whom the loved invalid was so inexpressibly dear. To the beloved invalid also when, like the rest, he was accorded a short interview.
Yet he found to his admiring surprise that she seemed in small need of such service—so calm, so peaceful, so entirely ready for any event was she.
Finding his presence apparently a source of strength and consolation, not only to his young wife, but to all the members of the stricken household, he remained till after tea, but then returned home for the night, principally for Lulu’s sake; not being willing to leave the child alone, or nearly so, in that great house.
The duties of the schoolroom had filled up the rest of the morning for Lulu, so occupying her mind that she could give only an occasional thought to the sad fact that she was in disgrace with her father.
Then came dinner, which she took in the dining-room, feeling it lonely enough with the whole family absent; immediately after that a music lesson filled another hour, and that was followed by an hour of practice on the piano.
Then Alma wanted her again, and then, knowing it was what her father would approve, she took her usual exercise about the grounds; after which she prepared her lessons for the next day.