She obeyed and presently they two were seated cozily at a little round table in the family breakfast-room, greatly enjoying their tea, broiled chicken, and waffles.
“Papa,” remarked Lulu, as she poured out his second cup, “I’m sorry for you that you have only me for company, but I do enjoy being—once in a while—all the family you have at home.”
“Do you?” he returned, with a good-humored little laugh. “Well, I am glad to have you contented and happy; and I can’t deny that I should feel very lonely here to-night without the pleasant companionship of my dear eldest daughter. What do you want to do this evening? how shall we spend our time alone together?
“I have my lessons to learn, you know, papa.”
“Ah, yes; and I must write some letters. And after that perhaps you may find a bit of sewing to do, while your father reads aloud something that will be both interesting and instructive to his dear little girl.”
“Yes, sir; I have some work on hand for our Dorcas Society, and though I rather dislike sewing, I shall not mind doing it while listening to your reading,” she answered, smiling brightly up into his face.
“Ah! then that is what we will do,” he said, returning her smile.
“Well, daughter, has it been a pleasant evening to you?” he asked, when the time had come for the good-nights to be said.
“Indeed it has, papa,” she replied, giving him an ardent hug. “Oh, I am so glad you didn’t let me go to Ion with the others, but kept me at home with you. I do hope that I’ll remember after this that you always know and do the very best thing for me, and that I’ll never, never grow ill-tempered and rebellious, as I was yesterday.”
“You think you can trust your father after this, even without being told his reasons for all he does and requires?”
“I hope so, papa, and indeed, indeed I’m very much ashamed of my rebellious feelings and don’t intend to indulge in them any more!” she added, with a remorseful look up into his face.
“Try to keep that resolution, dear child,” he said. “Now good-night and pleasant dreams. May he who neither slumbers nor sleeps have you in his kind care and keeping. But if you want your earthly father, you have only to call out or run to him.”
Lulu’s first thought on awaking the next morning was of dear Grandma Elsie. “I wonder,” she said to herself, “if papa has not been asking news of her through the telephone; oh, I hope she is getting well!”
Hurrying through the duties of the toilet, she was ready to run to meet her father when presently she heard his steps in the hall without.
“Good-morning, papa,” she cried. “Oh, have you heard from Ion how Grandma Elsie passed the night?”
“Yes,” he said, bending down to give her a good-morning kiss, “she passed a very comfortable night; is thought to be doing as well as possible. Mamma Vi and our little ones are all right also; I have just had a talk with your mamma, through the telephone.”