Three o’clock had struck before the last painful gasp had been drawn, and Mrs. Kelland’s sobbing cry broke forth. Dr. Macvicar told Rachel that the child was at rest. She shivered from head to foot, her teeth chattered, and she murmured, “Accountable for all.”
Dr. Macvicar at once made her swallow some of the cordial brought for the poor child, and then summoning the maid whom Grace had stationed in the outer room, he desired her to put her young mistress to bed without loss of time. The sole remaining desire of which she was conscious was to be alone and in the dark, and she passively submitted.
THE SARACEN’S HEAD.
“Alas, he thought, how changed that mien,
How changed those timid looks have been,
Since years of guilt and of disguise
Have steeled her brow and armed her eyes.”
“Are you sleepy, Rose? What a yawn!”
“Not sleepy, Aunt Ailie; only it is such a tiresome long day when the Colonel does not come in.”
“Take care, Rosie; I don’t know what we shall be good for at this rate.”
“We? O Aunt Ermine, then you think it tiresome too. I know you do—”
“What’s that, Rose!”
“It is! it is! I’ll open the door for him.”
The next moment Rose led her Colonel in triumph into the lamp-light. There was a bright light in his eye, and yet he looked pale, grave, and worn; and Ermine’s first observation was—
“How came Tibbie to let you out at this time of night?”
“I have not ventured to encounter Tibbie at all. I drove up to your door.”
“You have been at St. Norbert’s all this time,” exclaimed Alison.
“Do you think no one can carry on a campaign at St. Norbert’s but yourself and your generalissima, Miss Ailie?” he said, stroking down Rose’s brown hair.
“Then, if you have not gone home, you have had nothing to eat, and that is the reason you look so tired,” said Ermine.
“Yes; I had some luncheon at the Abbey.”
“Then, at any rate, you shall have some tea. Rosie, run and fetch the little kettle.”
“And the Beauchamp cup and saucer,” added Rose, proudly producing the single relic of a well-remembered set of olden times. “And please, please, Aunt Ermine, let me sit up to make it for him. I have not seen him all day, you know; and it is the first time he ever drank tea in our house, except make-believe with Violetta and Colinette.”
“No, Rose. Your aunt says I spoil that child, and I am going to have my revenge upon you. You must see the wild beast at his meals another time; for it just happens that I have a good deal to say to your aunts, and it is not intended for your ears.”
Rose showed no signs of being spoilt, for she only entreated to be allowed “just to put the tea-things in order,” and then, winking very hard, she said she would go.