“When Bobus heard his brother was better, he gave a sob, such as I shall never forget, and rushed away into the pine-wood on the hillside, all alone. The next time I saw him he was walking in the garden with Primrose, and with such a quieted, subdued, gentle look upon his face, it put me in mind of the fields when a great storm has swept over them, and they are lying still in the sunshine afterwards.
“Since that day, when John said we might send off that thankworthy telegram, there has been daily progress. I have had one of my headaches. That monarch John found it out, and turned me out. I could bear to go, for I knew my boy was safe with him. He made me over to Primrose, who nursed me as tenderly as my Babie could have done, and indeed, I begin to think she will soon be as near and dear to me as my Sydney or Elvira. She has a power over Bobus that no one else ever had, and she is very lovely in expression as well as features, but how will so ardent a Christian as she is receive one still so far off as my poor Robert, though indeed I think he has at least come so far as the cry, ‘Help Thou mine unbelief.’
“So now they have let me come back to my Jock, and I see visibly his improvement. He holds out his hand, and he smiles, and he speaks now and then, the dreadful oppression is gone, and all the dangerous symptoms are abating, and I cannot tell how happy and thankful we are. ‘Send my love, and tell Sydney she has a blessed Monk,’ he says, as he wakes, and sees me writing.
“That dear Monk says he will not go home till
he can carry home his patient. When that will
be I cannot tell, for he cannot sit up in bed yet.
Dear Sydney, how I thank her! John says it was
not his treatment, but, under Divine Providence, youthful
nature that had had her rest, and begun to rally her
strength. But under that blessing, it was John’s
steady, faithful strength and care that enabled the
restoration to take place.
“My dear child’s loving
Whatever page we turn,
However much we learn,
Let there be something left to dream of still.
It was on a very cold day of the cold spring of 1879 that three ladies descended at the Liverpool station, escorted by a military-looking gentleman. He left them standing while he made inquiries, but his servant had anticipated him. “The steamer has been signalled, my Lord. It will be in about four o’clock.”
“There will be time to go to the hotel and secure rooms,” said one lady.
“Oh, Reeves can do that. Pray let us come down to the docks and see them come in.”
No answer till all four were seated in a fly, rattling through the street, but on the repetition of “Are we going to the docks?” his Lordship, with a resolute twirl of his long, light moustache, replied, “No, Sydney. If you think I am going to have you making a scene on deck, falling on your husband’s breast, and all that sort of thing, you are much mistaken! I shall lodge you all quietly in the hotel, and you may wait there, while I go down with Reeves, and receive them like a rational being.”