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down, and Colonel Morton met him at the station and conveyed him in his own carriage to the cottage.
How Daisy's cheek paled and her heart throbbed during the time the physician was shut up in Lily's room; how she longed to hear him speak to her mother words of hope! When he came back to the drawing-room, Mrs Morton accompanied him, and listened eagerly for his words—and how strangely many a time do we all watch like this, almost as if the doctor might save if he would! Very gently he spoke
“Your daughter will live, Mrs Morton," and then the worst seemed over; “but-she will be helpless, I fear, for life.”
A silence of deep grief followed. Then Daisy forgot her dread of this strange visitor, and coming towards him lifted her pale young face, so wonderfully like Lily's, in agonized entreaty.
“Will she never stand or walk again ?”
For a moment the doctor was startled at the likeness; but when Mrs Morton said quietly,
“My other daughter-Lily's twin sister.” He looked pitifully at the sorrowful face, and giving more time and patience than great men always spare, he answered
“It is just possible--mind, I only say possible—that some sudden joy or violent shock might restore her.”
“Would it be better for her to be near you-in London ?" asked Colonel Morton.
“I should recommend a month or two months even to be spent here," replied the physician, “and in the
autumn, if my patient could be brought to London, any services I could render would be a pleasure.”
After the great man had gone, Daisy went out to a little shady nook in the garden, so quiet and retired, that the twins had named it their “thinking room.” Often they had sought this sweet spot to distract their minds from other things, and to overcome some difficulty in their lessons. Now Daisy went there to pray, and to think over how she could best help Lily to bear the burden laid upon her. .
Mrs Morton returned to Lily, and with aching heart prepared to tell her child the truth. In silence Lily heard, and in silence she tried to realize, the story. Not yet twelve years old, and yet for life—perhaps a long life—she would never walk or run again! It could not be ! surely that dull, chained feeling in her limbs would go! No, the doctor said, it wouldn't ; and as the dread truth forced itself upon her, the young girl's passionate cry almost found an echo in her mother's heart.
"Mama, mama, if God would only let me die!"
That darkened room seemed filled with sorrow. The mother bowed her head, and wept beside the child over whom so lately hovered the great wings of the angel Death ; and now she prayed for strength for Lily and strength for herself, that they might in patience wait until the Heavenly Father should reveal why this young life was saved to sorrow! And as she prayed, that heavenly peace entered her heart, and an inward whisper said
“He has never failed you—trust Him, even in this!"
A SORROWFUL BIRTH-DAY—THE SISTERS' COMPACT
THE 20th of July arrived, and it was the birth-day of the twins. Always before, as far back as they could remember, the one who first opened her eyes had waked the other with a joyous birth-day greeting ; then, together, they had gone to their mother's room to receive her gifts, and plan a day of pleasure. Now, as Daisy woke and remembered the sorrowful change, she hid her face on her pillow, and sobbed aloud.
Mrs Morton slept in Lily's room, and Daisy had been put in the spare room-and it was very early when the mother crept away from the invalid child, who was sleeping, to seek the one who was feeling all alone in her sorrow.
"My precious Daisy !” said the tender voice, and Daisy, flushed and tear-stained, was clasped in her mother's arms; and in that clinging embrace was the only comfort the young girl could find—that of perfect sympathy.
On Gerty's birth-day there was so distant an excursion planned, that the carriage from the Grange had to be used for the elder people and the hampers, but the boys and girls started early and walked to the beautiful wood, where high ferns and wild flowers were a refreshing sight after the walk in the hot July sun. As they sat waiting for the carriage to come to the lane which led to the shady corner they had chosen, all the hats were removed from the heated foreheads, and they revelled in the coolness and beauty of the place.
'I am sure even the Queen cannot wish for anything lovelier than this !” exclaimed Gerty.
“And yet any very poor person may enjoy it !” said Lily, looking up at the leafy arches above her with happy eyes.
“Yes—after all, Lily," almost whispered Daisy, “it doesn't matter about that money, does it?”
“No,” responded Lily thoughtfully ; "but somehow I think it will be found some day, and I'm glad for one thing if it is to be so.
" Why? " asked Daisy, looking just a shade disappointed that there should still be something for which money was needed; and Gerty too looked up to listen for Lily's reply. "Well, Daisy, I want you to be a great artist."
Oh, oh!” interrupted the two boys with irreverent laughter.
"I do," persisted Lily, with an emphatic nod of her brown head; "and if that money were found you should go first to the School of Art, and then to Italy, and you would be a great artist, I know you would.”
“I think you would, too, Daisy!” agreed Gerty, at which Daisy looked both pleased and ashamed.
“And when you are Great,” said Eric, “draw my picture, will you?”
“And mine-standing on my head I look best,” suggested Hubert.
“There's the carriage!” cried Daisy, and they all rushed down to help in unloading the good things.
Lunch and an early tea were taken in the woods, and when the picnic party once more arrived at the Grange, it was time for late dinner.
After dinner Gerty begged very hard that one of the twins might stay all night and sleep in her room, as it was her birth-day.
“Which shall it be?" asked Aunt Lisa.
“Draw lots,” suggested Eric; and when this plan had been adopted, the choice fell on Daisy.
“Oh, Lily, but you won't like going without me!” she whispered.
“I don't mind--indeed I don't,” whispered Lily lovingly; "don't disappoint Gerty."
“They can't bear the parting !” laughed Hubert, tantalisingly.
"Yes, we can !” exclaimed Lily, stoutly, “and mama and I are going now, so good-bye, sir !”
Shame-facedly Daisy watched her sister go; and although it was pleasure to stay at the Grange,