‘Pa, dear!’ cried Bella, beckoning him with her parasol to approach the side, and bending gracefully to whisper.
‘Yes, my darling.’
‘Did I beat you much with that horrid little bonnet, Pa?’
‘Nothing to speak of; my dear.’
‘Did I pinch your legs, Pa?’
‘Only nicely, my pet.’
‘You are sure you quite forgive me, Pa? Please, Pa, please, forgive me quite!’ Half laughing at him and half crying to him, Bella besought him in the prettiest manner; in a manner so engaging and so playful and so natural, that her cherubic parent made a coaxing face as if she had never grown up, and said, ‘What a silly little Mouse it is!’
‘But you do forgive me that, and everything else; don’t you, Pa?’
‘Yes, my dearest.’
‘And you don’t feel solitary or neglected, going away by yourself; do you, Pa?’
‘Lord bless you! No, my Life!’
‘Good-bye, dearest Pa. Good-bye!’
‘Good-bye, my darling! Take her away, my dear John. Take her home!’
So, she leaning on her husband’s arm, they turned homeward by a rosy path which the gracious sun struck out for them in its setting. And O there are days in this life, worth life and worth death. And O what a bright old song it is, that O ’tis love, ’tis love, ’tis love that makes the world go round!
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