Alice steadily, though slowly, improved; and Phillis again employed herself with her children and her work. Things had gone on very well, with one of her daughter's constant superintendence; but Bacchus had taken advantage of being less watched than usual, and had indulged a good deal, declaring to himself that without something to keep up his spirits he should die, thinking about Miss Alice. Phillis, lynx-eyed as she always was, saw that such had been the case.
It was about a week after Alice commenced to improve, that Phillis went to her house in the evening, after having taken charge of her for several hours, while Mrs. Weston slept. Alice was very restless at night, and Mrs. Weston generally prepared herself for it, by taking some repose previously; this prevented the necessity of any one else losing rest, which, now that Alice was entirely out of danger, she positively refused to permit. As Phillis went in the door, Lydia was on her knees, just finishing the little nightly prayer that Miss Janet had taught her. She got up, and as she was about to go to bed, saw her mother, and bade her good night.
"Good night, and go to bed like a good child. Miss Alice says you may come to see her again to-morrow," Phillis replied.
Lydia was happy as a queen with this promise. Aunt Phillis took her pipe, and her old station outside the door, to smoke. Bacchus had his old, crazy, broken-backed chair out there already, and he was evidently resolving something in his mind of great importance, for he propped the