The time had come to leave home, and the Westons had but one more evening. Neither Mr. Weston nor Alice were well, and all hoped the change would benefit them. They were to travel in their own carriage, and the preparations were completed. The three ladies' maids were to go by the stage. Miss Janet had a number of things stowed away in the carriage, which she thought might be useful, not forgetting materials for a lunch, and a little of her own home-made lavender, in case of a headache. The pleasure of going was very much lessened by the necessity of leaving the dear old lady, who would not listen to their entreaties to accompany them. "You, with your smooth cheeks and bright eyes, may well think of passing a winter in Washington; but what should I do there? Why, the people would say I had lost my senses. No, we three ladies will have a nice quiet time at Exeter, and I can go on with my quilting and patchwork. You see, Miss Alice, that you come back with red cheeks. The birds and the flowers will be glad to see you again when the spring comes."
"Ring the bell, Alice," said Mr. Weston. "I must know how Mr. Mason's little boy is. I sent Mark shortly after dinner; but here he is. Well, Mark, I hope the little fellow is getting well?"
"He is receased, sir," said Mark, solemnly.
"He is what?" said Mr. Weston. "Oh! ah! he is dead--I understand you. Well, I am truly sorry for it. When did he die?"
"Early this morning, sir," said Mark. "Have you any more orders to give, sir? for as I am to be up mighty early