necessary free papers. "You are your own mistress, now, Sarah," said he. "I hope you will prove yourself worthy to be so. You can assist your husband to pay for himself. If you are honest and industrious, you cannot fail to do well."
Sarah's heart overflowed with unlooked-for happiness. She thanked Mr. Weston over and over again, until, fearing to be troublesome, she withdrew. Bacchus went as far as the corner, and promised to look in upon herself and husband, repeatedly; which he did. He impressed his new acquaintances with a proper sense of his own importance. With the exception of one grand spree that he and Sarah's husband had together, the three enjoyed a very pleasant and harmonious intercourse during the remainder of the Westons' stay at Washington.
The gay winter had passed, and spring had replaced it; but night after night saw the votaries of fashion assembled, though many of them looked rather the worse for wear. Ellen and Alice tired of scenes which varied so little, yet having no regular employment, they hardly knew how to cease the round of amusements that occupied them. Ellen said, "Never mind, Alice, we will have plenty of time for repentance, and we might as well quaff to the last drop the cup of pleasure, which may never be offered to our lips again." Very soon they were to return to Virginia, and now they proposed visiting places of interest in the neighborhood of the city.
One morning, after a gay party, and at a later hour than usual, the three ladies entered the breakfast-room. Mr. Weston was waiting for them. "Well, young ladies," he said, "I have read my paper, and now I am ready to hear you give an account of your last evening's triumphs. The winter's campaign is closing; every little skirmish is then of the greatest importance. How do you all feel?"