Phillis was at her ironing early in the morning, for she liked to hurry it over before the heat of the day. Her cabin doors were open, and her flowers, which had been watered by a slight rain that fell about daybreak, looked fresh and beautiful. Her house could be hardly called a cabin, for it was very much superior to the others on the plantation, though they were all comfortable. Phillis was regarded by the Weston family as the most valuable servant they owned--and, apart from her services, there were strong reasons why they were attached to her. She had nursed Mrs. Weston in her last illness, and as her death occurred immediately after Arthur's birth, she nourished him as her own child, and loved him quite as well. Her comfort and wishes were always objects of the greatest consideration to the family, and this was proved whenever occasion allowed. Her neatly white-washed cottage was enclosed by a wooden fence in good condition--her little garden laid out with great taste, if we except the rows of stiffly-trimmed box which Phillis took pride in. A large willow tree shaded one side of it; and on the other, gaudy sunflowers reared their heads, and the white and Persian lilacs, contrasted with them. All kinds of small flowers and roses adorned the front of the house, and you might as well have sought for a diamond over the whole place, as a weed. The back of the lot was arranged for the accommodation of her pigs and chickens; and two enormous peacocks, that were fond of sunning themselves by the front door, were the handsomest ornaments about the place.
The room in which Phillis ironed, was not encumbered