It was two or three hours past midnight when I got home. I found my aunt, in our house, sitting up for me.
'Is anything the matter, aunt?' said I, alarmed.
'Nothing, Trot,' she replied. 'Sit down, sit down. Little Blossom has been rather out of spirits, and I have been keeping her company. That's all.'
I leaned my head upon my hand; and felt more sorry and downcast, as I sat looking at the fire, than I could have supposed possible so soon after the fulfilment of my brightest hopes. As I sat thinking, I happened to meet my aunt's eyes, which were resting on my face. There was an anxious expression in them, but it cleared directly.
'I assure you, aunt,' said I, 'I have been quite unhappy myself all night, to think of Dora's being so. But I had no other intention than to speak to her tenderly and lovingly about our home-affairs.'
'You must have patience, Trot,' said she.
'Of course. Heaven knows I don't mean to be unreasonable, aunt!'
'No, no,' said my aunt. 'But Little Blossom is a very tender little blossom, and the wind must be gentle with her.'