"Your mother has need of you," said Sahira, in her velvet voice. "I think that the Lady Claudia is very ill."
"I will come at once."
The Lady Claudia was indeed very ill and continued so for several weeks. The summer waxed and waned. The cool winds of September blew strongly from the West and the calla lilies and jessamine had long since withered in the garden before Claudia was able once again to sit in the chair under the late tea-rose vines and listen to the rippling water of the fountain.
The old, proud Claudia seemed to have disappeared and in her place was a feeble woman, with trembling hands, whose glance followed every move her daughter made, who seemed to be happy only when Virgilia was near. She ignored the ministrations of the slave Sahira, whose heart warmed to only one person except her father, and that w