The time of which I am now speaking is my sixteenth year. My father, as we have seen, was bedridden. My mother, an old servant of the house, and I were attending on him. I had the duties of a nurse, which mainly consisted in dressing the wound, and giving my father his medicine. Every night I massaged his legs and retired only when he asked me to do so or after he had fallen asleep. I loved to do this service. I do not remember ever having neglected it. All the time at my disposal, after the performance of the daily duties, was divided between school and attending on my father. I would only go out for an evening walk either when he permitted me or when he was feeling well.
The dreadful night came.
It was 10-30 or 11 p.m. I was giving the massage. My
uncle offered to relieve me. I was glad and went
straight to bed. In five or six minutes, however, the
servant knocked at the door. I started with alarm. “Get
up,” he said. “Father is very ill.” I knew of
course that he was very ill, and so I guessed what 'very
ill' meant that moment. I sprang out of bed.
“What is the matter ? Do
tell me !”
“Father is no more.”
So all was over! I felt
very unhappy that I was not near my father when he died.