Awful as the anguish of his parting with Claudia had been, it was not likely that Ishmael, with his strength of intellect and will, would long succumb to despair. It was not in Claudia's power to make his life quite desolate; how could it be so while Bee cared for him?Bee had loved Ishmael as long as Ishmael had loved Claudia. She had loved him when he was a boy at school; when he was a young country teacher; when he was a law-student; and she loved him now that he was a successful barrister. This love, founded in esteem and honor, had constantly deepened and strengthened. In loving Ishmael, she found mental and spiritual development; and in being near him and doing him good she found comfort and happiness. And being perfectly satisfied with the present, Bee never gave a thought to the future. That she tacitly left, where it belongs, to God.Or if at times, on perceiving Ishmael's utter obliviousness of her own kindly presence and his perfect devotion to the thankless Claudia, Bee felt a pang, she went and buried herself with domestic duties, or played with the children in the nursery, or what was better still, if it happened to be little Lu's "sleepy time" she would take her baby-sister up to her own room, sit down and fold her to her breast and rock and sing her to sleep. And certainly the clasp of those baby-arms about her neck, and the nestling of that baby-form to her bosom, drew out all the heart-ache and soothed all the agitation.