Elsie's Holidays at Roselands

( 13 )


As Elsie grows from childhood to girlhood, so does her understanding of and obedience to God. Guided by jealousy and contempt, her father seeks to annihilate all religious influences surrounding his daughter. As a last resort, her father moves away until Elsie will submit to his law, and no other. This vindictiveness causes Elsie to become very ill.

Eight-year-old Elsie believes that obeying a request her father has made would violate her conscience, and she must ...

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As Elsie grows from childhood to girlhood, so does her understanding of and obedience to God. Guided by jealousy and contempt, her father seeks to annihilate all religious influences surrounding his daughter. As a last resort, her father moves away until Elsie will submit to his law, and no other. This vindictiveness causes Elsie to become very ill.

Eight-year-old Elsie believes that obeying a request her father has made would violate her conscience, and she must refuse him. He, in turn, believes Elsie is being willful and disobedient, failing to see her refusal as a matter of her deep, abiding faith in God.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589602649
  • Publisher: Sovereign Grace Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/1993
  • Series: Elsie Dinsmore Ser.
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Elsie's Holidays at Roselands

By Martha Finley

Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC

Copyright © 1868 Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-59856-592-8


Oh Truth,
Thou art, whilst tenant in an noble breast,
A crown of crystal in an iv'ry chest.

Elsie felt in better spirits in the morning; her sleep had refreshed her, and she arose with a stronger confidence in the love of both her earthly and her heavenly Father.

She found her papa ready and waiting for her. He took her in his arms and kissed her tenderly. "My precious little daughter," he said, "papa is very glad to see you looking so bright and cheerful this morning. I think something was wrong with my little girl last night. Why did she not come to papa with her trouble?"

"Why did you think I was in trouble, papa?" she asked, hiding her face on his chest.

"How could I think otherwise, when my little girl did not come to bid me good night, though she had not seen me since dinner, and when I went to give her a good-night kiss I found her pillow wet, and a tear on her cheek?"

"Did you come, papa?" she asked, looking up in glad surprise.

"I did. Now tell me what troubled you, my own one?"

"I am afraid you will be angry with me, papa," she said, almost under her breath.

"Not half so angry as if you refuse to give me your confidence. I would be glad to know that my little daughter had not a single thought or feeling concealed from me."

He paused a moment, looking down at the little blushing face, half hidden on his chest, then went on, "Elsie, daughter, you are more precious than anything else in the wide world, and you need not fear that any other can ever take your place in my heart, or that I will make any connection that would render you unhappy. I want no one to love but my little girl, and you must not let the gossip of the servants disturb you."

Elsie looked up in unfeigned astonishment.

"Papa! You seem to know everything about me. Can you read my thoughts?"

"Almost, when I can see your face," he answered, smiling at her puzzled look. "I cannot quite, though; but I can put things together and make a pretty good guess, sometimes."

She lay still on his breast for a moment; then, raising her eyes timidly to his face again, she said in a half-hesitating way, "I am afraid it is very naughty of me, papa, but I can't help thinking that Miss Stevens is very disagreeable. I felt so that very first day, and I did not want to take a present from her, because it didn't seem exactly right when I didn't like her, but I couldn't refuse—she wouldn't let me—and have tried to like her since, but I can't."

"Well, darling, I don't think I am just the proper person to reprove you for that," he replied, trying to look grave, "for I am afraid I am as naughty as you are. But we won't talk any more about her. See what I have for you this morning."

He pointed to the table, where lay a pile of prettily bound books, which Elsie had not noticed until this moment. They were Abbot's works. Elsie had read several of his historical tales, and liked them very much; and her father could hardly have given a more acceptable present.

"I was sorry for your disappointment yesterday," he said, "but I hope these will make up for it, and they will give you a great deal of useful information, as well as amusement, while it could only be an injury to you to read that trashy book."

Elsie was turning over the books with eager delight.

"Dear papa, you are so kind and good to me," she said, laying them down to put her arms around his neck and kissing him. "I like these books very much, and I don't at all care to read that other one since you have told me you do not approve of it."

"That is my own darling child," said he, returning her caress, "your ready obedience deserved a reward. Now put on your hat, and we will take our walk."

Mr. Travilla joined them in the avenue, and his kind heart rejoiced to see how the clouds of care and sorrow had all passed away from his little friend's face, leaving it bright and beaming, as usual. Her father had one hand, and Mr. Travilla soon possessed himself of the other.

"I don't altogether like these company days, when you have to be banished from the table, little Elsie," he remarked. "I cannot half enjoy my breakfast without your bright face to look at."

"I don't like them either, Mr. Travilla, because I see so little of papa. I haven't had a ride with him since the company came."

"You shall have one this afternoon, if nothing happens," said her father quickly. "What do you say, Travilla, to a ride on horseback with the four young ladies you took charge of yesterday, and myself?"

"Bravo! I shall be delighted to be of the party, if the ladies don't object. Eh! Elsie, what do you think?" with a questioning look down into her glad face. "Will they want me?"

"You needn't be a bit afraid, Mr. Travilla," laughed the little girl. "I like you next to papa, and I believe Lucy and the rest like you better."

"Oh, take care, Elsie! Are you not afraid to hurt his feelings?"

"No danger, as long as she puts me first," Mr. Dinsmore said, bestowing a smile and loving glance on her.

Caroline Howard was in Elsie's room, waiting to show her bracelet, which had just been handed to her by her maid—Pomp having brought it from the city late the night before.

"Oh, Elsie! I am so glad you have come at last. I have been waiting for half an hour, I should think, to show you these," she said, as Elsie came in from her walk. "But how bright and merry you look; so different from last night! What ailed you then?"

"Never mind," replied Elsie, taking the bracelet from her hand and examining it. "Oh, this is very pretty, Carry! The clasp is so beautiful, and they have braided the hair so nicely."

"Yes, I'm sure mamma will like it. But now that Christmas is gone, I think I will keep it for a New Year's gift. Wouldn't you, Elsie?"

"Yes, perhaps—but I want to tell you, Carry, what papa says. He and Mr. Travilla are going to take you, and Lucy, and Mary, and me, riding on horseback this afternoon. Don't you think it will be pleasant?"

"Oh, it will be grand!" exclaimed Carry. "Elsie, I think now that your papa is very kind, and do you know I like him very much, indeed. Quite as well as I do Mr. Travilla, and I always liked him—he's so pleasant, and so funny, too, sometimes. But I must go and show my bracelet to Lucy. Hark! No, there's the bell, and I'll just leave it here until after breakfast."

Elsie opened a drawer and laid it carefully in, and they ran off to the nursery.

"Elsie," said her father, when they had finished the morning lessons, "there is to be a children's party tonight, at Mr. Carleton's, and I have an invitation for you. Would you like to go?"

"Do you wish me to go, papa?"

"Not unless you wish to do so, daughter," he said kindly. "I cannot go with you, as there are to be none but little people, and I never feel altogether comfortable in seeing my darling go from home without me. You will, no doubt, be very late in returning and getting to bed, and I fear will feel badly tomorrow in consequence. But this once, at least, you shall just please yourself. All your little guests are going, and it would be dull and lonesome for you at home, I am afraid."

Elsie thought a moment.

"Dear papa, you are very kind," she said, "but if you please I would much rather have you decide for me, because I am only a silly little girl, and you are so much older and wiser."

He smiled, and stroked her hair softly, but said nothing.

"Are you going to stay at home, papa?" she asked presently.

"Yes, daughter, I expect to spend the evening either in this room or the library, as I have letters to write."

"Oh, then, papa, please let me stay with you! I would like it much better than going to the party. Will you, papa? Please say yes."

"But you know I cannot talk to you, nor let you talk; so that it will be very dull," he said, pushing back the curls from the fair forehead, and smiling down into the eager little face.

"Oh, but if you will only let me sit beside you and read one of my new books, I shall be quite contented, and sit as quiet as a little mouse, and not say one word without leave. Mayn't I, papa?"

"I said you should do as you pleased, darling, and I always love to have my darling near me."

"Oh, then I shall stay!" she cried, clapping her hands.

Then, with a happy little sigh, "It will be so nice," she said, "to have one of our quiet evenings again." And she knew, by her father's gratified look, that she had decided as he would have had her.

A servant put his head in at the door.

"Massa Horace, dere's a gen'leman in de library axin for to see you."

"Very well, Jim, tell him I will be there in a moment. Elsie, dear, put away your books, and go down to your little friends."

"Yes, papa, I will," she replied, as he went out and left her.

"How kind papa is to me, and how I do love him!" she murmured to herself as she placed the books carefully in the drawer where they belonged.

She found Lucy and Mary busily engaged in dressing a doll, and Carry deeply interested in a book. But several of the little ones were looking quite disconsolate.

"Oh, Elsie, do come and play with us," said Flora. "Enna won't play anything we like. We've been playing keeping house, but Enna will be mother all the time, and she scolds and whips us so much that we are all tired of it."

"Well, what shall we play?" asked Elsie, good-naturedly. "Will you build houses?"

"No, I'm tired of that, because Enna takes all the blocks," said another little girl. "She isn't at all polite to visitors, is she, Flora?"

"No," replied Flora, "and I don't ever mean to come to see her again."

"I don't care," retorted Enna, angrily. "And I don't take all the blocks, either."

"Well, most all, you do," said the other, "and it isn't polite."

"They're mine, and I'll have as many as I want. And I don't care if it isn't polite," Enna answered, with a pout that by no means improved her appearance.

"Will you play 'Oh sister, Oh Phoebe?'" asked Elsie.

"No, no!" cried several little voices. "Enna always wants to be in the middle, and besides, Arthur always wants to play, and he will kiss us; and we don't like it."

Elsie was almost in despair, but Herbert, who was lying on a sofa, reading, suddenly shut his book, saying, "I tell you what, Elsie! Tell us one of those nice fairy stories we all like so much!"

"Yes, do, do!" cried several of the little ones, clapping their hands.

So Elsie drew up a stool close to Herbert's sofa, and the little ones clustered around her—Enna insisting on having the best place for hearing—and for more than an hour she kept them quiet and interested. But she was very glad when at last the maid came to take them out walking, thus leaving her at liberty to follow her own inclination.

"What are you going to do now, Elsie?" asked Caroline, closing her book.

"I am going down to the drawing room to ask Aunt Adelaide to show me how to crochet this mitten for mammy," Elsie answered. "Won't you come along, girls?"

"Yes, let's take our sewing down there," said Lucy, gathering up the bits of muslin and silk, and putting them in her workbox.

Elsie glanced hastily around as they entered, and gave a satisfied little sigh on perceiving that Miss Stevens was not in the room, and that her Aunt Adelaide was seated with her embroidery near one of the windows, while her papa sat near by, reading the morning paper.

The little girls soon established themselves in a group on the opposite side of Miss Adelaide's window, and she very good-naturedly gave Elsie the assistance she needed.

"Elsie," said Lucy, presently, in an undertone, "Carry has been showing us her bracelet, and I think it is beautiful. She won't tell us whose hair it is—I guess it's her sister's, maybe—but I'm sure yours would make just as pretty a bracelet, and I want one for my mamma. Won't you give me one of your curls to make it? You have so many that one would never be missed."

"No, Miss Lucy," said Mr. Dinsmore, looking at them over his paper, "you can't have one of my curls. I can't spare it."

"I don't want one of your curls, Mr. Dinsmore," laughed Lucy, merrily. "I didn't ask for it. Your hair is very pretty, too, but it would be quite too short."

"I beg your pardon, Miss Lucy, if my ears deceived me," said he, with mock gravity, "but I was quite certain I heard you asking for one of my curls. Perhaps, though, you are not aware of the fact that my curls can grow on two heads."

"I don't know what you mean, Mr. Dinsmore," replied Lucy, laughing again, "but it was one of Elsie's curls I asked for."

"Elsie doesn't own any," said he. "They all belong to me. I let her wear them, to be sure, but that is all. She has no right to give them away."

He turned to his paper again, and Elsie bent over her work, her face flushed, and her little hand trembling so that she could scarcely hold her needle.

"I'm afraid I ought to tell papa," she thought, "that I did give one of my curls away. I never thought about his caring, but I might have known, because when I wanted my hair cut last summer, he said there shouldn't one of them be touched. Oh dear, why didn't I think of that? I am afraid he will be very much displeased."

"Don't tell him then," whispered the tempter, "he is not likely ever to miss it."

"Nay, but it would be wrong to hide your fault," said conscience.

"I will tell him," she resolved.

"Wait till tomorrow, then," whispered the tempter again. "If you tell him now, very likely he will deprive you of your ride this afternoon, as a punishment."

So the struggle went on in the little heart while others were chatting and laughing around her, never suspecting what a battle the little girl was fighting within her own heart.

Presently Lucy jumped up. "Oh, I am so tired of sewing! Come, girls, let's put on our things and take a run in the garden."

Carry and Mary readily assented.

"I must speak to papa first," Elsie said in a half whisper, "but don't wait for me."

She had spoken low, but not so low that his quick ear did not catch the sound. He had heard her, and laying his paper down on his knee, as the other little girls ran away, he turned half round and held out his hand, asking with a smile, "Well, daughter, what is it? What have you to say to papa?"

She went to him at once, and he was surprised to see how she was trembling, and that her cheeks were flushed and her eyes full of tears.

"Why! What ails my darling?" he asked tenderly.

Adelaide had left the room a moment before, and there was no one near enough to hear.

"Please, papa, don't be very angry with me," she pleaded, speaking very low and hesitatingly. "I did not know you cared about my curls. I did not think about their belonging to you, and I did give one to Carry."

He was silent a moment, evidently surprised at her confession. Then he said gently, "No, dearest, I will not be angry this time, and I feel sure you will not do so again, now you know that I do care."

"No, indeed, I will not, dear papa," she replied, in a tone of intense relief. "But you are not going to punish me?" she asked, beginning to tremble again. "I was so afraid to tell you, lest you would say I should not have my ride this afternoon."

"Why, then, did you not put off your confession until after the ride?" he asked, looking searchingly into her face.

"I wanted to very much, papa," she said, looking down and blushing deeply, "but I knew it would be very wrong."

"My dear, conscientious little daughter," he said, taking her on his knee, "your father loves you better than ever for this new proof of your honesty and truthfulness. Deprive you of your ride? No, indeed, I feel far more like rewarding than punishing you. Ah! I had forgotten! I have something for you." And he put his hand into his pocket and brought out a letter.

"Oh! It is from Miss Rose! Dear, darling Miss Rose!" was Elsie's joyful exclamation, as he put it in her hand.

She made a movement as if to get down from his knee, but he detained her.

"Sit still and read it here, darling," he said. "I love to have you on my knee, and if there are any hard places I can help you."

"Thank you, papa. Sometimes there are hard places—at least pretty hard for a little girl like me—though I think Miss Rose tries to write plainly because she knows that I cannot read writing as well as big people can."


Excerpted from Elsie's Holidays at Roselands by Martha Finley. Copyright © 1868 Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013



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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Elsie Dinsmore Makes me Happyyyy:)

    This book is such an easy read lemme tell ya...but at some moments in the book you really want to lynch some of Elsie's family members and her father...OH MY GOSH MAN! He can be prettayy psychotic sometimes not gonna lie... but thats beside the point...this book is really great and wholesome compared to twilight and alll those othe lurvely books...I deff reccomend spending a few extra dollars to buy this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012


    This is a nice book and entertaining

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    Stormgaze to Rosestar

    May i please join this clan?

    Appearance: Handsome tom with a silver pelt.The light silver has ancient black markings.He has stormy blue eyes.
    Personality:Stormgaze is a great friend.He will stand up for anyone from the oldest elder to the smallest kit.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012


    Thank u!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Thornstar to Moonshimmer

    Shes busy and look at my post on eighth result please

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012


    Its a saturdy. Probably hanging their frends

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012


    *shutters* i was there for three months

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2002

    This Book Is So Good!

    This book is so good! It is one of the best I have ever read! It teaches so many things and would be good for all ages to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2000

    This Book is just Great!

    I think it can teach alot to people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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