These words broke from Morgan, who had intermitted his embrace, in

a key which made Pemberton turn quickly to him and see that he had

suddenly seated himself, was breathing in great pain, and was very

pale.

"NOW do you say he's not in a state, my precious pet?" shouted his

mother, dropping on her knees before him with clasped hands, but

touching him no more than if he had been a gilded idol. "It will

pass - it's only for an instant; but don't say such dreadful

things!"

"I'm all right - all right," Morgan panted to Pemberton, whom he

sat looking up at with a strange smile, his hands resting on either

side of the sofa.

"Now do you pretend I've been dishonest, that I've deceived?" Mrs.

Moreen flashed at Pemberton as she got up.

"It isn't HE says it, it's I!" the boy returned, apparently easier,

but sinking back against the wall; while his restored friend, who

had sat down beside him, took his hand and bent over him.

"Darling child, one does what one can; there are so many things to

consider," urged Mrs. Moreen. "It's his PLACE - his only place.

You see YOU think it is now."

"Take me away - take me away," Morgan went on, smiling to Pemberton

with his white face.

"Where shall I take you, and how - oh HOW, my boy?" the young man

stammered, thinking of the rude way in which his friends in London

held that, for his convenience, with no assurance of prompt return,

he had thrown them over; of the just resentment with which they

would already have called in a successor, and of the scant help to

finding fresh employment that resided for him in the grossness of

his having failed to pass his pupil.

"Oh we'll settle that. You used to talk about it," said Morgan.

"If we can only go all the rest's a detail."

"Talk about it as much as you like, but don't think you can attempt

it. Mr. Moreen would never consent - it would be so VERY hand-to-

mouth," Pemberton's hostess beautifully explained to him. Then to

Morgan she made it clearer: "It would destroy our peace, it would

break our hearts. Now that he's back it will be all the same

again. You'll have your life, your work and your freedom, and

we'll all be happy as we used to be. You'll bloom and grow

perfectly well, and we won't have any more silly experiments, will

we? They're too absurd. It's Mr. Pemberton's place - every one in

his place. You in yours, your papa in his, me in mine - n'est-ce

pas, cheri? We'll all forget how foolish we've been and have

lovely times."

She continued to talk and to surge vaguely about the little draped

stuffy salon while Pemberton sat with the boy, whose colour

gradually came back; and she mixed up her reasons, hinting that

there were going to be changes, that the other children might

scatter (who knew? - Paula had her ideas) and that then it might be

fancied how much the poor old parent-birds would want the little

nestling. Morgan looked at Pemberton, who wouldn't let him move;

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