enjoyed it, but the fruit of a blow that struck even deeper, as she

made all haste to explain. He would see for himself, so far as

that went, how the great change had come, the dreadful bolt had

fallen, and how they would now all have to turn themselves about.

Therefore cruel as it was to them to part with their darling she

must look to him to carry a little further the influence he had so

fortunately acquired with the boy - to induce his young charge to

follow him into some modest retreat. They depended on him - that

was the fact - to take their delightful child temporarily under his

protection; it would leave Mr. Moreen and herself so much more free

to give the proper attention (too little, alas! had been given) to

the readjustment of their affairs.

"We trust you - we feel we CAN," said Mrs. Moreen, slowly rubbing

her plump white hands and looking with compunction hard at Morgan,

whose chin, not to take liberties, her husband stroked with a

paternal forefinger.

"Oh yes - we feel that we CAN. We trust Mr. Pemberton fully,

Morgan," Mr. Moreen pursued.

Pemberton wondered again if he might pretend not to understand; but

everything good gave way to the intensity of Morgan's

understanding. "Do you mean he may take me to live with him for

ever and ever?" cried the boy. "May take me away, away, anywhere

he likes?"

"For ever and ever? Comme vous-y-allez!" Mr. Moreen laughed

indulgently. "For as long as Mr. Pemberton may be so good."

"We've struggled, we've suffered," his wife went on; "but you've

made him so your own that we've already been through the worst of

the sacrifice."

Morgan had turned away from his father - he stood looking at

Pemberton with a light in his face. His sense of shame for their

common humiliated state had dropped; the case had another side -

the thing was to clutch at THAT. He had a moment of boyish joy,

scarcely mitigated by the reflexion that with this unexpected

consecration of his hope - too sudden and too violent; the turn

taken was away from a GOOD boy's book - the "escape" was left on

their hands. The boyish joy was there an instant, and Pemberton

was almost scared at the rush of gratitude and affection that broke

through his first abasement. When he stammered "My dear fellow,

what do you say to THAT?" how could one not say something

enthusiastic? But there was more need for courage at something

else that immediately followed and that made the lad sit down

quietly on the nearest chair. He had turned quite livid and had

raised his hand to his left side. They were all three looking at

him, but Mrs. Moreen suddenly bounded forward. "Ah his darling

little heart!" she broke out; and this time, on her knees before

him and without respect for the idol, she caught him ardently in

her arms. "You walked him too far, you hurried him too fast!" she

hurled over her shoulder at Pemberton. Her son made no protest,

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