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and of the whole state of affairs. She
asked her messenger to tell him to come and
speak to her,—that his mother was at her
house. She was thankful that her father
sauntered out to have a gossip at the nearest
coach-stand, and to relate as many of the
night's adventures as he knew; for as yet he
was in ignorance of the watcher and the
watched, who silently passed away the hours

At dinner-time Will came. He looked red,
glad, impatient, excited. Susan stood calm
and white before him, her soft, loving eyes
gazing straight into his.

' Will,' said she, in a low, quiet, voice, ' your
sister is upstairs.'

' My sister! ' said he, as if affrighted at the
idea, and losing his glad look in one of gloom.
Susan saw it, and her heart sank a little, but
she went on as calm to all appearance as

' She was little Nanny's mother, as perhaps
you know. Poor little Nanny was killed last
night by a fall down stairs.' All the calmness
was gone; all the suppressed feeling was
displayed in spite of every effort. She sat down,
and hid her face from him, and cried bitterly.
He forgot everything but the wish, the longing
to comfort her. He put his arm round
her waist, and bent over her. But all he
could say, was, ' Oh, Susan, how can I comfort
you! Don't take on so,—pray don't! ' He
never changed the words, but the tone varied
every time he spoke. At last she seemed to
regain her power over herself; and she wiped
her eyes, and once more looked upon him with
her own quiet, earnest, unfearing gaze.

' Your sister was near the house. She came
in on hearing my words to the doctor. She is
asleep now, and your mother is watching her.
I wanted to tell you all myself. Would you
like to see your mother? '

' No! ' said he. ' I would rather see none
but thee. Mother told me thou knew'st all.'
His eyes were downcast in their shame.

But the holy and pure, did not lower or vail
her eyes.

She said, 'Yes, I know allall but her
sufferings. Think what they must have
been! '

He made answer low and stern, ' She
deserved them all; every jot.'

' In the eye of God, perhaps she does. He
is the judge: we are not.'

' Oh!' she said with a sudden burst, ' Will
Leigh! I have thought so well of you; don't
go and make me think you cruel and hard.
Goodness is not goodness unless there is
mercy and tenderness with it. There is your
mother who has been nearly heart-broken,
now full of rejoicing over her childthink
of your mother.'

' I do think of her,' said he. ' I remember
the promise I gave her last night. Thou
shouldst give me time. I would do right in
time. I never think it o'er in quiet. But I
will do what is right and fitting, never fear.
Thou hast spoken out very plain to me; and
misdoubted me, Susan; I love thee so, that
thy words cut me. If I did hang back a bit
from making sudden promises, it was because
not even for love of thee, would I say what I
was not feeling; and at first I could not feel
all at once as thou wouldst have me. But
I 'm not cruel and hard; for if I had been,
I should na' have grieved as I have done.'

He made as if he were going away; and
indeed he did feel he would rather think it
over in quiet. But Susan, grieved at her
incautious words, which had all the appearance
of harshness, went a step or two nearer
pausedand then, all over blushes, said in a
low soft whisper

' Oh Will! I beg your pardon. I am very
sorrywon't you forgive me? '

She who had always drawn back, and been
so reserved, said this in the very softest
manner; with eyes now uplifted beseechingly,
now dropped to the ground. Her sweet
confusion told more than words could do; and
Will turned back, all joyous in his certainty
of being beloved, and took her in his arms
and kissed her.

' My own Susan!' he said.

Meanwhile the mother watched her child
in the room above.

It was late in the afternoon before she
awoke; for the sleeping draught had been
very powerful. The instant she awoke, her
eyes were fixed on her mother's face with a
gaze as unflinching as if she were fascinated.
Mrs. Leigh did not turn away; nor move.
For it seemed as if motion would unlock the
stony command over herself which, while so
perfectly still, she was enabled to preserve.
But by-and-bye Lizzie cried out in a piercing
voice of agony

' Mother, don't look at me! I have been
so wicked! ' and instantly she hid her face,
and grovelled among the bedclothes, and lay
like one deadso motionless was she.

Mrs. Leigh knelt down by the bed, and
spoke in the most soothing tones.

' Lizzie, dear, don't speak so. I'm thy
mother, darling; don't be afeard of me. I
never left off loving thee, Lizzie. I was
always a-thinking of thee. Thy father
forgave thee afore he died.' (There was a little
start here, but no sound was heard). ' Lizzie,
lass, I'll do aught for thee; I'll live for thee;
only don't be afeard of me. Whate'er thou
art or hast been, we'll ne'er speak on't.
We'll leave th' oud times behind us, and go
back to the Upclose Farm. I but left it to
find thee, my lass; and God has led me to
thee. Blessed be His name. And God is
good too, Lizzie. Thou hast not forgot thy
Bible, I'll be bound, for thou wert always a
scholar. I'm no reader, but I learnt off them
texts to comfort me a bit, and I've said them
many a time a day to myself. Lizzie, lass,
don't hide thy head so, it's thy mother as
is speaking to thee. Thy little child clung to
me only yesterday; and if it's gone to be an