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"Silence!" said the Beast. "I'll prosecute
you, I'll transport you, I'll hang you. By
G—, I'll reform you, somehow." "Girl," he
continued, turning to Bessy. "Go home.
Stop! I'll send a clerk with you to see if there
are any of my goods at home. I dare say
there are, and you'll move 'em to-night. You
won't though. I'll have a search-warrant.
I'll put you all in gaol. I'll transport you all.
Come here, one of you fellows in the office"
(this with a roar) "and go with this girl
to Camberwell. Lurcher, take the rascal
away."

What was poor Bessy to do? What could
she do but fall down on her knees, clasping
those stern knees before her? What could
she do, but amid sobs and broken articulation
say that it was all her fault? That it was for
her, her dear papa had taken the money.
That for her use it had been spent. What
could she do but implore the Beast, for the
love of heaven, for the love of his own son,
for the love of his dead father and mother, to
spare the object of his wrath, to send her to
prison, to take all they had, to show them
mercy, as he hoped mercy to be shown to him
hereafter.

She did all this and more. It was good,
though pitiful, to see the child on her knees
in her mean dress, with her streammg eyes,
and her poor hair all hanging about her eyes,
and to hear her artless, yet passionate
supplications. The Beast moved not muscle nor
face; but it is upon record that Mr. Lurcher,
after creaking about on the peculiar boots for
some seconds, turned aside into the shadow of
the iron safe, and blew his nose.

"Lurcher," observed the Beast, "Wait a
moment before I give this man into your
charge."

Mr. Lurcher bent some portion of his body
between his occiput and his spine, and,
considering himself temporarily relieved from the
custody of his prisoner, threw the whole force
of his contemplative energies into the iron
safe, in which, as a subject, he appeared
immediately to bury himself.

"Come here!" was the monosyllabic
command of the Beast; addressed both to father
and daughter. He led them into yet an inner
sanctum, a sort of cupboard, full of books
and papers, where there was a dreadful screw
copying press, like an instrument of torture
in the Inquisition.

"I will spare your father, child, and retain
him in his situation," continued the Beast,
without ever taking his hands out, of his
pockets, or altering an inflection of his voice,
"on these, and these conditions only. My
housekeeper is old and blind, and I shall soon
turn her adrift, and let her go to the
workhouseeverybody says so, I believe. The
short time she will remain, she will be able to
instruct you in as much as I shall require
of you. You will have to keep this house for
me and my clerks, and you must never quit
it save once in six weeks, for six hours at a
time; and I expect you to adhere to this
engagement for two years. All communication
between you and your family, save during
your hours of liberty, I strictly prohibit.
You will have twenty pounds a year as wages,
half of which can go to augment your father's
salary. At the same time I shall require
from him a written acknowledgement that he
has embezzled my moneys; and if you quit
my service I shall use it against him, ruin him,
and imprison him. Make up your mind
quickly, for the policeman is waiting.

What was poor Bessy to do? To part
from her dear father, never to see him save at
intervals, and then only for a short time; to
know that he was in the same house, and not
be able to run and embrace him. All this was
hard, very hard, but what would not Bessy do
to save her father from ruin and disgrace and
a prison? She would have laid down her
life for him, she would have cheerfully
consented never to see him againtill the great
day comes when we shall all meet to part no
more. She consented; Mr. Lurcher was
previously spoken to and dismissed; the
Beast subsided into his usual taciturnity;
Bessy led her stricken, broken, trembling
parent home. They passed through the long,
dingy warerooms, the clerks whispering as
they passed.

Bessy's wardrobe was not sufficiently
voluminous to occasion the expenditure of any
very great time in packing. It was soon put
up in a very small, shabby black box, studded
with brass nailsmany of them deficient.
This, with Bessy herself, arrived at nine
o'clock the next morning, as per agreement,
at the Cheapside corner of Ursine Lane, where
one of Mr. Braddlescroggs's porters was in
waiting, who brought Bessy and her box to
the dismal Manchester warehouse owned by
the Beast of Ursine Lane.

And here, in the top floor of this lugubrious
mansion, lived, for two long years, Bessy
Simcox. At stated periods she saw her family
for a few hours, and then went back to her
prison house. She carved the beef and mutton
for the hungry clerks, she mended their
linen, she gave out candles, she calculated
washing bills. The old, old story of Beauty
and the Beast was being done over again in
Ursine Lane, Cheapside. Bessy ripened into
a Beauty, in this dismal hot-house; and the
Beast was, as I have told you he always was.
Beauty dwelt in no fairy palace; surrounded
by no rose bushes, no sweet-smelling gardens,
no invisible hands to wait on her at supper.
It was all hard, stern, uncompromising
reality. She had to deal with an imperious,
sullen, brutal master. Every body knew it.
She dealt with him as Bessy had the art of
dealing with every one. She bore with him
meekly, gently, patiently. She strove to win
his forbearance, his respect. She won them
both, and morehis love.

Yes, his love! Don't be afraid; the Beast
never changed to Prince Azor. He never lay

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