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Margaret might be assured he would take
every precaution against being tracked by
Leonards. Margaret was thankful that she
received this letter while her father was absent
in her mother's room. If he had been present,
he would have expected her to read it aloud to
him, and it would have raised in him a state
of nervous alarm which she would have
found it impossible to soothe away. There
was not merely the fact, which disturbed her
excessively, of Frederick's detention in London,
but there were allusions to the recognition
at the last moment at Milton, and the
possibility of a pursuit, which made her
blood run cold; and how then would it have
affected her father? Many a time did
Margaret repent of having suggested and urged
on the plan of consulting Mr. Lennox. At
the moment it had seemed as if it would occasion
so little delayadd so little to the apparently
small chances of detection; and yet
everything that had since occurred had tended
to make it so undesirable. Margaret battled
hard against this regret of hers for what
could not now be helped; this self-reproach
for having said what had at the time appeared
to be wise, but which after events were proving
to have been so foolish. But her father was
in too depressed a state of mind and body to
struggle healthily; he would succumb to
all these causes for morbid regret over what could
not be recalled. Margaret summoned up all
her forces to her aid. Her father seemed to
have forgotten that they had any reason
to expect a letter from Frederick that morning.
He was absorbed in one ideathat the
last visible token of the presence of his wife
was to be carried away from him, and hidden
from his sight. He trembled pitifully as the
undertaker's man was arranging his crape
draperies around him. He looked wistfully
at Margaret; and when released he tottered
towards her, murmuring, "Pray for me,
Margaret. I have no strength left in me. I
cannot pray. I give her up because I must.
I try to bear it; indeed I do. I know it is
God's will. But I cannot see why she died.
Pray for me, Margaret, that I may have faith
to pray. It is a great strait, my child."

Margaret sat by him in the coach, almost
supporting him in her arms; and repeating
all the noble verses of holy comfort, or texts
expressive of faithful resignation, that she
could remember. Her voice never faltered;
and she herself gained strength by doing
this. Her father's lips moved after her,
repeating the well-known texts as her words
suggested them; it was terrible to see the
patient struggling effort to obtain the
resignation which he had not strength to take into
his heart as a part of himself.

Margaret's fortitude nearly gave way as
Dixon, with a slight motion of her hand,
directed her notice to Nicholas Higgins
and his daughter, standing a little aloof, but
deeply attentive to the ceremonial. Nicholas
wore his usual fustian clothes, but had a bit
of black stuff sewn round his hata mark
of mourning which he had never shown to
his daughter Bessy's memory. But Mr. Hale
saw nothing. He went on repeating to
himself, mechanically as it were, all the funeral
service as it was read by the officiating
clergyman; he sighed twice or thrice when all
was ended; and then putting his hand on
Margaret's arm, he mutely entreated to be
led away, as if he were blind, and she his
faithful guide.

Dixon sobbed aloud; she covered her face
with her handkerchief, and was so absorbed
in her own grief, that she did not perceive
that the crowd attracted on such occasions
was dispersing, till she was spoken to by
some one close at hand. It was Mr. Thornton.
He had been present all the time,
standing, with bent head, behind a group of
people, so that in fact, no one had recognised

"I beg your pardon,—but, can you tell me
how Mr. Hale is? And Miss Hale, too? I
should like to know how they both are."

"Of course, sir. They are much as is to
be expected. Master is terribly broke
down. Miss Hale bears up better than is

Mr. Thornton would rather have heard
that she was suffering the natural sorrow.
In the first place, there was selfishness enough
in him to have taken pleasure in the
idea that his great love might come in to
comfort and console her; much the same
kind of strange passionate pleasure which
comes stinging through a mother's heart,
when her drooping infant nestles close to her,
and is dependent upon her for everything.
But this delicious vision of what might have
beenin which, in spite of all Margaret's
repulse, he would have indulged only a few
days agowas miserably disturbed by the
recollection of what he had seen near the
Outwood station. "Miserably disturbed!" that
is not strong enough. He was haunted by
the remembrance of the handsome young
man, with whom she stood in an attitude of such
familiar confidence; and the remembrance
shot through him like an agony till it made
him clench his hands tight in order to subdue
the pain. At that late hour, so far from
home! It took a great moral effort to
galvanise his trusterewhile so perfectin
Margaret's pure and exquisite maidenliness,
into life; as soon as the effort ceased, his trust
dropped down dead and powerless: and all sorts
of wild fancies chased each other like dreams
through his mind. Here was a little piece of
miserable, gnawing confirmation. "She held
up better than likely" under this grief. She
had then some hope to look to, so bright that
even in her affectionate nature it could come
in to lighten the dark hours of a daughter
newly made motherless. Yes! he knew how
she would love. He had not loved her
without gaining that instinctive knowledge
of what capabilities were in her. Her soul

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