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project in his mind. And yet, surely if it
were so, I ought to have noticed them at the
first reading. I can only hope I am wrong
in my present interpretation of much of what
he has written to mehope it earnestly for
both our sakes.

This has been a doleful day for me. I have
been uneasy about Robert, and uneasy about
Mary. My mind is haunted by those last
words of hers: " I began my life wretchedly,
and wretchedly I am sentenced to end it," Her
usual melancholy way of talking never
produced the same impression on me that I feel
now. Perhaps the discovery of the laudanum-
bottle is the cause of this. I would give
many a hard day's work to know what to do
for Mary's good. My heart warmed to her
when we first met in the same lodging-
house, two years ago; and, although I am
not one of the over-affectionate sort myself, I
feel as if I could go to the world's end to
serve that girl. Yet, strange to say, if I was
asked why I was so fond of her, I don't think
I should know how to answer the question.

March 7th. I am almost ashamed to write
it down, even in this journal, which no eyes
but mine ever look on; yet I must honestly
confess to myself, that here I am, at nearly
one in the morning, sitting up in a state of
serious uneasiness, because Mary has not yet
come home. I walked with her, this morning,
to the place where she works, and tried
to lead her into talking of the relations she
has got who are still alive. My motive in
doing this was to see if she dropped anything
in the course of conversation which might
suggest a way of helping her interests with
those who are bound to give her all reasonable
assistance. But the little I could get
her to say to me led to nothing. Instead of
answering my questions about her stepmother
and her brother, she persisted at first, in the
strangest way, in talking of her father, who
was dead and gone, and of one Noah Truscott,
who had been the worst of all the bad
friends he had, and had taught him to drink
and game. "When I did get her to speak of
her brother, she only knew that he had gone
out to a place called Assam, where they
grew tea. How he was  doing, or whether
he was there still, she did not seem to know,
never having heard a word from him for
years and years past. As for her stepmother,
Mary, not unnaturally, flew into a passion
the moment I spoke of her. She keeps an
eating-house at Hammersmith, and could
have given Mary good employment in it;
but she seems always to have hated her, and
to have made her life so wretched with
abuse and ill-usage, that she had no refuge
left but to go away from home, and do her
best to make a living for herself. Her
husband (Mary's father) appears to have
behaved badly to her; and, after his death, she
took the wicked course of revenging herself
on her step-daughter. I felt, after this, that
it was impossible Mary could go back, and
that it was the hard necessity of her position,
as it is of mine, that she should struggle on
to make a decent livelihood without assistance
from any of her relations. I confessed
as much as this to her; but I added that I
would try to get her employment with the
persons for whom I work, who pay higher
wages, and show a little more indulgence to
those under them, than the people to whom
she is now obliged to look for support. I
spoke much more confidently than I felt,
about being able to do this; and left her, as
I thought, in better spirits than usual. She
promised to be back to-night to tea, at nine
o'clock, and now it is nearly one in the morning,
and she is not home yet. If it was any
other girl I should not feel uneasy, for I should
make up my mind that there was extra work
to be done in a hurry, and that they were
keeping her late, and I should go to bed. But
Mary is so unfortunate in everything that
happens to her, and her own melancholy talk
about herself keeps hanging on my mind
so, that I have fears on her account which
would not distress me about any one else. It
seems inexcusably silly to think such a thing,
much more to write it down; but I have a
kind of nervous dread upon me that some
accident

What does that loud knocking at the street
door mean? And those voices and heavy
footsteps outside ? Some lodger who has lost
his key, I suppose, And yet, my heart
What a coward I have become all of a
sudden!

More knocking and louder voices. I must
run to the door and see what it is. O, Mary!
Mary! I hope I am not going to have
another fright about you; but I feel sadly
like it.

March 8th.

March 9th.

March 10th.

March 11th. O, me! all the troubles I
have ever had in my life are as nothing to
the trouble I am in now. For three days I
have not been able to write a single line in
this journal, which I have kept so regularly,
ever since I was a girl. For three days I
have not once thought of RobertI, who am
always thinking of him at other times. My
poor, dear, unhappy Mary, the worst I feared
for you on that night when I sat up alone
was far below the dreadful calamity that has
really happened. How can I write about it,
with my eyes full of tears and my hand all
of a tremble? I don't even know why I am
sitting down at my desk now, unless it is
habit that keeps me to my old everyday task,
in spite of all the grief and fear which seem
to unfit me entirely for performing it.

The people of the house were asleep and
lazy on that dreadful night, and I was the
first to open the door. Never, never, could I
describe in writing, or even say in plain talk,
though it is so much easier, what I felt when
I saw two policemen come in, carrying

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