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The word passed through the camp like a hot wind. She is

Desire to follow the net2023-11-29 12:35:31【control】1People have been watching


Folding him still closer in her arms, and kissing his fair, white brow, Maude answered: "Your father, Louis, is not mine--for mine is dead, and his grave is far away. I came here to live when I was a little girl, not quite as old as you, and Nellie is not my sister, though you are my darling brother."

The word passed through the camp like a hot wind. She is

"And do you love father?" asked Louis, his eyes still fixed upon her face as if he would read the truth.

The word passed through the camp like a hot wind. She is

Every feeling of Maude Remington's heart answered, "No," to that question, but she could not say so to the boy, and she replied, "Not as I could love my own father--neither does he love me, for I am not his child."

The word passed through the camp like a hot wind. She is

This explanation was not then wholly clear to Louis, but he understood that there was a barrier between his father and Maude, and this of itself was sufficient to draw him more closely to the latter, who, after that day, cherished him, if possible, more tenderly than she had done before, keeping him out of his father's way, and cushioning his little crutches so they could not be heard, for she rightly guessed that the sound of them was hateful to the harsh man's ears.

Maude was far older than her years, and during the period of time over which we have passed so briefly she had matured both in mind and body, until now at the age of twelve she was a self-reliant little woman on whom her mother wholly depended for comfort and counsel. Very rapidly was Mrs. Kennedy passing from the world, and as she felt the approach of death she leaned more and more upon her daughter, talking to her often of the future and commending Louis to her care, when with her he would be motherless. Maude's position was now a trying one, for, when her mother became too ill to leave her room, and the doctor refused to hire extra help, saying, "two great girls were help enough," it was necessary for her to go into the kitchen, where she vainly tried to conciliate old Hannah, who "wouldn't mind a chit of a girl, and wouldn't fret herself either if things were not half done."

From the first Nellie resolutely refused to work--"it would black her hands," she said, and as her father never remonstrated she spent her time in reading, admiring her pretty face, and drumming upon the piano, which Maude, who was fonder even than Nellie of music, seldom found time to touch. One there was, however, who gave to Maude every possible assistance, and this was John. "Having tried his hand," as he said, "at everything in Marster Norton's school," he proved of invaluable service--sweeping, dusting, washing dishes, cleaning knives, and once ironing Dr. Kennedy's shirts, when old Hannah was in what he called her "tantrums." But alas for John! the entire print of the iron upon the bosom of one, to say nothing of the piles of starch upon another, and more than all, the tremendous scolding which he received from the owner of said shirt, warned him never to turn laundress again, and in disgust he gave up his new vocation, devoting his leisure moments to the cultivation of flowers, which he carried to his mistress, who smiled gratefully upon him, saying they were the sweetest she had ever smelled. And so each morning a fresh bouquet was laid upon her pillow, and as she inhaled their perfume she thought of her New England home, which she would never see again--thought, too, of Janet, whose cheering words and motherly acts would be so grateful to her now when she so much needed care.

"'Tis a long time since I've heard from her," she said one day to Maude. "Suppose you write tomorrow, and tell her I am sick--tell her, too, that the sight of her would almost make me well, and maybe she will come," and on the sick woman's face there was a joyous expression as she thought how pleasant it would be to see once more one who had breathed the air of her native hills--had looked upon her Harry's grave--nay, had known her Harry when in life, and wept over him in death.

Poor, lonesome, homesick woman! Janet shall surely come in answer to your call, and ere you deem it possible her shadow shall fall across your threshold--her step be heard upon the stairs--her hand be clasped in yours!


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