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A KIND REMEMBRANCE

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[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.] A KIND REMEMBRANCE BY G. MANVILLE FENN. A VERY pleasant little token of the grati- tude of a true heart was presented to the Ross's while I was their visitor. We were seated at breakfast, when a large blue envelope was brought in by the servant, one at which Mr. Ross glanced and then handed to his wife, to whom he seemed Lo delegate most of his business non-professional matters. She glanced at the contents, and uttered a cry of surprise. "AnyUjing the mailer ? said Mr. Ross, coolly. "Oh, John!" she exclaimed joyfully, as she read the letter. "What?" he exclaimed. Nonsense; read it again, it's a mistake." "No," replied Mrs. Ross; "it is plain enough." And she once more read through a for- mal, legal missive, announcing that by the will of the late Mrs. Bond, higgler, of Mavis Church Town, the whole, of her little savings, to the a,mount of one hun- dred and twenty-seven pounds, eighleen shillings, and fourpence, after paying the legacy duly, were lo be equally divided between the children, as a grateful remembrance of a kind action. "She must have been mad, childish, lightheaded when she made that wiil," said 1\h. Ross. "11 's preposterous; we j can't take the money. I'll write to the solicitor at once. What will her relations sa y ?" "Poor thing," said Mrs. Ross, "I didn't think she had a soul belonging to her." "Then she ought to have left it to a charity," said Mr. Ross. "Why, my dear," he continued, thoughtfully, "it seems as if fifteen years have dropped away by magic, and there, we are again in the kitchen with poor Mother Bond seated in one of the Windsor chairs, her basket of fruit, upon the floor, the donkey carl outside; by the garden gate, and the poor woman herself in her wisp of a. widow's cap—mean, but clean—the only scrap of mourning she could dispIny- rocking herself backwards and forwards, crying bitterly, aud stopping every now and then to wipe her eyes upon all old red cotton pocket-handkerchief, and to push hac k a few stray grey hairs beneath her emblem of widowhood. "'Six long, weary months was he ill,' she sobbed, 'and his bit of a pension a,lrnost like nothing, and me not able to go out as usual to attend to my regular customers, ma'am and one's gone here to the Hilllpkill's; and Broke's gotanother; and what could I do? I could not leave him; for something kept telling me that be would not be here long; and what were customers to him? I wouldn't have cared if I could only have got him the little comforts he wanted, but I couldn't; and now he's gone, where, please God, it's all rest for a poor, broken-spirited, crippled old soldier, who fought for his country out in burning Injey, till he was no use to his ridgement any more, when they allowed him just enough to keep him from starving, and that was all.' And here poor Mother Bond's sobs choked her utterance for a while. We always call her Mother,' perhaps because she was a comfortable, homely old soul, for offspring of her own never looked up into her pleasanL old face and called her by that holy name. Shedidnotweeptong, though, hut continued, as if addressing the person away. Ah! Tom, Tom! why didn't you take me with you? Why did you leave me behind here? Ah sir,' she said, turn- ing to me, 'you should have seen him that day, long, long years ago now, when I was young and foolish, and didn't know my own mind; when 1 played off one of his companions against him, and told him I didn't love him when I felt ready to go down on my knees to him, to ask him to take me, and silly, flighty girl that I was, and him so tall and stout, and brave-looking. And didn't I sit and cry all that night when he went away, bitter and sorrowful and angry, when I told him, like a young fool that I was, never to come anigh me again that night when he went and thrashed Harry Jackson, as he was jealous of One day I waited—two days-a. week —and he never came nigh me! but I wouldn't show it. I wouldn't let them at home know I was put out; though many's the long cry I had at night for my bonny boy while I thought I should have gone mad when the news came that Tom had run off to the town and 'listed. • It was his own mother came and told me, and cursed me like for a wicked girl; when I felt turned into stone with the news, and to think of how cruel I had been when he loved me so true. But it was done. I had been guilty of a shameful wrong, and I had to bear my sin for twenty long years. I wrote to him, though, and begged him to forgive me, telling him I loved him, oh I so dearly and that I would wait—wait till he came back—and I did. Twenty long years, without seeing him once, and all that time counting the hours, and the days, and the months! wondering how long it would be before he came back, and whether he would scorn me then, because I was growing older and plainer every day. For years went on, and the lines came in my forehead, and the white hairs amongst the black, and my while teeth went one by one, till I I used to look in my glass attd ssihile, sorrowful like, at myself, as I told myself ft Was my punishment for driving the poor lad away. I might have married half-a-dozen times over; but, no: there was the bonny lad far away, and his letters came now and then, all true and loving as ever; perhaps not one for a year, and I'd think him dead perhaps two close together, and he escaped aU battles and fevers and shipwrecks and all. And still the years wcnL-len, twelve, fifteen—and sometimes I'd be in despair, for I knew he'd come back expect- ing to see the same black-haired, bright- eyed girl he left behind, while my eyes had grown dull with crying for the past, and the marks in my face got to be deeper and deeper. I knew he would turn from me when he did come, and then I wiped my eyes, and told myself it was all for my punishment; and that if I was suffer- ing, perhaps he suffered ten times more. "'His poor mother died in my arms. forgiving me, and blessing me for being so faithful and true to her dear boy, and I wrote and told him, and no letter came. Sixt een years he'd been gone now. Then seventeen years, then eighteen; and I mourned for him now as dead and gone, tor the news came of terrible battles out

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