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;:z ,CAUGHT AT LAST; j» ob,…

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BRUISES AND CUTS.

;:z ,CAUGHT AT LAST; j» ob,…

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pathy towards the prisoner. ITer honest face was t speedily visible at Anna's bedside. Then came a i difficulty as to tongues. The language of the eye, the loving-kindnes of the tone, though deeply sooth- ing to the wounded spirit of the stricken girl, were unable to satisfy her hunger for a womanly bosom into which to pour her sorrows. Nor could Mrs. White hope to effect any actual goo d, to awaken real con- trition for the sins of a misspent life, without that free communication with her penitent which a common language affords. Like the police magis- trate, therefore, she resorted to a compromise. Upon her next visit to the infirmary, the widow was accompanied by her son, Raymond, for whose admission she had procured leave from the governor of the prison. The young man at once addressed Anna in her native tongue, and in subsequent inter- views acted as interpreter between her and his mother. chap 6 The first use Anna made of this opportunity was in eager inquiry for her child. She was told that it was better, that it was recovering strength, that it should be brought to her when able to be removed. A glow of thankful gratitude lighted up her faded features at the news, and blessings upon her bene- factors poured aver her lips. From that hour she grew notably worse. It seemed as if she had only been kept alive by anxiety to know her infant's fate. The circumstances under which these three persons were thrown together rapidly established a species of confidence between them. They formed, as it were, a separate world from the other inmates in the ward. The widow, through Raymond, pressed Anna to ac- 11 m quaint her as far as possible with the story of her life in the hope of gaining some clue to the mysterious M. Louis, who had rid himself of his burden by so heart- less an artifice. For a long time the girl refused to lift the veil. The entreaties of the widow, however, finally pre- vailed. One summer's evening, as the sun-rays glinting athwart the barred infirmary windows, shed their sinking beams upon the attentuated figure of the dying girl, she told her benefactress all. That evening, also, she was to see her child for the first time since she had given it up in the police-court. Sit away from me, if you please, kind sir," she said to Raymond, while I speak. The only face which I can dare to look upon when all is told is that of your noble-hearted mother." The young man willingly complied. Prurient curiosity has no place in pure and simple natures, and of such was his. Then, in a faint and trembling voice, gathering strength as she proceeded, yet broken often by the breathless weakness incident to her disease, Anna Marris related her miserable story. chap 6 About four years ago, when I was just fifteen, I came with father and mother to London. My native place is Halle, and I am Saxon born. Father left home because he heard that he could get better wages in England. So it turned out. He had good employ- ment, received plenty of money, and we were all happy. Mother and I worked at millinery for a great house up in Regent-street, for mother was very clever with her neecTp, and I did all she told me. Our only trouble was about mother's health. Father was afraid she was inclined to consumption. So things went on for three months. Then one day father came home at noon from the shop with a bad headache, and shiverings, and pains all over his body. We got him to bed, thinking he'd perhaps over-exerted himself the night before, and would be well next day. But he got worse. Mother was frightened, and fetched a doctor. Father was very angry when I told him where she was gone, and wouldn't speak to the doctor when he came. He was always a hard man, was father. The doctor went away, but beckoned me to come into the passage, and said, as well as I could under- stand, that father was very ill, and might get worse. If he did, I wasn't to mind his being angry, but to fetch him at once. That night father went out of his mind. It was as much as we two could do with all our strength to keep him in bed. He raved at the clothes for being so hot, declared we wanted to kill him, and frightened us terribly. When at last he fell asleep, I fetched the doctor. "The doctor shook his head as he looked at father, lying in bed all flushed, and red with the fever that was heavy upon him, and said he would send some cooling medicine. The medicine came, and we coaxed him to take a little but it did no good, kind lady, not a bit. It was father's fate that he should die in foreign land, and nobody can escape their fate." Mrs. White thought it hardly worth while to inter- pose, though this fatalist doctrine-very prevalent, by the way, among the German lower classes-grated sorely upon her ears. The girl went on: It was all no good. Father's time was come. He grew worse and worse so weak, too, that he couldn't turn himself in bed, and mother and I weren't able to move him. So there he lay. The doctor was very kind. He came to see him every now and then, and sent plenty of medicine; but he had so much to do, as the fever was all about the neighbourhood, that he conldn't come often, and when he did he only shook his head and looked very grave. At last the fever left father, and he came back to his senses but he was so feeble and exhausted that he was just like a baby. He couldn't lift his hand or turn his head. When he I tried to speak, you had to put your ear quite close to his lips and listen; and then his voice sounded as if it came from a long way off. The doctor said he might still recover if he could only have fresh air and plenty of good food, and told us he ought to get strong beef-tea, and soups, and port wine three or four times a day. Beef-tea and port wine when we had scarcely bread Why, we could no more give him these things than if the doctor had said he must eat gold. His illness had used up all our little savings, and everything but the bed he laid on had been taken to the pawnshop. And so-and so-he died." And so he died A simple, common story enough; yet not less grievous, less fraught with sin and suf- fering to this wretched pauper convict, than if she had been a duchess. Mother had .been ailing for some time before father was taken ill," she continued and his death prostrated her fully. She was only ill a fort- night. Then she, too, was taken away, and I was left alone—alone, in that great, strange city, without a friend or even a face I l<ne,w, except some of the lodgers in the house, and the forewoman at the large millinery shop in Reg< Vit-street But I got over it somehow, and was e\W> beginning to feel a little reconciled to life, when lfirst saw M. Louis." Some cooling drink wasViven to the patient, which seemed to refresh her. sun had sunk behind the roofs of the opposite houses rv>w, and its dying glory dappled the sky with irregi'SJar patches of purple, j white, and gold. An expression of impatience escaped Anna at the delay in bringing her the child, and she continued :—

;:z ,CAUGHT AT LAST; j» ob,…