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straight:-"íYes, there is some one I love, though he has not told me yet that he even loves me.í I was right to speak to him so frankly, for quite a light came into his face, and he put out both his hands and took mine-I think I put them into his-and said in a hearty way:"íThatís my brave girl. Itís better worth being late for a chance of winning you than being in time for any other girl in the world. Donít cry, my dear. if itís for me, Iím a hard nut to crack; and I take it standing up. If that other fellow doesnít know his happiness, well, heíd better look for it soon, or heíll have to deal with me. Little girl, your honesty and pluck have made me a friend, and thatís rarer than a lover; itís more unselfish anyhow. My dear, Iím going to have a pretty lonely walk between this and Kingdom Come. Wonít you give me one kiss? Itíll be something to keep off the darkness now and then. You can, you know, if you like, for that other good fellow-he must be a good fellow, my dear, and a fine fellow, or you could not love him-hasnít spoken yet.í That quite won me, Mina, for it was brave and sweet of him, and noble, too, to a rival-wasnít it?- and he so sad; so I leant over and kissed him. He stood up with my two hands in his, and as he looked down into my face-I am afraid I was blushing very much-he said:-"íLittle girl, I hold your hand, and youíve kissed me, and if these things donít make us friends nothing ever will. Thank you for your sweet honesty to me, and good-bye.í He wrung my hand, and taking up his hat, went straight out of the room without looking back, without a tear or a quiver or a pause; and I am crying like a baby. Oh, why must a man like that be made unhappy when there are lots of girls about who would worship the very ground he trod on? I know I would if I were free-only I donít want to be free. My dear, this quite upset me, and I feel I cannot write of happiness just at once, after telling you of it; and I donít wish to tell of the number three until it can be all happy.

"Ever your loving



Oh, about number three-I neednít tell you of number three, need I? Besides, it was all so confused; it seemed only a moment from his coming into the room till both his arms were round me, and he was kissing me. I am very, very happy, and I donít know what I have done to deserve it. I must only try in the future to show that I am not ungrateful to God for all His goodness to me in sending to me such a lover, such a husband, and such a friend.

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