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'I am certain of it. I have only to tell her so, and she is sure
to come.'

'You are very lonely when you go downstairs, now?' Dora whispers,
with her arm about my neck.

'How can I be otherwise, my own love, when I see your empty chair?'

'My empty chair!' She clings to me for a little while, in silence.
'And you really miss me, Doady?' looking up, and brightly smiling.
'Even poor, giddy, stupid me?'

'My heart, who is there upon earth that I could miss so much?'

'Oh, husband! I am so glad, yet so sorry!' creeping closer to me,
and folding me in both her arms. She laughs and sobs, and then is
quiet, and quite happy.

'Quite!' she says. 'Only give Agnes my dear love, and tell her
that I want very, very, much to see her; and I have nothing left to
wish for.'

'Except to get well again, Dora.'

'Ah, Doady! Sometimes I think - you know I always was a silly
little thing! - that that will never be!'

'Don't say so, Dora! Dearest love, don't think so!'

'I won't, if I can help it, Doady. But I am very happy; though my
dear boy is so lonely by himself, before his child-wife's empty

It is night; and I am with her still. Agnes has arrived; has been
among us for a whole day and an evening. She, my aunt, and I, have
sat with Dora since the morning, all together. We have not talked
much, but Dora has been perfectly contented and cheerful. We are
now alone.

Do I know, now, that my child-wife will soon leave me? They have
told me so; they have told me nothing new to my thoughts-but I am
far from sure that I have taken that truth to heart. I cannot
master it. I have withdrawn by myself, many times today, to weep.
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