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your uncle again?’

‘I scarcely know; I had expected to have seen him before now,’
replied Kate. ‘Soon I hope, for this state of uncertainty is worse
than anything.’

‘I suppose he has money, hasn’t he?’ inquired Miss La Creevy.
‘He is very rich, I have heard,’ rejoined Kate. ‘I don’t know that
he is, but I believe so.’

‘Ah, you may depend upon it he is, or he wouldn’t be so surly,’
remarked Miss La Creevy, who was an odd little mixture of
shrewdness and simplicity. ‘When a man’s a bear, he is generally
pretty independent.’

‘His manner is rough,’ said Kate.
‘Rough!’ cried Miss La Creevy, ‘a porcupine’s a featherbed to
him! I never met with such a cross-grained old savage.’

‘It is only his manner, I believe,’ observed Kate, timidly; ‘he was
disappointed in early life, I think I have heard, or has had his
temper soured by some calamity. I should be sorry to think ill of
him until I knew he deserved it.’

‘Well; that’s very right and proper,’ observed the miniature
painter, ‘and Heaven forbid that I should be the cause of your
doing so! But, now, mightn’t he, without feeling it himself, make
you and your mama some nice little allowance that would keep
you both comfortable until you were well married, and be a little
fortune to her afterwards? What would a hundred a year for
instance, be to him?’

‘I don’t know what it would be to him,’ said Kate, with energy,
‘but it would be that to me I would rather die than take.’

‘Heyday!’ cried Miss La Creevy.
‘A dependence upon him,’ said Kate, ‘would embitter my whole

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