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house, and pointed him out to a bailiff, though in attendance upon
a young child’s death-bed, without the smallest concern, because it
would have been a matter quite in the ordinary course of business,
and the man would have been an offender against his only code of
morality. But, here was a young girl, who had done no wrong save
that of coming into the world alive; who had patiently yielded to all
his wishes; who had tried hard to please him--above all, who
didn’t owe him money--and he felt awkward and nervous.

Ralph took a chair at some distance; then, another chair a little
nearer; then, moved a little nearer still; then, nearer again, and
finally sat himself on the same sofa, and laid his hand on Kate’s

‘Hush, my dear!’ he said, as she drew it back, and her sobs
burst out afresh. ‘Hush, hush! Don’t mind it, now; don’t think of it.’

‘Oh, for pity’s sake, let me go home,’ cried Kate. ‘Let me leave
this house, and go home.’

‘Yes, yes,’ said Ralph. ‘You shall. But you must dry your eyes
first, and compose yourself. Let me raise your head. There--

‘Oh, uncle!’ exclaimed Kate, clasping her hands. ‘What have I
done--what have I done--that you should subject me to this? If I
had wronged you in thought, or word, or deed, it would have been
most cruel to me, and the memory of one you must have loved in
some old time; but--’

‘Only listen to me for a moment,’ interrupted Ralph, seriously
alarmed by the violence of her emotions. ‘I didn’t know it would be
so; it was impossible for me to foresee it. I did all I could.--Come,
let us walk about. You are faint with the closeness of the room,
and the heat of these lamps. You will be better now, if you make

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