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thus presented to his observation, the invalid, who appeared at
times to suffer great bodily pain, sank back in his chair and
moaned out a feeble complaint that the girl had been gone an
hour, and that everybody conspired to goad him.

‘When,’ said Nicholas, as he took the piece of paper, ‘when shall
I call again?’

This was addressed to the daughter, but the father answered

‘When you’re requested to call, sir, and not before. Don’t worry
and persecute. Madeline, my dear, when is this person to call

‘Oh, not for a long time, not for three or four weeks; it is not
necessary, indeed; I can do without,’ said the young lady, with
great eagerness.

‘Why, how are we to do without?’ urged her father, not
speaking above his breath. ‘Three or four weeks, Madeline! Three
or four weeks!’

‘Then sooner, sooner, if you please,’ said the young lady,
turning to Nicholas.

‘Three or four weeks!’ muttered the father. ‘Madeline, what on
earth--do nothing for three or four weeks!’

‘It is a long time, ma’am,’ said Nicholas.
You think so, do you?’ retorted the father, angrily. ‘If I chose to
beg, sir, and stoop to ask assistance from people I despise, three or
four months would not be a long time; three or four years would
not be a long time. Understand, sir, that is if I chose to be
dependent; but as I don’t, you may call in a week.’

Nicholas bowed low to the young lady and retired, pondering
upon Mr Bray’s ideas of independence, and devoutly hoping that

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