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change her mind on that point; girls have leave to change their
minds, you know. You are very tired, my dear.’

‘I am not, indeed.’
‘Indeed you are. You do too much.’
‘I wish I could do more.’

‘I know you do, but you overtask your strength. This wretched
life, my love, of daily labour and fatigue, is more than you can
bear, I am sure it is. Poor Madeline!’

With these and many more kind words, Mr Bray drew his
daughter to him and kissed her cheek affectionately. Ralph,
watching him sharply and closely in the meantime, made his way
towards the door, and signed to Gride to follow him.

‘You will communicate with us again?’ said Ralph.
‘Yes, yes,’ returned Mr Bray, hastily thrusting his daughter
aside. ‘In a week. Give me a week.’

‘One week,’ said Ralph, turning to his companion, ‘from today.
Good-morning. Miss Madeline, I kiss your hand.’

‘We will shake hands, Gride,’ said Mr Bray, extending his, as
old Arthur bowed. ‘You mean well, no doubt. I an bound to say so
now. If I owed you money, that was not your fault. Madeline, my
love, your hand here.’

‘Oh dear! If the young lady would condescent! Only the tips of
her fingers,’ said Arthur, hesitating and half retreating.

Madeline shrunk involuntarily from the goblin figure, but she
placed the tips of her fingers in his hand and instantly withdrew
them. After an ineffectual clutch, intended to detain and carry
them to his lips, old Arthur gave his own fingers a mumbling kiss,
and with many amorous distortions of visage went in pursuit of his
friend, who was by this time in the street.

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