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doesn’t matter.” “Because you’ve made up your mind? But to what?” “To everything.”
“And what do you call ‘everything’?” “Why, sending for their uncle.” “Oh, miss, in
pity do,” my friend broke out.

“Ah, but I will, I will! I see it’s the only way. What’s ‘out,’ as I told you, with Miles is
that if he thinks I’m afraid to-and has ideas of what he gains by that-he shall see he’s
mistaken. Yes, yes; his uncle shall have it here from me on the spot (and before the boy
himself, if necessary) that if I’m to be reproached with having done nothing again
about more school-” “Yes, miss-” my companion pressed me.

“Well, there’s that awful reason.” There were now clearly so many of these for my poor
colleague that she was excusable for being vague. “But-a-which?” “Why, the letter
from his old place.” “You’ll show it to the master?” “I ought to have done so on the
instant.” “Oh, no!” said Mrs. Grose with decision.

“I’ll put it before him,” I went on inexorably, “that I can’t undertake to work the
question on behalf of a child who has been expelled-” “For we’ve never in the least
known what!” Mrs. Grose declared.

“For wickedness. For what else-when he’s so clever and beautiful and perfect? Is he
stupid? Is he untidy? Is he infirm? Is he ill-natured? He’s exquisite-so it can be only
that; and that would open up the whole thing. After all,” I said, “it’s their uncle’s fault.
If he left here such people-!” “He didn’t really in the least know them. The fault’s
mine.” She had turned quite pale.

“Well, you shan’t suffer,” I answered.
“The children shan’t!” she emphatically returned.
I was silent awhile; we looked at each other. “Then what am I to tell him?” “You
needn’t tell him anything. I’ll tell him.” I measured this. “Do you mean you’ll write-?”
Remembering she couldn’t, I caught myself up. “How do you communicate?” “I tell the
bailiff. He writes.” “And should you like him to write our story?” My question had a
sarcastic force that I had not fully intended, and it made her, after a moment,
inconsequently break down. The tears were again in her eyes. “Ah, miss, you write!”
“Well-tonight,” I at last answered; and on this we separated.
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