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you have, Bessie.’ ‘Child! what do you mean? What sorrowful eyes
you fix on me! Well, but Missis and the young ladies and Master
John are going out to tea this afternoon, and you shall have tea
with me. I’ll ask cook to bake you a little cake, and then you shall
help me to look over your drawers; for I am soon to pack your

Missis intends you to leave Gateshead in a day or two, and you
shall choose what toys you like to take with you.’ ‘Bessie, you must
promise not to scold me any more till I go.’

‘Well, I will; but mind you are a very good girl, and don’t be afraid
of me.

Don’t start when I chance to speak rather sharply; it’s so
provoking.’ ‘I don’t think I shall ever be afraid of you again, Bessie,
because I have got used to you, and I shall soon have another set of
people to dread.’ ‘If you dread them they’ll dislike you.’ ‘As you
do, Bessie?’ ‘I don’t dislike you, Miss: I believe I am fonder of you
than of all the others.’ ‘You don’t show it.’ ‘You little sharp thing!
you’ve got quite a new way of talking. What makes you so
venturesome and hardy?’ ‘Why, I shall soon be away from you,
and besides’- I was going to say something about what had passed
between me and Mrs. Reed, but on second thoughts I considered it
better to remain silent on that head.

‘And so you’re glad to leave me?’ ‘Not at all, Bessie; indeed, just
now I’m rather sorry.’ ‘Just now! and rather! How coolly my little
lady says it! I daresay now if I were to ask you for a kiss you
wouldn’t give it me: you’d say you’d rather not.’ ‘I’ll kiss you and
welcome: bend your head down.’ Bessie stooped; we mutually
embraced, and I followed her into the house quite comforted. That
afternoon lapsed in peace and harmony; and in the evening Bessie
told me some of her most enchaining stories, and sang me some of
her sweetest songs. Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.
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