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had the chance of living away from You may have some of these the dusty streets in a pretty little things, Liz, if you like. His serihouse, surrounded by the flowers ous manner made her more serious you love so well !'
and attentive. Such a house as "How delightful!' she exclaimed, you saw just now you may have, with her face among the flowers perhaps. It depends upon you again.
whether I accept the offer that has Open your eyes, Lizzie, while been made to me to-night.' I speak,' ,
Upon me! she exclaimed. Wait a minute, daddy. Don't Tell me how.' speak for sixty seconds. I'm look- 'Do you remember what I was ing at the house.'
when you first came here?' Muzzy remained silent until she “Why, the same as you are now,' spoke again.
she replied, with a laughing evasion 'I see it,' she said, peeping out of what he was referring to. from the flowers. It is built of "No, my dear,' he said humbly, old red brick, the windows are very taking her hand in his ; ‘I was a small, and vines are creeping all lonely miserable man. There was over the walls.'
no light in my life. I used to come Thus did her fancy reproduce home night after night, and drink.' for her the picture of a country She placed her fingers on his house, which doubtless she had lips, to stop the farther confession; seen at one time or another. Even but he gently removed them. when she opened her eyes, she saw 'I had nothing else to do. Bad the vision, hanging, as it were, in fancies used to come, and I drank the clouds of a bright memory to drive them away; and the more
How would you like to live in I drank, the worse they became. such a house, Liz?'
I don't know what might have How would I like to live in a been the end of me. This room rainbow?' was her merry rejoinder. used to be full of terrible shadows
"But what I say I mean, my dear.' creeping over the walls. I saw
‘And what I say I don't—that them in the dark stealing upon is, sometimes. Do you really mean me. One night, when these fancies it though, dad?
were upon me, driving me almost “Yes, my dear. The gentleman mad—how long ago was it, Lizzie? who was with me to-night-a good - I heard a little voice singing in friend—has opened out such a pro- the next room. I didn't know any spect to me.'
one had moved in until I heard O, I am so glad; for this isn't your voice, and I crept into the very nice for you !' she said, glanc- passage and listened to you, my ing round the room.
dear, and blessed you —ay, I did, 'Nor for you, my dear,' he re- Lizzie ! and I fell asleep with your plied, looking wistfully at her. singing in my ears.'
Don't you wish for something And I came out,' she said, hubetter?'
mouring him, and saw you.' 'I wish for a great many things 'And saw me, and pitied me,' - holidays, new dresses, and new he continued. 'I wonder you were hats—and I should like a good not afraid. You came into my deal of money. If fifty pounds room, and saw the bottle on the were to tumble down the chimney table; there was liquor in it, and now, shouldn't we be surprised? you asked me if you might take it Ah, but what's the use of wishing, away, and I said Yes. Then you daddy!
tidied up the room, and made the
bed, and I sat wondering at your clouds, battered and bruised by goodness, and wondering why the sunken reefs. Suddenly a rift of light shadows didn't come while you appeared, and the old worn ship were with me. That was the com floated into peaceful waters, and mencement of it, Lizzie ; and so lay there with an almost painful we became friends, and my life sense of rest upon it-painful bewas not so desolate as it used to cause of the fear that the light be. You brightened it for me, my might vanish as suddenly as it had dear.'
appeared, and the storm break 'No, it wasn't me, daddy,' said again. Lizzie; "it was yourself - it was What is it you want me to do, leaving off that-that
daddy?' Drink,' he added, as she hesi- 'To come and live with me, my tated. “It was driving me mad!' dear, if I am fortunate enough to
And you have left it off, daddy, get this house, where there will be and that's the reason why you are rest; to share my home, as my better and happier.'
. daughter.' “Yes, Lizzie,' he said, with a “As your daughter! (Very, very guilty look at her, for the flat bot- softly spoken, musingly, wondertle, half filled with gin, was in his ingly. The turning over of a new pocket as he spoke. I have kept leaf, indeed, for her who had never my promise.'
known a father's love.) 'Does he So it's not me, after all,' she know of this—your friend ?' exclaimed merrily, 'that you have “It was he who suggested it to thank.'
when I spoke of you. He proIt is you, Lizzie. If it were posed it for my sake.' not for you, I should go back to “It is kind of him ; he must have my old ways again; it is only you a noble nature. But I don't know, who keep me from them. I know daddy, I don't know ! now what it is to have some one ‘Don't know what, my dear?' to care for me ; if I had known it "Whether you would be pleased before-0, if I had known it be- with me-- whether you would like fore! If when we were young, we me as much as you do now. Ah, could see what was before us ! you smile, but you might be mis
'Have you never had any one taken in me. I like to have my care for you, daddy?' she asked own way, and I am ill-tempered pityingly.
when I don't. Then, you know, Don't ask me, child—don't ask Some One must come and see me.' me. I mustn't look back—I daren't 'If you say so, my dear,' he look back. But it seems to me, humbly assented, 'I can't object.' Lizzie, that I never knew how dread. "I think he would like it,' she ful a lonely life was until you came mused; ‘he is fond of nice things and showed me the misery of it. and nice places.' I cannot leave you now, Lizzie ; I “Tell me, Lizzie — I have never should become I am frightened to asked, but I may, because I am an think what.'
old man-is Some One your sweetHis voice, his hands, his whole heart ? body trembled as he pleaded for ‘Couldn't you guess that, daddy?' companionship, for protection from she asked in return. his torturing fancies. She was his “Yes, my dear, but I wanted to shelter, and he clung to her. His be certain. Do you love him ?' manhood had been like a ship toss Shyly, tenderly, archly she looked ed amidst storms, overhung by dark at the old man, and answered him
with her eyes. They fell into si- I played with were not my sisters, lence for a little while after that, although they were her children. the mind of each being occupied. Mrs. Dimmock was not a very.
You don't remember your fa- kind woman, at least not to me. ther, Lizzie ?'
She would pet and fondle her own No.'
children, and I used to cry in secret *Your mother?'
because of it, and because she did No, I never saw her.'
not love me as she did them. My ‘Have you any other friends be aunt came to see me often, and often sides Some One ?
brought me toys and sweets. If she “Yes, there's Mary, and my best had been my mother she could not friend, my aunt. She has been have been kinder to me, but then very kind to me, and must come of course I should have lived with and see me too. Indeed, I must her. Once, when my aunt came to ask her permission, for she has see me in company of a tall sternbeen like a mother to me. Mother! looking man, I said to her, “ Aunt, ah, to have a good kind mother to haven't I got a mother ?" The love, and who loves you — what man said, No, that my mother was happiness! I have dreamt of it dead; and my aunt echoed his often — have wished that such a words. She saw that I fretted behappiness was mine. But it never cause it wasn't the same with me was, daddy-never, never was, and as it was with the other children, never, never can be !'
and she tried in every way to make 'Lizzie,' he said timidly, tell up for it, but she couldn't. What me something of your life before I I wanted was a mother that I could knew you.'
love with all my heart, and who In their new relations towards could love me with all hers--as each other she had seated herself Mrs. Dimmock loved her children, at his feet. Her hands were clasped although she was harsh and unin her lap, and her eyes were to- kind to me. My aunt did not wards the flowers in her breast. know that she did not treat me Graceful as the leaves of the flowers well; I didn't tell her. When I was this young girl ; not more deli- grew up, I went to a day-school, cate was their colour than the co- and learnt other things besides lour in her face. The tender con- reading and writing; I think it tact of this fresh young life was a was in that way, trying to make new revelation to him, and he held me superior to other girls, that my his breath for fear he should awake aunt endeavoured to lessen any and find that he was dreaming. sorrow I may have felt. I can play
‘Of my life !' she mused, speak- the piano, daddy- you wouldn't ing more to herself than to him. have thought that would you ! • What can I remember? How Mrs. Dimmock was jealous, I could young was I as I see myself, in my see, because I was learning more first remembrance, playing with than her girls; and the girls, too, two other children in a field near didn't like it. I think it was partly the house in which I lived ? Two maliciousness on my part that years, or a little more. The house made me proud to know more belonged to Mrs. Dimmock, and I than they did ; if they had been did not know then that she was kind to me, I shouldn't have cared not my mother ; but as I grew to triumph over them in that way. I learned — I don't know how; Well, everything went on so until it wasn't told me, but the know- I was fourteen years of age, when ledge came — that the little girls one day something occurred. I
hadn't been expected home so for her bread-and-butter, let her soon; the street-door was open, work for it, if she ain't too fine and as I went into the passage I and proud. If she wants to live heard my aunt and Mrs. Dimmock on charity, she must go somewhere speaking together, and from my else and get it; I can't afford to aunt's voice I guessed that she give it to her." I think, daddy, was crying. “I can't help your that if I had been on fire, I couldn't misfortunes,” Mrs. Dimmock said ; have run out of the house faster “ I've got children of my own, and than I did. I had an idea at first I must look after them first. I'm of running clean away, but the keeping the girl now for less than thought of how kind my aunt had her food costs; she eats more than been to me prevented me. Instead my two girls put together." I knew of that, I watched for her, and saw that she meant me by “the girl," her come out of the house and look and I turned hot and cold, for I anxiously about for me. She was felt like a charity girl. Mrs. Dim- always very pale, but her face was mock spoke very spitefully, and I whiter than I had ever seen it beknew that she did so because I fore. She brightened up when she gave myself superior airs over her saw me, and I drew her a long way daughters. I daresay it was wrong from the house before I would let of me to do so, but I couldn't help her talk. When she began, how I it, they were such mean things! pitied her! She couldn't get along One of them let a girl in school be at all, and would have gone away beaten for something that she did, without telling me anything, if I and I knew it, and she knew I hadn't said that I was in the passage knew it. But we used to quarrel and heard her and Mrs. Dimmock about all sorts of things, and of speaking together about me. She course Mrs. Dimmock always took looked so frightened when I told her their parts, so that you may guess, that I was frightened myself; she daddy, I was not very happy. I was dreadfully anxious to know all heard sufficient of the conversation that I had heard, and seemed to between my aunt and Mrs. Dim- be relieved that I hadn't heard any mock to make me tingle all over. more. I supposed that Mrs. DimIt served me right, for listeners mock had been saying worse things never do hear any good of them of me than I had already heard, selves; but it was as well that I and I wasn't sorry that I went out did hear, notwithstanding, as you of the house when I did. “And will see presently. My aunt was so you are poor, aunty," I said to in arrears for my board and lodging, her, “and I have made you so !" and she was compelled to hear pa- “ No, my dear, no, Lizzie, no, my tiently-for my sake, I felt it !- darling !" she said eagerly. “ You all the hard things that Mrs. Dim- haven't made me so; I had enough, mock said to her. “ I shall be able more than enough, and to spare, to pay you by and by," my aunt and I was putting by money for said, 0, so humbly! “I can't afford you, my dearest, and saving up for to wait till by and by, ma'am,” Mrs. you. But like a foolish woman, I Dimmock answered, “and I can't put it into a bank, and they have live on promises-they're like pie robbed me and a thousand other crusts, made to be broken. It is a poor creatures. The bankers were shame that such a big girl as her thieves, my darling, thieves ! and should be eating charity bread." there's no law to touch them, and Just think, daddy, how I felt when I can't get my poor little bit of I heard that! “If she can't pay money out of their pockets ! I thought I should have gone mad keep us. There was something so when I went yesterday, and found delightful in the idea of being my the place shut up; and it was 'no own mistress that I jumped for joy consolation to me to find others at the proposal, and without conthat had been robbed hanging sulting my aunt I consented. We about the great stone walls—for I took a room very near here, daddy, thought of you, darling, and I was and paid six shillings a week for it. too wretched to feel for others." I All this was done very quickly, and tried to console her. “Never mind, then I wrote to my aunt to come aunt,” I said; “you have been very, and see me. She came, but took very kind to me, and I shall never it so much to heart that I should be able to pay you.” “Yes, you make so serious a change in my can, my dearest,” she said, crying life without consulting her, that I over me as I kissed her; “ you are promised never to do anything of paying me now, over and over the sort again without asking her again.” Then I said I wouldn't be advice. We were very comfortable a burden on her any longer, and together that night, I remember, that Mrs. Dimmock was right when and she gave us our first order for she said that I ought to work for two black dresses. So Mary and my living. My aunt cried more me jogged along. Although our and more at this, and begged me living did not cost us much we had not to think of it; but my mind was to be very careful, as we could not made up. What was to beconie of earn a great deal of money. Someme by and by, I thought, unless I times trade was slack, and we were learnt to depend upon myself; and without work; but my aunt took when Mrs. Dimmock the next day care that I should always have a said that I ought to go into service, little money in my purse. She I determined to try and be some- came to see me more often than thing better than a servant. Well, she used to do when I was at Mrs. I was very lucky, daddy. I set my Dimmock’s. I knew why. She wits to work, and I heard that a was uneasy at the idea of two woman who kept a little milliner's girls living together; thought we shop wanted an apprentice. I went couldn't take care of ourselves. to her, and she was so pleased with That's why, daddy, I think she me that she agreed to take me into would be glad to consent to my the house, and keep me, and teach living in the pretty little house me the business. I was to be with you spoke of. It is almost too her for four years, and I wasn't to good to be true, though. Is it have any wages during the whole really true? time. I served my time faithfully, 'It is, my dear,' replied Muzzy. and my aunt gave me more than “Then,' continued Lizzy, 'Mary enough money to keep me in got a sweetheart, which was nice clothes. It pleased her to see me for me as well as for her, for he look nice, and I liked it myself, used to take us both out. Somedaddy; I like nice clothes and times you know, daddy, I wouldn't things! At the end of the four go; I pretended that I was very years, a friend in the same busi- busy, and had a great deal to doness, Mary — you've heard me and they had to go out by themspeak of her often, daddy-pro- selves. Nearly always when they posed that we should live together; came home I had a bit of supper said that we could take one room, ready for them; and when Mary's which would be enough for us, and sweetheart went away after supper, that we could get enough work to Mary used to peep through the