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women love to give more than they receive, caused her to feel as if
in a measure this man's fate lay in her hands, to be decided for
good or ill through her. How should she be true both to him and to
Before this question could be answered, he was back again,
looking as if he had left his care behind him, for his moods varied
like the wind. Her attitude, as she stood motionless and alone with
downcast face, was so unlike the cheerful creature who came to
meet him an hour ago, it filled him with self-reproach, and,
coming up, he drew one hand through his arm, saying, as she
involuntarily followed him, "You must not stand still. Forget my
heroics and answer my question. Will you go with us, Rose?"
"Not now that is asking too much, Charlie, and I will promise
nothing, because I cannot do it honestly," she answered, so firmly
that he knew appeal was useless.
"Am I to go alone, then, leaving all I care for behind me?"
"No, take your mother with you, and do your best to reunite your
parents. You could not give yourself to a better task."
"She won't go without you."
"I think she will if you hold fast to your resolution. You won't give
that up, I hope?"
"No I must go somewhere, for I can't stay here, and it may as well
be India, since that pleases Father," answered Charlie doggedly.
"It will more than you can imagine. Tell him all the truth, and see
how glad he will be to help you, and how sincerely he will respect
you for what you've done."
"If you respect me, I don't care much about the opinion of anyone
else," answered Charlie, clinging with a lover's pertinacity to the
hope that was dearest.
"I shall, if you go manfully away and do the duty you owe your
father and yourself."
"And when I've done it, may I come back to be rewarded, Rose?"
he asked, taking possession of the hand on his arm as if it was
"I wish I could say what you want me to. But how can I promise
when I am not sure of anything? I don't love you as I ought, and
perhaps I never shall so why persist in making me bind myself in
this way? Be generous, Charlie, and don't ask it," implored Rose,
much afflicted by his persistence.
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