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away, saying in a tone of command he could not disobey: "Don't
keep anything back tell me the worst at once."
"We knew nothing of it," he went on obediently. "Aunt Clara
thought he was with me, and no one found him till early this
morning. A workman recognized him and he was brought home,
dead they thought. I came for Uncle an hour ago. Charlie is
conscious now, but awfully hurt, and I'm afraid from the way Mac
and Uncle looked at one another that Oh! Think of it, Rose!
Crushed and helpless, alone in the rain all night, and I never knew,
I never knew!"
With that, poor Archie broke down entirely and, flinging himself
into a chair, laid his face on the table, sobbing like a girl. Rose had
never seen a man cry before, and it was so unlike a woman's
gentler grief that it moved her very much. Putting by her own
anguish, she tried to comfort his and, going to him, lifted up his
head and made him lean on her, for in such hours as this women
are the stronger. It was a very little to do, but it did comfort
Archie, for the poor fellow felt as if fate was very hard upon him
just then, and in this faithful bosom he could pour his brief but
"Phebe's gone, and now if Charlie's taken, I don't see how I can
"Phebe will come back, dear, and let us hope poor Charlie isn't
going to be taken yet. Such things always seem worst at first, I've
heard people say, so cheer up and hope for the best," answered
Rose, seeking for some comfortable words to say and finding very
They took effect, however, for Archie did cheer up like a man.
Wiping away the tears which he so seldom shed that they did not
know where to go, he got up, gave himself a little shake, and said
with a long breath, as if he had been underwater: "Now I'm all
right, thank you. I couldn't help it the shock of being waked
suddenly to find the dear old fellow in such a pitiful state upset
me. I ought to go are these ready?"
"In a minute. Tell Uncle to send for me if I can be of any use. Oh,
poor Aunt Clara! How does she bear it?"
"Almost distracted. I took Mother to her, and she will do all that
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