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ready, it is so sudden. What can I do?" he whispered, clinging to
her as if he had no anchor except the creature whom he loved so
"Uncle will tell you I am not good enough I can only pray for you."
And she moved as if to call in the help so sorely needed.
"No, no, not yet! Stay by me, darling read something there, in
Grandfather's old book, some prayer for such as I. It will do me
more good from you than any minister alive."
She got the venerable book given to Charlie because he bore the
good man's name and, turning to the "Prayer for the Dying," read it
brokenly while the voice beside her echoed now and then some
word that reproved or comforted.
"The testimony of a good conscience." "By the sadness of his
countenance may his heart be made better." "Christian patience
and fortitude." "Leave the world in peace." "Amen."
There was silence for a little; then Rose, seeing how wan he
looked, said softly, "Shall I call Uncle now?"
"If you will. But first don't smile at my foolishness, dear I want my
little heart. They took it off please give it back and let me keep it
always," he answered with the old fondness strong as ever, even
when he could show it only by holding fast the childish trinket
which she found and had given him the old agate heart with the
faded ribbon. "Put it on, and never let them take it off," he said,
and when she asked if there was anything else she could do for
him, he tried to stretch out his arms to her with a look which asked
She kissed him very tenderly on lips and forehead, tried to say
"good-bye," but could not speak, and groped her way to the door.
Turning for a last look, Charlie's hopeful spirit rose for a moment,
as if anxious to send her away more cheerful, and he said with a
shadow of the old blithe smile, a feeble attempt at the familiar
farewell gesture: "Till tomorrow, Rose."
Alas for Charlie! His tomorrow never came, and when she saw
him next, he lay there looking so serene and noble, it seemed as if
it must be well with him, for all the pain was past; temptation
ended; doubt and fear, hope and love, could no more stir his quiet
heart, and in solemn truth he had gone to meet his Father, and
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