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to do it. But I think he did. A woman
he cared something for had used him ill;
besides that, he was in all manner of debt,
and difficulty, and disgrace. It was in
my room, before my eyes, close to me.
He was playing with his pistol. He said
he was going to shoot himself, but couldn't
make up his mind if he would shoot me
first or not. I had heard him talk so
before: I tried not to seem afraid. I saw
him put the pistol to his mouth. When
he did that I turned my eyes away. There
was a noise. I felt something on my face
and hands. I looked then, and didn't know
what it was I saw. What, nurse, you turn
faint to hear of it?

"I don't know much of what happened
after; or of how I got here. I had just
written to you, I know. I suppose the
address upon the letterany way, I got
here, and his child was born. And you
want me to love it! To love his child!"
She laughed wildly.

It was now just midnight, and the sound
of a horse's footfall ("John" coming home
from a distant market-town) was very
welcome to John's poor wife. The girl
rose quickly on hearing it to hurry to her
own room.

"John will go with you to-morrow,"
were "nurse's " last words.

"Will he? There's no need he should
take the trouble; but it's very kind.
Thank him for me. Be sure you thank
him for this kindness, and for all his other

Then, as the farmer entered the kitchen,
Daisy fled up the stairs to her room. She
had never met him face to face; she never
would meet any one. Having put out the
candle and drawn up the blind, she sat still
until the old-fashioned clock outside her
door had ten times chimed the quarters.
As it finished its tenth chime she got up,
and, moving about noiselessly, put off her
widow's weeds, and put on the dress laid
ready on the bed.

By the time this was done the dawn had
overgrown the moonlight, and she looked
at herself in the glass. There she stood
Daisy Morrison, Wattle's "Sister Daisy."

Stealing noiselessly down the stair,
letting herself out of the house cautiously
it was easy to make no noise, the doors
at Moor-Edge were neither locked nor
barred, and the old dog sleeping by the
kitchen hearth knew her too well to notice
her, except by a sleepy movement of his
tailDaisy passed, before sunrise, into the
world of summer-dawn. She did not take
the track leading to the white road that
crossed the common: she would have been,
by-and-bye, liable to meet people there, and
could be seen from so great a distance.
She took the footway that descended
precipitously to the plain, between the high
hedges. It was as yet too early to meet
even labourers going to their work. As
yet no smoke from early-lighted fires curled
from the cottage chimneys. The world of
dawn was stainless and speckless.

The ambrosial morning freshness, and
the feeling that she was leaving behind her
the widow's dress, the wedding-ring, the
child, which were the signs of what had
been so loathsome in her life, had a strong
effect upon Daisy. It was with an elastic,
almost dancing, step that she went her
way; she felt as if bathing in the purity of
the dawn she were being cleansed.

"I shall be able, in time, to forget. In
so beautiful a world I shall be able, in
time, to be happy! No need to hate this
beautiful world, for I shall be able to forget
andhe is no longer in it."

By-and-bye, she paused, turned, and
looked back at Moor-Edge, just before
finally passing out of sight of it.

"But if what she says is trueabout a
mother's heartthen I carry my trouble
with me, within me. A mother's heart!
How can I have a mother's heart for his

The new glory had faded when she went
on again. Whether she looked up to the
clear morning blue, or looked before her
through the clear air down upon the plain,
her child's face, with eyes pleading and
reproachful, floated before her: but she
went on.

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