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aunt's. The consequence was, that Frank
and his wife went into lodgings, and Mrs.
Wilson refused to see them, and turned away
Norah, the warm-hearted housemaid; whom
they accordingly took into their service.
When Captain Wilson returned from his
voyage, he was very cordial with the young
couple, and spent many an evening at their
lodgings; smoking his pipe, and sipping his
grog; but he told them that, for quietness'
sake, he could not ask them to his own house;
for his wife was bitter against them. They
were not very unhappy about this.

The seed of future unhappiness lay rather
in Frank's vehement, passionate disposition;
which led him to resent his wife's shyness and
want of demonstration as failures in conjugal
duty. He was already tormenting himself,
and her too, in a slighter degree, by
apprehensions and imaginations of what might
befal her during his approaching absence at
sea. At last he went to his father and urged
him to insist upon Alice's being once more
received under his roof; the more especially as
there was now a prospect of her confinement
while her husband was away on his voyage.
Captain Wilson was, as he himself expressed
it, " breaking up," and unwilling to undergo
the excitement of a scene; yet he felt that
what his son said was true. So he went to his
wife. And before Frank went to sea, he had
the comfort of seeing his wife installed in her
old little garret in his father's house. To have
placed her in the one best spare room was a
step beyond Mrs. Wilson's powers of submission
or generosity. The worst part about it,
however, was that the faithful Norah had to
be dismissed. Her place as housemaid had
been filled up; and, even had it not, she had
forfeited Mrs. Wilson's good opinion for ever.
She comforted her young master and mistress
by pleasant prophecies of the time when they
would have a household of their own; of
which, in whatever service she might be in
the meantime, she should be sure to form
part. Almost the last action Frank Wilson
did, before setting sail, was going with Alice
to see Norah once more at her mother's house.
And then he went away.

Alice's father-in-law grew more and more
feeble as winter advanced. She was of great
use to her step-mother in nursing and amusing
him; and, although there was anxiety enough
in the household, there was perhaps more of
peace than there had been for years; for
Mrs. Wilson had not a bad heart, and was
softened by the visible approach of death to
one whom she loved, and touched by the
ionely condition of the young creature,
expecting her first confinement in her husband's
absence. To this relenting mood Norah owed
the permission to come and nurse Alice when
her baby was born, and to remain to attend
on Captain Wilson.

Before one letter had been received from
Frank (who had sailed for the East Indies
and China), his father died. Alice was
always glad to remember that he had
held her baby in his arms, and kissed and
blessed it before his death. After that, and
the consequent examination into the state of
his affairs, it was found that he had left far
less property than people had been led by
his style of living to imagine; and, what
money there was, was all settled upon his
wife, and at her disposal after her death.
This did not signify much to Alice, as Frank
was now first mate of his ship, and, in another
voyage or two, would be captain. Meanwhile
he had left her some hundreds (all his
savings) in the bank.

It became time for Alice to hear from her
husband. One letter from the Cape she had
already received. The next was to announce
his arrival in India. As week after week
passed over, and no intelligence of the ship's
arrival reached the office of the owners, and
the Captain's wife was in the same state of
ignorant suspense as Alice herself, her fears
grew most oppressive. At length the day
came when, in reply to her inquiry at the
Shipping Office, they told her that the owners
had given up hope of ever hearing more of
the Betsy-Jane, and had sent in their claim
upon the Underwriters. Now that he was
gone for ever, she first felt a yearning, long-
ing love for the kind cousin, the dear friend,
the sympathising protector, whom she should
never see again,—first felt a passionate desire
to show him his child, whom she had hitherto
rather craved to have all to herselfher own
sole possession. Her grief was, however,
noiseless, and quiet rather to the scandal of
Mrs. Wilson; who bewailed her step-son as
if he and she had always lived together in
perfect harmony, and who evidently thought
it her duty to burst into fresh tears at every
strange face she saw; dwelling on his poor
young widow's desolate state, and the help-
lessness of the fatherless child, with an
unction, as if she liked the excitement of the
sorrowful story.

So passed away the first days of Alice's
widowhood. Bye-and-bye things subsided into
their natural and tranquil course. But, as if
this young creature was always to be in some
heavy trouble, her ewe-lamb, began to be
ailing, pining and sickly. The child's
mysterious illness turned out to be some affection
of the spine likely to affect health; but not to
shorten lifeat least so the doctors said.
But the long dreary suffering of one whom
a mother loves as Alice loved her only child,
is hard to look forward to. Only Norah
guessed what Alice suffered; no one but God

And so it fell out, that when Mrs. Wilson,
the elder, came to her one day in violent
distress, occasioned by a very material diminution in the value of the property that her
husband had left her,—a diminution which
made her income barely enough to support
herself, much less Alicethe latter could
hardly understand how anything which did