“Dreadfully ill—I don’t see it!” the young man cried. And then to

Morgan: “Why on earth didn’t you relieve me? Why didn’t you answer my

letter?”

Mrs. Moreen declared that when she wrote he was very bad, and Pemberton

learned at the same time from the boy that he had answered every letter

he had received. This led to the clear inference that Pemberton’s note

had been kept from him so that the game practised should not be

interfered with. Mrs. Moreen was prepared to see the fact exposed, as

Pemberton saw the moment he faced her that she was prepared for a good

many other things. She was prepared above all to maintain that she had

acted from a sense of duty, that she was enchanted she had got him over,

whatever they might say, and that it was useless of him to pretend he

didn’t know in all his bones that his place at such a time was with

Morgan. He had taken the boy away from them and now had no right to

abandon him. He had created for himself the gravest responsibilities and

must at least abide by what he had done.

“Taken him away from you?” Pemberton exclaimed indignantly.

“Do it—do it for pity’s sake; that’s just what I want. I can’t stand

_this_—and such scenes. They’re awful frauds—poor dears!” These words

broke from Morgan, who had intermitted his embrace, in a key which made

Pemberton turn quickly to him and see that he had suddenly seated

himself, was breathing in great pain, and was very pale.

“_Now_ do you say he’s not in a state, my precious pet?” shouted his

mother, dropping on her knees before him with clasped hands, but touching

him no more than if he had been a gilded idol. “It will pass—it’s only

for an instant; but don’t say such dreadful things!”

“I’m all right—all right,” Morgan panted to Pemberton, whom he sat

looking up at with a strange smile, his hands resting on either side of

the sofa.

“Now do you pretend I’ve been dishonest, that I’ve deceived?” Mrs. Moreen

flashed at Pemberton as she got up.

“It isn’t _he_ says it, it’s I!” the boy returned, apparently easier, but

sinking back against the wall; while his restored friend, who had sat

down beside him, took his hand and bent over him.

“Darling child, one does what one can; there are so many things to

consider,” urged Mrs. Moreen. “It’s his _place_—his only place. You see

_you_ think it is now.”

“Take me away—take me away,” Morgan went on, smiling to Pemberton with

his white face.

“Where shall I take you, and how—oh _how_, my boy?” the young man

stammered, thinking of the rude way in which his friends in London held

that, for his convenience, with no assurance of prompt return, he had

thrown them over; of the just resentment with which they would already

have called in a successor, and of the scant help to finding fresh

employment that resided for him in the grossness of his having failed to

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