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A Girl in Ten Thousand
written by "Meade, L. T., 1854-1914"
...her, did I?" said Effie, with a little note of triumph coming into her voice even in the midst of her anxiety. "That you didn't, my darling—she is one of God's angels and I say 'God bless her!' Now I want to talk about your mother." "Yes, father," said Effie, laying her hand on his. She started back the moment she did so. The evening61 was a very hot one, and touching the doctor's hand was like clasping fire. "How you burn!" she exclaimed. "That's weakness," he said. "I shall take some bromide to-night; I am completely worn-out, shaken, and all that sort of thing. Now, Effie, don't interrupt me. I wish to talk to you of your mother. Are you prepared to listen?" "Of course, father." "She has been talking of you—she says you have got an idea into your head that you ought to make more of your life than you can make of it staying at home, and being the blessing of the house, and the joy of my life and of hers." "Oh, father, father, I did wish it," said Effie, tears springing into her eyes. "I did long for it, but I'll give it up, I'll give it all up if it makes you and mother unhappy." "But it doesn't, my dear. The old birds cannot expect to keep the young ones in the nest for ever and ever. Your mother spoke very sensibly to-night. I never saw any woman so altered for the time being. She would not let me imagine there was a thing the matter with her, and she spoke all the time about you, as though she wanted to plead with me, your father, to give you a happy life. Do you think I would deny it to you, my dear little girl?" "No, father; you have never denied me anything." "I have never denied what was for your good, sweetheart." Dr. Staunton clasped Effie to his breast. She flung her arms round him with a sudden tight pressure. "Easy, easy!" he exclaimed; "you are half-choking62 me. My breathing certainly feels oppressed—I must have taken a chill. I'll get off to bed as fast as I can. No, child, ...

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