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Excerpt: ...this, exhausted by the effort, he closed his eyes again, while an expression of contentment flitted over his face. He had given these two to one another. Whatever happened to him, surely Helen would be cared for now; his wife would learn to understand her for his sake. Dimly Helen understood her father, and inwardly she registered a passionate vow of loyalty to his wishes. For the second time her clinging fingers closed round her stepmother's irresponsive hand. Mrs. Desmond made no movement. She accepted the charge, but she obstinately withheld the love that might have made that charge an easy one. The little wan figure creeping into the darkened room had had no power to move her. But the meeting between father and daughter, the quiet content that had come to her husband with Helen's presence and that all her tenderness had failed to produce, these things she noted with jealous eyes, and they gave a fresh impulse to her morbid feelings with regard to her stepdaughter. Even here, by the sick-bed, Helen was first. Colonel Desmond's first conscious request had been to see his child. The scene did not last long. Mrs. Desmond quickly, almost impatiently, motioned to Helen to go, and Helen obeyed unhesitatingly. Henceforward she told herself, as in the glad morning light she knelt in prayer for her father, there must be no more disobedience. If this awful shadow might pass away, if the consequences of her sin might be averted, her whole life should be spent in trying to redeem her fault. Pledges we often make, how lightly! But our little Helen was made of sterner stuff. Wilful and wayward as she was, there was a strain of that fibre in her, possibly an inheritance from some martyred Irish ancestor, from which saints and martyrs have been made. That, and the few following days of alternating hope and fear, were an ordeal which left a mark upon her never to be afterwards effaced. When, one morning, Dr. Russell himself came to her and told her that her...show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 82g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236725123
  • 9781236725127