Richard Blackmore.

Clara Vaughan. Volume 3 of 3



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The old man was poor Whitehead, whose lodge Mrs. Shelfer coveted, as it was larger and livelier than her own.

"No, Mrs. Shelfer, I think he will get over it. Surely you would not wish to hurry him."

"To be sure, my good friend; no, no: let him have his time, I say. But he would have had it long ago, if he had any reason in him. What good can he do now, holding on with his eyebrows? Please God to let him go in peace; and so much happier for us all."

When Uncle John appeared, he scolded me for my want of intelligence on the night when I was blinded. Of the four men in that room, the one whom I had noticed least was the very one whom he had meant me especially to observe. At least, so he said; but I fully believed, and did not scruple to tell him, that he had discovered little beyond the information and description given at the time by Mr. Edgar Vaughan. These he had disinterred from the archives of Bow Street and Whitehall, and was then trying to apply them. However, I forgave him freely; inasmuch as, but for my blindness, even blind love would have known me as an objectionable being.

And now I come to a real grievance. When there is another Miss Clara-such a beauty! I can't tell you-and a little Harry, for whose sake this tale is told-why will every one on these premises, even the under-gardener's boy, persist in calling me "Miss Clara?" It makes me stamp sometimes, and such a bad example that is for my children. Dear me, if either of my ducklings were to carry on as I did at their age, I would cut down immediately the largest birch-tree on the property, and order a hogshead of salt. But, to return to that contumely-is it to be suspected that I was more forcible and pronounced, in the days of my trial and misery, than now when I am the happiest of all the young mothers of England? "Come, Conny, tell the truth now, don't I keep you in order?"

"My own delight, I should think you did. I am nearly as much afraid of you as I am of little Clary. Clary ride on Judy now, and Harry on pup Sampiero, and come and see papa go chip, chip, chip?"

"No, Clary stop and see mamma go scratch, scratch, scratch, like Cooky at the pie-crust. Clary love mamma to-day, and papa to-morrow."

And the lovely dear jumps on the stool, to pull the top of my pen. Harry pops out from under the table, and prepares himself for onset. My husband comes and lifts my hair, and throws his arm around me. It is all up now with writing.

"Darlings, I love all three of you, to-day, to-morrow, and for ever. Only don't pull me to pieces."

THE END

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