Page:A New England Tale.djvu/118

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107
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

ed than when, at the sound of the closing of the parlour door, she flew down stairs, joined Mrs. Winthrop just as she was saying, half sobbing, to her children, "Come, boys—I am poorer than when I came, for my hope is all gone;" and walking a little distance, till a sharp angle in the road concealed them from the house, she said, "Polly, here is a hundred dollars. I know the debt my father owed you amounts to a good deal more now, but this is all I have, take it. It is not probable that I shall ever be able to pay the rest, but I shall never forget that I owe it."

Mrs. Winthrop was for a moment dumb with surprise; then bursting into tears of gratitude and joy, she would have overwhelmed Jane with thanks, but she stopped her, saying, "No, Polly, I have only done what was right. I have two favours to beg of you—say nothing to any body in the world, of your having received this money from me; and," added she, faltering, "do not, again, tell the story of the ——" injustice, she would have said, but the word choked her. "I mean, do not say, to any one, that my parents did not pay you."

"Oh! miss Jane," replied the grateful creature, "I'll mind every thing you tell me, just as much as if it was spoken to me right out of Heaven."

And we have reason to believe, she was quite as faithful to her promise as could have been expected; for she was never known to make any communication on the subject, except that, when some of her rustic neighbours expressed their surprise