Page:A New England Tale.djvu/159

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148
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

Poor Mary persevered in her fatiguing and miserable journey, which was rendered much longer by her fearfully shunning the public road. She obtained a kind shelter at the farmers' houses at night, where she always contrived to satisfy their curiosity by some plausible account of herself. At the end of a week she arrived wearied and exhausted in the neighbourhood of Wilson. She watched for him in the evening near his mother's house, and succeeded in obtaining an interview with him. He was enraged that she had followed him, and said that it was impossible for him to do any thing for her. She told him, she asked nothing for herself; but she entreated him not to add to his guilt the crime of suffering their unhappy offspring to die with neglect. Utterly selfish and hard-hearted, the wretch turned from her without one word of kindness: and then recollecting that if she was discovered, he should be involved in further troubles, he returned, and gave her a direction, which he believed would enable her to find John's cottage on the mountain. If she gets there, thought he as he left her, whether she lives or dies, she will be far out of the way for the present—and the future must take care of itself.

Mary with a faint heart followed his direction, and the next day she was discovered by old John in the situation we have mentioned. Perhaps there are some who cannot believe that any being should be so utterly depraved as David Wilson. But let them remember, that be began with a