Page:Live and Let Live.djvu/173

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173
FALSE APPEARANCES.

the marks still on his arm. Adéle, quick as thought, exclaimed, "Mon Dieu! l'ingrate! l'ingrate!" and proceeded to tell a story of Lucy having let Eugene fall on his coral bells, and bribed her to secrecy by many promises of future carefulness. Mrs. Hartell's maternal instincts were deadened. She listened with credulity to Adéle; and telling Lucy she had no more time to hear her falsehoods, bade her leave the house instantly. Poor Lucy embraced Eugene for the last time; and, crying as heartily as he did, she unlocked his arms from her neck, and gave him to Ophelia, whispering an entreaty that she would watch over him till her father's return. Ophelia answered by a burst of tears and outcries against Adéle; and Lucy, begging her to be quiet, left the room. The servants, who had heard through Ophelia the explosion in the nursery, gathered round her to express their sympathy and their detestation of Adéle. They all offered to speak a kind word for her wherever she went. Lucy was comforted by their good-will, and she left Mrs. Hartell's with a composure that, in her circumstances, would seem wonderful, did we not know the power of calm endurance in a soul conscious of integrity, and therefore stayed on God. "I am sure I have done right," she repeated to herself, "I am sure my mother will approve. I am sure the time will come when nobody can make Charles feel like blushing for me; and, more than all, I am sure that God, who knows all, is my friend, so I ought not to feel very unhappy—but, oh, poor little Eugene!" and she brushed the fast-coming tears from her eyes as she entered a shop to ask for a directory.