Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French III).djvu/99

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FATHER AND SON

By Edouard Rod

I WAS worn out with an arduous and anxious day. Bad news had reached me from Brazil, where, at the moment, I had interests so important that a crisis might sweep under the house which I had founded with so much effort, the establishment of which had absorbed my youth. So the future seemed to me big with menace, and sharp disquietude kept gnawing at my heart, as I thought of three dear people whose destiny depended solely on my own,—my wife and my two little girls. Happy to-day amid plenty, they might on the morrow be sunk in poverty. Tranquilly ignorant of the danger hovering over them, they smiled upon me, and the sight of their smiling refreshed me. One is seldom sentimental in business, and I am not more so than others. I believe, in fact, that in apprehending misfortune, I realized for the first time how much I love the little human group of which I am the head, who give motive to my work, and whose loving joy rewards me for my trouble. They know nothing

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