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292 True Stories of Girl Heroines
you would find a way of getting rid of him, since you only promised obedience to his wishes so long as he lived. Oh, the story he has made of it ! And then he points out how loth father was to take you back, and that he turned you away and said you were no daughter of his, and might go back to those you had come from. He learned so many things from us, ere ever we knew the hideous thing in his mind. Now he says his case is complete and that only by marrying him can you escape that awful death. Oh, Agnes, Agnes, wilt thou not do his bidding to save thyself from that fate ? "
" Take a false vow of love and obedience to a man like that ? Oh, sister, how could I ? And what would life be with him afterwards ? '
" But they say it will be death at the stake ! ' wept Prudence.
" And has not the Lord promised ' When thou passest through the fire I will be with thee ' ? ' asked Agnes calmly. " I dare not be false to Him ; and I know He will not be false to me. Be not afraid ; this trial may be sent for some good purpose. But it cuts me to the heart that he should bring in Mr. Bunyan's name. That is a needless piece of wicked- ness and falsehood."
" It is all false together ; but he vows that Mr. Bunyan wished to get possession of father's money by wedding with you, and that therefore he gave