Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/116

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swept away in this dreadful failure I still have you, dear, and no dishonest banker can rob me of my best treasure," she said fondly, as she watched her daughter with tearful eyes.

"No one shall part us, mamma; and if I can only get something to do we can be independent and happy in spite of our losses; for now the first shock and worry is over, I find a curious sort of excitement in being poor and having to work for my living. I was so tired of pleasure and idleness I really quite long to work at something, if I could only find it."

But though Clara spoke cheerfully, she had a heavy heart; for during the month which had followed the discovery that they were nearly penniless, she had been through a great deal for a tenderly nurtured girl of three-and-twenty. Leaving a luxurious home for two plainly furnished rooms, and trying to sustain her mother with hopeful plans, had kept her busy for a time; but now she had nothing to do but wait for replies to her modest advertisements as governess, copyist, or reader.

"I do wish I'd been taught a trade, mamma, or