Page:In the Roar of the Sea.djvu/177

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"Well, and what of that?"

"But—will they let me have him back?"

Miss Trevisa pulled at the chintz. "I will trouble you not to crumple this," she said.

"Aunt! dear aunt! you did not tell Mr. Scantlebray to take Jamie away from me?"

The old lady did not answer, she proceeded to release the material at which she was engaged from under the knees of Judith. The girl, in her vehemence, put her hands to her aunt's arms, between the elbows and shoulders, and held and pressed them back, and with imploring eyes looked into her hard face.

"Oh, auntie! you never sent Jamie to an asylum?"

"I must beg you to let go my arms," said Miss Trevisa. "This conduct strikes me as most indecorous toward one of my age and relationship."

She avoided Judith's eye, her brow wrinkled, and her lips contracted. The gall in her heart rose and overflowed.

"I am not ashamed of what I have done."

"Auntie!" with a cry of pain. Then Judith let go the old lady's arms, and clasped her hands over her eyes.

"Really," said Miss Trevisa, with asperity, "you are a most exasperating person. I shall do with the boy what I see fit. You know very well that he is a thief."

"He never took anything before to-day—never—and you had settled this before you knew about the tobacco!" burst from Judith, in anger and with Hoods of tears.

"I knew that he has always been troublesome and mischievous, and he must be placed where he can be properly managed by those accustomed to such cases."

"There is nothing the matter with Jamie."

"You have humored and spoiled him. If he is such a plague to all who know him, it is because he has been treated injudiciously, He is now with men who are experienced, and able to deal with the like of Jamie."

"Aunt, he must not be there. I promised my papa to be ever with him, and to look after him."

"Then it is a pity your father did not set this down in writing. Please to remember that I, and not you, am constituted his guardian, by the terms of the will."

"Oh, aunt! aunt! let him come back to me!"