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Odd by Amy Le Feuvre

'Farmer Giles said he saved your life


sat up, rubbed her eyes, and tried to recover her lost senses; then she looked sorrowfully at her little sister.

'Don't you remember, Betty? You get into bed with me, and I'll tell you again. Nurse told us all about it; and me and Douglas are dreadfully sorry too!'

Betty crept into Molly's bed, with much heart-sinking; the bad dream was truth then, and Prince was dead!

'Douglas and I went to see him in the stable,' Molly continued in a whisper. 'Farmer Giles said he saved your life; so he was quite a hero, Betty. Don't you think he ought to have a tombstone telling about it? Douglas wondered if you would go into mourning for him; but I don't think people wear black for dogs, do they?'

'He saved my life,' murmured Betty; 'oh, why did he? I wish I'd died instead; if Prince is dead, I can't live!' And then, with a fresh burst of tears, she sobbed, 'And I shall be the odd one again! I shall always be left out! and I shan't be in a couple any more! And, oh! I must see Prince again; dear darling Prince, he was the only friend I've ever had.' Then, drying her tears, she sat up. 'I'm going to the stable to look at him once again, Molly. I must give him a real good-bye kiss; I couldn't yesterday.'

'But he's buried,' Molly put in quickly. 'After tea last night we had his funeral. Farmer Giles dug a grave

for him under our nice old apple tree in the orchard, he said it was best to get him out of your sight.'

This was a terrible blow to Betty. 'I think I might have been at his funeral; he was my dog, and you and Douglas didn't care for him a bit! Farmer Giles is a horrid man! But, oh dear, oh dear, I don't care for anything now he's dead!'

And the curly head sank back on the pillow; and, like Ahab of old, Betty turned her face to the wall and refused to be comforted.

For the next few days Betty gave nurse much anxiety; she crept about with a white face and flagging footsteps, refused to play with the other children, and spent most of her time sitting by Prince's grave. She had no appetite, and had restless, wakeful nights.

'Fretting herself ill over it,' was Mrs. Giles's comment; 'she'll be better when she gets back to London.'

Nesta Fairfax came down to see her little favourite, and Betty shed many tears on her knee.

'It's no good; I shall never, never be happy again! No one cares for me like Prince; and now he's dead I've no friend left!'

'You have a good many friends, Betty. Listen, darling; when I'm married I'm going to live in London, and you shall come and stay with me sometimes, if your mother will allow it.'

'When are you going to be married?'

'Soon; but we shall have a very quiet wedding, or I would have you as a little bridesmaid.'

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