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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

Dallas felt no comforting assurance of the kind

style="text-align: justify;"> CHAPTER XXXVIII.


Happily or unhappily,--it was as people looked at it,--Pitt's free days in America were drawing to a close. There were few still remaining to him before he must leave Seaforth and home, and go back to his reading law in the Temple. In those days there was a little more discussion of his new views and their consequences between him and his mother, but not much; and none at all between him and his father.

'Pitt is not a fool,' he had said, when Mrs. Dallas, in her distress, confided to him Pitt's declaration; 'I can trust him not to make an ass of himself; and so can you, wife.'

'But he is very strong when he takes a thing in his head; always was.'

'This thing will get out of his head again, you will see.'

'I do not believe it. It isn't his way.'

'One thing is certain,--I shall never give my money to a fool to make ducks and drakes with; and you may hint as much to him.'

'It would be very unwise policy,' said Mrs. Dallas thoughtfully.

'Then let it alone. I have no idea there is any need. You may depend upon it, London and law will scare all this nonsense away, fast enough.'


Dallas felt no comforting assurance of the kind. She watched her son during the remaining days of his presence with them--watched him incessantly; so did Betty Frere, and so, in truth, secretly, did his father. Pitt was rather more quiet than usual; there was not much other change to be observed in him, or so Mrs. Dallas flattered herself.

'I see a difference,' said Miss Frere, to whom she communicated this opinion.

'What is it?' asked the mother hastily. For she had seen it too.

'It is not just easy to put it in words; but I see it. Mrs. Dallas, there is a wonderful _rest_ come into his face.'

'Rest?' said the other. 'Pitt was never restless, in a bad sense; there was no keep still to him; but that is not what you mean.'

'That is not what I mean. I never in my life saw anybody look so happy.'

'Can't you do something with him?'

'He gives me no chance.'

It may seem strange that a good mother should wish to interfere with the happiness of a good son; but neither she nor Miss Frere adverted to that anomaly.

'I should not wonder one bit,' said Mrs. Dallas bitterly, 'if he were to disinherit himself.'

That would be bad, Betty agreed--deplorable; however, the thought of her own loss busied her most just now; not of what Pitt might lose. Two days before his departure all these various feelings of the various persons in the little family received a somewhat violent jar.

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