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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

''I know what uncle Strahan would have liked


'You

are bound by the will?'

'Not at all. The will binds me to nothing.'

'Then, my dear boy! it may be a long time before you would want to set up housekeeping there yourself; you might never wish it; and in the meantime all this expense going on?'

'I know what uncle Strahan would have liked, mamma; but apart from that, I could never turn adrift his old servants. They are devoted to me now; and, besides, I wish to have the house taken care of. When you have seen it, you will not talk any more about having it let. You will come at once, will you not? It is better than _this_. I told Mrs. Bunce she might make ready for you; and there is a special room for Miss Frere, where she may study several things.'

He gave a pleasant glance at the young lady as he spoke, which certainly assured her of a welcome. But Betty felt painfully embarrassed.

'This is something we never contemplated,' she said, turning to Mrs. Dallas. 'What will you do with me? _I_ have no right to Mr. Pitt's hospitality, generous as it is.'

'You will come with us, of course,' said Mrs. Dallas. 'You are one of us, as much as anybody could be.'

'And you would be very sorry afterwards if you did not, I can tell you,' said Pitt frankly. 'My old house is quite something to see; and I promise

myself some pleasure in the enjoyment you all will have in it. I hope we are so much old friends that you would not refuse me such an honour?'

There was no more to say, after the manner in which this was spoken; and from embarrassment Betty went over to great exultation. What _could_ be better than this? and did even her dreams offer her such a bewildering prospect of pleasure. She heard with but half an ear what Pitt and his mother were saying; yet she did hear it, and lost not a word, braiding in her own reflections diligently with the thoughts thus suggested. They talked of Mr. Strahan, of his illness, through which Pitt had nursed him; of the studies thus interrupted; of the property thus suddenly come into Pitt's hands.

'I do not see why you should go on with your law reading,' Mrs. Dallas broke out at last. 'Really,--why should you? You are perfectly independent already, without any help from your father; house and servants and all, and money enough; your father would say, too much. Haven't you thought of giving up your chambers in the Temple?'

'No, mother.'

'Any other young man would. Why not you? What do you want to study law for any more?'

'One must do something, you know.'

'Something--but I never heard that law was an amusing study. Is it not the driest of the dry?'

'Rather dry--in spots.'

'What is your notion, then, Pitt?--if you do not like it.'

'I do like it. And I am thinking of the use it may be.'

'The _use?_' said Mrs. Dallas bewilderedly.


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