had the family of colored people brought into the parlor,
"Then will you be so good as to glance at this letter and tell me if the person whose initials you will find at the bottom happens to be in town at the present moment?
In some astonishment now, she glanced down at the sheet thus boldly thrust before her, and recognising the 0 and the B of a well-known signature, she flashed a look back at Sweetwater in which he read a confusion of emotions for which he was hardly prepared.
"Ah, thought he, " it's coming. In another moment I shall hear what will repay me for the trials and disappointments of all these months.
But the moment passed and he had heard nothing. Instead, she dropped her hands from the door-jamb and gave such unmistakable evidences of intended flight, that but one alternative remained to him; he became abrupt.
Thrusting the paper still nearer, he said, with an emphasis which could not fail of making an impression, "Read it. Read the whole letter. You will find your name there. This communication was addressed to Miss Challoner, but -"
Oh, now she found words! With a low cry, she put out her hand in quick entreaty, begging him to desist and not speak that name on any pretext or for any purpose. "He may rouse and hear, she explained, with another quick look behind her. "The doctor says that this is the critical day. He may become conscious any minute. If he should and were to hear that name, it might kill him."
"He!" Sweetwater perked up his ears. "Who do you mean by he?"
"Mr. Brotherson, my patient, he whose letter -" But here her impatience rose above every other consideration. Without attempting to finish her sentence, or yielding in the least to her curiosity or interest in this man's errand, she cried out with smothered intensity, "Go! go! I cannot stay another moment from his bedside."
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