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he said, rising, 'I shall go and see if I can find your father.'
She jumped up and walked with him to the door.
* Say that you are not angry with me, she said in a voice of the softest pleading, raising her face to his.
He would have made a different reply, but he saw that her face was covered with tears. Angry with you!' he said kindly. Who
· could be angry with you for long, little Minnie ?'
She smiled gratefully and thoughtfully as he kissed her; and when he had gone, and she had heard his last footstep, she returned to her old place upon the floor, and crouching down, placed the shell to her ear, and listened to the singing of the sea.
MINNIE'S obliviousness of what was right had never before been presented so clearly to Joshua. He knew well enough that Minnie, although she was aware that it was wrong to steal, could not understand that she did wrong in stealing the shell. At the same time he could not help feeling tenderly towards her because of that wrong action. After all, how much she was to be pitied! Could it be wondered at that she was hard to teach and that she was wayward and wilful, living such a lonely life as she lived, with no friend to counsel, no mother to guide her? How quaint was her fancy, and what a pretty thing it was to see her as he saw her in his imaginings—sitting alone in her room, with the shell at her ear, listening to the singing of the sea! With what a daintilycaressing motion she nestled to him when he called her · Little Minnie!' He repeated the pet words to himself, 'Little Minnie, little Minnie!' as he walked along, and smiled. As for her telling him that she would like to go to sea with him, what was it but a childish whimsy? If he had not contradicted her and made a matter of importance of it, she would have said it, and there an end. She would like to go to sea with him, and would follow him if she were a woman : Well! she was but a child, and the wish was as innocent as her declaration that she loved him.
When he had thought out all this, he thought of to-morrow, and looked round upon the familiar streets and the familiar houses with a pang of regret. To-morrow he would be far away from them, and every succeeding day would take him farther and farther away from them and all that he loved. From mother, father, the Old Sailor, his pet birds, and from Dan-ah ! dear, dear Dan! Did ever boy or man have such a friend ? Then there was Ellen, his dear little sweetheart in the days when they were children together. Was there ever such another unselfish little maid as that? So devoted, so tender, so loving! How quickly she had won the heart of the Old Sailor! He remembered that old salt saying, pointing his great finger at Ellen as he said it, Joshua my lad, that little lass there is the prettiest, the best, the truest, and
the kindest-hearted in these dominions;' and he remembered himself looking at Ellen's mild face -peaceful as a lake—and saying, 'So she is, sir,' and meaning it heartily; and he remembered the Old Sailor saying, “That's right, my lad; all you've got to do is to mind your bearings.' Although he had answered, “Yes, sir, I will,' he wondered afterwards, and he found himself wondering now, what on earth the Old Sailor meant by saying, ' Mind your bearings. But what mat
' ter? Ellen was the prettiest, the best, the truest, and the kindest-hearted lass in these or any other dominions. God bless her!
As he thought of these things, he felt himself growing so soft-hearted, that he stopped and stamped his feet upon the pavement, and thumped himself upon the chest, saying as he did so, between laughing and crying, ' This won't do, Josh ; this won't do.'
He had given himself a score of thumps, and had said, “This won't do, Josh,' half-a-score of times, when loud cries for help fell upon his ears. He had been walking in the direction of the river, through some of the streets where he would be most likely to find Basil Kindred; and he was in a locality where there was a number of low public
houses, patronised by the worst class of seamen. Turning in the direction of the cry, Joshua saw a woman run swiftly out of a narrow thoroughfare. Pursuing her was a man, a dark-looking fellow, with glittering eyes, and rings in his ears, and a knife in his hand, and with all his copper-coloured fingers and black serpent locks of hair flashing in the air with evil intent. Impelled by the unmistakable air of terror in the form of the flying girl, and the unmistakable air of mischief in the form of the pursuing man-partly, also, by the impulsion born of the hunting spirit implanted in man and beast — Joshua started off at a great pace, and flew after the flying couple.
It was that part of the day when the neighbourhood was most quiet. All the men were at. work in the dockyards, and the few women about (having a wholesome horror probably of a man with an open knife in his hand, and being perhaps accustomed to such diversions) seemed disinclined to take part in the chase. With the exception of one drunken creature, with a blotched and bloated face, who made a frantic motion to follow, but, being tripped up by her draggling petticoats, stumbled, more like a heap of rags than a woman,