Ellinor let go his knees, and covered her face. Every one stabbed at that poor heart. In a minute or so her father spoke again.
"I don't mean what I say. I often don't mean it now. Ellinor, you must forgive me, my child!" He stooped, and lifted her up, and sat down, taking her on his knee, and smoothing her hair off her hot forehead. "Remember, child, how very miserable I am, and have forgiveness for me. He had none, and yet he must have seen I had been drinking."
"Drinking, papa!" said Ellinor, raising her head, and looking at him with sorrowful surprise.
"Yes. I drink now to try and forget," said he, blushing and confused.
"Oh, how miserable we are!" cried Ellinor, bursting into tears--"how very miserable! It seems almost as if God had forgotten to comfort us!"
"Hush! hush!" said he. "Your mother said once she did so pray that you might grow up religious; you must be religious, child, because she prayed for it so often. Poor Lettice, how glad I am that you are dead!" Here he began to cry like a child. Ellinor comforted him with kisses rather than words. He pushed her away, after a while, and said, sharply: "How much does he know? I must make sure of that. How much did you tell him, Ellinor?"
"Nothing--nothing, indeed, papa, but what I told you just now!"
"Tell it me again--the exact words!"
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