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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 279 pages of information about The Underworld.

“You maun tell me, Rob,” she cried fiercely, her face showing excitement.  “What is it that is wrang?  Is he awfu’ ill?”

“He’s lyin’ gey bad, Mysie, an’ when I cam’ awa’ this mornin’, I didna like the look o’ him at a’.  He was kind o’ wanderin’ in his mind, an’ speakin’ to you an’ John, jist as he used to speak when we were a’ bairns thegither.  He was liltin’ some o’ thae auld sangs he used to sing to us.  But dinna greet, Mysie, you’ll mak’ yoursel’ waur.  You are no very strong, you ken, an’ if you worry it’ll mak’ you waur.  You should raither try an’ bear up, an’ get strong, an’ maybe gang an’ see him.  He’d be awfu’ prood to see you, an’ so wad your mither.”

“No, no,” she cried.  “I canna gang.  It wad kill them to see me noo, an’ I couldna bear’t, if they should be angry wi’ me.  I couldna face their anger, Rob.”

“Weel, Mysie,” he said, drawing a long breath, as if to face a stiff proposition, “there is no other way out of it, but that you’ll hae to marry me now—­just this minute, an’ gang back wi’ me.  If you do that, I can tak’ you back wi’ me, an’ gang to your faither an’ say that it was me that was responsible.  It can be done, Mysie, if only you’ll agree to it.  Come, Mysie!” he cried in a burst of passionate pleading.  “I want you.  Mysie, Mysie!  Say that you’ll come.”

Robert looked at her pale, thin, emaciated face with greedy pleading in his eyes.  He saw the thin-looking, hungry body as it shook with her sobs, and that terrible cough, which seemed as if it would carry her away before his eyes.  “Say you’ll come, Mysie!” he pleaded, his hands held out appealingly.  “Say you’ll come, an’ it’ll be so easy.”

“No, no,” she sobbed vehemently, “I canna do that.  Dinna ask me ony mair, Rob, I canna do that.  It wadna be fair.”

A hopeless look came into his eyes as he listened to her words, for he knew that Mysie could never consent to his proposal.  Frail as she was, and torn by her wish to agree, yet he knew she meant it, when she said no.

“Where do you live, Mysie?” he enquired at last, thinking to find some way of helping her.  “Wad you gie me your address, so that I’ll ken where you bide?”

“No, I dinna want to tell you, Rob.  You’d better gang awa’ noo.  Mrs. Ramsay will soon be comin’ for me.  Gang awa’ an’ leave me.  I want to be a wee while by mysel’.  Oh, dear!  Oh, dear!  I wish I could dee an’ leave it a’!”

Robert stole away on tiptoe, as if he were afraid longer to intrude upon her grief—­his mind in a whirl, and his heart heavy with sorrow.  He returned to the Conference to find that the debate was in full swing, and that Davie Donaldson, was laying about him in vigorous style, denouncing the leaders for recommending the terms to the men, and telling them that the “wee chocolate-moothed Chancellor had again diddled them.”

But he felt no interest in Davie’s denunciation, and could not smile at his picturesque language.  His mind would revert to the gardens in Princes Street, and he saw the thin white figure on the seat, the picture of hopeless misery, her frail form torn with sobs; and heard the wail in her voice as she moaned, “Oh, dear!  Oh, dear!  I wish I could dee an’ leave it a’!”

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