“Well, I will not press you further; but I will commend you in prayer to God. I do not like to part thus hurriedly, however. Can we not meet again before you go?”
“We shall be in the cottage at four this afternoon, and will be very glad if you will come to us for a short time,” said the widow.
“That is settled, then; I will go and explain to the natives that I cannot accompany them to the village till to-morrow. When do you leave?”
“So soon! Surely it is not—But I forbear to say more on a subject which is forbidden. God bless you, my friends; we shall meet at four. Good-by!”
The missionary turned from them with a sad countenance, and went in search of the native chiefs; while Henry and his mother separated from each other, the former taking the path that led to the little quay of Sandy Cove, the latter that which conducted to her own cottage.
MORE LEAVING—DEEP DESIGNS—BUMPUS IN A NEW CAPACITY.
On the particular day of which we are writing, Alice Mason felt an unusual depression of spirits. She had been told by her father of the intended departure of the widow and her son, and had been warned not to mention it to any one. In consequence of this, the poor child was debarred her usual consolation of pouring her grief into the black bosom of Poopy. It naturally followed, therefore, that she sought her next favorite,—the tree.
Here, to her surprise and comfort, she found Corrie, seated on one of its roots, with his head resting on the stem, and his hands clasped before him. His general appearance was that of a human being in the depths of woe. On observing Alice, he started up, and assuming a cheerful look, ran to meet her.
“Oh! I’m so glad to find you here, Corrie,” cried Alice, hastening forward; “I’m in such distress! Do you know that—Oh! I forgot papa said I was to tell nobody about it!”
“Don’t let that trouble you, Alice,” said Corrie, as they sat down together under the tree. “I know what you were about to say,—Henry and his mother are going away.”
“How do you know that? I thought it was a great secret!”
“So it is, a tremendous secret,” rejoined Corrie, with a look that was intended to be very mysterious; “and I know it, because I’ve been let into the secret for reasons which I cannot tell even to you. But there is another secret which you don’t know yet, and which will surprise you perhaps, I am going away, too.”
“You!” exclaimed the little girl, her eyes dilating to their full size.
“You’re jesting, Corrie.”
“Am I? I wish I was; but it’s a fact.”
“But where are you going to?” said Alice, her eyes filling with tears.
“I don’t know.”
“I tell you, I don’t know; and if I did know, I couldn’t tell. Listen, Alice; I will tell you as much as I am permitted to let out.”