Silently Mrs. Finlay opened a drawer, and turning, placed in Ravenslee’s hand a heavy gold ring curiously wrought into the form of two hands clasping each other.
“It was my Maggie’s,” continued Martin, “an’ I guess she valleyed it a whole lot, sorr. I found it hid away with odds and ends as she treasured. But she don’t want it no more—she’s dead, ye see, sorr—I killed her—drowned, sorr—I drowned her. Cruel an’ hard I was—shut her out onto the streets, I did, and so—she died. But before the river took—oh, Blessed Mary—oh, Mother O’ God—pity! Before she went t’ heaven, Miss Hermy was good t’ her; Miss Hermy loved her and tried t’ comfort her—but only God could do that, I reckon—so she went t’ God. But Miss Hermy was kind when I wasn’t, so, sorr, it’s give her that ring ye will, plaze, an’ say as poor Martin died blessing her. An’ now it’s go I’ll ask ye, sorr, for God’s callin’ me to wipe away me tears an’ sorrers and bind up me broken heart—so lave me to God and—my little Maggie—”
Very softly Ravenslee followed Mrs. Trapes out of the room, but they had not reached the front door when they heard a glad cry and thereafter a woman’s sudden desolate sobbing.
“Go on, Mr. Geoffrey,” whispered Mrs. Trapes. “But I guess I’d better stay here a bit.”
“As poor Martin’s sure found his little girl again!”
HOW SPIKE MADE A CHOICE AND A PROMISE
Monday morning found Ravenslee knocking at the opposite door, which opening, disclosed Spike, but a very chastened and humble Spike, who blushed and drooped his head and shuffled with his feet and finally stammered:
“Hello, Geoff—I—I’m all alone, but you—you can come in if—if you care to?”
“I dropped in on my way down just to have a word with you, Spike.”
With dragging feet Spike led the way into the sitting room, where lay his breakfast, scarcely tasted.
“Sit down, Geoff, I—I want to apologise,” said the lad, toying nervously with his teaspoon. “I guess you think I’m a mean, low-down sort o’ guy, an’ you’re right, only I—I feel worse ‘n you think. An’ say, Geoff, if I—if I said anything th’ other night, I want you to—forget it, will you?”
“Why, of course, Spike.”
“Hermy’s forgiven me. I—I’ve promised to work hard an’ do what she wants.”
“I’m glad of that, Spike!”
“She came creepin’ into my room this mornin’ before she went, but—me thinkin’ she meant to give me a last call down—I pretended t’ be asleep, so she just sighed an’ went creepin’ out again an’ wrote me this,” and Spike drew a sheet of crumpled note paper from his pocket and handed it to Ravenslee, who read these words:
Boy dear, I love you so much that if you destroyed my love, I think you would destroy me too. Now I must leave you to go to my work, but you will go to yours, won’t you—for my sake and for your sake and because I love you so. Be good and strong and clean, and if you want some one to help you, go to your friend, Mr. Geoffrey. Good-by, dear—and remember your promise.