The Debtor eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 637 pages of information about The Debtor.

Eddy stood quite erect.  His pretty face was white, his little hands hanging at his sides were clinched tightly, but he made not one sound or motion which betrayed pain or fear.  He was counting the blows as they fell.  He knew how many to expect.  There were so many for running away and playing truant, and so many for lying, more for stealing, so many for all three.  This time it was all three.  Eddy counted while his father laid on the blows as regularly as a machine.  When at last he stopped, Eddy did not move.  He spoke without moving his head.

“There are two more, papa,” he said.  “You have stopped too soon.”

Carroll’s face contracted, but he gave the two additional blows.  “Now undress yourself and go to bed,” he told the boy, in an even tone.  “I will have some bread and milk sent up for your supper.  To-morrow morning you will take that candy back to the store, and tell the man you stole it, and ask his pardon.”

“Yes, sir,” said Eddy.  He at once began unfastening his little blouse preparatory to retiring.

Carroll went out of the room and closed the door behind him.  His sister met him at the head of the stairs and accosted him in a sort of fury.

“Arthur Carroll,” said she, tersely, “I wish you would tell me one thing.  Did you whip that child for his faults or your own?”

Carroll looked at her.  He was very pale, and his face seemed to have lengthened out and aged.  “For both, Anna,” he replied.

“What right have you to punish him for your faults, I should like to know?”

“The right of the man who gave them to him.”

“You have the right to punish him for your faults—­your faults?”

“I could kill him for my faults, if necessary.”

“Who is going to punish you for your faults?  Tell me that, Arthur Carroll.”

“The Lord Almighty in His own good time,” replied Carroll, and passed her and went down-stairs.

Chapter X

The next morning, just before nine o’clock, Anderson was sitting in his office, reading the morning paper.  The wind had changed in the night and was blowing from the northwest.  The atmosphere was full of a wonderful clearness and freshness.  Anderson was conscious of exhilaration.  Life assumed a new aspect.  New ambitions pressed upon his fancy, new joys seemed to crowd upon his straining vision in culminating vistas of the future.  Without fairly admitting it to himself, it had seemed to him as if he had already in a great measure exhausted the possibilities of his own life, as if he had begun to see the bare threads of the warp, as if he had worn out the first glory of the pattern design.  Now it was suddenly all different.  It looked to him as if he had scarcely begun to live, as if he had not had his first taste of existence.  He felt himself a youth.  His senses were sharpened, and he got a keen delight from them, which stimulated

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The Debtor from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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