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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 162 pages of information about A Canadian Heroine, Volume 2.
in exactly the same mind as when he left Canada, and that nothing whatever would alter him, except Lucia’s preference for some other person.  He went on to say that he could still wait, but that as the strongest purpose of his life would be to give Lucia the choice of accepting or refusing him as soon as he had a home to offer her, it was needless unkindness to try to conceal her from him.  Wherever she might be, he should certainly find her in the end, and he implored her mother to spare him the anxiety and delay of a search.  Finally he wrote, “I cannot understand in the least what you can mean by the reason you give for casting me off, but you seem to have forgotten that if any disgrace (I hate to use the word), either real or imaginary, has fallen upon you, it is the more and not the less needful that you should have all the help and support I can give you.  That may not be much, but such as it is I have a right to offer it, and you to accept it.”

The letter wound up with the most urgent entreaties that she would answer it at once, and give up entirely the useless attempt to separate him from Lucia; and when it was finished and sent off, quite regardless of the fact that it would have left England just as soon if written two days later, he began to feel a little comforted, and as if he had at any rate put a stop to the worst evil that threatened him.

But the relief lasted only a few hours.  By the next day he was tormenting himself with all the ingenuity of which he was capable, and the task of amusing Mr. Beresford was ten thousand times harder than ever.  He did it, and did it better than usual, but only because he was so annoyed at his own anxiety and absence of mind that he set himself with a sort of dogged determination to conquer them, or at any rate keep them out of sight.  The more, however, that he held his thoughts shut up in his own mind, the more active and troublesome they became, and an idea took possession of him, which he made very few efforts to shake off, though he could not at first see clearly how to carry it into execution.

This idea was that he must return to Canada.  He thought that one hour of actual presence would do more for his cause than a hundred letters—­nay, he did not despair of persuading Mrs. Costello to bring Lucia to England, where he could keep some watch and guard over them both; but, at any rate, he had a strong fancy that he might at once learn the secret of her distress himself, and help her to keep it from others.  He calculated that six weeks’ absence from Hunsdon would enable him to do this, and at the same time to make arrangements for his father’s comfort more satisfactory than the present ones.  The last inducement was, of course, the one he meant to make bear the weight of his sudden anxiety, and after much deliberation, or what he thought was deliberation, he decided that the first thing to be done was to interest his cousin in his plans and try to get her help.

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