“I will act upon your hint,” he said, “but I have one favour yet to ask, Will you grant it?”
“That depends upon the nature of it.”
“It is that I may be allowed to call here again, to express the gratitude I feel for the kind manner in which you have acted towards me. At present I am not in a fit state to do so. Will you grant me that privilege?”
“We do not seek for your thanks, sir, you are a perfect stranger to us, and we have but done that, which we felt it our duty to do, but if it will afford you any pleasure, I am quite sure my father will grant your request.”
With a hasty “good morning,” he hurried off, passing through the quiet streets as quickly as he could, still wondering how he had got into such strange company.
Sally sought her bed, to snatch a few hours of sleep, but all desire seemed to have flown. She could think of nothing but the young man’s face as she had seen him as he slept. His dress and manners bespoke the gentleman; but he had left no name, and she vainly endeavoured to discover who he was.
The next day brought the young man once more to the cottage door, but in a very different state. Sally was not at home, but the old woman invited him forward, and requested him to be seated. “Give my best thanks to your daughter,” he said, as they conversed together, “and tell her I shall be for ever grateful to her, for she has proved as good as she is beautiful; and she is beautiful.”
“Ther’s lots o’ nice young wimmen ith’ world,” said Tip, “an shoo’s one amang th’ rest.”
After sitting for a few minutes whilst the old woman warned him of the danger he placed himself in by giving way to such evil habits, and having promised never again to forget himself so far, he shook hands with the worthy couple and departed, leaving behind him a handsome sum of money, unknown to them.
Not long after, Sally was returning home, when she met the same young man. The recognition was mutual, and he at once joined her and strolled along by her side, pouring forth his thanks for her kindness, and begging that she would not look upon him with disgust on account of the unfavourable circumstances under which their first meeting took place. His manners were so easy, and his conversation so entertaining, that they reached the end of the street in which she lived, almost before she was aware. He bade her “good night,” and struck off in an opposite direction.
Sally’s heart palpitated more quickly than usual, as she entered the house, and for some reason, unknown even to herself, she did not acquaint her parents with the interview. She endeavoured to occupy her mind by busying herself with the little household affairs, but her manner was abstracted, so feigning exhaustion she went to her room, at an earlier hour than usual. She slept, but not that deep, quiet, undisturbed slumber that wraps in oblivion all the senses. She dreamed strange dreams, in which she saw strange faces, but the one face was ever there, and in the morning she arose, feverish and unrefreshed.