The Path of Duty, and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.
to a lady passing in the street, saying, “there, Sir, is the young lady from whom I purchased the ring.”  He waited to hear no more, but, stepping hastily into the street, followed the lady at a respectful distance; but never losing sight of her for a moment till she entered her home two streets distant from the shop of the jeweller.  He approached the door and rang the bell.  The door was opened by the same young lady, whose manner exhibited not a little embarrassment, when she beheld a total stranger; and he began to feel himself in an awkward position.  He was at a loss how to address her till, recollecting that he must explain his visit in some way, he said:  “Pardon the intrusion of a stranger; but, by your permission, I would like to enter the house, and have a word of conversation with you.”  The young girl regarded the man earnestly for a moment; but his manner was so gentlemanly and deferential that she could do no less than invite him to enter the little sitting-room where her mother was at work, and ask him to be seated.  He bowed to Mrs. Harris on entering the room, then seating himself he addressed the young lady, saying:  “The peculiar circumstances in which I am placed must serve as my apology for asking you a question which you may consider impertinent.  Are you the young lady who, some months since, sold a diamond ring to a jeweller on Grafton street?” Mrs. Harris raised her eyes to the stranger’s face, and the proud English blood which flowed in her veins mantled her cheek as she replied, “before I permit my daughter to answer the questions of a stranger, you will be so kind as to explain your right to question.”  The stranger sprang from his seat at the sound of her voice, and exclaimed, in a voice tremulous from emotion, “don’t you know me Eliza, I am your long lost brother George.”  The reader will, doubtless, be better able to imagine the scene which followed, than I am to describe it.  Everything was soon explained, many letters had been sent which never reached their destination; he knew not that his sister had left England, and after writing again and again, and receiving no reply, he ceased altogether from writing.  During the first years of his sojourn in California, he was unfortunate, and was several times brought to the brink of the grave by sickness.  After a time fortune smiled upon his efforts, till he at length grew immensely rich, and finally left the burning skies of California to return to England.  He landed at New York and intended, after visiting the Canadas, to sail for England.  The brother and sister had parted in their early youth, and it is no wonder that they failed to recognize each other when each had passed middle age.  The brother was most changed of the two.  His complexion had grown very dark, and he had such a foreign look that, when convinced of the fact, Mrs. Harris could hardly believe him to be one and the same with the stripling brother from whom she parted in England so many years ago.  He was, of course, not aware
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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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