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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 200 pages of information about A Dark Night's Work.
in an agony of love and terror, that Edward arose, and softly taking her in his arms, bore her away, lying back like one dead (so exhausted was she by the terrible emotion they had forced on her childish heart), into his study, a little room opening out of the grand library, where on happy evenings, never to come again, he and his wife were wont to retire to have coffee together, and then perhaps stroll out of the glass-door into the open air, the shrubbery, the fields—­never more to be trodden by those dear feet.  What passed between father and child in this seclusion none could tell.  Late in the evening Ellinor’s supper was sent for, and the servant who brought it in saw the child lying as one dead in her father’s arms, and before he left the room watched his master feeding her, the girl of six years of age, with as tender care as if she had been a baby of six months.

CHAPTER III.

From that time the tie between father and daughter grew very strong and tender indeed.  Ellinor, it is true, divided her affection between her baby sister and her papa; but he, caring little for babies, had only a theoretic regard for his younger child, while the elder absorbed all his love.  Every day that he dined at home Ellinor was placed opposite to him while he ate his late dinner; she sat where her mother had done during the meal, although she had dined and even supped some time before on the more primitive nursery fare.  It was half pitiful, half amusing, to see the little girl’s grave, thoughtful ways and modes of speech, as if trying to act up to the dignity of her place as her father’s companion, till sometimes the little head nodded off to slumber in the middle of lisping some wise little speech.  “Old-fashioned,” the nurses called her, and prophesied that she would not live long in consequence of her old-fashionedness.  But instead of the fulfilment of this prophecy, the fat bright baby was seized with fits, and was well, ill, and dead in a day!  Ellinor’s grief was something alarming, from its quietness and concealment.  She waited till she was left—­as she thought—­alone at nights, and then sobbed and cried her passionate cry for “Baby, baby, come back to me—­come back;” till every one feared for the health of the frail little girl whose childish affections had had to stand two such shocks.  Her father put aside all business, all pleasure of every kind, to win his darling from her grief.  No mother could have done more, no tenderest nurse done half so much as Mr. Wilkins then did for Ellinor.

If it had not been for him she would have just died of her grief.  As it was, she overcame it—­but slowly, wearily—­hardly letting herself love anyone for some time, as if she instinctively feared lest all her strong attachments should find a sudden end in death.  Her love—­thus dammed up into a small space—­at last burst its banks, and overflowed on her father.  It was a rich reward to him for all his care of her, and he

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