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Belle K. Abbott
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 169 pages of information about Leah Mordecai.

“August 30.-This has been a memorable month to me.  Last night, in the starlight, as I walked home with Leah from the Battery, she promised to marry me; yes, actually to marry me!  Said she was unhappy at home-I wonder why-and would marry me in self-defence, if from no other cause.  A tear stood in her dark eyes as she said, with stern, hoarse voice, ’If you love me, Emile, truly love me, and will be faithful to me, I will forsake all others and marry you.’  Then she made me swear it—­swear it there, in the face of the blue heavens and the glittering stars.  I tremble when I think of my parents’ displeasure, but then I love the girl, and shall fulfil my vow, even unto death.  In a month I shall be twenty-five years old, and before another birth-day rolls around, after this one, I shall be a married man-married to the girl I love, Leah Mordecai, the Jewess.  I wonder what the world will say.  But I don’t care; love knows no barriers.  When my plans are a little more defined, I shall mention the matter seriously to my father.  Mother will not hear to it, I know.  And then; if he is willing, all well; if he is not willing, all well still.  I shall marry her.”

CHAPTER XIX.

Leah mordecai sat alone in the southern balcony of her father’s house one night in this same memorable August, the events of which were so fully recorded in Emile’s diary-sat alone enjoying the warm silver moonlight that flooded all the world about her-sat alone, thinking, dreaming, fearing, vaguely hoping.  Suddenly the sound of her mother’s voice reached her from an adjoining room, and arrested her attention.  Involuntarily she listened.  “Yes, dear husband, Leah is anxious to go-unhappy even, at the fear of being denied.”

“You surprise me, Rebecca,” replied the fond husband and father; “I never dreamed that Leah desired to visit Europe.  She has never mentioned it to me.”

“No, nor will she ever.  She fears your displeasure, shrinks from betraying a desire to be separated from you, even for a short period of time; but still she longs to go.  Ever since Bertha Levy went to Berlin, she has cherished a secret desire to go, too.  You well know that music is the passion of her soul, and Leah longs for culture which she cannot obtain in this country.”

“Dear child!” exclaimed the father, “she shall be gratified in her desires, and study in the fatherland as long as she chooses.  She has always been a good, obedient, loving daughter, and deserves to be rewarded.”  Then he added, after a moment’s pause, and with ill-concealed emotion, “Yes, my daughter is always obedient and kind, yet a shade too sober for one so young; but her mother was always thoughtful, dear woman, and I suppose it’s the child’s inheritance.”  Mr. Mordecai sighed.  And Rebecca, discerning the drift of his thought, recurred quickly to the subject, saying: 

“Well, my husband, what arrangement can you make for Leah’s going?  Of course you cannot accompany her.”

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