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Edward Payson Roe
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 334 pages of information about Taken Alive.

“Well, I want Dr. Barnes present when you meet him.”

“Certainly; at least within call.”

“I must stipulate too,” said Mrs. Kemble.  “I don’t wish the coming scenes to take place in a hotel, and under the eyes of that gossip, Jackson.  I don’t see why Hobart took him there.”

“I do,” said Mr. Kemble, standing up for his favorite.  “Hobart has already endured more than mortal man ought, yet he has been most delicately considerate.  No one but Jackson and Dr. Barnes know about Nichol and his condition.  I have also had Nichol’s father and mother sent for on my own responsibility, for they should take their share of the matter.  Hobart believes that Helen can restore Nichol’s memory.  This would simplify everything and save many painful impressions.  You see, it’s such an obscure trouble, and there should be no ill-advised blundering in the matter.  The doctors in Washington told Hobart that a slight shock, or the sight of an object that once had the strongest hold upon his thoughts—­well, you understand.”

“Yes,” said Helen, “I do understand.  Hobart is trying to give Albert the very best chance.  Albert wrote that his last earthly thoughts would be of me.  It is but natural that my presence should kindle those thoughts again.  It was like Hobart, who is almost divine in his thoughtfulness of others, to wish to shield Albert from the eyes of even his own father and mother until he could know them, and know us all.  He was only taken to the hotel that we all might understand and be prepared to do our part.  Papa, bring Albert here and let his father and mother come here also.  He should be sacredly shielded in his infirmity, and give a every chance to recover before being seen by others; and please, papa, exact from Jackson a solemn promise not to tattle about Albert.”

“Yes, yes; but we have first a duty to perform.  Mother, please prepare a little lunch, and put a glass of your old currant wine on the tray.  Hobart must not come to a cold, cheerless home.  I’ll go and have his old servant up and ready to receive him.”

“No, mamma, that is still my privilege,” said Helen, with a rush, of tears.  “Oh, I’m so sorry, sorry for him! but neither he nor I can help or change what is, what’s true.”

When the tray was ready, she wrote and sealed these words: 

“God bless you, Hobart; God reward you!  You have made me feel to-night that earth is too poor, and only heaven rich enough to reward you.

Helen.”

CHAPTER XI

MR. KEMBLE’S APPEAL

It often happens that the wife’s disposition is an antidote to her husband:  and this was fortunately true of Mrs. Jackson.  She was neither curious nor gossiping, and with a quick instinct that privacy was desired by Martine, gave at an early hour her orders to close the house for the night.  The few loungers, knowing that she was autocratic, slouched off to other resorts.  The man and maids of all work were kept out of the way, while she and her husband waited on their unexpected guests.  After Mr. Kemble’s departure, the errand-boy was roused from his doze behind the stove and seat for Dr. Barnes; then Jackson wrote another note at Martine’s dictation: 

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