imultaneously into tears, and buried their respective faces in their respective pocket-handkerchiefs, which were immaculately clean and had to be hastily unfolded for the purpose.
"Now, now, my dear girls," cried the captain, starting up and patting their shoulders, while poor little Ailie clasped her hands, sat down on a footstool, looked up in their faces--or, rather, at the backs of the hands which covered their faces--and wept quietly.
"It's very cruel, George--indeed it is," sobbed Martha; "you know how we love her."
"Very true," remarked the obdurate captain; "but you don't know how I love her, and how sad it makes me to see so little of her, and to think that she may be learning to forget me--or, at least," added the captain, correcting himself as Ailie looked at him reproachfully through her tears--"at least to do without me. I can't bear the thought. She's all I have left to me, and--"
"Brother," interrupted Martha, looking hastily up, "did you ever befor
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