r how I choked as I tried to answer him, and, patting his gilt-buttoned coat, took the fat chapped little hands in mine, kissing them at last. I was so hungry for affection that night! I would have clung to a dog that had been kind to me. I thought of the first day Doctor Manning had brought him to me, in this same comical little jacket, by the way, and the strangely tender tone in which he had said,--"This is your mother, boy. He's as rough as a bear, Hetty, but he won't give you trouble or pain. Nothing shall give you pain, if I"----Then he stopped. I never heard that man make a promise. If he had come out instead of Teddy on the porch that night, and had spoken once in the old tone, calling me "Hetty," God knows how different all that came after would have been. The motherless boy, holding himself up by my knees, was more sturdy than I that night, and self-reliant: never could have known, in his most helpless baby-days, the need with which I, an adult woman, craved a cheering word, and a little petting.
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