The Red Eric
"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