"I cannot tell you how desolate I felt here alone, Magdalen. They all wanted me to send for you right away, but I hadn't the heart. I seemed to know poor Laura would come back and I waited for that.
"Early in October, one stormy night, when the wind blew a gale, and the rain fell in torrents, she came. She walked, in all the downpour, from the station, and I think that helped to give her her death blow. But she would have died anyway. She wanted nothing but to get back to the old home and die. Oh, that changed face!--so haggard, so heart-broken! My poor nursling! And so wretched and miserably dressed! She gave one scream when I told her that her father was dead and dropped down in a dead faint.
"Ah, what a wretched, wretched time it was! I never saw despair before, and I pray God I never may again. I wanted to send for you, but she cried out, in a wild, frenzied sort of way:
"'No! no! no!