The Shepherd of the North
Evidently Tom Lansing realised this, for, with a look, he called the girl to him.
Through the seventeen years of her life, since the night when her mother had laid her in her father's arms and died, Ruth Lansing had hardly ever been beyond the reach of her father's voice. They had grown very close together, these two. They had little need of clumsy words between them.
As the girl dropped to her knees, her eyes, wild, eager, rebellious, seared her father with their terror-stricken, unbelieving question.
But she quickly saw the stab of pain that her wild questioning had given him. She crushed back a great, choking sob, and fought bravely with herself until she was able to force into her eyes a look of understanding and great mothering tenderness.
Her father saw the struggle and the look, and blessed her for it with his eyes. Then he said:
"You'll never blame me, Ruth,