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A Little Princess

"I Tried Not to Be"
It was pretty, comfortable Mrs. Carmichael who explained everything. She was sent for at
once, and came across the square to take Sara into her warm arms and make clear to her
all that had happened. The excitement of the totally unexpected discovery had been
temporarily almost overpowering to Mr. Carrisford in his weak condition.
"Upon my word," he said faintly to Mr. Carmichael, when it was suggested that the little
girl should go into another room. "I feel as if I do not want to lose sight of her."
"I will take care of her," Janet said, "and mamma will come in a few minutes." And it was
Janet who led her away.
"We're so glad you are found," she said. "You don't know how glad we are that you are
found."
Donald stood with his hands in his pockets, and gazed at Sara with reflecting and self-
reproachful eyes.
"If I'd just asked what your name was when I gave you my sixpence," he said, "you
would have told me it was Sara Crewe, and then you would have been found in a
minute." Then Mrs. Carmichael came in. She looked very much moved, and suddenly
took Sara in her arms and kissed her.
"You look bewildered, poor child," she said. "And it is not to be wondered at."
Sara could only think of one thing.
"Was he," she said, with a glance toward the closed door of the library--"was HE the
wicked friend? Oh, do tell me!"
Mrs. Carmichael was crying as she kissed her again. She felt as if she ought to be kissed
very often because she had not been kissed for so long.
"He was not wicked, my dear," she answered. "He did not really lose your papa's money.
He only thought he had lost it; and because he loved him so much his grief made him so
ill that for a time he was not in his right mind. He almost died of brain fever, and long
before he began to recover your poor papa was dead."
"And he did not know where to find me," murmured Sara. "And I was so near."
Somehow, she could not forget that she had been so near.
"He believed you were in school in France," Mrs. Carmichael explained. "And he was
continually misled by false clues. He has looked for you everywhere. When he saw you
pass by, looking so sad and neglected, he did not dream that you were his friend's poor
child; but because you were a little girl, too, he was sorry for you, and wanted to make
 
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