a man must speak in his time of sorrow. There was no woman whose sympathy
could be given to him, or with whom, owing to the terrible circumstance with
which his sorrow was surrounded, he could speak freely.
"I know now how I suffered," he said, as he dried his eyes, "but I do not know
even yet, and none other can ever know, how much your sweet sympathy has
been to me today. I shall know better in time, and believe me that, though I am
not ungrateful now, my gratitude will grow with my understanding. You will let me
be like a brother, will you not, for all our lives, for dear Lucy's sake?"
"For dear Lucy's sake," I said as we clasped hands."Ay, and for your own sake,"
he added, "for if a man's esteem and gratitude are ever worth the winning, you
have won mine today. If ever the future should bring to you a time when you
need a man's help, believe me, you will not call in vain. God grant that no such
time may ever come to you to break the sunshine of your life, but if it should ever
come, promise me that you will let me know."
He was so earnest, and his sorrow was so fresh, that I felt it would comfort him,
so I said, "I promise."
As I came along the corridor I say Mr. Morris looking out of a window. He turned
as he heard my footsteps. "How is Art?" he said. Then noticing my red eyes, he
went on, "Ah, I see you have been comforting him. Poor old fellow! He needs it.
No one but a woman can help a man when he is in trouble of the heart, and he
had no one to comfort him."
He bore his own trouble so bravely that my heart bled for him. I saw the
manuscript in his hand, and I knew that when he read it he would realize how
much I knew, so I said to him, "I wish I could comfort all who suffer from the
heart. Will you let me be your friend, and will you come to me for comfort if you
need it? You will know later why I speak."
He saw that I was in earnest, and stooping, took my hand, and raising it to his
lips, kissed it. It seemed but poor comfort to so brave and unselfish a soul, and
impulsively I bent over and kissed him. The tears rose in his eyes, and there was
a momentary choking in his throat. He said quite calmly, "Little girl, you will never
forget that true hearted kindness, so long as ever you live!" Then he went into the
study to his friend.
"Little girl!" The very words he had used to Lucy, and, oh, but he proved himself a