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Sara Crewe Frances Hodgson Burnett

Sara Crewe

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She saw the invalid start--the strangest start-- as if he had been suddenly frightened. Then he spoke nervously and excitedly:

"That's an old story," he said. "It happens every day; but sometimes those who are blamed --those who do the wrong--don't intend it, and are not so bad. It may happen through a mistake --a miscalculation; they may not be so bad."

"No," said Sara, "but the suffering is just as bad for the others. It killed my papa."

The Indian Gentleman pushed aside some of the gorgeous wraps that covered him.

"Come a little nearer, and let me look at you," he said.

His voice sounded very strange; it had a more nervous and excited tone than before. Sara had an odd fancy that he was half afraid to look at her. She came and stood nearer, the monkey clinging to her and watching his master anxiously over his shoulder.

The Indian Gentleman's hollow, restless eyes fixed themselves on her.

"Yes," he said at last. "Yes; I can see it. Tell me your father's name."

"His name was Ralph Crewe," said Sara. "Captain Crewe. Perhaps,"--a sudden thought flashing upon her,-- "perhaps you may have heard of him? He died in India."

The Indian Gentleman sank back upon his pillows. He looked very weak, and seemed out of breath.

"Yes," he said, "I knew him. I was his friend. I meant no harm. If he had only lived he would have known. It turned out well after all. He was a fine young fellow. I was fond of him. I will make it right. Call--call the man."

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Sara thought he was going to die. But there was no need to call the Lascar. He must have been waiting at the door. He was in the room and by his master's side in an instant. He seemed to know what to do. He lifted the drooping head, and gave the invalid something in a small glass. The Indian Gentleman lay panting for a few minutes, and then he spoke in an exhausted but eager voice, addressing the Lascar in Hindustani:

"Go for Carmichael," he said. Tell him to come here at once. Tell him I have found the child!"

When Mr. Carmichael arrived (which occurred in a very few minutes, for it turned out that he was no other than the father of the Large Family across the street), Sara went home, and was allowed to take the monkey with her. She certainly did not sleep very much that night, though the monkey behaved beautifully, and did not disturb her in the least. It was not the monkey that kept her awake--it was her thoughts, and her wonders as to what the Indian Gentleman had meant when he said, "Tell him I have found the child." "What child?" Sara kept asking herself.

"I was the only child there; but how had he found me, and why did he want to find me? And what is he going to do, now I am found? Is it something about my papa? Do I belong to somebody? Is he one of my relations? Is something going to happen?"

But she found out the very next day, in the morning; and it seemed that she had been living in a story even more than she had imagined. First, Mr. Carmichael came and had an interview with Miss Minchin. And it appeared that Mr. Carmichael, besides occupying the important situation of father to the Large Family was a lawyer, and had charge of the affairs of Mr. Carrisford--which was the real name of the Indian Gentleman--and, as Mr. Carrisford's lawyer, Mr. Carmichael had come to explain something curious to Miss Minchin regarding Sara. But, being the father of the Large Family, he had a very kind and fatherly feeling for children; and so, after seeing Miss Minchin alone, what did he do but go and bring across the square his rosy, motherly, warm-hearted wife, so that she herself might talk to the little lonely girl, and tell her everything in the best and most motherly way.

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Sara Crewe
Frances Hodgson Burnett

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