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|True Riches||T.S. Arthur|
|Page 3 of 6||
"Ah, Edith!" said Claire, fondly, "you are a wonderful reasoner. Who will gainsay such arguments?"
"Do I not argue fairly? Are not my positions sound, and my deductions clearly brought forth?"
"If I could always see and feel as I do now," said Claire, in a low, pleased tone of voice, "how smoothly would life glide onward. Money is not every thing. Ah! how fully that is seen. There are possessions not to be bought with gold."
"And they are mental possessions--states of the mind, Edward," spoke up Edith quickly. "Riches that never fade, nor fail; that take to themselves no wings. Oh, let us gather of these abundantly, as we walk on our way through life."
"Heaven has indeed blessed me." Such was the heartfelt admission of Edward Claire, made in the silence of his own thoughts. "With a different wife--a lover of the world and its poor vanities--how imminent would have been my danger! Alas! scarcely any thing less than a miracle would have saved me. I shudder as I realize the fearful danger through which I have just passed. I thank God for so good a wife."
The first inquiry made by Jasper, when he met Edward on the next morning, was in relation to what he had seen at the funeral, and, particularly, as to the disposition that had been made of the child.
"I took her home with me," was replied, in answer to a direct question.
"You did!" Jasper seemed taken by surprise. "How came that, Edward?"
"When I returned from the cemetery, I found the domestic ready to leave the house. Of course the poor child could not remain there alone; so I took her home with me for the night."
"How did your wife like that?" asked Jasper, with something in his tone that showed a personal interest in the reply.
"Very well. I did just what she would have done under the circumstances."
"You have only one child, I believe?" said Jasper, after a pause of some moments.
"That is all."
"Only three in family?"
"How would you like to increase it? Suppose you keep this child of Elder's, now she is with you. I have been looking a little into the affairs of the estate, and find that there are two houses, unincumbered, that are rented each for two hundred and fifty dollars a year. Of course, you will receive a reasonable sum for taking care of the child. What do you say to it? As executor, I will pay you five dollars a week for boarding and clothing her until she is twelve years of age. After that, a new arrangement can be made."
"I can't give an answer until I consult my wife," said Claire, in reply to so unexpected a proposition.
"Urge her to accept the offer, Edward. Just think what it will add to your income. I'm sure it won't cost you one-half the sum, weekly, that I have specified, to find the child in every thing."
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