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True Riches T.S. Arthur

Chapter XIV

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"There would be none in my mind. As for the higher position in society which she would attain, as an inmate of Mr. Jasper's family, that might not be to her the greatest good; but prove the most direful evil. She could not be guarded there, in her entrance into life, as we would guard her. The same love would not surround her as a protecting sphere. I tremble at the thought, Edward. How great would be her danger! Fourfold would be her temptation, and tenfold her exposure."

"We will keep her," said Claire, firmly, as his wife ceased speaking. "She must not be so exposed. God has given her to us; she is our child, for we love her as tenderly as if she were of our own blood. When her mother was taken, God transferred the love she had borne her child into your bosom, and from that time you became her mother. No, Edith, we must not let her go forth, in her tender innocence. We love her as our own; let us share with her the best we have; let her become more really our own than she has yet been."

"If," said Edith, after some moments, "we lose the regular income from Mr. Jasper, Fanny will be deprived of most important advantages. Just now we are about adding materially to the cost of her education."

"I know," replied Edward. "But if the income is withheld?"

"We have not yet applied for it."

Claire looked, for some moments, steadily into his wife's face.

"You think, then, that we should make the usual application?"

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"I have not said so, Edward. My mind is far from clear. Jasper may not, now, want the trouble of Fanny. He doubtless had some purpose to subserve when he demanded her; a purpose gained, probably, at the time of her mysterious removal from the city, which I have always believed was through his agency. If you were to send for the money, as usual, it is more than probable that he would pay it."

"But, if he should refuse, and demand the child?"

"If his purpose to do this remains, and he has forgotten Fanny's age, your omission to send for the money will be more likely to call his thought to the subject, than your regular demand for the price of her maintenance."


"And if he still means to have her, the execution of his purpose cannot in any event be long delayed."


"Can we unaided give her the education she is entitled to receive?"

Claire shook his head.

"Then had we not better continue to apply for the sum necessary to her support and education. If Mr. Jasper is indifferent about her, the money will be paid as usual; if he means to take her into his own family, our failure to apply will defer but for a very short season the evil day."

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True Riches
T.S. Arthur

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