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time：2023-12-03 12:08:47 Source: Originally writtenedit：love
"Do," said Little. "Tell her who it is. I'll wait in the dining- room."
He walked into the dining-room before the man could object, and there he found a sick gentleman, with Dr. Amboyne and a surgeon examining him. The patient lay on a sofa, extremely pale, and groaning with pain.
One glance sufficed. It was Frederick Coventry.
"What! you alive?" said Little, staring.
"Alive, and that is all," said Coventry. "Pray excuse me for not dying to please you."
Ere Little could reply, Mr. Carden, who had heard of his arrival, looked in from the library, and beckoned him in.
When they were alone, he began by giving the young man his hand, and then thanked him warmly for his daughter. "You have shown yourself a hero in courage. Now go one step further; be a hero in fortitude and self-denial; that unhappy man in the next room is her husband; like you, he risked his life to save her. He tells me he heard the dam was going to burst, and came instantly with a ladder to rescue her. He was less fortunate than you, and failed to rescue her; less fortunate than you again, he has received a mortal injury in that attempt. It was I who found him; I went down distracted with anxiety, to look for my daughter; I found this poor creature jammed tight between the tree he was upon and a quantity of heavy timber that had accumulated and rested against a bank. We released him with great difficulty. It was a long time before he could speak; and then, his first inquiry was after HER. Show some pity for an erring man, Mr. Little; some consideration for my daughter's reputation. Let him die in peace: his spine is broken; he can't live many days."
Little heard all this and looked down on the ground for some time in silence. At last he said firmly, "Mr. Carden, I would not be inhuman to a dying man; but you were always his friend, and never mine. Let me see HER, and I'll tell her what you say, and take her advice."
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