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plaintive voice that said so, rushed upon her soul, like music in the night. "Oh welcome home, dear Walter! Welcome to this stricken breast!" She felt the words, although she could not utter them, and held him in her pure embrace.

Captain Cuttle, in a fit of delirium, attempted to wipe his head with the blackened toast upon his hook; and finding it an uncongenial substance for the purpose, put it into the crown of his glazed hat, put his glazed hat on with some difficulty, essayed to sing a verse of Lovely Peg, broke down at the first word, and retired into the shop, whence he presently came back, express, with a face all flushed and besmeared, and the starch completely taken out of his shirt-collar, to say these words:

“Wal'r, my lad, here is a little bit of property as I should wish to make over, jintly!"

The Captain hastily produced the big watch, the tea-spoons, the sugar-tongs, and the canister, and laying them on the table, swept them with his great hand into Walter's hat; but in handing that singular strong box to Walter, he was so overcome again, that he was fain to make another retreat into the shop, and absent himself for a longer space of time than on his first retirement.

But Walter sought him out, and brought him back; and then the Captain's great apprehension was, that Florence would suffer from this new shock. He felt it so earnestly, that he turned quite rational, and positively interdicted any further allusion to Walter's adventures for some days to come. Captain Cuttle then became sufficiently composed to relieve himself of the toast in his hat, and to take his place at the tea-board; but finding Walter's grasp upon his shoulder, on one side, and Florence whispering her tearful congratulations on the other, the Captain suddenly bolted again, and was missing for a good ten minutes.

But never in all his life had the Captain's face so shone and glistened, as when, at last, he sat stationary at the tea-board, looking from Florence to Walter, and from Walter to Florence. Nor was this effect produced or at all heightened by the immense quantity of polishing he had administered to his face with his coat-sleeve during the last half-hour. It was solely the effect of his internal emotions. There was a glory and delight within the Captain that spread itself over his whole visage, and made a perfect illumination there.

The pride with which the Captain looked upon the bronzed cheek and the courageous eyes of his recovered boy with which he saw the generous fervor of his youth, and all its frank and hopeful qualities, shining once more, in the fresh, wholesome manner, and the ardent face: would have kindled something of this light in his countenance. The admiration and sympathy with which he turned his eyes on Florence, whose beauty, grace, and innocence could have won no truer or more zealous champion than himself, would have had an equal influence upon him. But the fulness of the glow he shed around him could only have been engendered in his contemplation of the two together, and in all the fancies springing out of that association, that came sparkling and beaming into his head, and danced about it.

How they talked of poor old Uncle Sol, and dwelt on every little circumstance relating to his disappearance; how their joy was moderated by the old man's absence and by the misfortunes of Florence; how they released Diogenes, whom the Captain had decoyed up-stairs some time before, lest he should bark again; the Captain, though he was in one continual flutter, and made many more short plunges into the shop, fully comprehended. But he no more dreamed that Walter looked on Florence, as it were, from a new and far-off place; that while his eyes often sought the lovely face, they seldom met its open glance of sisterly affection, but withdrew themselves when hers were raised towards him; than he believed that it was Walter's ghost who sat beside him. He saw them there together in their youth and beauty, and he knew the story of their younger days, and he had no inch of room beneath his great blue waistcoat for anything save admiration of such a pair, and gratitude for their being re-united.

They sat thus, until it grew late. The Captain would have been content to sit so, for a week. But Walter rose to take leave for the night.

"Where ?"

"Going, Walter !" said Florence. "He slings his hammock for the present, lady lass," said Captain Cuttle, "round at Brogley's. Within hail, Heart's Delight."

"I am the cause of your going away, Walter," said Florence. "There is a houseless sister in your place."

"Dear Miss Dombey," replied Walter, hesitating—“ if it is not too bold to call you so!—"

"Walter!" she exclaimed, surprised.

"If anything could make me happier in being allowed to see and speak to you, would it not be the discovery that I had any means on earth of doing you a moment's service! Where would I not go, what would I not do, for your sake!"

She smiled, and called him brother.

"You are so changed," said Walter. "I changed!" she interrupted.

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To me," said Walter, softly, as if he were thinking aloud, 'changed to me. I left you such a child, and find you-oh! something so different-"

"But your sister, Walter. You have not forgotten what we promised to each other, when we parted?"

"Forgotten!" But he said no more.

"And if you had-if suffering and danger had driven it from your thoughts-which it has not-you would remember it now, Walter, when you find me poor and abandoned, with no home but this, and no friends but the two who hear me speak!"

"I would! Heaven knows I would!" said Walter.

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"Oh Walter!" exclaimed Florence, through her sobs and tears. "Dear brother! Show me some way through the world -some humble path that I may take alone, and labor in, and sometimes think of you as one who will protect and care for me as for a sister! Oh, help me, Walter, for I need help so much!”

"Miss Dombey! Florence! I would die to help you. But your friends are proud and rich. Your father"

"No, no! Walter !" She shrieked, and put her hands up to her head, in an attitude of terror that transfixed him where he stood. "Don't say that word!"

He never, from that hour, forgot the voice and look with which she stopped him at the name. He felt that if he were to live a hundred years, he never could forget it. Somewhere-anywhere-but never home! All past, all gone, all lost, and broken up! The whole history of her untold slight and suffering was in the cry and look; and he felt he never could forget it, and he never did.

She laid her gentle face upon the Captain's shoulder, and re

lated how and why she had fled. If every sorrowing tear she shed in doing so, had been a curse upon the head of him she never named or blamed, it would have been better for him, Walter thought, with awe, than to be renounced out of such a strength and might of love.

“There, precious!" said the Captain, when she ceased; and deep attention the Captain had paid to her while she spoke; listening, with his glazed hat all awry, and his mouth wide open. "Awast, awast, my eyes! Wal'r, dear lad, sheer off for tonight, and leave the pretty one to me!"

Walter took her hand in both of his, and put it to his lips, and kissed it. He knew now that she was, indeed, a homeless wandering fugitive; but richer to him so, than in all the wealth and pride of her right station, she seemed further off than even on the height that had made him giddy in his boyish dreams.

Captain Cuttle, perplexed by no such meditations, guarded Florence to her room, and watched at intervals upon the charmed ground outside her door-for such it truly was to him-until he felt sufficiently easy in his mind about her, to turn in under the counter. On abandoning his watch for that purpose, he could not help calling once, rapturously, through the keyhole, "Drownded. An't he, pretty ?"-or, when he got down stairs, making another trial at that verse of Lovely Peg. But it stuck in his throat somehow, and he could make nothing of it; so he went to bed, and dreamed that old Sol Gills was married to Mrs. MacStinger, and kept prisoner by that lady in a secret chamber on a short allowance of victuals.

CHAPTER L.

Mr. Toots's Complaint.

THERE was an empty room downstairs at the Wooden Midshipman's, which, in days of yore, had been Walter's bed-room. Walter, rousing up the Captain betimes in the morning, proposed that they should carry thither such furniture out of the little par

lor, as would grace it best, so that Florence might take possession of it when she rose. As nothing could be more agreeable to Captain Cuttle than making himself very red and short of breath in such a cause, he turned to (as he himself said) with a will; and, in a couple of hours, this garret was transformed into a species of land-cabin, adorned with all the choicest movables out of the parlor, inclusive even of the Tartar frigate, which the Captain hung up over the chimney-piece with such extreme delight, that he could do nothing for half-an-hour afterwards but walk backward from it, lost in admiration.

The Captain could be induced by no persuasion of Walter's to wind up the big watch, or to take back the canister, or to touch the sugar-tongs and tea-spoons. "No, no, my lad;" was the Captain's invariable reply to any solicitation of the kind, "I've made that there little property over, jintly." These words he repeated with great unction and gravity, evidently believing that they had the virtue of an Act of Parliament, and that, unless he committed himself by some new admission of ownership, no flaw could be found in such a form of conveyance.

It was an advantage of the new arrangement, that besides the greater seclusion it afforded Florence, it admitted of the Midshipman being restored to his usual post of observation, and also of the shop shutters being taken down. The latter ceremony, however little importance the unconscious Captain attached to it, was not wholly superfluous; for, on the previous day, so much excitement had been occasioned in the neighborhood, by the shutters remaining unopened, that the Instrument Maker's house had been honored with an unusual share of public observation, and had been intently stared at from the opposite side of the way, by groups of hungry gazers, at any time between sunrise and sunset. The idlers and vagabonds had been particularly interested in the Captain's fate; constantly grovelling in the mud to apply their eyes to the cellar-grating, under the shop-window, and delighting their imaginations with the fancy that they could see a piece of his coat as he hung in a corner; though this settlement of him was stoutly disputed by an opposite faction, who were of opinion that he lay murdered with a hammer, on the stairs. It was not without exciting some discontent, therefore, that the subject of these rumors was seen early in the

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