Language: English
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At last the answer came, and it was Maddy who brought it to Guy. She had been home that day, and on her return had ridden by the office as Guy had requested her to do. She saw the letter bore a foreign postmark, also that it was in the delicate handwriting of some female, but the sight did not affect her in the least. Maddy's heart was far too heavy that day to care for a trifle, and so placing the letter carefully in her basket she kept on to Aikenside.

The letter was decidedly Lucy-ish in all that pertained to her "dearest darling," her "precious Guy," but when she came to Maddy Clyde, her true, womanly nature spoke; and Guy, while reading it, felt how good she was. Of course he might teach Maddy Clyde all he wished to teach her, and it made Lucy love him better to know that he was willing to do such things. She wished she was there to help him; they would open a school for all the poor, but she did not know when mamma would let her come. That pain in her side was not any better, and her cough had come earlier this season than last. The physician had advised a winter in Naples, and they were going before very long. It would be pleasant there, no doubt, only she should be farther away from her boy Guy, but she would think of him, oh, so often, teaching that dear little Maddy Clyde, and she would pray for him, too, just as she always did. Then followed a few more lines sacred to the lover's eye, lines which told how pure was the love which sweet Lucy Atherstone bore for Guy Remington, who, as he read, felt his heart beat with a throb of pain, for Lucy spoke to him now for the first time of what might possibly be.

"I've dreamed about it nights," she said. "I've thought about it days, and tried so hard to be reconciled; to feel that if God will have it so, I am willing to die before you have ever called me your little wife, or I have ever called you husband. Heaven is better than earth, I know, and I am sure of going there, I think, but oh, dear Guy, a life with you looks so very sweet, that sometimes your little Lucy shrinks from the dark grave, which would hide her forever from you. Guy, you once said you never prayed, and it made me feel so badly, but you will, when you get this, won't you? You will ask God to make me well, and may be He will hear you. Do, Guy, please do pray for your Lucy, far away over the sea."

Guy could not resist that touching appeal, "to pray for his little Lucy," and though his lips were all unused to prayer, bowing his head upon his hands he did ask that she might live, beseeching the Father to send upon him any calamity save this one—Lucy must be spared. Guy felt better for having prayed, it was something to tell Lucy, something that would please her well, and though his heart yet was very sad, a part of the load was lifted, and he could think of Lucy now without the bitter pain her letter first had cost him. Was there nothing that would save her, nobody who could cure her? Her disease was not hereditary; surely it might be made to yield; had English physicians no skill, would not an American do better?...