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with infinite surprise. 'Go live in
Manchester! '

When Samuel Orme found that the plan
had never before been named to either Will or
Tom, he would have nothing to do with it, he
said, until they had spoken to their mother;
likely she was 'dazed' by her husband's death;
he would wait a day or two, and not name it
to any one; not to Tom Higginbotham himself,
or may be he would set his heart upon it.
The lads had better go in and talk it over
with their mother. He bade them good day,
and left them.

Will looked very gloomy, but he did not speak
till they got near the house. Then he said,—

' Tom, go to th' shippon, and supper the
cows. I want to speak to mother alone.'

When he entered the house-place, she was
sitting before the fire, looking into its embers.
She did not hear him come in; for some time
she had lost her quick perception of outward

' Mother! what's this about going to Manchester? '
asked he.

' Oh, lad! ' said she, turning round, and
speaking in a beseeching tone, ' I must go and
seek our Lizzie. I cannot rest here for thinking
on her. Many's the time I've left thy
father sleeping in bed, and stole to th' window,
and looked and looked my heart out towards
Manchester, till I thought I must just set out
and tramp over moor and moss straight away
till I got there, and then lift up every downcast
face till I came to our Lizzie. And often,
when the south wind was blowing soft among
the hollows, I've fancied (it could but be
fancy, thou knowest) I heard her crying upon
me; and I've thought the voice came closer
and closer, till at last it was sobbing out
"Mother " close to the door; and I've stolen
down, and undone the latch before now, and
looked out into the still black night, thinking
to see her,—and turned sick and sorrowful
when I heard no living sound but the sough
of the wind dying away. Oh! speak not to me
of stopping here, when she may be perishing
for hunger, like the poor lad in the parable.'
And now she lifted up her voice and wept aloud.

Will was deeply grieved. He had been
old enough to be told the family shame when,
more than two years before, his father had
had his letter to his daughter returned by her
mistress in Manchester, telling him that
Lizzie had left her service some timeand
why. He had sympathised with his father's
stern anger; though he had thought him
something hard, it is true, when he had forbidden
his weeping, heart-broken wife to go and try to
find her poor sinning child, and declared that
henceforth they would have no daughter;
that she should be as one dead, and her name
never more be named at market or at meal
time, in blessing or in prayer. He had held
his peace, with compressed lips and contracted
brow, when the neighbours had noticed to him
how poor Lizzie's death had aged both his
father and his mother; and how they thought
the bereaved couple would never hold up their
heads again. He himself had felt as if that
one event had made him old before his time;
and had envied Tom the tears he had shed
over poor, pretty, innocent, dead Lizzie. He
thought about her sometimes, till he ground
his teeth together, and could have struck her
down in her shame. His mother had never
named her to him until now.

' Mother! ' said he at last. ' She may be
dead. Most likely she is.'

' No, Will; she is not dead,' said Mrs. Leigh.
' God will not let her die till I've seen her
once again. Thou dost not know how I've
prayed and prayed just once again to see her
sweet face, and tell her I've forgiven her,
though she's broken my heartshe has, Will.'
She could not go on for a minute or two for the
choking sobs. ' Thou dost not know that, or thou
wouldst not say she could be dead,—for God is
very merciful, Will; He is,—He is much more
pitiful than man,—I could never ha' spoken to
thy father as I did to Him,—and yet thy father
forgave her at last. The last words he said
were that he forgave her. Thou'lt not be
harder than thy father, Will? Do not try and
hinder me going to seek her, for it's no use.'

Will sat very still for a long time before he
spoke. At last he said, ' I'll not hinder you.
I think she's dead, but that's no matter.'

' She is not dead,' said her mother, with low
earnestness. Will took no notice of the

' We will all go to Manchester for a twelvemonth,
and let the farm to Tom Higginbotham.
I'll get blacksmith's work; and Tom can have
good schooling for awhile, which he's always
craving for. At the end of the year you'll
come back, mother, and give over fretting for
Lizzie, and think with me that she is dead,—
and, to my mind, that would be more comfort
than to think of her living; ' he dropped his
voice as he spoke these last words. She shook
her head, but made no answer. He asked

' Will you, mother, agree to this? '

' I'll agree to it a-this-ns,' said she. ' If I
hear and see nought of her for a twelvemonth,
me being in Manchester looking out, I'll just
ha' broken my heart fairly before the year's
ended, and then I shall know neither love nor
sorrow for her any more, when I'm at rest in
the graveI'll agree to that, Will.'

' Well, I suppose it must be so. I shall not
tell Tom, mother, why we're flitting to Manchester.
Best spare him.'

' As thou wilt,' said she, sadly, ' so that we
go, that's all.'

Before the wild daffodils were in flower in
the sheltered copses round Upclose Farm, the
Leighs were settled in their Manchester
home; if they could ever grow to consider that
place as a home, where there was no garden,
or outbuilding, no fresh breezy outlet, no
far-stretching view, over moor and hollow,
no dumb animals to be tended, and, what
more than all they missed, no old haunting