Lo, Michael (Chapter 2, page 2 of 8)


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Chapter 2

The little girl lay with one plump white arm thrown over her head, the curling baby fingers just touching the rosy cheek, flushed with sleep. She looked like a rosebud herself, so beautiful among the rose and lacey draperies of her couch. Her dark curls, so fine and soft and wonderful, with their hidden purple shadows, and the long dark curling lashes, to match the finely pencilled brows, brought out each delicate feature of the lovely little face. The father, as he looked down upon her, wondered how it could have been in the heart of any creature, no matter how wicked, to put out this vivid little life. His little Starr, his one treasure!

The man that had tried to do it, could he have intended it really, or was it only a random shot? The testimony of those who saw judged it intention. The father's quickened heart-beats told him it was, and he felt that the thrust had gone deep. How they had meant to hurt him! How they must have hated him to have wished to hurt him so! How they would have hurt his life irretrievably if the shot had done its work. If that other little atom of human life had not intervened!

Where was the boy who had saved his child? He must go and see him at once. The gratitude of a lifetime should be his.

Morton divined his thought, as he stepped from the sacred crib softly after bending low to sweep his lips over the rosy velvet of little Starr's cheek. With silent tread she followed her master to the door: "The poor wee b'y's in the far room yon," she said in a soft whisper, and her tone implied that his duty lay next in that direction. The banker had often noticed this gentle suggestion in the nurse's voice, it minded him of something in his childhood and he invariably obeyed it. He might have resented it if it had been less humble, less trustfully certain that of course that was the thing that he meant to do next. He followed her direction now without a word.

The boy had just fallen asleep when he entered, and lay as sweetly beautiful as the little vivid beauty he had left in the other room. The man of the world paused and instinctively exclaimed in wonder. He had been told that it was a little gamin who had saved his daughter from the assassin's bullet, but the features of this child were as delicately chiseled, his form as finely modeled, his hair as soft and fine as any scion of a noble house might boast. He, like the nurse, had the feeling that a young god lay before him. It was so that Mikky always had impressed a stranger even when his face was dirty and his feet were bare.

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