“True, Florence, but it is not years only that make a man old. Two great sorrows have embittered my life. First, the death of my dearly beloved wife, and next, the loss of my boy, Harvey.”
“It is long since I have heard you refer to my cousin’s loss. I thought you had become reconciled—no, I do not mean that,—I thought your regret might be less poignant.”
“I have not permitted myself to speak of it, but I have never ceased to think of it day and night.”
John Linden paused sadly, then resumed:
“If he had died, I might, as you say, have become reconciled; but he was abducted at the age of four by a revengeful servant whom I had discharged from my employment. Heaven knows whether he is living or dead, but it is impressed upon my mind that he still lives, it may be in misery, it may be as a criminal, while I, his unhappy father, live on in luxury which I cannot enjoy, with no one to care for me——”
Florence Linden sank impulsively on her knees beside her uncle’s chair.
“Don’t say that, uncle,” she pleaded. “You know that I love you, Uncle John.”
“And I, too, uncle.”
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