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“ This 'ere won't do," said the coalheaver ; come, sit thee down;" and, so saying, he seized John Graham's arm with a grasp like that of a vice, and made him wince with pain. Tim Dobbin saw that the youth was suffering, but he did not relax his hold for that; if anything, he tightened it a little more. “Now tell us what'tis all about," said he, addressing himself to Mary.
It was no use for the affectionate girl to try and screen her unhappy brother, the coalheaver said he was too wide awake to be deceived; she was compelled to tell him all : “ for if not,” said he, “ I'll march this here chap, jist as he is, to the police, and then he'll catch it ripe enough.”
“ And so nothing will do for thee but to beat and bully thee sister,” said Tim Dobbin, in a tone of supreme contempt; "a fine, manly fellow indeed! I have a great mind to give thee a cut or two of this," and he handled his whip as though he knew how to use it, if there was need. “ A taste of this would do thee a world of good ; I'm sure 'tis wanted much more with such as thee than with the team. Come, will thee promise never to lift a hand to her again ?”
John Graham was silent, and cast an eye at Mary, as much as to say, “ Only wait till he's gone!”
This was not thrown away on Tim Dobbin, who forthwith administered to him three or four pretty smart blows with the handle of the whip on his shins.
“ Come, speak up, friend,” said the coalheaver ; but John Graham gave no answer.
This line of conduct sorely perplexed the worthy man, who at first seemed quite puzzled what to do; he soon, however, seemed to have hit upon a plan; for, telling John Graham that he would immediately thrash him well, if he ventured to stir, he told Mary Graham to come out, and speak with him upon the landing. As a caution to John Graham that he was in earnest in what he said, he gave him an extra squeeze of the arm before he let
his hold. “ I tell thee what,” said the worthy coalheaver, as soon as he and Mary were alone in the passage; “there's no knowing what he won't be up to, if he's not watched, nor what will become of thee unless thee has some one to take thee part; come home with me, and the good woman will look after thee, and make thee up a bed with our Poll, who's much about thee size; he's dangerous when he's in liquor as he is now."
Having made this speech, Tim Dobbin stepped back to the door, and shook his big fist at John Graham, as a caution to remain still—a hint which that individual saw that it was best to take.
“ I can't leave him by himself,” said Mary Graham ; " he'll have no one to look after him, or do anything for him.”
“ He doesn't deserve that he should,” answered the coalheaver; “why couldn't he treat thee well when he had thee? If thee takes my advice, thee'll come, if it were only for to-night."
On the serious representations of her friend, and the assurance that, if it should prove advisable, she was to return on the following day, she determined to follow her friend's advice.
On re-entering the room, Tim Dobbin announced what had been decided upon, and, very much to his surprise, John Graham made no objection. He had become somewhat sobered by the discipline which the coalheaver had subjected him to, but he was so sulky that nothing could be made of him at all. Mary Graham was hurried by Tim to depart, for the waggon was waiting in the neighbourhood all this time; and having put into a handkerchief the few things which she required, she went up to her brother to shake hands with him or kiss him, if he would let her, before she went away. “ It's only until to-morrow, John," said the affectionate girl, even still half reluctant to go.
“ Be off," said he, " and don't come back till I gend for you."
Poor Mary turned away with a sad heart; the coal-heaver shook his fist, and in another moment John Graham was left alone.
EDDY GRAHAM lay awake a considerable part of the night; and as he lay, he watched his favourite stars.
His time was divided between looking at them and thinking over what the doctors would, in all probability, do to him. The thoughts of having an operation performed made the poor boy's heart flutter with fear; but in the course of a little time he felt happy and at peace.
The stars which seemed to be his constant companions at night, afforded him no small degree of comfort. He thought that God had made them, that God always preserved them, that He must be a wonderfully powerful God to make so many of them; and then he thought that the same great God could do everything for him. Thus dear little Eddy Graham reasoned, and the more his mind dwelt on God, the happier he was, until at last he felt, that let what would come, all was ordered for the best, and the Lord would never be far away. So peaceful did the little fellow's mind thus
become, that he fell asleep, and, although he was in a strange place, rested more comfortably than he had done for a very long time.
“You will speak to the doctor,” said Mrs. Thompson," there's a good boy; he will be with you by and by, and I'm afraid he'll be angry, unless you answer every question he
Eddy, who remembered the interview of the day before, and the resolutions he had made, promised faithfully that he would hold nothing back; and when the time came, he kept his word.
About one o'clock, the same kind-hearted gentleman with the benevolent face made his appearance, and after a few words at the door with Mrs. Thompson, took his seat by the little patient's bed. As he seemed determined to know everything, the boy went back as far as his memory would allow, and told him how kind his brother John had been. Then came the sad tale of his having taken to drink, of the injury which he had inflicted, and of his subsequent shameful conduct. With many tears, Eddy Graham besought the surgeon not to have a bad opinion of his brother; and he touched as lightly as he could on all that was not to his credit. “He did everything for us, sir, when we were almost helpless twins, and, perhaps,