course. Those Christians who are heads of mechanical establishments

"Let me ask your pardon," he said, "in the presence of my partner and in the presence of David Glenney, who took charge of your letter. Madame Fontaine, I speak the plain truth, in the plainest words, when I tell you that I am ashamed of myself."

course. Those Christians who are heads of mechanical establishments

She dropped on her knees before him, and entreated him to say no more. Mr. Engelman looked at her, absorbed in admiration. Perhaps it was the fault of my English education--I thought the widow's humility a little overdone. What Mr. Keller's opinion might be, he kept to himself. He merely insisted on her rising, and taking a chair by his side.

course. Those Christians who are heads of mechanical establishments

"To say that I believe every word of your letter," he resumed, "is only to do you the justice which I have too long delayed. But there is one passage which I must feel satisfied that I thoroughly understand, if you will be pleased to give me the assurance of it with your own lips. Am I right in concluding, from what is here written of your husband's creditors, that his debts (which have now, in honor, become your debts) have been all actually _paid_ to the last farthing?"

course. Those Christians who are heads of mechanical establishments

"To the last farthing!" Madame Fontaine answered, without a moment's hesitation. "I can show you the receipts, sir, if you like."

"No, madam! I take your word for it--I require nothing more. Your title to my heart-felt respect is now complete. The slanders which I have disgraced myself by believing would never have found their way to my credulity, if they had not first declared you to have ruined your husband by your debts. I own that I have never been able to divest myself of my inbred dislike and distrust of people who contract debts which they are not able to pay. The light manner in which the world is apt to view the relative positions of debtor and creditor is abhorrent to me. If I promise to pay a man money, and fail to keep my promise, I am no better than a liar and a cheat. That always has been, and always will be, _my_ view." He took her hand again as he made that strong declaration. "There is another bond of sympathy between us," he said warmly; "you think as I do."

Good Heavens, if Frau Meyer had told me the truth, what would happen when Madame Fontaine discovered that her promissory note was in the hands of a stranger--a man who would inexorably present it for payment on the day when it fell due? I tried to persuade myself that Frau Meyer had _not_ told me the truth. Perhaps I might have succeeded--but for my remembrance of the disreputable-looking stranger on the door-step, who had been so curious to know if Madame Fontaine intended to leave her lodgings.

The next day, my calculation of possibilities in the matter of Fritz turned out to be correct.

Returning to Main Street, after a short absence from the house, the door was precipitately opened to me by Minna. Before she could say a word, her face told me the joyful news. Before I could congratulate her, Fritz himself burst headlong into the hall, and made one of his desperate attempts at embracing me. This time I succeeded (being the shorter man of the two) in slipping through his arms in the nick of time.



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