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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSue, A Little Heroine - Chapter 30. What Was Harris To Her?
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Sue, A Little Heroine - Chapter 30. What Was Harris To Her? Post by :stealthi Category :Long Stories Author :L. T. Meade Date :May 2012 Read :1018

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Sue, A Little Heroine - Chapter 30. What Was Harris To Her?


Pickles went up to the very small room where he slept, threw himself on his bed, and fell a-wondering. For the first time in his life he was completely at sea. What _did Cinderella mean? For a whole month now she had been his special charge. He had rescued her; he had kept her in the safe shelter of his mother's house; he had been, he considered, very kind indeed to Cinderella. What a fate she would have had but for him! Sent to prison for a crime of which she was absolutely innocent, her whole future disgraced, blighted, ruined! All the time while he had been hunting up Harris, and bringing his ingenious little mind to bear down the full weight of his crime upon the guilty man, he had thought that no amount of gratitude on Cinderella's part--nay, even a whole lifetime of devotion--could scarcely repay all she owed him.

But now he kicked his legs impatiently and said to himself that it was enough to provoke the best-natured boy in the universe. After all his trouble, all his hard thoughts and anxious reflections, here was this tiresome Cinderella refusing to be set free. He had, as he expressed it, nailed his man; he had put the noose round him, and all he had to do was to tighten it, and Sue would be free and Harris sent to prison. But without Sue's aid he could not do this, and Sue most emphatically to-night had refused his aid. She would go to prison herself, but she would not betray Harris. What did the girl mean? What was this cowardly Harris to her that she should risk so much and suffer so sorely for his sake? How she had dreaded prison! How very, very grateful she had been to him for saving her! But now she was willing to go there, willing to bear the unmerited punishment, the lifelong disgrace. Why? Pickles, think hard as he would, could get no answer to solve this difficulty. True, she had said she had something in her mind which would lighten the prison fare and the prison life. What was it? Pickles could stand it no longer; he must go and consult his mother. He ran downstairs. Mrs. Price had not yet gone to bed. Pickles sat down beside her by the fire, and laid his curly red head in her lap.

"Mother," he said, "this 'ere detective's foiled at last."

"What's up now, Jamie, boy?" asked the mother.

Pickles told her. He described how he had all but brought the crime home to Harris; how he had proved to Sue that Harris was the guilty party; but that now Sue, after all his tremendous trouble, had refused to identify him. She would go to prison, she said; she would not tell on Harris. "I don't understand it one bit, mother," he said in conclusion.

"But I do, Jamie, my boy," answered Mrs. Price, tears filling her kind eyes. "I understand it very well. It means just this--that Sue, dear child, is very noble."

Pickles opened his eyes very wide.

"Then, mother," he began, "Cinderella is----" and then he stopped.

"Your Cinderella, whom you rescued, is a real little heroine, Jamie; but she must not go to prison. We must do something for her. She has been with me for a whole month now, and I never came across a more upright little soul. You surely have not been frightening her with the base idea that we would give her up, my boy?"

Pickles colored and hung his head.

"I own, mother," he said, "that I did put a little bit of the torture screw to bear on Sue. I didn't mean really as she should go to prison; but I thought as a small dose of fright might make her tell on that Harris. I do think that Peter Harris is about the meanest character I ever come across, and I'd like _him to go to prison wery well indeed, mother dear."

"If he's guilty, believe me he's not a very happy man, my lad. My own feeling is that 'tis best to leave all punishment to the God against whom we sin. But about Sue? She must not sleep with the notion that she's to go to prison. I have a great mind to go to her now."

"Oh! but, mother, mayn't I tell her my own self? 'Twas I as rescued her. She's my own Cinderella, after all, mother dear; and I'd real enjoy telling her. She's asleep hours ago now, mother."

"Well, lad, see and have it out with the child before you go to work in the morning, and then I'll have a talk with her afterwards."

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Sue, A Little Heroine - Chapter 31. A Stern Resolve Sue, A Little Heroine - Chapter 31. A Stern Resolve

Sue, A Little Heroine - Chapter 31. A Stern Resolve
CHAPTER XXXI. A STERN RESOLVEBut Sue was not asleep. She had quite made up her mind now as to her line of action. There was no longer even a particle of lingering doubt in her brave little soul; she was innocent, but as the sin which was committed must be punished, she would bear the punishment; she would go to prison instead of Harris. Prison would not be so bad if she went there innocent.Yes, Sue would certainly go to Prison. The next day she would consult Mrs. Price, and take the proper steps to deliver herself up to the police.

Sue, A Little Heroine - Chapter 29. A Little Heroine Sue, A Little Heroine - Chapter 29. A Little Heroine

Sue, A Little Heroine - Chapter 29. A Little Heroine
CHAPTER XXIX. A LITTLE HEROINETwo days afterwards it was Sunday. Pickles and his mother went to church, but Sue did not accompany them. She had hitherto, notwithstanding her disguise, been afraid to stir abroad. To-day, however, when mother and son had departed, she ran eagerly up to the tiny attic where she slept. In this attic was an old box without a lock. Sue opened it in some perturbation. There were several articles of wearing apparel in this box, all of a mothy and mouldy character. One by one Cinderella pulled them out. First there was a purple silk dress. She