"I reckon," replied Nichol, anxiously, for the brief experience which he could recall had taught him that the authority of the surgeon-in-chief was autocratic.
"I'se foun' what'll make yer a lady if yer hab sense. I'se gib yer de compliment ob s'lecting yer ter shar' my fine if yer'll lemme put dis ring on yer degaged finger."
"God bless Hobart," said Helen, with a deep breath, "and God help him!
"I am sorry to hear you say that," he replied. And then there was an awkward silence.
"I owe you a heavy grudge," said Mr. Alford, in the evening. "A year ago you robbed me of my child, for little, kittenish Elsie became a thoughtful woman from the day you were here; and now you are going to take away the daughter of my old age."
"Mrs. Nichol, you shall see him at once," said the doctor. "I hope it will be as you say; but I'm compelled to tell you that you may be disappointed. There's no certainty that this trouble will pass away at once under any one's influence. You and your husband come with me. Mr. Kemble, I will send Jackson down, and so secure the privacy which you would kindly provide. I will be present, for I may be needed."