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The doctor was shown into the little parlour, where he sat down while Mrs. Billow went in to tell Sophy that he was there. As he looked round on the pictures which he remembered hanging in such a different room, he wondered to himself whether the advent of this little child, who was fatherless now, was for the better or no; and he came to the conclusion that it was. Sophy would have two mouths to feed instead of one, but it would be surely a comfort to hersomething to cling to and love, under this terrible blow which he had to give her.

Polly, who was alone, at once ordered her to be shown in. The girl rose to meet her visitor with a bright flush on her cheek, and a little nervous tremor of excitement running through her, for she felt that Miss Harmer was a very different woman to her sister, and that she had a harder battle to fight than the previous one had been, and with even a slighter chance of victory.

At night, after we had gone up to bed, Polly came into my room, and said,

Miss Harmer now rose with some difficulty, and went out, attended by Polly, to her carriage, with an air very different to her usual upright walk.

"In this way: if the will had been the only important document at Harmer Place, it might have been kept in any of the drawers we searched to-day, and the Misses Harmer might have removed it last week, and either destroyed or concealed it in their rooms, or in any other place, where we could never find it. Now, we have every reason to believe it is not so, for in that case, they would have left the leases, and other documents, and we should have found them. It is quite clear to my mind, then, that Mr. Harmer had some secret place of concealment, to which he alluded when he told your clerk that all the burglars in the world could not find it; and in this place of concealment the whole of these papers, together with the will, are stowed away, and the Misses Harmer, who no doubt know of the existence of this place of concealment, will be perhaps content to let them remain there, and relying upon the secrecy of the hiding-place, will not be tempted to destroy the will."

"Rather poor Sophy," papa said. "Unfortunate, misguided girl, how bitterly she will repent this! What a life-long remorse hers will be! She has sacrificed the happiness of her own life by joining it to that of Robert Gregory, and she has caused her benefactor's death; and whatever be the folly, whatever the terrible fault of Sophy's conduct now, undoubtedly she loved him dearly."