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Cast Adrift, a fiction by T. S. Arthur


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_ CHAPTER XXIX. Meeting of Mr. Dinneford and George Granger--"We want
you to help us find your child"--"Edith's heart is calling out for
you"--The meeting--The marriage benediction

_ABOUT_ the same hour that Edith entered the boys' ward of the
children's hospital, Mr. Dinneford met Granger face to face in the
street. The latter tried to pass him, but Mr. Dinneford stopped, and
taking his almost reluctant hand, said, as he grasped it tightly,

"George Granger!" in a voice that had in it a kind of helpless cry.

The young man did not answer, but stood looking at him in a
surprised, uncertain way.

"George," said Mr. Dinneford, his utterance broken, "we want you!"

"For what?" asked Granger, whose hand still lay in that of Mr.
Dinneford. He had tried to withdraw it at first, but now let it

"To help us find your child."

"My child! What of my child?"

"Your child and Edith's," said Mr. Dinneford. "Come!" and he drew
his arm within that of Granger, the two men moving away together.
"It has been lost since the day of its birth--cast adrift through
the same malign influence that cursed your life and Edith's. We are
on its track, but baffled day by day. Oh, George, we want you,
frightfully wronged as you have been at our hands--not Edith's. Oh
no, George! Edith's heart has never turned from you for an instant,
never doubted you, though in her weakness and despair she was driven
to sign that fatal application for a divorce. If it were not for the
fear of a scornful rejection, she would be reaching out her hands to
you now and begging for the old sweet love, but such a rejection
would kill her, and she dare not brave the risk."

Mr. Dinneford felt the young man's arm begin to tremble violently.

"We want you, George," he pursued. "Edith's heart is calling out for
you, that she may lean it upon your heart, so that it break not in
this great trial and suspense. Your lost baby is calling for you out
of some garret or cellar or hovel where it lies concealed. Come, my
son. The gulf that lies between the dreadful past and the blessed
future can be leaped at a single bound if you choose to make it. We
want you--Edith and I and your baby want you."

Mr. Dinneford, in his great excitement, was hurrying the young man
along at a rapid speed, holding on to his arm at the same time, as
if afraid he would pull it away and escape.

Granger made no response, but moved along passively, taking in every
word that was said. A great light seemed to break upon his soul, a
great mountain to be lifted off. He did not pause at the door from
which, when he last stood there, he had been so cruelly rejected,
but went in, almost holding his breath, bewildered, uncertain, but
half realizing the truth of what was transpiring, like one in a

"Wait here," said Mr. Dinneford, and he left him in the parlor and
ran up stairs to find Edith.

George Granger had scarcely time to recognize the objects around
him, when a carriage stopped at the door, and in a moment afterward
the bell rang violently.

The image that next met his eyes was that of Edith standing in the
parlor door with a child all bundled up in bed-clothing held closely
in her arms. Her face was trembling with excitement. He started
forward on seeing her with an impulse of love and joy that he could
not restrain. She saw him, and reading his soul in his eyes, moved
to meet him.

"Oh, George, and you too!" she exclaimed. "My baby and my husband,
all at once! It is too much. I cannot bear if all!"

Granger caught her in his arms as she threw herself upon him and
laid the child against his breast.

"Yours and mine," she sobbed. "Yours and mine, George!" and she put
up her face to his. Could he do less than cover it with kisses?

A few hours later, and a small group of very near friends witnessed
a different scene from this. Not another tragedy as might well be
feared, under the swift reactions that came upon Edith. No, no! She
did not die from a excess of joy, but was filled with new life and
strength. Two hands broken asunder so violently a few years ago were
now clasped again, and the minister of God as he laid them together
pronounced in trembling tones the marriage benediction.

This was the scene, and here we drop the curtain.

Cast Adrift, by T. S. Arthur _

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