which I could not catch, but which caused Lorquas Ptomel，
The poor woman listened to these words with a joy bordering on rapture. One might have supposed that the strangeness of her son's expressions would have surprised her--have enlightened her in regard to his true character--but no. She only saw and understood one thing--that he had no intention of casting her off, but was indeed ready to devote himself to her. "My God!" she faltered, "is this really true? Will you allow me to remain with you? Oh, don't reply rashly! Consider well, before you promise to make such a sacrifice. Think how much sorrow and pain it will cost you."
"I have considered. It is decided--mother."
She sprang up, wild with hope and enthusiasm. "Then we are saved!" she cried. "Blessed be he who betrayed my secret! And I doubted your courage, my Wilkie! At last I can escape from this hell! This very night we will fly from this house, without one backward glance. I will never set foot in these rooms again--the detested gamblers who are sitting here shall never see me again. From this moment Lia d'Argeles is dead."
M. Wilkie positively felt like a man who had just fallen from the clouds. "What, fly?" he stammered. "Where shall we go, then?"
"To a country where we are unknown, Wilkie--to a land where you will not have to blush for your mother."
"Trust yourself to me, my son. I know a pleasant village near London where we can find a refuge. My connections in England are such that you need not fear the obstacles one generally meets with among foreigners. M. Patterson, who manages a large manufacturing establishment, will, I know, be happy to be of service to us--but we shall not be indebted to any one for long, now that you have resolved to work."
On hearing these words, M. Wilkie sprang up in dismay. "Excuse me," he said, "I don't understand you. You propose to set me to work in M. Patterson's factory? Well, to tell the truth, that doesn't suit me at all."
It was impossible to mistake M. Wilkie's manner, his tone, or gesture. They revealed him in his true character. Madame d'Argeles saw her terrible mistake at once. The bandage fell from her eyes. She had taken her dreams for realities, and the desires of her own heart for those of her son. She rose, trembling with sorrow and with indignation. "Wilkie!" she exclaimed, "Wilkie, wretched boy! what did you dare to hope?"
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