"Father, I didn't mean to come in, I didn't really; but I was so cold. Don't send me off, father! I couldn't walk so far, I shall be out of your way in a little while, the cough " "I send you away, Maggie? I I might have done it once; God forgive me! He sent you back, my daughter, I thank him." A darkness swept over both faces then; she did not even hear Muff's whining cry at her ear.
A smile broke all over her face, at Muff's short, happy bark. "He don't turn me off; he don't know; he thinks I'm nobody but Maggie." How long she lay so, she did not know. It might have been minutes, it might have been hours; her eyes wandering all about the room, growing brighter too, and clearer.
Bruce came up to us, looking rather more discontented than usual, but not nearly so savage as the keeper who had attended him all day, who immediately retreated among his fellows to relieve himself, by many oaths, of his suppressed disgust and scorn. They offered him beer, but it was no use. I heard him growl out, "That there muff's enough to spile one's taste for a fortnit."
She used to love the dog, the child; she gave him his name in a frolic one day; he was always her playfellow; many a time they had come in and found her asleep with Muff's black, shaggy sides for a pillow, and her little pink arms around his neck, her face warm and bright with some happy dream. Mr. Ryck had often thought he would sell the creature; but he never had.
Not one in the house would be sorry to see Muff sent away she know, and Margaret at supper time seemed so pleased to report of Muff's designs. This thought made her love Muff all the more, but then there were Fred's birds. It would be very sad if any of them should be lost through her cat; what should she do? She wished to win Fred to love and gentleness. Should she part with Muff?
"And, isn't it funny," Marian went on, "his name rhymes with Muff. Patty will like that, too. She likes us to have things alike, so I will have Muff and she will have Puff, Muff's brother. I am so relieved to have Patty's present all settled." But for her beloved Miss Dorothy there was still nothing, so Marian racked her brains to devise some gift.
"I have no tail," he said, his lip drooping, "an' Paul an' Muff's got late big long ones." "Oh, dear!" said Miss Bibby, after a frantic glance round her own apartment in search of an appendix, "I have nothing that would do, Max. Do run away, darling. Pretend you've got a tail, that is just as good." Max gulped threateningly. "Laindeers have leal tails," he said. Again a frantic glance around.
I wish I was as sure of never going back to school as I am of finding that little lot. The only thing I don't like is, the young muff's not giving us a halloo back. But, any way, I'll find 'em, alive or dead." And, with this pleasing assurance, the little imp scudded off, leaving the mother glued to the spot with terror.
As one of Miss Booth's intimate friends, Mrs. Spofford was much at her house and became early a devoted admirer of Muff's.