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HOME > Short Stories > Sue, A Little Heroine > CHAPTER XIV. THE SEARCH.
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 When Connie had been suddenly dragged with extreme force from the preacher's side, he had darted after her, and would have been knocked down himself, and perhaps killed, if the neighbor who had accosted him had not also gone a67 step or two into the dark alley and dragged him back by main force.  
"You don't go down there, Father John," he said—"not without two or three big men, as big as myself. That you don't—I'll keep you back, Father John by all the strength in my body; for if you go down you'll be killed, and then what use will yer be to the poor little gel?"
Father John acknowledged the justice of this. A crowd of men and women had gathered round, as they always did in those parts at the slightest disturbance. Father John recognized many of them, and soon formed a little body of strong men and women. The policemen also came to their aid. They searched the blind alley, going into every house. In short, they did not leave a stone unturned to recover poor Connie; but, alas! all in vain.
Father John was at least glad that he had not gone to visit Sue and Giles. He could not bear to bring them such terrible tidings as that poor Connie had come home and had been kidnapped again.
"We'll get her," said the policeman. "There are lots of thieves about here; but as we've unearthed that dreadful character, Mother Warren, we'll quickly get the rest of the gang. Don't you be afraid, Father John; the child will be in your hands before the day is out."
Nevertheless, Father John spent a sleepless night, and early—very early—in the morning he started off to visit Peter Harris. Peter had slept all night. In the morning he awoke with a headache, and with a queer feeling that something very bad had happened.
When Father John entered his room he gazed at him with bloodshot eyes.
"Wottever is it?" he said. "I had a dream—I must be mistook, of course, but I thought Connie had come back."
"Well," said Father John very gravely, "and so she did come back."
"Wot?" asked the father. He sat up on the bed where he had thrown himself, and pushed back his rough hair.
"I have some very sad news for you, Harris. Will you wash first and have a bit of breakfast, or shall I tell you now?"
"Get out with you!" said the man. "Will I wash and have a bit o' breakfast? Tell me about my child, an' be quick!"
All the latent tenderness in that fierce heart had reawakened.
"Connie back?" said the man. "Purty little Connie? You don't niver say so! But where be she? Wherever is my little gel?"
"You ask God where she is," said the preacher in a very solemn voice. "She's nowhere to be found. She came here, and you&mdash............
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