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HOME > Short Stories > Sue, A Little Heroine > CHAPTER XXVI. TWO CUPS OF COFFEE.
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 When Harris parted from Giles and Connie—on the very same day that Connie had gone to tea with Ronald, on the very same day that Ronald had visited Giles—he was as troubled and miserable as man could be. There was but one brave thing for him to do—he ought to confess his sin.  
Where Sue could be he had not the faintest idea. Why was125 she absent? It was days now since she had left her home—Sue, of all people—Sue, with a little delicate brother like Giles. It was unlike her to go. There could be but one reason. Harris had taken means to ascertain whether poor Sue had been up before the magistrates. He knew enough about the law, and about crime generally, to know that she would be taken up for theft to Bow Street; but beyond doubt she had never gone there. Where in all the world could she be? Harris was by no means sufficiently sorry to give himself up for conscience's sake; but he was in a state of nervousness and great distress of mind.
As he walked down a side-street, his hands in his pockets, his rough fur cap—which he generally wore slouched—well off his eyes, he was suddenly accosted by a red-haired boy, who looked at him with a very innocent face and inquired meekly "ef he were lookin' for a job."
"None o' yer sauce, youngster," said Harris, passing on.
"I don't mean the least sauce in life, master," said the red-haired boy, still in the most humble and gentle tone. "I only thought ef we were goin' in the same direction we might p'rhaps cheer each other up."
"You're a likely youngster, you ere," he said, looking down at him with the grimmest of smiles.
"Yus, my mother says as I'm well grown for my hage," replied Pickles; and then, keeping pace with the tall man, he began to whistle softly.
Harris returned to his interrupted thoughts, and soon forgot the small boy, who had to run to keep up with his long strides. Suddenly the little boy exclaimed in a shrill, eager treble:
"I say, mister!"
"Wot now, young 'un?"
"You ain't of a wery obleeging turn, be yer? You couldn't help me, now, ter find a guilty party?"
"You seems a wery rum chap," said Harris rather crossly.
"I don't know nothink 'bout yer guilty parties. There, be off, can't yer!"
"I'll be off in a twinkle, master. I ain't rum a bit; my mother allers said as I wor a real quiet boy; but when my heart is full to bustin' it seems a relief to talk to a body, and you, tho' yer puts on bein' fierce, have a kind nature."
"Now, what hever do yer mean by that?"
"Master, you must furgive a wery timid and heasily repulsed boy; but it ain't possible, even fur one so known to be frightened as me, to be feared of yer. I reads yer kindness in yer heyes, master, and so I makes bold to tell my tale o' woe."
"Well, tell away," said Harris, who could not help laughing and looking a little less gruff than before.
"You wouldn't be inclined, now, that we should have hour talk hover a pint of hot coffee? There's a heatin-house where the young man have took down the shutters and is dusting away in a manner as his real appetizing. I has fourpence in126 my pocket. You wouldn't mind my treating yer, jest fer once, would yer?"
"Not in the least, youngster. I think it'll be a wery sensible use to put yer money to, and a deal more prudent than spending it in marbles or street plays."
"Master, my mother don't allow me to play at marbles, or to hindulge in street wanities, so I has the money and can afford ter be genero............
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