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22. Chapter XXII. (continued)
"Never mind, dear child, but let us do as you have said. It may be well to remain here, and let the Ark move a little away. Do you prepare the canoe, and I will tell Hurry and the Indians our wishes."
This was soon and simply done, the Ark moving with measured strokes of the sweeps a hundred yards from the spot, leaving the girls floating, seemingly in air, above the place of the dead; so buoyant was the light vessel that held them, and so limpid the element by which it was sustained.
"The death of Thomas Hutter," Judith commenced, after a short pause had prepared her sister to receive her communications, "has altered all our prospects, Hetty. If he was not our father, we are sisters, and must feel alike and live together."
"How do I know, Judith, that you wouldn't be as glad to find I am not your sister, as you are in finding that Thomas Hutter, as you call him, was not your father. I am only half witted, and few people like to have half witted relations; and then I'm not handsome - at least, not as handsome as you - and you may wish a handsomer sister."
"No, no Hetty. You and you only are my sister - my heart, and my love for you tell me that - and mother was my mother - of that too am I glad, and proud; for she was a mother to be proud of -but father was not father!"
"Hush, Judith! His spirit may be near; it would grieve it to hear his children talking so, and that, too, over his very grave. Children should never grieve parents, mother often told me, and especially when they are dead!"
"Poor Hetty! They are happily removed beyond all cares on our account. Nothing that I can do or say will cause mother any sorrow now -there is some consolation in that, at least! And nothing you can say or do will make her smile, as she used to smile on your good conduct when living."
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