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19. CHAPTER XIX (continued)
"Tom, Tom, I would be the thankfullest soul in this world if I could believe you ever had as good a thought as that, but you know you never did -- and I know it, Tom."
"Indeed and 'deed I did, auntie -- I wish I may never stir if I didn't."
"Oh, Tom, don't lie -- don't do it. It only makes things a hundred times worse."
"It ain't a lie, auntie; it's the truth. I wanted to keep you from grieving -- that was all that made me come."
"I'd give the whole world to believe that -- it would cover up a power of sins, Tom. I'd 'most be glad you'd run off and acted so bad. But it ain't reasonable; because, why didn't you tell me, child?"
"Why, you see, when you got to talking about the funeral, I just got all full of the idea of our coming and hiding in the church, and I couldn't somehow bear to spoil it. So I just put the bark back in my pocket and kept mum."
"The bark I had wrote on to tell you we'd gone pirating. I wish, now, you'd waked up when I kissed you -- I do, honest."
The hard lines in his aunt's face relaxed and a sudden tenderness dawned in her eyes.
"DID you kiss me, Tom?"
"Why, yes, I did."
"Are you sure you did, Tom?"
"Why, yes, I did, auntie -- certain sure."
"What did you kiss me for, Tom?"
"Because I loved you so, and you laid there moaning and I was so sorry."
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