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Chapter 7. THE LION AND THE LAMB (continued)
'Come and be forgiven, poor sinner! I know you have suffered enough, and I won't say a word; only if harm had come to Rob you would have made me more miserable than yourself. Oh, Teddy, Teddy, do try to cure that wilful spirit of yours before it is too late!'
'Oh, Mum, I do try! I never can forget this--I hope it's cured me; if it hasn't, I am afraid I ain't worth saving,' answered Ted, pulling his own hair as the only way of expressing his deep remorse.
'Yes, you are, my dear; I felt just so at fifteen when Amy was nearly drowned, and Marmee helped me as I'll help you. Come to me, Teddy, when the evil one gets hold of you, and together we'll rout him. Ah, me! I've had many a tussle with that old Apollyon, and often got worsted, but not always. Come under my shield, and we'll fight till we win.'
No one spoke for a minute as Ted and his mother laughed and cried in one handkerchief, and Rob stood with his father's arm round him so happy that all was told and forgiven, though never to be forgotten; for such experiences do one good, and knit hearts that love more closely together.
Presently Ted rose straight up and going to his father, said bravely and humbly:
'I ought to be punished. Please do it; but first say you forgive me, as Rob does.'
'Always that, mein Sohn, seventy time seven, if needs be, else I am not worthy the name you give me. The punishment has come; I can give no greater. Let it not be in vain. It will not with the help of the mother and the All Father. Room here for both, always!'
The good Professor opened his arms and embraced his boys like a true German, not ashamed to express by gesture or by word the fatherly emotions an American would have compressed into a slap on the shoulder and a brief 'All right'.
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