118 A HAIR-DRESSER'S EXPERIENCE
did he mean by saying our positions were not so dif¬
ferent as I thought ? Can it be possible he is not what
he seems ? I pray to Heaven it may be so.'
" I was much grieved to be a listener to this conver¬
sation, but had been, for some time, dreading such an
occurrence. Still I was glad that she had so controlled
herself in the presence of James, and had given him
not one word of encouragement. Yet I wondered
what his last words, coupled with his look of triumph,
meant. Alas! they were too soon to be explained.
" That night Mr.----did not come home until late,
and sending for his daughter, told her that all his
wealth was gone. Some large speculations, in which
he had engaged, had turned out disastrously, and he
was ruined. Not one dollar had he saved from the
wreck ; and in his old age, he must go out to seek a
living for her and himself. He had many friends in
New York, and did not doubt of success, but that she
would have to live according to their altered circum¬
"In a few days the furniture was all sold, and we
started for New York, where Mr.----had secured a
situation with a large and wealthy firm, to the father
of the junior member of which he had been an early
friend. He now lived very plainly and comfortably.
It was, however, a great change from our former life,
and my young lady would often sigh for the luxuries
of her earlier days.
" We had been in New York about a year. During
this time, Mr. D., one of my master's employers, had
been a constant visitor at our house. He was a fine
looking man, in the prime of life, kind and courteous
in his manners, and was possessed of immense wealth.