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It was the dead of night, and very dark, when Barnaby, with his stumbling comrade, approached the place where he had left his father; but he could see him stealing away into the gloom, distrustful even of him, and rapidly retreating. After calling to him twice or thrice that there was nothing to fear, but without effect, he suffered Hugh to sink upon the ground, and followed to bring him back.
He continued to creep away, until Barnaby was close upon him; then turned, and said in a terrible, though suppressed voice:
'Let me go. Do not lay hands upon me. You have told her; and you and she together have betrayed me!'
Barnaby looked at him, in silence.
'You have seen your mother!'
'No,' cried Barnaby, eagerly. 'Not for a long time--longer than I can tell. A whole year, I think. Is she here?'
His father looked upon him steadfastly for a few moments, and then said--drawing nearer to him as he spoke, for, seeing his face, and hearing his words, it was impossible to doubt his truth:
'What man is that?'
'Hugh--Hugh. Only Hugh. You know him. HE will not harm you. Why, you're afraid of Hugh! Ha ha ha! Afraid of gruff, old, noisy Hugh!'
'What man is he, I ask you,' he rejoined so fiercely, that Barnaby stopped in his laugh, and shrinking back, surveyed him with a look of terrified amazement.
'Why, how stern you are! You make me fear you, though you are my father. Why do you speak to me so?'
--'I want,' he answered, putting away the hand which his son, with a timid desire to propitiate him, laid upon his sleeve,--'I want an answer, and you give me only jeers and questions. Who have you brought with you to this hiding-place, poor fool; and where is the blind man?'
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