"Jealous little Sue! I withdraw all remarks about your sexlessness. Never mind! Time may right things... And Sue, darling; I have an idea! We'll educate and train him with a view to the university. What I couldn't accomplish in my own person perhaps I can carry out through him? They are making it easier for poor students now, you know."
"Oh you dreamer!" said she, and holding his hand returned to the child with him. The boy looked at her as she had looked at him. "Is it you who's my REAL mother at last?" he inquired.
"Why? Do I look like your father's wife?"
"Well, yes; 'cept he seems fond of you, and you of him. Can I call you Mother?"
Then a yearning look came over the child and he began to cry. Sue thereupon could not refrain from instantly doing likewise, being a harp which the least wind of emotion from another's heart could make to vibrate as readily as a radical stir in her own.
"You may call me Mother, if you wish to, my poor dear!" she said, bending her cheek against his to hide her tears.
"What's this round your neck?" asked Jude with affected calmness.
"The key of my box that's at the station."
They bustled about and got him some supper, and made him up a temporary bed, where he soon fell asleep. Both went and looked at him as he lay.
"He called you Mother two or three times before he dropped off," murmured Jude. "Wasn't it odd that he should have wanted to!"
"Well — it was significant," said Sue. "There's more for us to think about in that one little hungry heart than in all the stars of the sky... I suppose, dear, we must pluck up courage, and get that ceremony over? It is no use struggling against the current, and I feel myself getting intertwined with my kind. Oh Jude, you'll love me dearly, won't you, afterwards! I do want to be kind to this child, and to be a mother to him; and our adding the legal form to our marriage might make it easier for me."