and laid their swords at the feet of his young prince.
With Maude and her baby, who bore the name of Louis, she found her greatest comfort. He was a sweet, playful child, and sure never before was father so foolishly proud of his son as was Dr. Kennedy of his. For hours would he sit watching him while he slept, and building castles of the future, when "Louis Kennedy, only son of Dr. Kennedy," should be honored among men. Toward the mother, too, who had borne him such a prodigy he became a little more indulgent, occasionally suffering her wishes to prevail over his maxims, and on three several occasions giving her a dollar to spend as she pleased. Surely such generosity did not deserve so severe a punishment as was in store for the proud father.
Louis had a most beautiful face, and in his soft, brown eyes there was a "look like the angels," as Maude once said to her mother, who seldom spoke of him without a sigh, for on her mind a terrible fear was fastening itself. Although mentally as forward as other children, Louis' body did not keep pace with the growth of his intellect, and when he was two years of age he could not bear his weight upon his feet, but in creeping dragged his limbs slowly, as if in them there was no life--no strength.
"Ma, why don't Louis walk?" asked Maude, one evening when she saw how long it took him to cross the room.
"Loui' tant walk," answered the child, who talked with perfect ease.
The tears came instantly to Mrs. Kennedy's eyes, for, availing herself of her husband's absence, she had that morning consulted another physician, who, after carefully examining Louis' body, had whispered in the poor woman's ear that which made every nerve quiver with pain, while at the same time it made dearer a thousand-fold her baby-boy; for a mother's pity increases a mother's love.
"Say, ma, what is it?" persisted Maude. "Will Louis ever walk?"
"Loui'll never walk," answered the little fellow, shaking his brown curls, and tearing in twain a picture-book which his father had bought him the day before.
"Maude," said Mrs. Kennedy, drawing her daughter to her side, "I must tell somebody or my heart will burst," and laying her head upon the table she wept aloud.
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