Miss Minchin was not a clever woman, and in her excitement she was silly enough to make one desperate effort to regain what she could not help seeing she had lost through her worldly folly.
"He found her under my care," she protested. "I have done everything for her. But for me she should have starved in the streets."
Here the Indian gentleman lost his temper.
"As to starving in the streets," he said, "she might have starved more comfortably there than in your attic."
"Captain Crewe left her in my charge," Miss Minchin argued. "She must return to it until she is of age. She can be a parlor boarder again. She must finish her education. The law will interfere in my behalf"
"Come, come, Miss Minchin," Mr. Carmichael interposed, "the law will do nothing of the sort. If Sara herself wishes to return to you, I dare say Mr. Carrisford might not refuse to allow it. But that rests with Sara."
"Then," said Miss Minchin, "I appeal to Sara. I have not spoiled you, perhaps," she said awkwardly to the little girl; "but you know that your papa was pleased with your progress. And--ahem--I have always been fond of you."
Sara's green-gray eyes fixed themselves on her with the quiet, clear look Miss Minchin particularly disliked.