Donald stood with his hands in his pockets, and gazed at Sara with reflecting and self-reproachful eyes.
"If I'd just asked what your name was when I gave you my sixpence," he said, "you would have told me it was Sara Crewe, and then you would have been found in a minute." Then Mrs. Carmichael came in. She looked very much moved, and suddenly took Sara in her arms and kissed her.
"You look bewildered, poor child," she said. "And it is not to be wondered at."
Sara could only think of one thing.
"Was he," she said, with a glance toward the closed door of the library--"was HE the wicked friend? Oh, do tell me!"
Mrs. Carmichael was crying as she kissed her again. She felt as if she ought to be kissed very often because she had not been kissed for so long.
"He was not wicked, my dear," she answered. "He did not really lose your papa's money. He only thought he had lost it; and because he loved him so much his grief made him so ill that for a time he was not in his right mind. He almost died of brain fever, and long before he began to recover your poor papa was dead."
"And he did not know where to find me," murmured Sara. "And I was so near." Somehow, she could not forget that she had been so near.