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时间:2020-02-25 05:28:02 作者:魔兽世界奔驰 浏览量:39985

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A new style of boat, a small queer craft, was brought forth by the war. She did a great work in Hamp-ton

"No, sir; Master Tom."

[76]

Meantime, the cause of all this commotion and outbreak between these two ladies, Walter Joyce, utterly unconscious of the excitement he was creating, was pursuing the even tenor of his way as calmly as the novel circumstances of his position would admit. Of course, with the chance of an entire change in his life hanging over him--a change involving marriage, residence in a foreign country, and an occupation which was almost entirely strange to him--it was not possible for him to apply his mind unreservedly to the work before him. Marian's face would keep floating before him instead of the lovely countenance of Eleanor de Sackville, erst maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth, who had this in common with Marmion's friend, Lady Heron, that fame "whispered light tales" of her. Instead of Westhope, as it was in the old days, with its fosse, drawbridge, portcullis, ramparts, and all the mediaevalisms which it is in duty bound to have, Walter's fancy was endeavouring to realise to itself the modern city of Berlin, on the river Spree, while his brain was busied in conjecturing the nature of his forthcoming duties, and in wondering whether he possessed the requisite ability for executing them. Yes! he could get through them, and not merely that, but do them well, do anything well with Marian by his side. Brightened in every possible way by the prospect before him, better even in health and certainly in spirits, he looked back with wonder on his past few months' career; he could not understand how he had been so calm, so unexpectant, so unimpassioned. He could not understand how the only real hopes and fears of his life, those with which Marian was connected, had fallen into a kind of quiescent state, which he had borne with and accepted. He could not understand that now, when the hopes had been aroused and sent springing within him, and the fears had been banished, at least for a while. For a while?--for ever! The mere existence of any fear was an injustice to Marian. She had been true and steadfast, and good and loving. She had proved it nobly enough. The one weakness which formed part of her character, an inability to contend with poverty--a venial failing enough, Walter Joyce thought, especially in a girl who must have known, more particularly in one notable instance, the sad results of the want of means--would never now be tried. There would be no need for her to struggle, no necessity for pinching and screwing. Accustomed since his childhood to live on the poorest pittance, Joyce looked at the salary now offered to him as real wealth, position-giving, and commanding all comforts, if not luxuries. The thought of this, and the knowledge that she would be able to take her mother with her to share her new home, would give Marian the greatest pleasure. He pictured her in that new home, bright, sunny, and cheerful; the look of care and anxiety, the two deep brow-lines which her face had worn during the last year of their residence at Helmingham quite obliterated; the old, cheerful, ringing tone restored to her voice, and the earnest, steadfast, loving gaze in her quiet eyes; and the thought almost unmanned him. He pulled out his watch-chain, took from it the locket containing Marian's portrait (but a very poor specimen of photography, taken by an "arteeste" who had visited Helmingham in a green van on wheels, and who both orally and in his printed bills laid immense stress on the fact that not merely the portrait, but a frame and hook to hang it up by, were in certain cases "given in"), and kissed it tenderly. "In a very little time now, my darling!" he murmured--"in a very little time we shall be happy."

One afternoon, about eight months after her mother's death, Marian was sitting at the window of her boudoir, gazing vacantly at the landscape before her. She did not see the trees, erst so glorious in their russet garments, now half-stripped and shivering in the bitter autumnal wind that came booming over the distant hills, and moaned wearily over the plain; she did not see the little stream that lately flashed so merrily in the summer sunlight, but had now become a brown and swollen foaming torrent, roaring where it had softly sung, and bursting over its broad banks instead of coyly slipping through its pebbly shallows; she did not see the birds now skimming over the surface of the ground, now rising, but with no lofty flight, the harbingers of coming storm; she did not see the dun clouds banking up to windward; nor did she note any of the outward characteristics of the scene. She was dull and bored, and it was a relief when she heard the handle of the door turned, and, looking round, saw her husband in the room.

The drone from Jodrell Bank began again: "Herrell McCray, Herrell McCray, Herrell McCray, this is Jodrell Bank responding—"

And he left them, to swim once more in space.

"Welcome, my Highland gentlemen! Can you put up with the poor hospitality of this withered sprig of royalty instead of talking real treason face to face with exiled Princes? Were I King George I'd make it a crime to send little Highland bantams to Rome to turn them into rebel game-cocks."

Macfarren was a brave man, but at that he quaked. Mrs. Dietrick Van Tromp's husband was a silent partner in one of the greatest silk-importing firms in New York, and, although Mrs. Van Tromp considered the fact that her husband's name did not appear in the firm-name relieved him from the stigma of work, yet it would be hard to make that nice distinction clear to Marian. So, after an uneasy pause, Macfarren could only blurt out:

Not long after this incident I was received by Mr Temple Thurston at his flat. I found him writing, and almost at once he began to talk most intimately about himself.

CHAPTER IV

And when the ladies reached the drawing-room, it had relapsed into its morning aspect, and looked as chilly and as unused as before.

1.[pg 198]

2.The identity of Sturdevant is as vague as that of Duff. Tradition has it that Sturdevant did not counterfeit money in the Cave but that, beginning about 1825, and for a short time thereafter, he used the “House of Nature” as a “Banking House of Exchange.” There he met his confederates and exchanged, at an agreed rate, some of the counterfeit money he made in his fortified home nine miles below the Cave. Judge James Hall, in his Sketches of the West, published in 1835, devotes two pages to Sturdevant. His is the best of the few published accounts. It is well worth quoting in full:

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Gently he passed his hand over her face and raised her up, when she opened her eyes and looked around with wild wonder, but spake never a word, though he tried to soothe and encourage her. Then, thinking it was dangerous for them to remain in that place, he raised her from the bier, and taking her hand led her away to his own house. They arrived safely, but in silence. And for twelve months did she remain with the Kern, never tasting food or speaking word for all that time.

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