Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
A Dark Night's Work Elizabeth Gaskell

Chapter VII

Page 3 of 9

Table Of Contents: A Dark Night's Work

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"No, don't!" she said. "Wait a minute."

His eyes, bent upon her with a look of deep anxiety, touched her at that moment, and she was on the point of shedding tears; but she checked herself, and rose again.

"I will go," said he. "It is the kindest thing I can do. Only, may I write? May I venture to write and urge what I have to say more coherently?"

"No!" said she. "Don't write. I have given you my answer. We are nothing, and can be nothing to each other. I am engaged to be married. I should not have told you if you had not been so kind. Thank you. But go now."

The poor young man's face fell, and he became almost as white as she was for the instant. After a moment's reflection, he took her hand in his, and said:

"May God bless you, and him too, whoever he be! But if you want a friend, I may be that friend, may I not? and try to prove that my words of regard were true, in a better and higher sense than I used them at first." And kissing her passive hand, he was gone and she was left sitting alone.

But solitude was not what she could bear. She went quickly upstairs, and took a strong dose of sal-volatile, even while she heard Miss Monro calling to her.

"My dear, who was that gentleman that has been closeted with you in the drawing-room all this time?"

And then, without listening to Ellinor's reply, she went on:

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"Mrs. Jackson has been here" (it was at Mrs. Jackson's house that Mr. Dunster lodged), "wanting to know if we could tell her where Mr. Dunster was, for he never came home last night at all. And you were in the drawing-room with--who did you say he was?--that Mr. Livingstone, who might have come at a better time to bid good-bye; and he had never dined here, had he? so I don't see any reason he had to come calling, and P. P. C.-ing, and your papa NOT up. So I said to Mrs. Jackson, 'I'll send and ask Mr. Wilkins, if you like, but I don't see any use in it, for I can tell you just as well as anybody, that Mr. Dunster is not in this house, wherever he may be.' Yet nothing would satisfy her but that some one must go and waken up your papa, and ask if he could tell where Mr. Dunster was."

"And did papa?" inquired Ellinor, her dry throat huskily forming the inquiry that seemed to be expected from her.

"No! to be sure not. How should Mr. Wilkins know? As I said to Mrs. Jackson, 'Mr. Wilkins is not likely to know where Mr. Dunster spends his time when he is not in the office, for they do not move in the same rank of life, my good woman; and Mrs. Jackson apologised, but said that yesterday they had both been dining at Mr. Hodgson's together, she believed; and somehow she had got it into her head that Mr. Dunster might have missed his way in coming along Moor Lane, and might have slipped into the canal; so she just thought she would step up and ask Mr. Wilkins if they had left Mr. Hodgson's together, or if your papa had driven home. I asked her why she had not told me all these particulars before, for I could have asked your papa myself all about when he last saw Mr. Dunster; and I went up to ask him a second time, but he did not like it at all, for he was busy dressing, and I had to shout my questions through the door, and he could not always hear me at first."

Page 3 of 9 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
A Dark Night's Work
Elizabeth Gaskell

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004