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

Chapter XIII

Page 3 of 4

Table Of Contents: A Dark Night's Work

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

But Ellinor spoke again with a kind of irritated determination, very foreign to her usual soft docility:

"Please just let me judge for myself this once. I am not ungrateful. God knows I don't want to vex one who has been so kind to me as you have been, dear Mrs. Forbes; but I must go--and every word you say to dissuade me only makes me more convinced. I am going to Civita tomorrow. I shall be that much on the way. I cannot rest here."

Mrs. Forbes looked at her in grave silence. Ellinor could not bear the consciousness of that fixed gaze. Yet its fixity only arose from Mrs. Forbes' perplexity as to how best to assist Ellinor, whether to restrain her by further advice--of which the first dose had proved so useless--or to speed her departure. Ellinor broke on her meditations:

"You have always been so kind and good to me,--go on being so-- please, do! Leave me alone now, dear Mrs. Forbes, for I cannot bear talking about it, and help me to go to-morrow, and you do not know how I will pray to God to bless you!"

Such an appeal was irresistible. Mrs. Forbes kissed her very tenderly, and went to rejoin her daughters, who were clustered together in their mother's bedroom awaiting her coming.

"Well, mamma, how is she? What does she say?"

"She is in a very excited state, poor thing! and has got so strong an impression that it is her duty to go back to England and do all she can for this wretched old man, that I am afraid we must not oppose her. I am afraid that she really must go on Thursday."

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

Although Mrs. Forbes secured the services of a travelling-maid, Dr. Livingstone insisted on accompanying Ellinor to England, and it would have required more energy than she possessed at this time to combat a resolution which both words and manner expressed as determined. She would much rather have travelled alone with her maid; she did not feel the need of the services he offered; but she was utterly listless and broken down; all her interest was centred in the thought of Dixon and his approaching trial, and perplexity as to the mode in which she must do her duty.

They embarked late that evening in the tardy Santa Lucia, and Ellinor immediately went to her berth. She was not sea-sick; that might possibly have lessened her mental sufferings, which all night long tormented her. High-perched in an upper berth, she did not like disturbing the other occupants of the cabin till daylight appeared. Then she descended and dressed, and went on deck; the vessel was just passing the rocky coast of Elba, and the sky was flushed with rosy light, that made the shadows on the island of the most exquisite purple. The sea still heaved with yesterday's storm, but the motion only added to the beauty of the sparkles and white foam that dimpled and curled on the blue waters. The air was delicious, after the closeness of the cabin, and Ellinor only wondered that more people were not on deck to enjoy it. One or two stragglers came up, time after time, and began pacing the deck. Dr. Livingstone came up before very long; but he seemed to have made a rule of not obtruding himself on Ellinor, excepting when he could be of some use. After a few words of common-place morning greeting, he, too, began to walk backwards and forwards, while Ellinor sat quietly watching the lovely island receding fast from her view--a beautiful vision never to be seen again by her mortal eyes.

Page 3 of 4 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