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

Chapter XII

Page 6 of 15

Table Of Contents: A Dark Night's Work

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Again alone, and Mr. Corbet's open letter on the table. She took it up and looked at it till the letters dazzled crimson on the white paper. Her life rolled backwards, and she was a girl again. At last she roused herself; but instead of destroying the note--it was long years since all her love-letters from him had been returned to the writer--she unlocked her little writing-case again, and placed this letter carefully down at the bottom, among the dead rose-leaves which embalmed the note from her father, found after his death under his pillow, the little golden curl of her sister's, the half-finished sewing of her mother.

The shabby writing-case itself was given her by her father long ago, and had since been taken with her everywhere. To be sure, her changes of place had been but few; but if she had gone to Nova Zembla, the sight of that little leather box on awaking from her first sleep, would have given her a sense of home. She locked the case up again, and felt all the richer for that morning.

A day or two afterwards she left Hamley. Before she went she compelled herself to go round the gardens and grounds of Ford Bank. She had made Mrs. Osbaldistone understand that it would be painful for her to re-enter the house; but Mr. Osbaldistone accompanied her in her walk.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

"You see how literally we have obeyed the clause in the lease which ties us out from any alterations," said he, smiling. "We are living in a tangled thicket of wood. I must confess that I should have liked to cut down a good deal; but we do not do even the requisite thinnings without making the proper application for leave to Mr. Johnson. In fact, your old friend Dixon is jealous of every pea-stick the gardener cuts. I never met with so faithful a fellow. A good enough servant, too, in his way; but somewhat too old-fashioned for my wife and daughters, who complain of his being surly now and then."

"You are not thinking of parting with him?" said Ellinor, jealous for Dixon.

"Oh, no; he and I are capital friends. And I believe Mrs. Osbaldistone herself would never consent to his leaving us. But some ladies, you know, like a little more subserviency in manner than our friend Dixon can boast."

Ellinor made no reply. They were entering the painted flower garden, hiding the ghastly memory. She could not speak. She felt as if, with all her striving, she could not move--just as one does in a nightmare--but she was past the place even as this terror came to its acme; and when she came to herself, Mr. Osbaldistone was still blandly talking, and saying -

"It is now a reward for our obedience to your wishes, Miss Wilkins, for if the projected railway passes through the ash-field yonder we should have been perpetually troubled with the sight of the trains; indeed, the sound would have been much more distinct than it will be now coming through the interlacing branches. Then you will not go in, Miss Wilkins?" Mrs. Osbaldistone desired me to say how happy-- Ah! I can understand such feelings--Certainly, certainly; it is so much the shortest way to the town, that we elder ones always go through the stable-yard; for young people, it is perhaps not quite so desirable. Ha! Dixon," he continued, "on the watch for the Miss Ellinor we so often hear of! This old man," he continued to Ellinor, "is never satisfied with the seat of our young ladies, always comparing their way of riding with that of a certain missy--"

Page 6 of 15 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