Read Books Online, for Free
|The Turn of the Screw||Henry James|
|Page 2 of 2||
I went straight to my room, but his sister was not there; then, before going downstairs, I looked into several others. As she was nowhere about she would surely be with Mrs. Grose, whom, in the comfort of that theory, I accordingly proceeded in quest of. I found her where I had found her the evening before, but she met my quick challenge with blank, scared ignorance. She had only supposed that, after the repast, I had carried off both the children; as to which she was quite in her right, for it was the very first time I had allowed the little girl out of my sight without some special provision. Of course now indeed she might be with the maids, so that the immediate thing was to look for her without an air of alarm. This we promptly arranged between us; but when, ten minutes later and in pursuance of our arrangement, we met in the hall, it was only to report on either side that after guarded inquiries we had altogether failed to trace her. For a minute there, apart from observation, we exchanged mute alarms, and I could feel with what high interest my friend returned me all those I had from the first given her.
"She'll be above," she presently said--"in one of the rooms you haven't searched."
"No; she's at a distance." I had made up my mind. "She has gone out."
Mrs. Grose stared. "Without a hat?"
I naturally also looked volumes. "Isn't that woman always without one?"
"She's with HER?"
"She's with HER!" I declared. "We must find them."
My hand was on my friend's arm, but she failed for the moment, confronted with such an account of the matter, to respond to my pressure. She communed, on the contrary, on the spot, with her uneasiness. "And where's Master Miles?"
"Oh, HE'S with Quint. They're in the schoolroom."
"Lord, miss!" My view, I was myself aware--and therefore I suppose my tone-- had never yet reached so calm an assurance.
"The trick's played," I went on; "they've successfully worked their plan. He found the most divine little way to keep me quiet while she went off."
"'Divine'?" Mrs. Grose bewilderedly echoed.
"Infernal, then!" I almost cheerfully rejoined. "He has provided for himself as well. But come!"
She had helplessly gloomed at the upper regions. "You leave him--?"
"So long with Quint? Yes--I don't mind that now."
She always ended, at these moments, by getting possession of my hand, and in this manner she could at present still stay me. But after gasping an instant at my sudden resignation, "Because of your letter?" she eagerly brought out.
I quickly, by way of answer, felt for my letter, drew it forth, held it up, and then, freeing myself, went and laid it on the great hall table. "Luke will take it," I said as I came back. I reached the house door and opened it; I was already on the steps.
My companion still demurred: the storm of the night and the early morning had dropped, but the afternoon was damp and gray. I came down to the drive while she stood in the doorway. "You go with nothing on?"
"What do I care when the child has nothing? I can't wait to dress," I cried, "and if you must do so, I leave you. Try meanwhile, yourself, upstairs."
"With THEM?" Oh, on this, the poor woman promptly joined me!
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Turn of the Screw
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004