2021-04-18 10:02:43

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ENGLISH "Are you sure of that?""Then you will not need to hurry back?"

The talk was broken in upon by a message from Mrs. Bergan. Carice, after her manifold questions in regard to the circumstances in which she found herself had been answered or evaded, had sunk into a deep, but apparently natural sleep. Still, her mother could not but be extremely anxious about her; and she suggested that Doctor Remy, or some one else, should be immediately sent for, to provide against the contingency of her waking.The child's lip assumed its most sorrowful curve. "To get some money to give Astra," she answered. "We are very poor now; the Bank went and got broke, with all mamma's money in it; and she was taken sick, and Astra couldn't get much to do, and we've had to move into a little mean house, in a dirty little street, where there are no flowers, nor trees, nor anything that's nice. And this morning I saw Astra take the last money out of her purse, to pay the rent, and she lookedoh! I can't tell how she looked,something like that big gray man, with the little boy on his back, that she made so long ago; and I did so wish that I could do something to help her, just a little bit. So, when she sent me out to take a walk with Nix, it came into my head that I could beg for her, if I couldn't do anything else, and I thought I'd try it. Was it doing wrong?"

Lifting her eyes, she again caught sight of the light from the Hall, which had recently been hidden by the trees. Her lips parted in a smile; her hesitation was at an end. Clinging to the hand-rail of the bridge, and sliding her feet carefully along the great beam underneath, she safely passed the gap,though she lost a slipper in the transit,and then hurried to the Hall, to meet with the accident lately described.Perhaps Bergan heard something of all this; at any rate, that cry from the river, whether real or imagined, had broken the thread of his review of the past, and brought back his mind to the question of the future. What was to be done? Leave Berganton, of course. The place was not wide enough to hold Carice and himself, with comfort to either. If her marriage had been brought about in the way that he suspected, the sight of him would scarce conduce to her peace; while the sight of her, in her new relation, could only cause him useless pain. Moreover, he had seen, from the first, that Berganton afforded little scope for talent; none whatever for ambition. And, now that his life seemed likely to be limited to its public side, and to have no sweet, compensating domestic one, he felt the necessity of directing its course to some quarter where there was room for proper expansion.

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With an instant intuition of evil, Bergan sprang out of bed, and opened the door. "What is the matter?" he asked.The night was no longer dark. Here and there, a star looked through the broken clouds, and lighted him to the river's bank, down which he walked slowly; torturing himself, as he went, with that weary after-birth of doubts and questions, which often follows hard upon the accomplishment of a cherished purpose. Had he done well in wedding Carice to the doctor? Had he not done wrong in refusing to listen to Bergan, at least with courtesy and calmness? Was it barely possible that there could have been some small grain of truth at the bottom of the young man's turbid story? What was the meaning of that odd, wild look in Carice's eyes? Had he been thrusting himself, as it were, into the awful place of Providence, only, by reason of his human short-sightedness, to work irremediable ruin?

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"When was my uncle taken?" he asked.

The answer to this question, although very gently given by Doctor Gerrish, was, of course, a severe shock; all the more, because Doctor Remy took care to throw in a covert insinuation that Bergan's absence betrayed some guilty connection with the disastrous event; bethinking himself that, in case the young man should escape Big Ben, he could be gotten rid of all the same, for the present, by being arrested for murder.

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Apr-18 10:02:43