2021-04-18 11:24:13

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ENGLISH Im ashamed of myself, he said. Your brother is perfectly right. Go down, then, as you suggest in the morning.

His lordship is waiting, sir he said, and{72} wants to know if you can see him for ten minutes.She did not wait to put on a shawl, but walked quickly across the drawing-room, where she had so often heard his nimble tripping approach, and across the inner hall and out into that Gothic apartment where she would surely find him. Before she got there she had only one desire left, to abase herself and be raised up again. She was short-sighted, and as she came into the outer hall, her heart for a moment leaped within her, for she thought she saw him standing in the dusky corner by the library door. Then, with a sickening reaction, she saw the phantom resolve itself into a coat and hat of her fathers hanging up{215} there, and she saw that the hall was empty, and Mr Silverdale gone. Still she would not give up; he might be standing just outside, unable quite to leave her like this, and opening the front door, she looked out on to the star-sown dusk. But certainly there was no one there.

And now which of us shall go first? she said, for we must go alone now. Which of us{240} naturally walks fastest? You, I expect. So I shall sit here for five minutes more and then follow.Oh, I thought birthday was the day you were{58} born, not the day you were buried, he said politely.Mrs Keelings powers of intuition could make nothing of this. Starting with the firm conviction that Mr Silverdale had proposed to her daughter, there seemed no place where it would fit in.

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What about your work at Keelings to-morrow night? he said, if Im not fit to come out? You cant very well go up there alone, can you?

Then followed the usual acclamation, and it{248} was sweet to the donors ears. But sweeter than it all to him was the moment when, as the guests sat down again and he rose to reply, he looked across at the table near the wall, and caught Norahs eye. Just perceptibly she shook her head at him as if to reproach him with his ingeniousness the day before, but all her face was alight. He had never met so radiant an encounter from her....He went to the front door in order to make sure he had put the chain on, and then taking it off, opened the door and looked out into the night. The snow was still falling fast, and the prints of wheels and footsteps outside were already obliterated. Mr Silverdale had walked home, light-heartedly predicting a jolly good snowballing match with his boys next day, and Keeling found himself detesting Mr Silverdale with acute intensity. Norah had walked home also.... In a moment he was back in the hall, putting on a mackintosh. He would have liked to put on boots as well but for that he would have had to go up to his dressing-room next door to his wifes bedroom. Then gently closing the door behind him, he went out into the night. He must just walk as far as her house to make sure she was not still tramping her way through the snow, and traverse the streets she had traversed. It was absolutely necessary to satisfy himself about that, and he did not care how unreasonable it wasrational considerations had no application; an emotional dictate made him go. There was but{153} a mile of gas-lit thoroughfare between his house and hers, but he, striving to smother the emotion he would not admit, told himself that he must be satisfied she was not still out in this frozen inclement night. He gave that as a sop to his rational self; but he knew he threw it as to some caged wolf, to keep it from growling.

Thomas Keeling.

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Quite an excellent heart, she said. Julia has always been my friend, except just lately. And now it is all right again. Dont you think that quarrels sometimes lead to even warmer attachments, Mamma?He let her out into the snow, and felt that fire went with her; then returned to the drawing-room where he found unquestionable ice. Little sour wreaths of mist were already afloat in Mrs Keelings mind, which, though not yet condensed into actual thought, were chilling down to it in that narrow receptacle. Alice took her embroidery, and went upstairs, but his wife sat rather upright by the fire, looking at the evening paper which she held upside down. She meant to behave with perfect propriety again, but wished him to begin, so as to launch her propriety on a fair and even keel.

He didnt refuse? said Alice.Arent you going to shake hands? he asked.

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Apr-18 11:24:13