category:Action adventure


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    金星棋牌唯一官房网站Here he now stood and stared at the palely glittering water. But he did not see it. His mind was busy with the uncomfortable impression left on it by Mary’s last statement. At a stroke this had laid waste the good spirits in which he had got up that morning; even if, for the moment, it had done no more than pull him up short, as one is pulled up by a knot in a needleful of pack-thread, or a dumb note on a keyboard. For the feeling roused in him was no such simple one as mere mortification at the rumoured loss of the big house known as “Toplands”; though the dear soul indoors put it down to this, and he should continue to let her think so. No; there was more behind. But only now, when alone with himself, did he mutter under his breath: “Good Lord! What if this place should prove to be Leicester over again!”


    But tea over, chairs drawn to the fire, feet planted on the fender, Mother turned her pretty old pink-and-white face framed in lisse cap and bands to Mahony, and seeing him still sit meditative, laid her plump little hand over his long thin one, which rested on the arm of his chair. And as he did not resist, she made it a prisoner, and carried it to her shiny old black silk lap. Sitting in this way, hand in hand with him, she began to put gentle questions about the lives and fates of those dearest to her: John, John’s two families of children, and his wives, neither of whom, not the lovely Emma, nor yet soft, brown-eyed Jinny — to whom, through her letters, she had grown deeply attached — could she now ever hope to know on earth. Next Zara, whom she called Sarah: “For the name I chose for her at her baptism I still think good enough for her,” with a stingless laugh at her eldest daughter’s elegancies. Steady Jerry, who would never set the Thames on fire. Ned, poor dear unfortunate Ned, who had been a source of anxiety to her since his birth —“Ah, but I was troubled when I carried him, Richard!”— from whom she had not heard directly for many a long day. Inquiring thus after her brood, and commenting on what she heard with a rare good sense, she gradually lured Mahony into a talking-fit that subdued even Lisby, and kept them all out of their beds till two o’clock in the morning. Once started, Richard proved regularly in the vein; and Mary no longer needed to fear lest he be thought dull or stand-off. Indeed, she found herself listening with interest. For he told things — gave reasons for throwing up his Ballarat practice, described sensations on the homeward voyage and in London — which were new even to her. At some of them she rather opened her eyes. She didn’t want to insinuate that Richard was inventing them on the spur of the moment; but she did think — and on similar occasions had thought before now — that certain ideas occurred to him only when he got fairly wound up: he was like a fisher who didn’t always know what he was going to catch. — Besides, there was this odd contradiction in Richard: he who was usually so reserved could, she had noticed, sometimes speak out more frankly, unbosom himself more easily, to people he was meeting for the first time, than to those he lived his life with. It was as if he said to himself, once didn’t count.
    “And I can assure you, my dears, Bealby won’t think any the worse of you for turning him into a gentleman,” soothed Mother.
    The person who did not look near was Purdy; and this was an additional source of offence. The least he could have done, said Richard, was to ride out and make up for his offensive behaviour of the night before. Didn’t the fellow grasp that he, Mahony, had come to Ballarat solely with the object of doing him a good turn? Privately Mary thought it very unlikely that Purdy, or Tilly either, saw Richard’s presence in this light. Aloud she observed that he must know it would not be considered proper for the bridegroom to hang about the house, the day before the wedding. But Richard said: propriety be hanged!


    1.She went on: “Personally, I don’t see how you can expect people to run after you, when you’ve never troubled to keep up with them . . . written a line or sent a message.” And just because she herself thought SOME of Richard’s old friends might have done him the compliment of calling, Mary spoke very warmly. Adding: “Well, at least you’ll take a stroll round the old place now you’re here, and see how it’s grown.”
    2.Until now it had been plain sailing. Now . . . well, Mary invariably dated the beginning of the real trouble with Cuffy from the day on which he flew into such a naughty passion with his horse. Exactly an easy child to manage he had never been; he was too fanciful for that. There was no need for Richard to fuss and fidget about keeping ugly things from him. Cuffy himself would have none of them. Before he was a twelve-month old, did he, in looking at his “Queen of Hearts” story-book, draw near the picture of the thieving knave, you saw his eyes getting bigger and bigger. And if he could not contrive, with his baby hands, to turn two pages at once — and nobody else might do it for him — he would avert his eyes altogether, or lay his palm flat over the wretch’s ugly face. The Dore illustrations to his big fairy-book had a kind of horrid fascination for him. There he would sit staring at these dense and gloomy forests, these ruined, web-hung castles surrounded by their stagnant moats — and then, when bedtime came, he turned frightened. It was of no use trying to shame him with: “A great boy like you! Why, the Dumplings aren’t a bit afraid.” Or cheerily assuring him: “There are no such things, darling, as witches and giants. They’re only made up to amuse little children.”
    3.They had been there for a whole fortnight, and there was still no talk of their moving on, when something happened which cut their stay through as with a knife. The smallest details of that July afternoon — it started with one of Cuffy’s outbreaks — were burnt into Mary’s brain.
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