时间: 2019年12月14日 17:44

A few days, however, after Ernest had come into his property, I received a letter from Theobald enclosing one for Ernest which I could not withhold. It was evident to all in the family circle that Abbie had become a changed girl since her stay in Quebec. Cheerfulness had always been her chief characteristic. Peals of laughter and French and English songs, with choruses, could be heard wherever she presided. Even in the poultry yard her rich fund of humor manifested itself in the naming of her feathered flock. A bronze turkey, stately and dignified, was addressed as Chief Machecawa; a big Brahma cock, who held his head above the others, she called "Harold the Great;" while another cock, almost as gay and proud in appearance, and who manifested a decided antipathy to the Brahma, was designated as "Thomas 脿 Becket;" while still another was "William the Conqueror." All these creatures had distinct personalities and dispositions of their own, and were called after noted historical characters whose first names corresponded to those of her numerous suitors whom they were supposed to resemble. Like Bearie, her stories of bygone days were the product of a shrewd mind, a keen sense of humor, and a clear memory. She disliked housework and fancy-work, and all kinds of systematic work except weaving. When set to tease wool, every hard and knotty tuft was tossed into the fire. When stockings were given her to darn, she ran a gathering string round each hole and drew it together regardless of the discomfort of the wearer. She liked weaving. It was the only work she did like, and it fell to her lot consequently to supply the house with flannel and linen. The coarse but snowy table covers Abbie had spun and woven with her own hands from flax grown on the farm. The boys' shirts were made by her from the wool of their own sheep. Few women of the settlement could outrival her in the lost art, for she could make between forty and fifty yards of flannel in a week. 鈥淵ou know these things. Why, then, do I insist upon them? My dear young friends, your own consciousness will have made the answer to each one of you already; it is because, though you know so well that these things did verily and indeed happen, you know also that you have not realised them to yourselves as it was your duty to do, nor heeded their momentous, awful import. Instinct led him along the quays and through the narrow, old-world streets to the patch of yellow light before the Caf茅 de l鈥橴nivers. But there he halted, suddenly disinclined to enter. Something new and amazing had come into his life鈥攈e could not yet tell what鈥攄iscordant with the commonplace of the familiar company. He looked through the space left between the edge of the blind and the jamb of the window and saw Beuzot, the professor at the Ecole Normale, playing backgammon with Monsieur Callot, the postmaster; and a couple of places away from them was visible the square-headed old Monsieur Viriot, smiting his left palm with his right fist. The excellent old man always did that when he inveighed against the government. To-night Martin cared little about the Government of the French Republic; still less for backgammon. He had a nostalgia for unknown things and an absurd impulse to walk abroad to find them beneath the moon and stars. Obeying the impulse, he retraced his steps along the quays and struck the main-road past the habitations of the rock dwellers. He walked for a couple of miles between rocks casting jagged shadows and a calm, misty plain without finding anything, until, following a laborious, zig-zag course, a dissolute quarryman of his acquaintance in incapable charge of a girl child of five, lurched into him and laid the clutch of a drowning mariner upon his shoulder. 鈥淎s for men curing themselves,鈥?continued Pryer, 鈥渢hey can no more cure their own souls than they can cure their own bodies, or manage their own law affairs. In these two last cases they see the folly of meddling with their own cases clearly enough, and go to a professional adviser as a matter of course; surely a man鈥檚 soul is at once a more difficult and intricate matter to treat, and at the same time it is more important to him that it should be treated rightly than that either his body or his money should be so. What are we to think of the practice of a Church which encourages people to rely on unprofessional advice in matters affecting their eternal welfare, when they would not think of jeopardising their worldly affairs by such insane conduct?鈥? 鈥淪he has been the comfort and mainstay of my life for more than thirty years,鈥?said Theobald as soon as all was over, 鈥渂ut one could not wish it prolonged,鈥?and he buried his face in his handkerchief to conceal his want of emotion. 亚洲一日韩欧美中文字幕在线 鈥淟ook here, master, I can guess what all this is about 鈥?now before I goes I want to have a word with you.鈥? 鈥淪o I feared,鈥?said Theobald, 鈥渁nd now, Ernest, be good enough to ring the bell.鈥? The next morning she started for the Riviera. She was proceeding thither via Toulouse, Carcassonne, Narbonne and the coast. To Martin鈥檚 astonishment F茅lise was accompanying her, on a visit for ten days or a fortnight to the South. It appeared that the matter had been arranged late the previous evening. Lucilla had made the proposal, swept away difficulty after difficulty with her air of a smiling, but irresistible providence and left Bigourdin and F茅lise not a leg save sheer churlishness to stand on. Clothes? She had ten times the amount she needed. The perils of the lonely and tedious return train journey? Never could F茅lise accomplish it. Bigourdin turned up an Indicateur des Chemins de Fer. There were changes, there were waits. Communications were arranged, with diabolical cunning, not to correspond. Perhaps it was to confound the Germans in case of invasion. As far as he could make out it would take seventy-four hours, forty-three minutes to get from Monte Carlo to Brant?me. It was far simpler to go from Paris to Moscow, which as every one knew was the end of the world. F茅lise would starve. F茅lise would perish of cold. F茅lise would get the wrong train and find herself at Copenhagen or Amsterdam or Naples, where she wouldn鈥檛 be able to speak the language. Lucilla laughed. There was such a thing as L鈥橝gence Cook which moulded the Indicateur des Chemins de Fer to its will. She would engage a man from Cook鈥檚 before whose brass-buttoned coat and a gold-lettered cap band the Indicateur would fall to pieces, to transfer F茅lise personally, by easy stages, from house to house. F茅lise had pleaded her uncle鈥檚 need. Lucilla, in the most charming way imaginable, had deprecated as impossible any such colossal selfishness on the part of Monsieur Bigourdin. Overawed by the Olympian he had peremptorily ordered F茅lise to retire and pack her trunk. Then, obeying the dictates of his sound sense he had asked Lucilla what object she had in her magnificent invitation. His little girl, said he, would acquire a taste for celestial things which never afterwards would she be in a position to gratify. To which, Lucilla: � �