Direktlänk till inlägg 6 april 2011

At some tradesman's house

Av schuhe lily - 6 april 2011 07:45

At the beginning of this speech Mary had feared the intended visitor was to be no other than Alice's nephew; but Alice was too delicate-minded to plan a meeting, even for her dear Jem, when one would have been an unwilling party; and Mary, relieved from her apprehension by the conclusion, gladly agreed to come. How busy Alice felt! it was not often she had any one to tea; and now her sense of the duties of a hostess were almost too much for her. She made haste home, and lighted the unwilling fire, borrowing a pair of bellows to make it burn the faster. For herself she was always patient; she let the coals take their time. Then she put on her pattens, and went to fill her kettle at the pump in the next court, and on the way she borrowed a cup; of odd saucers she had plenty, serving as plates when occasion required. Half an ounce of tea and a quarter of a pound of butter went far to absorb her morning's wages; but this was an unusual occasion. In general, she used herb-tea for herself, when at home, unless some thoughtful mistress made a present of tea-leaves from her more abundant household. The two chairs drawn out for visitors, and duly swept and dusted; an old board arranged with some skill upon two old candle-boxes set on end (rather rickety, to be sure, but she knew the seat of old, and when to sit lightly; indeed the whole affair was more for apparent dignity of position than for any real ease); a little, very little round table, put just before the fire, which by this time was blazing merrily; her unlacquered, ancient, third-hand teatray arranged with a black tea-pot, two cups with a red and white pattern, and one with the old friendly willow pattern, and saucers, not to match (on one of the extra supply the lump of butter flourished away); all these preparations complete, Alice began to look about her with satisfaction, and a sort of wonder what more could be done to add to the comfort of the evening. She took one of the chairs away from its appropriate place by the table, and putting it close to the broa d large hanging shelf I told you about when I first described her cellar-dwelling, and mounting on it, she pulled towards her an old deal box, and took thence a quantity of the oat bread of the north, the clap-bread of Cumberland and Westmoreland, and descending carefully with the thin cakes, threatening to break to pieces in her hand, she placed them on the bare table, with the belief that her visitors would have an unusual treat in eating the bread of her childhood. She brought out a good piece of a fourpound loaf of common household bread as well, and then sat down to rest, really to rest, and not to pretend, on one of the rush-bottomed chairs. The candle was ready to be lighted, the kettle boiled, the tea was awaiting its doom in its paper parcel; all was ready.A knock at the door! It was Margaret, the young workwoman who lived in the rooms above, who having heard the bustle, and the subsequent quiet, began to think it was time to pay her visit below. She was a sallow, unhealthy, sweet-looking young woman, with a careworn look; her dress was humble and very simple, consisting of some kind of dark stuff gown, her neck being covered by a drab shawl or large handkerchief, pinned down behind and at the sides in front. The old woman gave her a hearty greeting, and made her sit down on the chair she had just left, while she balanced herself on the board seat, in order that Margaret might think it was quite her free and independent choice to sit there."I cannot think what keeps Mary Barton. She's quite grand with her late hours," said Alice, as Mary still delayed.

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Mary Turner was just ready for bed after her evening at thetheater, when she was rudely startled out of this belief. A notecame by a messenger who waited for no answer, as he told theyawning maid. As Mary read the roughly scrawled message, she wascaught in the grip of terror. Some instinct warned her that thisdanger was even worse than it seemed. The man who had saved herfrom death had yielded to temptation. Even now, he was engaged incommitting that crime which she had forbidden him. As he hadsaved her, so she must save him. She hurried into the gown shehad just put off. Then she went to the telephone-book andsearched for the number of Gilder's house.  * * * * *It was just a few moments before Mary Turner received the notefrom the hands of the sleepy maid that one of the leaves of theoctagonal window in the library of Richard Gilder's town houseswung open, under the persuasive influence of a thin rod ofsteel, cunningly used, and Joe Garson stepped confidently intothe dark room.  A faint radiance of moonlight from without showed him for asecond as he passed between the heavy draperies. Then these fellinto place, and he was invisible, and soundless as well. For aspace, he rested motionless, listening intently. Reassured, hedrew out an electric torch and set it glowing. A little disc oflight touched here and there about the room, traveling veryswiftly, and in methodical circles. Satisfied by the survey,Garson crossed to the hall door. He moved with alert assurance,lithely balanced on the balls of his feet, noiselessly. At thehall door he listened for any sound of life without, and foundnone. The door into the passage that led to the store-room wherethe detectives waited next engaged his business-like attention.  And here, again, there was naught to provoke his suspicion.  These preliminaries taken as measures of precaution, Garson wentboldly to the small table that stood behind the couch, turned thebutton, and the soft glow of an electric lamp illumined theapartment. The extinguished torch was thrust back into hispocket. Afterward he carried one of the heavy chairs to the doorof the passage and propped it against the panel in such wise thatits fall must give warning as to the opening of the door. Hisevery action was performed with the maximum of speed, with noleast trace of flurry or of nervous haste. It was evident thathe followed a definite program, the fruit of precise thoughtguided by experience.Another year passed on. The waves of time seemed long since to have swept away all trace of poor Mary Barton. But her husband still thought of her, although with a calm and quiet grief, in the silent watches of the night: and Mary would start from her hard-earned sleep, and think, in her half-dreamy, half-awakened state, she saw her mother stand by her bedside, as she used to do "in the days of long ago"; with a shaded candle and an expression of ineffable tenderness, while she looked on her sleeping child. But Mary rubbed her eyes and sank back on her pillow, awake, and knowing it was a dream; and still, in all her troubles and perplexities, her heart called on her mother for aid, and she thought, "If mother had but lived, she would have helped me." Forgetting that the woman's sorrows are far more difficult to mitigate than a child's, even by the mighty power of a mother's love; and unconscious of the fact, that she was far superior in sense and spirit to the mother she mourned. Aunt Esther was still mysteriously absent, and people had grown weary of wondering, and began to forget. Barton still attended his club, and was an active member of a trades' union; indeed, more frequently than ever, since the time of Mary's return in the evening was so uncertain; and, as she occasionally, in very busy times, remained all night. His chiefest friend was still George Wilson, although he had no great sympathy on the questions that agitated Barton's mind. But their hearts were bound by old ties to one another, and the remembrance of former things gave an unspoken charm to their meetings. Our old friend, the cub-like lad, Jem Wilson, had shot up into the powerful, well-made young man, with a sensible face enough; nay, a face that might have been handsome, had it not been here and there marked by the smallpox. He worked with one of the great firms of engineers, who send from out their towns of workshops engines and machinery to the dominions of the Czar and the Sultan. His father and mother were never weary of praising Jem, a t all which commendation pretty Mary Barton would toss her head, seeing clearly enough that they wished her to understand 'what a good husband he would make, and to favour his love, about which he never dared to speak, whatever eyes and looks revealed.One day, in the early winter time, when people were provided with warm substantial gowns, not likely soon to wear out, and when, accordingly, business was rather slack at Miss Simmonds', Mary met Alice Wilson, coming home from her half-day's work at some tradesman's house. Mary and Alice had always liked each other; indeed, Alice looked with particular interest on the motherless girl, the daughter of her whose forgiving kiss had comforted her in many sleepless hours. So there was a warm greeting between the tidy old woman and the blooming young work-girl; and then Alice ventured to ask if she would come in and take her tea with her that very evening."You'll think it dull enough to come just to sit with an old woman like me, but there's a tidy young lass as lives in the floor above, who does plain work, and now and then a bit in your own line, Mary; she's grand-daughter to old Job Legh, a spinner, and a good girl she is. Do come, Mary; I've a terrible wish to make you known to each other. She's a genteel-looking ass, too."


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Av schuhe lily - 10 april 2011 05:54

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Av schuhe lily - 10 april 2011 05:40

Av schuhe lily - 8 april 2011 10:42

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