favour of reducing the size of the families among the working classes.
It seemed that she had dressed for the part. She was wearing a gown that he had not seen before, and that was something too elaborate for a family dinner. Her plump, well-developed bust and shoulders emerging with an effect of challenge from a foam of pink chiffon, looked almost startlingly naked. Nevertheless, if it were a trifle theatrical, the dress suited her brunette prettiness, and gave value to the air of vivacity that she had, also, assumed. This was one of Elizabeth's most effective moods. He had seen her pert and rather forward on other occasions but never quite so daring as she was to-night.
The call was urgent; he hurried to see what it was about. It was his second in command, very excited. "What is it?" Hatcher demanded.
“I don’t understand. You don’t mean that he’s stayed and the Delanes have gone?”
The banquet ended at last, and every one drifted to the library.
"Sakura," Hartford said, this being the prompt-word to which the blabrigar was trained to reply.
Anything? her husband's illness, dangerous illness, for instance? Yes, anything. She had never pretended to herself that she had loved Mr. Creswell. She had done her duty by him strictly, even to casting out all thoughts, all remembrance, of the lover of her youth; and it is an odd and not a very gratifying sign of the weakness of the human heart to think that Marian had frequently taken credit to herself for the sense of wifely duty which had induced her to eliminate all memories of early days, and all recollections of Walter Joyce, from her mind. Her husband was very much her senior; she could not have hoped that he would live very long, and if he were to be removed---- There was, however, no question of that at present. Within a few days of the attack to which Dr. Osborne had been called, Mr. Creswell had recovered consciousness, and gradually had so far mended as to be able to take interest in what was passing round him. One of his first expressed wishes was to see Mr. Benthall, and when that gentleman, who was very much touched by the sight of the old man's altered expression, and wandering eyes, and strange twitching face, was left alone with him, he asked hurriedly, but earnestly, for news of the girls, his nieces, and seemed much relieved when he heard they were well and happy. To Marian her husband's manner was wonderfully altered. He was kind always, occasionally affectionate, but he seemed to have lost all that utter trust, that reliant worship, which had so characterised his attentions to her in the early days of their marriage. Of the election he spoke freely, expressing his sorrow for the disappointment which his friends would suffer owing to his forced defection, and his pleasure that, since a representative of opposite politics must necessarily be chosen, the town would have the advantage of returning a man with the high character which he had heard on all sides ascribed to Mr. Joyce. When, on the evening of the nomination day, Mr. Teesdale waited on his chief, and detailed to him all that had taken place, dwelling on the mention which Joyce had made of his absent opponent, and the high opinion which he had expressed of him, the old gentleman was very much moved, and sank back on his pillows perfectly overcome. Marian by no means appreciated Mr. Teesdale that evening, and got rid of him as soon as possible. She was much pained at the display of what she considered her husband's weakness, and determined on following Dr. Osborne's advice as to removing him as soon as he was able to travel. It was noted just at that time that Mrs. Creswell spoke far more favourably of her husband's state of health than she had done for some time previously, and betrayed an unmistakable desire to get him away from Brocksopp neighbourhood and influences without delay.
“The only tough thing about it is I need that arm every time I go up, and it’s going to cripple me for some time, I’m afraid,” complained Frank, bitterly.
"Well, as a matter of fact," Arthur began, and stopped abruptly. He had been on the verge of telling them that they need have no more doubts详情 ➢
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