ENGLISH “彩票站代买彩票安全”Across the next two fields, their own linked shadows, sliding slowly over the ground in advance of them, were not more silent than they. The voices of their companions, who had far outstripped them, reached their ears only in subdued and harmonious murmurs. The moonlight lay over the earth like a visible blessing of peace; and even threw a kind of reflected brightness into Miss Thane's heart, by the aid of which she was better able to try to find some pathway out of its shadows. In that one terrible moment, when she had seemed to see Coralie wrapped in flames, a swift vision of herself, left standing alone in the world—without relative, without friend, without human affection, hope, or solace—a lonely, empty, unsatisfied heart—had risen before her, and left her appalled, even in the midst of her thankfulness that it was only a vision as yet, and not a reality. For, how easily, through the agency of a boat or an engine, a fever or a chill, a thousand every-day accidents, it might still become a reality! With what was she then to supply Coralie's place in her heart and life?In those days, there was a pleasant spice of uncertainty about Southern journeyings. Cars, steamboats, and stages ran in happy independence of each other and the time-table. The traveller never knew at what point of juniper swamp, or pine barren, or cotton plantation, he would be set down to while away some hours in botanical or ethnological investigations, if his mind were sufficiently at ease, or in chewing the bitter cud of impatience, if it were not. Defective machinery and lazy officials labored mightily together to miss connections, and wherever human inefficiency came short, down swept a hurricane from the skies, and strewed the roads with prostrate trunks of trees, through which the cumbrous stage coach had literally to hew its path.
"Coralie," she suddenly asked, "how old am I?"
Yet in no other way could it have operated so powerfully to awaken the instinct of kinship within her, to melt her reserve, to draw out her dormant sympathies,—in short, to call forth whatever was deepest, richest, and womanliest in her nature. And certainly, in no other way could it have brought so strong and subtle an influence to bear upon the sombre doubts and chill infidelities of her mind; setting over against her cool, speculative belief in a blind Chance or an inflexible Fate, Mrs. Lyte's calm trust in the goodness of God's providence, against the blighting, chilling, unbeauteous effects of suffering on her own heart, the gracious fruitage of patience, contentment, and love, ripening under its touch in Mrs. Lyte's, against her own dim outlook into an unknown future, her aunt's firm expectation of the eternal weight of glory. The contrast was too striking not to be noticed, its testimony in favor of faith over unbelief too strong to be ignored. Daily, as she watched by her aunt's bedside, questions that she had once settled, or laid aside as incapable of settlement, came up again, to be examined in new and diviner lights. Daily the good work which Bergan had been instrumental in beginning in her heart, went forward,—not like the work of doubt, tearing down what it could not rebuild, and taking away bread to give a stone,—but bringing order out of confusion, proportion out of inequality, solidity out of disintegration."I suspect that I do. Go on."
"Is there no one you can send for,—no relative, no friend, in Berganton, or elsewhere?" he persisted.When the door closed on the father and daughter, Hubert looked at his brother, and smiled meaningly.
"How could I sleep late, when I was ordered off to bed so early?" rejoined Coralie, smiling brightly, and turning her clear brown eyes on her friend. "Besides, I had so much to think about," she added, softly and gravely, letting her glance go back to the flower-beds on the lawn.Mr. Bergan looked anxiously at his nephew. "After what you have told me," said he, "I do not feel that I can allow that man to enter Carice's room again, even when she is sleeping. Yet, be he what or whom he may, his professional skill is undeniable, and her life or reason may turn on those waking moments. What is to be done?"The stranger bent her head with the stately, yet friendly, grace of one princess to another; and a smile just touched her lips, and then seemed to sink into her eyes, shining farther and farther down in their clear depths, until it vanished from sight.
In this mood, Doctor Remy thought it better not to press him further. He had been made to see that he was in his power, and had even yielded a reluctant assent to his will; this was gain enough for the present. So, having reached the point where the roads diverged, he bade Dick a smiling "Good-day," turned off toward the Hall; which, it occurred to him, it might be worth while to visit, for the chance of securing useful shreds of information, or of substituting the false will for the true one."Three days!" exclaimed Bergan, trying to spring up, but failing by reason of his weakness;—"what do you mean?"
Bergan recollected the old slave, and doubted nothing of her fidelity. But, in the woful event that he foresaw, Astra would need other help, other sympathy, he thought.He looked much amused. "I suspect that I am my brother," said he, smiling. "But I am not my brother whom you take me for. I wish I were,—to have the honor of your acquaintance."
Descending the staircase, immediately after the ceremony, they met a travel-stained gentleman coming up, who started at sight of her husband, and uttered the name of "Edmund Roath." He started in his turn, and grew deadly pale; nevertheless, he haughtily affirmed that it was "a mistake," conducted her home, begged to be excused while he attended to some forgotten formality, and left her with the careless smile and bow that argues an immediate return. Hours passed,—days passed,—yet he came not; neither had he left any track, trace, or clue behind. It was as if he had melted into thin air. There were those who hinted that a flight so sudden, swift, and effectual, must all along have been foreseen as a possible necessity, and provided for. She poured her loftiest scorn on the imputation; she believed him to have been murdered by robbers or secret political agents."Mother wishes to see you, and thank you," she said. "Will you step this way?"详情
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