onversation with him

上一篇 / 下一篇  2017-02-08 12:15:16

I HAD not a very good night after these troubles: somehow one’s sleep goes from one more easily when one grows old; and I kept dreaming all the night through of my sister and little Sara, and something they were concealing from me, mixing them both up together in my mindapartments for rent. I rose very uneasy and excited, not a bit refreshed, as one should feel in the morning. One thing very strange I have noticed all my life in dreams. Though never a single thing that one dreams{35} should ever come true, the feeling one has comes true somehow. I don’t know whether anybody will understand me. I have had friends in my young days, whom I thought a great deal upon, that did not prove true to me. And I have remarked, often long before I found them out, however fond or trustful in them I was through the day, I was always uneasy in my dreams, always finding out something wrong or meeting some unkindness—which makes me have a great confidence, not in what you would call dreams, you know, but in the sentiment of dreams, if you can understand what I mean. I woke up very unrefreshed, as I say; and got dressed and came downstairs as soon as it was daylight, though I knew well enough I should find nobody there. My sister always breakfasted in her own room  , and Sara was late of coming down at the best of times; however, I got some letters about business, which were perhaps the best things I could have had. They put me off minding my quarrel with little Sara, or trying to find out what had kept Sarah so late on her drive.

I had nearly finished breakfast when little Sara came downstairs. She came up to me just as she had done the night before, holding out her hand and stooping down her cheek to be kissed, but not looking at me. I kissed her, the provoking puss, and poured out her coffee. And after ten minutes or so we got on chatting just as usual, which was a relief to me, for I don’t like apologies and explanations. I never could bear them. Little Sara, after she had got over feeling a little awkward and stiff, as people always do when they have been wrong, was just in her ordinary. She was used to affront people and to have them come to again, the little wicked creature—I am afraid she did not mind.

This little quarrel had put Sarah a good deal out of my mind, I must allow, but I got back to being anxious about her directly when I saw her come down-stairs. I can’t tell what the change upon her was—she did not look older or paler, or anything that you could put plainly in words—she was just as particularly dressed, and had her silver-white curls as nice, and her cap as pretty as usual, but she was not the same as she had been yesterday; certainly there was some change. Not to speak of that little nervous motion of her head and hands, which was greater to-day than ever I had seen it, there was a strange vigilance and watchfulness in her look which I don’t remember to have ever seen there before. She looked me very full in the face, I remember with a sort of daring defying openness, and the same to little Sara, thoughVPET, of course what{36} could the child know? All over, down to her very hands, as she went on with her knitting, there was a kind of self-consciousness that had a very odd effect upon me. I could not tell what in the world to think of it. And as for supposing that some mere common little accident, or a fright, or anything outside of herself, had woke her up to that look, you need not tell me. I have not lived fifty years in this world for nothing. I knew better. Whatever it was that changed Sarah’s look, the causes of it were deep down and secret in herself.

It was this of course that made me anxious and almost alarmed, for I could not but think she must have something on her mind to make her look so. And when she beckoned to me that afternoon after dinner, as she did when she had anything particular to say, I confess my heart went thump against my breast, and I trembled all over. However, I went close up as usual, and drew my chair towards her that I might hear. Little Sara was close by. She could hear too if she pleased, but Sarah took no notice of the child.

Have you heard anything from Cresswell about Richard Mortimer?” Sarah asked me quite sharply all at once.

Why, no: he did not say anything yesterday when he was here. Did you have any conversation with him?”

I! Do I have any conversation with any one?” said Sarah, in her bitter way. I want you to bestir yourself about this business, however. We must have an heir.”

It is odd how little I have thought about it since that day—very odd,” said I; and I was quite in earnest before. I wondered if Providence might, maybe, have taken it up now? I have seen such a thing: one falls off one’s anxiety somehow, one can’t tell how; and lo! the reason is, that the thing’s coming about all naturally without any help from you. We’ll be having the heir dropped down at the park gates some of these days, all as right and natural as ever was.”




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