|Chapter Title||MRS. BROWN ATTEMPTS TO ESCAPE.|
|Newspaper Title||Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953)|
|Trove Title||Christmas at Thompson Hall|
THE NOVELIST.- mos CHRISTMAS: AT THOMP- ":i SON HALL. whl -day BY ANTHIONY 'TROLLOPE. You the ''y s_(Froiis the Sjdney.tNail.) -· at' Continued. thli ,CHAPTERIII. ? .I *r S, BirOWN ATTEMPT TO ESCArE. Un But her husband was not sleeping. lon - l-ie'was not even In bed, as she had left him. She found him sitting there before the fireplace, on which one half I;r?ned. log still retained a spark or =o what had once pretended to be a fire. I ?othilng more wretched than his ap- bei `pearance could be imagined. There e .was a single lighted cendle on the table, on which he was lening with tl his two elbows, while his head rested I between his hands. Ieo had on a s0 driessing-gown over his liight.shlrt, but we 5 -othetrwise was not clothed, lie shivored tlI Saudibly, or rather shook himself with Osi Sto?h cold, an'd madthe the table to chatter soj as she entered the room. Then lie it groaned, and let his head fall from his olh e ~hands o ll O table It occurred to her Ii 'iat the moment, as she recognized the at tone of his querulous vcice, nod as she ho Saw the form of his neck, that she must c have been ileal nd blind when she had to mistakein that stalwart stranger for her 'n Shusband. " Oh, my dear," she ?ald, lIe $ "'rwhly are you uot in boil?" l HOe e eanswered inothing in words, but only li groaned n in. " Why did you get tlh " up? r left you warm auil comfrt ut-able or - ' Where have you been all night?' he it f:'. half whispered, half chonkol, with an eagonizing effort. tI Shave; beC?,n looking for the ieis- In ' tard. l ' .Have been lookinig all night aied a r czhaven't fouind it. Where have you a ."i'-be ?'oi? °-.:,She rofused to speak a word to him it 'ý till she got hlin lute bed, aud then ei, Ii ;- tobld het stoly. hlit, alas, tlhat vlhic ii : h:'lle told was lnot the trui stlry I Ae i " she was persuadilng himn to go black to 'hIiss reot, aad" while she arianged tu clothes again around him, she vith t ?''. difficulty iadul uI'her tiind as to lwhatt 'ra?elo woultl'ay. Living or dyiig lie ; must be aiilu to tairt for 'rh'omi.eit 1 ' i i hul t half-past 5 on the inext iornl lii., It wsee 0o hliger a questolio of '?. tlie amtu nitles of Cl.isitIis, no longerUI' "'nmere de Iere to trtlafy tihe family ina i' ;hbtlivi, ofl Ie,o i Iw I peopli, no loiiger: li L aeh tlioty to see her nlew brothler-tit-lim.s sSlhe was couseliuua tihat there was II .tthat house ole wlhul slhe hald deeply Irn'i l(juredl. uaid Irolt wloso alspect, el. It mu tst fly. Llow could s?o eidurn to 5 0 seo tiht ftueu which she was ?,o will _ lsure that she would recognize, 01 u '". hear the slightest sound of thant voilI `'- , h--which would be quite f'aimiliiir to Icr _ ticrel hhIollgitll lid ,iei spuieul a ta:i-nhly flyon tmhe, wligs of the teuir trahin whichl wco ullld' ry hlir I oWiribt ` ?the oil ioute'i ii ut l II , dei thui t Sle m' ight do al inu huii't tlroldtilLttu h' h otabo ud, Silo I "o b ha tohl hot' story. i,. goue forth, as hie had badl. her, (ii !i
searcl of the musturd, and then had suddenly lost her way. Up and dowvn the house she had wandered, perhaps nearly a dozen tines ' Had she met no one ?' he asked in that raspy, husky voices about the hotell Nor was it lossiblo that she could have been roamu ng about all those hours.'. ' Only one lour, my dear,' she said. Then there Wva a questioln ilout the duration of ime, in which both of theim waxed angry; and us she became angry her Ihs band Waned stronger; and sshe became violent benoathl the clothes tle 'oom fort'lblo idea r?ttlrncd to her that he vas not perhaps ao ill as lie would as? mi to bo. Sihe found herself driven to tell hlim something about Illi portcr, htving to account for that lapse of timnt by explaining hiow slio had driven the oor ImiIn to search for the liaudkor hicf wihich she Iad never last. Why did you not tell him you ntel thie mustard?' My denrl' Why not? There is nothing to be ilted of in wantilg mustard.' At 1 o'clock in the morningl I clsn't do it. To tell you the truth, it n?l't ylry civil, and Tl tl it .- ,- a l.n s little tisy. I N mydear, go to sleep.' hy didn't you got the mustard?' ore was none there,-nowhelro at s?out the room. I went down 1 agl id searched everywhere. That's I whaok me so long. 'They always I lock'those k'ind ol thinge at theseo FrUttihotels. They nar too close- I fisted leave alnythig out. When ' you fl spoke of it I knew that it i would I0one when I got there. Now, I my d\go to sleep, because we posititVjm sta rt inl the morning.' 'T.liT impossible,' said he, jump ing up 'li bed. ' We t go, my dear. I say that i we nlust' After all thalt has passed I wouldnlt ihe with Uncle John andt my Cousoebii.t to-morrow evenini i for inore-il-re-irlu tiltn I would venture tdG ' Bothiet exclaimed. *It's 1illy well for you to.say that, ChurlHt you don't know. I say titat w at go to-morrow, and we will.' 1 'I do bel o wait to kill me, Mary.' SThat is I cruel. Charles, and t most false, aliost ntijust. As for t inaking you tliotlng could be so Il Sbad for you "is wretched place, where nobody get warm either by day or niglt. nliything will cure t your throat I at once, it will be lt tlhe sea atir. AnL tlhink how much siore comforta lln mak I you b at Tlompson I Ian anywhero itn 1 this country. sio set my heart s upon it, Chliaels, it will do it. If A we are not tleie.morrow night, b Uncle John wn to der us as be- a .* longing to the flan' SI don't believe , of it.' i - *Jauo told mo thle letter. I or wouldn't let you klefore because I. I thought it so ilulljitnt that hn8 a h been thle reasoni vo been iso er earnost about it all t , li It was a thousan>l that sn good 5 t, a wotmni sthouild livii driven by sI d tie stad stress of circies to tll g a so Imany fibs. Onlio "other she r ut was compelled to inthei, tlhat ied there might be a way to her of " th escaping the hbrrors 'prolonged (I te. sojurnl i tllhat hotel .gth, fter 0 lie much grumbliig, Iho bee lot, ian sl la sihe trusted that lhe was ig. 10 r. hatd not as yet shid thalt tld start 81 Ite at the required hour itn lorning, ie but she was perfectly ilted in 1 ut her own mind that lie sl.) Indle ad to do so. As he lIy thert0lless, % atr nd as lshe wandered abot o k id, pretulding to pellk lher s le l n more .tlhan once sliost re tlht t( l sie would tell lilm everythiiirely tI hge tlhn hle would be ready to aly i Seffort. lBut tlere lcilno ult i Ii ideathat lie might perlhaps "ee ne l" th circumnstannes, and so ci fa ilnl g, >I .. '.......1 insist, ol I tl SthaI hLo >.iight telu( er some "49l I the injiured gentleman. An1 usE Iight hiav' been very well bai>t t left Ihia there in his issery-lt tlld upology would be possible nowl ,ou would hlivo to see hlim and S, himl, atinl uvory oto itn the hotel b tin know every detail of thile shi Elvery one in France would kno _ . . I -. -^ ,t.1
it wns rite who had gono to tle 1t1ll tI lle man's bedaide, aind put the I?:tinan r% plaster on thlo sirtiuge mn.'.thrthn, i the deant of night Il Sbo coutl' 6cilhe tht thl story even to hbu hIusbanellc.Ra t even her liusblad *:iould betray hliould Iler own ,v atirlnegs atn thlo prUelfort ,iotlne t n'l: lot light., 1 1ihr t srll t.lrlltiI' . -. mliltl i he h111 I 001 foolst ,)e.,t.ld that elIo would not hlerself tri o latd. 'iTh tragedy of the nigiht 1 inl e?mued to her too deep for pei"- '1b icumfort. And then how would it la Iwere sho to sjhep, ad [hve no o0eU tit' I call hcr ? It was inperative tiht lshi rshould have nil her Ipowers reead . for lloroilghly "nro'sig im, ,li 1 Sccrl to I e that tl ho ervnat of thul I liiitl woiil celrtl illy rnl lic' too illogit of tihni. She hl?d tu work fur ShoIlsolf aill, firl' hll too, lalt therL.efore hu woutld not dsleep. 1ht llho wsy Svery L..i. iin1 shlie liplt oiln flrt 1ii shali ovii,. her Il' . llgiown ii d I thenI Sliak. Slhe co0ilt I iu c ...- ... II tli Iis r inilnig hiir''s lofithe tiught ill pie hAi" aL1 o e Ilg iioi nI l l.. il". SIrIoIt'IIII, cii th I t r' t hulit int i loi ,l tnil l) th-e i 'ev I llit , vt.lvut .lli, lll , looklug nt lier I w tl .ll, I'rceiV'i t l t l ist et yut it wii lll)t II il part 2 o'clock. Iluow wivs 1lu t
1 get through those other three Iang tediousr chilly hours ? Then there came a voic fromo the t bed-' Ain't you coming ?' ' I hoped you were asleep, my oear.' I , haran'uit onO, anlcjI IaItill. Youli bettor come, if you don't mean to make yourself as ill as I nm.' 'You oire not so very badt, are you, darling ?' 'I don't know what you call bald. I never felt my throat so choked in my life before !' Still as silo listened she thought that shei remembered to have seen his throat more choked. If the husband of her bosom 'could play with her feelings and deceive her oil such an occasion as tlhis,-then, thel, --and tlhn sohl thought that s!ur wouldt rather not have any hue~lmn of hter bosom at all. But shiu did creep into bed, and liay down 'beside him without saying another word. Of course she slept, but her sleep was iot the sleep of the blest. As every striking of the clock in thef quadralgle she would start up in alarm, fearing that she had let thl lime 1,o b,;. TI ...... f1. ". t S- was very ollng to ler. Bait hl slipt like an infant. She could hear from his breathing that lie was not quite so well as she could wish him to be, but still lie was resting in bein tiful tranquility. Not once dill ha move when she started lip, as she did so frcqucntly. 'Orders .lld been given alid repeated over and over again that they should be called at 5. The man in the office lhad lllost been angry as h!e assured Mrs. lrown for the fourth time that \lursieuril. arnd. Madame would most ansuredly be awalkeed at the appointed tinae. nIut still- sihe would trust no onel, alnd was up and *about tihe room before the clock ltrd struck half-past 4. In her heart of hearts she was very tender towards her husband. Now, in order that Ire might feel a gleanr of warmth whiliee was dressing hirmself she collected togethelr the fragmlnets of half-burned.wood, ano endeavoured. to make a little fire. Then sire took out from her bag a small pot, and ai patent lamp, and so:me clhocolrte, and prepared for him a warm drink, s, Ithat tie might have it instantly as Irhe was alwakened. She would do any thing for tIlm in the way of ministering to his comfort-only lie must go! Yes. Ire certainly must gu! And tlhan she wondered how tlhat alrange mani was bearing himiself at tlhe present moment. Sihe would fain lrave ministered to him too had it been Iossible ; but al-i-it was so impro.. :sblel Probably before this lie woulr Iave been aroused from his trorublerd slumbers. But then-how aroused? At what time in the night would the burning helt upon his chest have awakened him to a sense of torture wvhich must hanve been so altogether ineouprehensiblu to him? Her strong inmaginiation sllowed to lier a clear Iicture of the scene-clear, though it uast have been done in the dark. Ilow lie must have tosse ad nd hurled hrim self under thI clothes; how those strong knees must havre worked them selves up andt down before tile potent god of sleep would allow him to return to pe'rf?ct consciousness; how Iis firngers, restrained by no reason, wvoulrd have trimpled over his feverish throat, scatterig everywhere tlat unhapllpy poultice. Then, when he slnoul have sat up wide awllake, but still in the darik--witlh her mind's eye alre saw it all--feeling that sonie fire as from the infernal regious hard fallen ipou him, but wheenc he would know not, hlow fiercely wild would be the vworking of hirs spirit! Alt, now she hilnew, now sho felt, now she acknow lodged how bound she had been no awaken him at thle rsor,ernt vhatever might have beeo- the oersonal inconvenience to, herself urr such a position wheat wenld heI do or rather what had h;', done? SIhe could follow muclr ,?' It in her own tlhoullhts-- how hl', would scramble madly from lli bed, anld, with oneI hurrrredly at, tle matchiso Wltll , other. IXow the light would comne, utd hlo'l then Ire would rush to the nittn or. Ah, what a sight his would b,'lioldI She could see it all to the lsnt wilesprtnd daulb.
But she Collld flot eUP, L could00 not il l herself, what in such ia position a ianx wollld do; lit anly rIteo, nlot wlhat hlxn rnxa would do. IHer husband, iihe thought, would tell his wife, and,, i/ltn the two of thenm between them, wiould-puit up wvith it. There are chsfortuntes wltich,x[' they be published, r simply agglravated Iy ridicullous. list shle roemembered the featulres of ltl'strxxngexr as she had scenx them at It I instantc in whiich shle hadl dropped rIelllbxclrd, iand eohe thought thalt there it l'a ferocity in thbin, xa ccxttaitt oxe Oity of self-hnportanllll which t xslit not permit their owner to rcad)x sclxtit xIontxent in silenlxe. l.I he not stortm and rlgo, iandxx xf thole Iull, llnd call all Plaris to wit . tool rxevenge? xrk for To ie contlinred. .reforo - . x wtns ,'uineu who lived in Lxxloxn ldtawvl lady he residedx in Chlu!so. lien txttixuilg his visitx for somexx S.(LIU In ldy xxlpr'esxoJl ,a nlappro Sthat i x t it lnliciht Iho inco1nvenient SxI co ? . x.. o tar .. t.. oun .. I xow rexl i gxxo x," oeipxlied the xlx,,..: i ti e ir xt ?her patientin the neighlboi?c oxs nxo t winy set out hxoxpinxg to l she kix I with uxnu atone."