2021-04-14 01:30:47

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ENGLISH "I hope that you will live to carry your good resolutions into effect," said Bergan earnestly.

It represented a child, skipping lightly down a flowery slope, trailing a vine behind her. The face was turned so far away from the beholder, as to show only the rounded outline of the youthful cheek and brow, but the figure expressed a wonderful joyousness. In more senses than one, it was plainly, "In the Sunshine;" which title was lightly scratched in the plaster.Bergan shook his head, with a faint smile. "Very badly, I should say,if anything can be said to go badly, which is so entirely in the hands of Providence. I confess that I can make nothing of it."

No one had noticed, until now, that a lady was standing in the window, half concealed by the curtain. But, as she came forward everything else seemed to fade out of sight, for the moment, and leave only her, standing there alone in the clear, cold light of her marvellous beauty.Godfrey Bergan stood in silent scorn. The accusation struck him as too extravagant, too baseless, to be seriously discussed. His nephew must be drunk, or mad, to make it. And, now that he looked at him more narrowly, his face was haggard and his dress disordered enough to befit either condition.

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Bergan knelt by his mother's side. "My dear mother," he whispered, "you know it is not for the sake of my business that I am anxious to return, as soon as I may. I must see Carice, and satisfy myself that nothing is amiss."With a thick, muffled cry of horror, the father sank upon his knees, not so much of devotional intent, as crushed under the double-weight of his physical burden and mental anguish."Out dar, under de larches, massa."

It was perhaps the most difficult of all questions to answer. How are the blind eyes to be opened, and the deaf ears unstopped? How is the frozen heart to be softened, and the slumbering affection to be wakened into leaf and bloom? How is the Father to be made acceptable to the children that are insensible of His goodness, and will none of His reproof? And how is the Saviour to be presented unto those to whom He has hitherto been without form or comeliness, in such beauty as that they shall desire Him?"I do not," replied Mr. Bergan. "Perhaps Maumer Rue might; she knows the house, as well as my brother's habits, much better than I do."

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Yet he had no idea of the extent of Bergan's forbearance toward him on this head. It must be remembered that he never received the slightest intimation of Doctor Trubie's suspicions, or of Bergan's visit to Oakstead, on the night of the wedding. Godfrey Bergan had omitted any mention of either; first, because he had been prevented from doing so by the overwhelming distress and anxiety that had come upon him so suddenly; and afterward, because it had seemed wiser, on the whole, to say nothing. Doctor Remy, therefore, had no suspicion of the mine over which he had been standing, on that night, nor how its explosion had been averted. From his point of view, Bergan's sudden removal to Savalla, in consideration of the prospect there opened to him, was the most natural thing in the world. Nor did he know any reason why himself and his former friend should not meet on the old terms, upon occasion, except that the gain of the one had been the loss of the other, in respect to Carice. Even here, however, he held himself to be ostensibly blameless, inasmuch as womankind was proverbially fickle, and Bergan had no reason to suppose that he was aware of any relation between him and Carice other than the outward one. He deeply regretted, therefore, that in a moment of surprise and confusion, he should have put himself in a false position. It would have been far better to have met Bergan with the careless ease of a conscience void of offence. But, since he had not done so, it was well that Carice was his sufficient safeguard against retaliation.Bergan walked back slowly and thoughtfully. Without being fully convinced of the truth of Doctor Trubie's suspicions, he was strangely disturbed and startled. Reaching the gate, he turned his face south-eastward, and gazed across the white meadows, toward the dim outline of the distant hills. His thoughts overleaped even that far barrier, and took an air line to Oakstead and to Carice. Her face rose vividly before him, not, strange to say, as he had seen it last, rosy and bright, but pale and piteous, and gazing toward him with a look that besought sympathy and succor, plainer than any speech. His eyes grew moist, his breath tremulous; his heart swelled with passionate love and longing."You have killed her," said Mr. Bergan, not resentfully, but with the still resignation of a man who feels that fate has done its worst for him, and there is little left to dread, and to hope.

"I cannot tell. He must have been unexpectedly detained."

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Apr-14 01:30:47