Nancy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 483 pages of information about Nancy.

I am looking him full in the face, but, to my surprise, I cannot detect the expression of confusion and defeat which I anticipate.  There is only the old white-anger look that I have such a happy knack of calling up on his features.

“I am a consummate liar!” he says, quietly, though his eyes flash.  “Every one knows that; but, all the same, she did tell me.”

“I do not believe a word of it!” cry I, in a fury.

He makes no answer, but, lifting his hat, begins to walk quickly away.  For a hundred yards I allow him to go unrecalled; then, as I note his quickly-diminishing figure and the heavy mists beginning to fold him, my resolution fails me; I take to my heels and scamper after him.

“Stop!” say I, panting as I come up with him, “I dare say—­perhaps—­you thought you were speaking truth!—­there must, must be some mistake!

He does not answer, but still walks quickly on.

“Tell me!” cry I, posting on alongside of him, breathless and distressed—­“when was it? where did you hear it? how long ago?”

“I never heard it?”

“Yes, you did,” cry I, passionately, asseverating what I have so lately and passionately denied.  “You know you did; but when was it? how was it? where was it?”

“It was nowhere,” he answers with a cold, angry smile.  “I was drawing the long bow!’”

I stop in baffled rage and misery.  I stand stock-still, with the long, dying grass wetly and limply clasping my ankles.  To my surprise he stops too.

“I wish you were dead!” I say tersely, and it is not a figure of speech.  For the moment I do honestly wish it.

“Do you?” he answers, throwing me back a look of hardly inferior animosity; “I dare say I do not much mind.”  A little pause, during which we eye each other, like two fighting-cocks.  “Even if I were dead,” he says, in a low voice—­“mind, I do not blame you for wishing it—­ sometimes I wish it myself—­but even if I were, I do not see how that would hinder Sir Roger and Mrs. Huntley from corresponding.”

“They do not correspond,” cry I, violently; “it is a falsehood!” Then, with a quick change of thought and tone:  “But if they do, I—­I—­do not mind!  I—­I—­am very glad—­if Roger likes it!  There is no harm in it.”

“Not the slightest.”

“Do you always stay at home?” cry I, in a fury, goaded out of all politeness and reserve by the surface false acquiescence of his tone; “do you never go away?  I wish you would!  I wish”—­(speaking between laughing and crying)—­“that you could take your abbey up on your back, as a snail does its shell, and march off with it into another county.”

“But unfortunately I cannot.”

“What have I done to you?” I cry, falling from anger to reproach, “that you take such delight in hurting me?  You can be pleasant enough to—­to other people.  I never hear you hinting and sneering away any one else’s peace of mind; but as for me, I never—­never am alone with you that you do not leave me with a pain—­a tedious long ache here”—­ (passionately clasping my hands upon my heart).

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Nancy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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