Nancy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 371 pages of information about Nancy.
heard in return that he does not care about brill, but worships John Dory, we slide into a gluttonous silence, and abide in it.  Barbara’s man of God is in a wholly different pattern to mine.  He is a macerated little saint, with the eyes of a ferret and the heart of a mouse.  As the courses pass by, in savory order, I, myself unemployed, watch my sister gradually reassuring, comforting, heartening him, as is her way with all weakly, maimed, and unhandsome creatures.  She has succeeded in thawing him into a thin trickle of parochial talk, when mother bends her laced and feathered head in distant signal from the table-top, and off we go.  We drink coffee, we drink tea, we pick clever little holes in our absent neighbors, in brisk duet and tortuous solo we hammer the blameless spinnet, we sing affecting songs about “fair doves,” and “cleansing fires,” and people “far away,” and still our deliverers come not.  They must hear our appealing melodies clearly through the walls and doors, but still they come not.  Sunk in sloth and old port, still they come not.  I seem to have said every possible thing that is to be said on every known subject to the young woman beside me, and now I am falling asleep.  I feel it.  Lulled by the warm glow diffused through the room, by the smell of the jonquils, lilies of the valley and daphnes, by the low even talk, I am slipping into slumber.  The door opens, and I jump into wakefulness; Sir Roger to the rescue.  I am afraid that I look at him with something not unlike invitation in my eyes, for he makes straight toward me.

“Wish me good-morning,” say I, rubbing my eyes, “for I have been sweetly asleep.  I fell asleep wondering which of you would come first—­somehow I thought it would be you.  Are you going to sit here?  Oh! that is all right!” as he subsides into the next division of the ottoman to mine.  “What have you been talking about?” I continue, with a contented, chatty feeling, leaning my elbow on the blue-satin ottoman-top; “any thing pleasant?  Did not you hear our screams for help through the wall?”

“Have not we come in answer to them?”

Yes; they are all here now, at last; all, from father down to the curates; some sitting resolutely down, some standing uncertainly up.  Barbara’s protege with frightened stealth, is edging round the furniture to where she sits on a little chair alone.  Barbara is locketless, braceletless, chainless, head-dressless! such was our unparalleled haste to abscond.  Ornaments has she none but those that God has given her:  a sweep of blond hair, a long, cool throat, and two smooth arms that lie bare and white as any milk on her lap.  As he nervously draws near, she lifts her eyes with a lovely friendliness to his face.  He is poor, slightly thought of, sickly, not over-clever; probably she will talk to him all the evening.

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Project Gutenberg
Nancy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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