Richard Vandermarck eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 262 pages of information about Richard Vandermarck.

He raised his eyes steadily to mine and bowed low.  I almost choked for one instant, and then I found voice and rushed on vehemently.  “What she has told you is false; every word of it is false.  I am not engaged to Richard Vandermarck; I never thought of such a thing till I came here, and found they talked about it.  They ought to be ashamed, and I will go away to-morrow.  And what she said about my mother is a wicked lie as well, at least in the way she meant it; and I shall hate her all my life.  I have been motherless and lonely always, but God has cared for me, and I never knew before what evil thoughts and ways there were.  I am not ashamed that I listened, though I didn’t mean to stay at first.  I’m glad I heard it all and know what kind of friends I have.  And those last cruel words you said—­I never will forgive you, never—­never—­never till I die.”

He had put his hand out toward me as if in conciliation, at least I understood it so.  I pushed it passionately away, rushed into my room, bolted the door, and flung myself upon the bed with a frightful burst of sobs.  I heard his hand upon the latch of the door, and he said my name several times in a low voice.  Then he went slowly up the stairs.  And I think his room must have been directly over mine, for, for hours I heard some one walking there; indeed, it was the last sound I heard, when, having cried all my tears and vowed all my vows, I fell asleep and forgot that I was wretched.



     La notte e madre di pensieri.

     Now tell me how you are as to religion? 
     You are a clear good man—­but I rather fear
     You have not much of it.


It was all very well to talk about going away; but the matter looked very differently by daylight.  It was Sunday; and I knew I could not go away for a day or two, and not even then without making a horrid sort of stir, for which I had not the courage in cold blood.  Besides, I did not even know that I wanted to go if I could.  Varick-street!  Hateful, hateful thought.  No, I could not go there.  And though (by daylight) I still detested Mary Leighton, and felt ashamed about Richard, and remembered all Mr. Langenau’s words (sweet as well as bitter), everything was let down a great many degrees; from the heights of passion into the plains of commonplace.

My great excitement had worked its own cure, and I was so dull and weary that I did not even want to think of what had passed the night before.  If I had a sentiment that retained any strength, it was that of shame and self-contempt.  I could not think of myself in any way that did not make me blush.  When, however, it came to the moment of facing every one, and going down to breakfast, I began to know I still had some other feelings.

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Richard Vandermarck from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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