The Shadow of a Crime eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 362 pages of information about The Shadow of a Crime.

The day would come when all men would see that God’s hand was on him.

Yes, Ralph; but when that day does indeed come, then all men shall also see that whom God’s hand rests on has God at his right hand.

When the darkness was closing in upon a second night, Ralph was descending High Seat towards Shoulthwaite Moss.  Behind him lagged the jaded dog, walking a few paces with drooping head and tail; then lying for a minute, and rising to walk languidly again.

CHAPTER XV.

RALPH’S SACRIFICE.

When he reached the old house, Ralph was prepared for the results of any further disaster, for disaster had few further results for which it was needful to prepare.  A light burned in the kitchen, and another in that room above it where lately his father had lain.  When Ralph entered, Willy Ray was seated before the fire, his hand in the hand of Rotha, who sat by his side.  On every feature of his pallid face were traces of suffering.

“What of mother?” said Ralph huskily, his eyes traversing the kitchen.

Willy rose and put his hand on Ralph’s shoulder.  “We will go together,” he said, and they walked towards the stair that led to the floor above.

There she lay, the mother of these stricken sons, unconscious of their sufferings, unconscious of her own.  Yet she lived.  Since the terrible intelligence had reached her of what had happened on the pass she had remained in this state of insensibility, being stricken into such torpidity by the shock of the occurrence.  Willy’s tears fell fast as he stood by the bed, and his anguish was subdued thereby to a quieter mood.  Ralph’s sufferings were not so easily fathomable.  He stooped and kissed the unconscious face without relaxing a muscle in the settled fixity of his own face.  Leaving his brother in the room, he returned to the kitchen.  How strange the old place looked to him now!  Had everything grown strange?  There were the tall clock in the corner, the big black worm-eaten oak cabinet, half-cupboard, half-drawers; there was the long table like a rock of granite; there was the spinning wheel in the neuk window; and there were the whips and the horns on the rafters overhead—­yet how unfamiliar it all seemed to be!

Rotha was hastily preparing supper for him.  He sat on the settle that was drawn up before the fire, and threw off his heavy and sodden shoes.  His clothes, which had been saturated by the rain of the preceding night, had dried upon his back.  He was hungry; he had hot eaten since yesterday at midday; and when food was put upon the table he ate with the voracious appetite that so often follows upon a long period of mental distress.

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The Shadow of a Crime from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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