The Necromancers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about The Necromancers.

“Do you think—­do you think he understands Laurie,” she said.

“He has known him for fifteen years,” remarked Mrs. Baxter.

“Perhaps it’s Laurie that doesn’t understand him then,” said Maggie tranquilly.

“I daresay.”

“And—­and what do you think Mr. Rymer will be able to do?” asked the girl.

“Just settle the boy....  I don’t think Laurie’s very happy.  Not that I would willingly disturb his mind again; I don’t mean that, my dear.  I quite understand that your religion is just the one for certain temperaments, and Laurie’s is one of them; but a few helpful words sometimes—­” Mrs. Baxter left it at an aposiopesis, a form of speech she was fond of.

There was a grain of truth, Maggie thought, in the old lady’s hints, and she helped herself in silence to marmalade.  Laurie’s letters, which she usually read, did not refer much to religion, or to the Brompton Oratory, as his custom had been at first.  She tried to make up her mind that this was a healthy sign; that it showed that Laurie was settling down from that slight feverishness of zeal that seemed the inevitable atmosphere of most converts.  Maggie found converts a little trying now and then; they would talk so much about facts, certainly undisputed, and for that very reason not to be talked about.  Laurie had been a marked case, she remembered; he wouldn’t let the thing alone, and his contempt of Anglican clergy, whom Maggie herself regarded with respect, was hard to understand.  In fact she had remonstrated on the subject of the Vicar....

Maggie perceived that she was letting her thoughts run again on disputable lines; and she made a remark about the Balkan crisis so abruptly that Mrs. Baxter looked at her in bewilderment.

“You do jump about so, my dear.  We were speaking of Laurie, were we not?”

“Yes,” said Maggie.

“It’s the twentieth he’s coming on, is it not?”

“Yes,” said Maggie.

“I wonder what train he’ll come by?”

“I don’t know,” said Maggie.

* * * * *

A few days before Laurie’s arrival she went to the greenhouse to see the chrysanthemums.  There was an excellent show of them.

“Mrs. Baxter doesn’t like them hairy ones,” said the gardener.

“Oh!  I had forgotten.  Well, Ferris, on the nineteenth I shall want a big bunch of them.  You’d better take those—­those hairy ones.  And some maidenhair.  Is there plenty?”

“Yes, miss.”

“Can you make a wreath, Ferris?”

“Yes, miss.”

“Well, will you make a good wreath of them, please, for a grave?  The morning of the twentieth will do.  There’ll be plenty left for the church and house?”

“Oh yes, miss.”

“And for Father Mahon?”

“Oh yes, miss.”

“Very well, then.  Will you remember that?  A good wreath, with fern, on the morning of the twentieth.  If you’ll just leave it here I’ll call for it about twelve o’clock.  You needn’t send it up to the house.”

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The Necromancers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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