Bylow Hill eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 71 pages of information about Bylow Hill.

“It was manly,—­gentlemanly; and that was enough.  Then all at once he’s taken aback!  All control of himself gone, all self-suppression, all conscience”—­

“The conscience has returned,” said the girl.

“Oh, not to guide him!  Only to goad him!  Fifty consciences can’t honorably undo the mischief now!”

“Did I not write you that there was already, then, a coolness between her and Leonard?”

“Yes; but the whole bigness and littleness of Arthur’s small, bad deed lies in the fact that, though he knew that coolness was but a momentary tiff, with Isabel in the wrong, he took advantage of it to push his suit in between and spoil as sweet a match as two hearts were ever making.”

“It was more than a tiff, Godfrey; it”—­

“Not a bit more! not—­a—­bit!”

“Yes!—­yes—­it was a problem! a problem how to harmonize two fine natures keyed utterly unlike.  Leonard saw that.  That is why he moved so slowly.”

“Hmm!” The lover stared away grimly.  “I know something about slowness.  I suppose it’s a virtue—­sometimes.”

“I think so,” said the girl, caressing a flower.

“Ah, well!” responded the other.  “She has chosen a nature now that—­Oh me!...  Ruth, I shall speak to her mother!  I am the only one who can.  I’ll see Mrs. Morris some time this evening, and lay the whole thing out to her as we four see it who have known one another almost from the one cradle.”

Ruth smiled sadly.  “You will fail.  I think the matter will have to go on as it is going.  And if it does, you must remember, Godfrey, we do not really know but they may work out the happiest union.  At any rate, we must help them to try.”

“If they insist on trying, yes; and that will be the best for Leonard.”

“The very best.  One thing we do know, Godfrey:  Arthur will always be a passionate lover, and dear Isabel is as honest and loyal as the day is long.”

“The day is not long; this one is not—­to me.  It’s most lamentably short, and to-morrow I must be gone again.  I have something to say to you, Ruth, that”—­

The maiden gave him a look of sweet protest, which suddenly grew remote as she murmured, “Isabel and her mother are coming out of their front door.”

II

ISABEL

There were two dwellings in the Winslow garden,—­one as far across at the right of the Byington house as the other was at the left.  The one on the right may have contained six or eight bedchambers; the other had but three.  The larger stood withdrawn from the public way, a well-preserved and very attractive example of colonial architecture, refined to the point of delicacy in the grace and harmony of its details.  Here dwelt Arthur Winslow, barely six weeks a clergyman, alone but for two or three domestics and the rare visits of Godfrey, his only living relation.  The other and older house, in the garden’s southern

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Bylow Hill from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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