Uncle Silas eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 618 pages of information about Uncle Silas.

‘Oh, is not she? such a darling!’ I said, and then blushed at my outspoken affection.

But he smiled kindly, as if he liked me for it; and he said—­

’You know whatever I think, I dare not quite say that; but frankly I can quite understand it.  She preserves her youth so wonderfully, and her fun and her good-nature are so entirely girlish.  What a sweet view you have selected,’ he continued, changing all at once.  ’I’ve stood just at this point so often to look back at that exquisite old bridge.  Do you observe—­you’re an artist, I see—­something very peculiar in that tint of the grey, with those odd cross stains of faded red and yellow?’

’I do, indeed; I was just remarking the peculiar beauty of the colouring—­was not I, Milly?’

Milly stared at me, and uttered an alarmed ‘Yes,’ and looked as if she had been caught in a robbery.

‘Yes, and you have so very peculiar a background,’ he resumed.  ’It was better before the storm though; but it is very good still.’

Then a little pause, and ‘Do you know this country at all?’ rather suddenly.

’No, not in the least—­that is, I’ve only had the drive to this place; but what I did see interested me very much.’

’You will be charmed with it when you know it better—­the very place for an artist.  I’m a wretched scribbler myself, and I carry this little book in my pocket,’ and he laughed deprecatingly while he drew forth a thin fishing-book, as it looked.  ’They are mere memoranda, you see.  I walk so much and come unexpectedly on such pretty nooks and studies, I just try to make a note of them, but it is really more writing than sketching; my sister says it is a cipher which nobody but myself understands.  However, I’ll try and explain just two—­because you really ought to go and see the places.  Oh, no; not that,’ he laughed, as accidentally the page blew over, ’that’s the Cat and Fiddle, a curious little pot-house, where they gave me some very good ale one day.’

Milly at this exhibited some uneasy tokens of being about to speak, but not knowing what might be coming, I hastened to observe on the spirited little sketches to which he meant to draw my attention.

’I want to show you only the places within easy reach—­a short ride or drive.’

So he proceeded to turn over two or three, in addition to the two he had at first proposed, and then another; then a little sketch just tinted, and really quite a charming little gem, of Cousin Monica’s pretty gabled old house; and every subject had its little criticism, or its narrative, or adventure.

As he was about returning this little sketch-book to his pocket, still chatting to me, he suddenly recollected poor Milly, who was looking rather lowering; but she brightened a good deal as he presented it to her, with a little speech which she palpably misunderstood, for she made one of her odd courtesies, and was about, I thought, to put it into her large pocket, and accept it as a present.

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Uncle Silas from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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