Uncle Silas eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about Uncle Silas.

When Madame entered, I did not lift my head or eyes.

‘Good cheaile! reading,’ said she, as she approached briskly and reassured.

‘No,’ I answered tartly; ’not good, nor a child either; I’m not reading, I’ve been thinking.’

‘Tres-bien!’ she said, with an insufferable smile, ’thinking is very good also; but you look unhappy—­very, poor cheaile.  Take care you are not grow jealous for poor Madame talking sometime to your papa; you must not, little fool.  It is only for a your good, my dear Maud, and I had no objection you should stay.’

You!  Madame!’ I said loftily.  I was very angry, and showed it through my dignity, to Madame’s evident satisfaction.

’No—­it was your papa, Mr. Ruthyn, who weesh to speak alone; for me I do not care; there was something I weesh to tell him.  I don’t care who know, but Mr. Ruthyn he is deeferent.’

I made no remark.

’Come, leetle Maud, you are not to be so cross; it will be much better you and I to be good friends together.  Why should a we quarrel?—­wat nonsense!  Do you imagine I would anywhere undertake a the education of a young person unless I could speak with her parent?—­wat folly!  I would like to be your friend, however, my poor Maud, if you would allow—­you and I together—­wat you say?’

’People grow to be friends by liking, Madame, and liking comes of itself, not by bargain; I like every one who is kind to me.’

’And so I. You are like me in so many things, my dear Maud!  Are you quaite well to-day?  I think you look fateague; so I feel, too, vary tire.  I think we weel put off the lessons to to-morrow.  Eh? and we will come to play la grace in the garden.’

Madame was plainly in a high state of exultation.  Her audience had evidently been satisfactory, and, like other people, when things went well, her soul lighted up into a sulphureous good-humour, not very genuine nor pleasant, but still it was better than other moods.

I was glad when our calisthenics were ended, and Madame had returned to her apartment, so that I had a pleasant little walk with Cousin Monica.

We women are persevering when once our curiosity is roused, but she gaily foiled mine, and, I think, had a mischievous pleasure in doing so.  As we were going in to dress for dinner, however, she said, quite gravely—­

’I am sorry, Maud, I allowed you to see that I have any unpleasant impressions about that governess lady.  I shall be at liberty some day to explain all about it, and, indeed, it will be enough to tell your father, whom I have not been able to find all day; but really we are, perhaps, making too much of the matter, and I cannot say that I know anything against Madame that is conclusive, or—­or, indeed, at all; but that there are reasons, and—­you must not ask any more—­no, you must not.’

That evening, while I was playing the overture to Cenerentola, for the entertainment of my cousin, there arose from the tea-table, where she and my father were sitting, a spirited and rather angry harangue from Lady Knollys’ lips; I turned my eyes from the music towards the speakers; the overture swooned away with a little hesitating babble into silence, and I listened.

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Uncle Silas from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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