The Pilot and his Wife eBook

Jonas Lie
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 246 pages of information about The Pilot and his Wife.
way; but they were acknowledged at last with a look that made amends for all her former obtuseness; and in spite of their different natures and unequal social position, these two women soon came to feel, if not exactly drawn to one another, mutually interested in each other.  At the same time, as Elizabeth was not blind to the diplomacy of the house, she had soon perceived that of all the young ladies who came there, Marie Forstberg was the one who had the best chance, and who indeed best deserved to be the young lieutenant’s bride; and although she tried to believe that she was merely a resigned looker-on herself, she seemed to feel every Sunday, when Marie Forstberg came, that a certain disagreeable impression had grown up in her mind about her during the week which it took some time to thaw.  When it did thaw, however, which in time it always did, she would feel attracted to her with redoubled warmth; and though their conversation might be ostensibly occupied only with such subjects as laying the table or dishing the dinner, she would contrive to introduce into it anything and everything concerning the lieutenant which she thought might interest or recommend him to her friend.  Marie Forstberg couldn’t help sometimes fixing her clear blue eyes searchingly upon her, to ascertain if there was not some object underlying this communicativeness; but Elizabeth would look so unconscious, as she stood there with her sleeves tucked up, busy with her work, that she dismissed the idea from her mind.

In this country life, although without a moment to call her own, Elizabeth felt freer at all events than she had done in the town; and she had made such rapid progress under Madam Beck’s tuition, that the latter’s supervision was in many things no longer required.  One part in particular, the one which she might have been expected to find the most difficult of all—­that of parlour-maid—­she filled to perfection; and her upright figure and expressive face attracted many an admiring glance on Sundays, when in her becoming striped chintz dress and white apron, and with her luxuriant hair turned up in the simplest manner, she carried the tea or coffee things out to the guests in the summer-house.  She could feel that Carl Beck’s eyes were never off her as long as she was in sight, and she seemed to know that it was she whom his eye wandered in search of first whenever he came home.  In a hundred small ways he made her conscious of the interest which he felt in her; and whenever there was a commission to be particularly remembered, he never gave it to his sisters alone, but to her also.

His pretty pleasure-boat—­a long, light, sharp-built yawl, with a red stripe along its black side, and two sloping masts—­which he had lately had built, lay often the whole week through moored in the bay under the house.  He was very particular about the boat, and during his absence it was to Elizabeth’s sole care that she was intrusted.  There was always something or other to be looked after; and when he came home he would generally subject her, in a jokingly harsh tone, to an examination, which he called holding a summary court-martial.

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The Pilot and his Wife from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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