Family Pride eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 685 pages of information about Family Pride.
found upon the floor in her daughter’s room just after she had left it; the letter, at whose contents she had glanced, shutting her lips firmly together as she saw that her plans had failed, and finally putting the document away where there was less hope of its ever finding its rightful owner than if it had remained with Juno.  Had Mrs. Cameron supposed that Helen had already seen it, she would have returned it at once; but of this she had her doubts, after learning that “Miss Lennox did not go upstairs at all.”  Juno, then, must have been the delinquent; and though the mother shrank from the act as unladylike, if nothing more, she resolved to keep the letter till some inquiry was made for it at least.  And so Helen, sitting by her window, and looking dreamily out into the street, with a feeling of sad foreboding as she thought of the dark cloud which had burst so suddenly upon the nation’s horizon, enveloping Mark Ray in its dark fold, and bearing him away, possibly never to return again, had no suspicion of the truth, and did not guess how anxiously the young man was anticipating the interview at Sybil Grandon’s, scarcely doubting that she would be there, and fancying just the expression of her eyes when they first met his.  Alas for Mark, also for Helen, that both should be so cruelly deceived.  Had the latter known of the loving words sent from the true heart which longed for some word of hers to lighten the long march and beguile the tedious days of absence, she would not have said to Katy, when asked if going to Mrs. Grandon’s, “Oh, no; please don’t urge me.  I would so much rather stay at home.”

Katy would not insist and so went alone with Wilford to the entertainment given to a few young men who seemed as heroes then, when the full meaning of that word had not been exemplified, as it has been since in the life so cheerfully laid down and the heart’s blood poured so freely, by the tens of thousands who have won a martyr’s and a hero’s name.  Curiously, eagerly Mark Ray scanned each new arrival, feeling his lips grow white and his pulses faint when he at last caught sight of Wilford’s tall figure, and looked for what might be beside it.  But only Katy was there.  Helen had not come, and with a feeling of chill despair Mark listened while Katy explained to Mrs. Grandon that her sister had fully intended coming in the morning, but had suddenly changed her mind and begged to be excused.

“I am sorry,” Sybil said, “and so I am sure is Mr. Ray,” turning lightly to Mark, whose white face froze the gay laugh on her lips and made her try to shield him from observation until he had time to recover himself and appear as usual.

How Mark blessed Sybil Grandon for that kindness, and how wildly the blood throbbed through his veins as he thought “She would not come.  She does not care.  I have deceived myself in hoping that she did, and now welcome war, welcome anything which shall help me to forget.”

Mark was very wretched, and his wretchedness showed itself upon his face, making more than one rally him for what they termed fear, while they tried to reassure him that to the Seventh there could be no danger after Baltimore was safely passed.  This was more than Mark could bear, and at an early hour he left the house, bidding Katy good-by in the hall, and telling her he probably should not see her again, as he would not have time to call.

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Family Pride from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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