Uncle Max eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 570 pages of information about Uncle Max.

‘You need not tell me that,’ I returned, with a satisfied look at the sweet face.  ’Health has returned to you; you are no longer languid and weary; your eyes are bright, your voice has a stronger tone in it.’

‘Is it wrong?’ she answered quickly.  ’I do not forget, I shall never forget, but the pain seems soothed somehow.  When I wake up in the bed where I slept as a child, I hear the birds singing, and I do not say to myself, “Here is another long weary day to get through.”  On the contrary, I jump up and dress myself as quickly as I can, for I love to be out among the dews; everything is so sweet and still in the early morning; there is such freshness in the air.’

‘And these early walks are good for you.’

’Oh, I never leave the grounds.  I just saunter about with Flo and Rover.  When breakfast is ready I have a bouquet to lay beside mother’s plate.  Dear, good mother! do you know she cannot say enough in praise of Rutherford, now she sees the breakfasts I eat?  I think she would be reconciled to any place if she saw me enjoy my food:  at the Albert Hall Mansions I never felt hungry; I was always too tired to eat.’

‘I knew Mrs. Fullerton would never repent her sacrifice.’

’No, indeed; mother and I have never been so cosy in our lives.  She sits in the verandah and laughs over my quarrels with Patrick:  he is quite as cross-grained as ever, dear old fellow, but there is nothing that he will not do for me.  We are making a rose-garden now.  Do you remember that sunny corner by the terrace and sundial?—­dear Charlie always wanted me to have a rose-garden there.  We have trellis-work arches and a little arbour.  Patrick and Hawkins are doing the work, but I fancy they cannot get on without me.’

She stopped with a little laugh at her own conceit, and then went on: 

’And I am so busy in other ways, Ursula.  Every Monday I go to the mothers’ meeting with Mrs. Trevor, and I have some of the old women at the almshouses besides,—­I am so fond of those old women,—­and I have just begun afternoons for tennis; people like these, and they come from such a distance.  Mr. Manners declares the Rutherford Thursdays will soon be known all over the country.’

’Bravo, Lesbia! you are taking your position nobly, my dear; this is just what Charlie wanted to see you,—­a brave sweet woman who would not let sorrow and disappointment spoil her own and other people’s lives.’  Then, as she blushed with pleasure at my words, I said carelessly, ’Do you often see Mr. Manners?’

‘Oh yes,’ she returned without hesitation,—­’on my Thursdays, and at church, and at the vicarage:  we are always meeting somewhere.  He was Charlie’s friend, you know, and he is so nice and sympathising, and tells me so much about their school life and college life together.  He was so fond of Charlie, and the undergraduates used to call them Damon and Pythias.’

’To be sure:  Charlie was always talking about Harcourt.  He has grown very handsome, I have heard.’

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Uncle Max from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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