The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 562 pages of information about The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax.

Madame Fournier was indulgent in holiday-time, and Bessie was better pleased at Bayeux than she had thought it possible to be.  The canon proved to be the most genial of old clergymen.  He knew all the romance of French history, and gave Bessie more instruction in their peripatetic lectures about that drowsy, ancient city than she could have learnt in a year of dull books.  Then there was Queen Matilda’s famous tapestry to study in the museum, a very retired, rustic nook, all embowered in vines.  Bessie also practised sketching, for Bayeux is rich in bits of street scenery—­gables, queer windows, gateways, flowery balconies.  And she was asked into society with madame, and met the gentlefolks who kept their simple, retired state about the magnificent cathedral.  Before Bayeux palled she was carried off to Luc-sur-Mer, the canon going too, also in the care of madame his niece.

Bessie’s regret next to that for home was for the loneliness of Janey Fricker, left with Miss Foster in the Rue St. Jean.  She wished for Janey to walk with her in the rough sea-wind, to bathe with her, and talk with her.  One morning when the sun was glorious on the dancing waves, she cried out her longing for her little friend.  The next day Janey arrived by the diligence.  Mr. Fairfax had given madame carte blanche for the holiday entertainment of his granddaughter, and madame was glad to be able to content her so easily.  Luc-sur-Mer is not a place to be enthusiastic about.  Its beauty is moderate—­a shelving beach, a background of sand-hills, and the rocky reef of Calvados.  The canon took his gentle paces with a broad-brimmed abbe from Avranches, and madame was happy in the society of a married sister from Paris.  The two girls did as they pleased.  They were very fond of one another, and this sentiment is enough for perfect bliss at their age.  Bessie had never wavered in her protecting kindness to Janey, and Janey served her now with devotion, and promised eternal remembrance and gratitude.

When a fortnight came to an end at Luc-sur-Mer, Bessie returned to Bayeux, and Janey went back to the Rue St. Jean.  Before the school reopened came into port at Caen the Petrel, and John Fricker, the master-mariner, carried away his daughter.  Janey left six lines of hasty, tender adieu with Miss Foster for her friend, but no address.  She only said that she was “Going to sail with father.”



For days, weeks, months the memory of lost Janey Fricker haunted Bessie Fairfax with a sweet melancholy.  She missed her little friend exceedingly.  She did not doubt that Janey would write, would return, and even a year of silence and absence did not cure her of regret and expectation.  She was of a constant as well as a faithful nature, and had a thousand kind pleas and excuses for those she loved.  It was impossible to believe that Janey had forgotten her, but Janey made no sign of remembrance.

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The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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