Clemence eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 214 pages of information about Clemence.

“Why, I heard to day a dozen different accounts of your life before you came here; how your father was hung or sent to the States Prison, and your mother was no better than she should be, and a lot more that I can’t remember.  Do tell me, for I never heard really how it was anyway.  I want to put them down when they say such things again.”

“Never mind, dear Mrs. Wynn,” said Clemence, “I do not.  These people, like the rest of their class, must have something to occupy their minds, and, if their animadversions do fall on my devoted head, it will only keep them busy, and do me no real harm.”

“But I want to know, child,” said the elder lady, giving her a glance of motherly tenderness, “for I am interested both in your past and future, and I am anxious to learn just what your former life has been.”  And Clemence told her the simple truth of the happy years that were now vanished forever.

CHAPTER XI.

“What shall I do now?” asked Clemence of her friend, Mrs. Hardyng, as they sat together in the parlor of the latter’s residence.  “My income has stopped entirely, and I shall have but a small sum after settling Ruth’s board, which I must do soon, for I cannot leave her any longer with Mrs. Swan.”

“Why!” questioned her friend, “has she, too, gone over to the enemy?”

“Oh, no,” replied Clemence; “she is still a staunch adherent.  It was not that I had in my mind, but I have been looking into my affairs lately, and have decided that, as I can plainly do nothing here, I had better go back to the city at once.”

“And what will you do there?” queried the listener.  “Excuse the liberty, but I would like to ask, from no motive of idle curiosity, you may feel sure, if you have any friends there?”

“None but good Mrs. Linden, and I have no claim upon her, although she bade me come to her as to a mother, when I was weary of this ‘experiment,’ as she called it.  I only thought she might help me to obtain employment, and give me some advice and assistance about Ruth.”

“And cannot I do both?” asked Ulrica Hardyng, sorrowfully.  “Clemence, you must surely think more of this former friend than you can of me, since you will intrust her alone with the privilege I would give so much to share.  You have told me that this Mrs. Linden is a self-absorbed woman, sufficient unto herself, while I am only a heart-broken creature, isolated completely from those who were once dear to me.  Shall I tell you how I have watched and waited for this hour, when I could be of some assistance to you, and thus bind you closer to me?  Oh, I have dreamed too long of this happiness, to have it elude my grasp.  You cannot deny me the boon of having some one again to love.”

“But is it my duty, dear friend, to lay my burden upon you?  Since I have voluntarily taken it upon myself, ought I not to bear it cheerfully, having faith that all things will work together for my good, if I only trust Him, ‘who seeth in secret?’”

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Project Gutenberg
Clemence from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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