Beyond eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 343 pages of information about Beyond.
so sweet—­he especially, whom she had so grievously distressed by her wretched marriage?  She would sit staring into the fire with her wide, dark eyes, unblinking as an owl’s at night—­wondering what she could do to make up to her father, whom already once she had nearly killed by coming into life.  And she began to practise the bearing of the coming pain, trying to project herself into this unknown suffering, so that it should not surprise from her cries and contortions.

She had one dream, over and over again, of sinking and sinking into a feather bed, growing hotter and more deeply walled in by that which had no stay in it, yet through which her body could not fall and reach anything more solid.  Once, after this dream, she got up and spent the rest of the night wrapped in a blanket and the eider-down, on the old sofa, where, as a child, they had made her lie flat on her back from twelve to one every day.  Betty was aghast at finding her there asleep in the morning.  Gyp’s face was so like the child-face she had seen lying there in the old days, that she bundled out of the room and cried bitterly into the cup of tea.  It did her good.  Going back with the tea, she scolded her “pretty” for sleeping out there, with the fire out, too!

But Gyp only said: 

“Betty, darling, the tea’s awfully cold!  Please get me some more!”

X

From the day of the nurse’s arrival, Winton gave up hunting.  He could not bring himself to be out of doors for more than half an hour at a time.  Distrust of doctors did not prevent him having ten minutes every morning with the old practitioner who had treated Gyp for mumps, measles, and the other blessings of childhood.  The old fellow—­his name was Rivershaw—­was a most peculiar survival.  He smelled of mackintosh, had round purplish cheeks, a rim of hair which people said he dyed, and bulging grey eyes slightly bloodshot.  He was short in body and wind, drank port wine, was suspected of taking snuff, read The Times, spoke always in a husky voice, and used a very small brougham with a very old black horse.  But he had a certain low cunning, which had defeated many ailments, and his reputation for assisting people into the world stood extremely high.  Every morning punctually at twelve, the crunch of his little brougham’s wheels would be heard.  Winton would get up, and, taking a deep breath, cross the hall to the dining-room, extract from a sideboard a decanter of port, a biscuit-canister, and one glass.  He would then stand with his eyes fixed on the door, till, in due time, the doctor would appear, and he could say: 

“Well, doctor?  How is she?”

“Nicely; quite nicely.”

“Nothing to make one anxious?”

The doctor, puffing out his cheeks, with eyes straying to the decanter, would murmur: 

“Cardiac condition, capital—­a little—­um—­not to matter.  Taking its course.  These things!”

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Project Gutenberg
Beyond from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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