A Dark Night's Work eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 246 pages of information about A Dark Night's Work.
The other gentleman was doubtless the bridegroom, Ellinor said to herself; and yet her prophetic heart did not believe her words.  Even before the bright beauty at the deanery looked out of the great oriel window of the drawing-room, and blushed, and smiled, and kissed her hand—­a gesture replied to by Mr. Corbet with much empressement, while the other man only took off his hat, almost as if he saw her there for the first time—­Ellinor’s greedy eyes watched him till he was hidden from sight in the deanery, unheeding Miss Monro’s eager incoherent sentences, in turn entreating, apologising, comforting, and upbraiding.  Then she slowly turned her painful eyes upon Miss Monro’s face, and moved her lips without a sound being heard, and fainted dead away.  In all her life she had never done so before, and when she came round she was not like herself; in all probability the persistence and wilfulness she, who was usually so meek and docile, showed during the next twenty-four hours, was the consequence of fever.  She resolved to be present at the wedding; numbers were going; she would be unseen, unnoticed in the crowd; but whatever befell, go she would, and neither the tears nor the prayers of Miss Monro could keep her back.  She gave no reason for this determination; indeed, in all probability she had none to give; so there was no arguing the point.  She was inflexible to entreaty, and no one had any authority over her, except, perhaps, distant Mr. Ness.  Miss Monro had all sorts of forebodings as to the possible scenes that might come to pass.  But all went on as quietly as though the fullest sympathy pervaded every individual of the great numbers assembled.  No one guessed that the muffled, veiled figure, sitting in the shadow behind one of the great pillars, was that of one who had once hoped to stand at the altar with the same bridegroom, who now cast tender looks at the beautiful bride; her veil white and fairy-like, Ellinor’s black and shrouding as that of any nun.

Already Mr. Corbet’s name was known through the country as that of a great lawyer; people discussed his speeches and character far and wide; and the well-informed in legal gossip spoke of him as sure to be offered a judgeship at the next vacancy.  So he, though grave, and middle-aged, and somewhat grey, divided attention and remark with his lovely bride, and her pretty train of cousin bridesmaids.  Miss Monro need not have feared for Ellinor:  she saw and heard all things as in a mist—­a dream; as something she had to go through, before she could waken up to a reality of brightness in which her youth, and the hopes of her youth, should be restored, and all these weary years of dreaminess and woe should be revealed as nothing but the nightmare of a night.  She sat motionless enough, still enough, Miss Monro by her, watching her as intently as a keeper watches a madman, and with the same purpose—­to prevent any outburst even by bodily strength, if such restraint be needed.  When all was over; when

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A Dark Night's Work from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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