The Last Chronicle of Barset eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,290 pages of information about The Last Chronicle of Barset.
of his heart, the rib from his body.  It is for me to rule my wife, and I tell you that I will not have it.’  After that the gifts had come from the hand of Mrs Arabin; and then again, after that, in the direst hour of his need, Crawley had himself come and taken money from the dean’s hands!  The interview had been so painful that Arabin would hardly have been able to count the money or to know of what it had consisted, had he taken the notes and cheque out of the envelope in which his wife had put them.  Since that day the two had not met each other, and since that day these new troubles had come.  Arabin as yet knew but little of the manner in which they had been borne, except that Crawley had felt himself compelled to resign the living of Hogglestock.  He knew nothing of Mrs Proudie’s persecution, except what he gathered from the fact of the clerical commission of which he had been informed; but he could imagine that Mrs Proudie would not lie easy in her bed while a clergyman was doing duty almost under her nose, who was guilty of the double offence of being accused of theft, and of having been put into his living by the dean.  The dean, therefore, as he rode on, pictured to himself his old friend in a terrible condition.  And it might be that even now that condition would hardly have been improved.  He was no longer suspected of being a thief; but he could have no money in his pocket; and it might well be that his sufferings would have made him almost mad.

The dean also got down and left his horse at a farmyard, as Grantly had done with his carriage; and walked on first to the school.  He had voices inside, but could not distinguish from them whether Mr Crawley was there or not.  Slowly he opened the door, and looking round saw that Jane Crawley was in the ascendant.  Jane did not know him at once, but told him when he had introduced himself that her father had gone down to Hoggle End.  He had started two hours ago, but it was impossible to say when he might be back.  ’He sometimes stays all day long with the brickmakers,’ said Jane.  Her mother was at home, and she would take the dean into the house.  As she said this she told him that her father was sometimes better and sometimes worse.  ’But he has never been so very, very bad, since Henry Grantly and mamma’s cousin came and told us about the cheque.’  Those words Henry Grantly made the dean understand that there might yet be a ray of sunshine among the Crawleys.

‘There is papa,’ said Jane, as they got to the gate.  Then they waited for a few minutes till Mr Crawley came up, very hot, wiping the sweat from his forehead.

‘Crawley,’ said the dean, ’I cannot tell you how glad I am to see you, and how rejoiced I am that this accusation has fallen from you.’

‘Verily the news came in time, Arabin,’ said the other, ’but it was a narrow pinch—­a narrow pinch.  Will you enter, and see my wife?’


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The Last Chronicle of Barset from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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