Clever Woman of the Family eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 538 pages of information about Clever Woman of the Family.
all Colonel Keith’s doing, he said, every other adversary he would have despised, but your array of forces met him at every corner where he hoped to escape, and the dear little Rosie gave him check-mate, like a gallant little knight’s pawn as she is.  ’Who could have guessed that child would have such a confounded memory?’ he said, for Edward had listened with a sort of interest that had made him quite forget that he was Rose’s father, and that this wicked cunning Colonel was working in his cause.  So off he goes to penal servitude, and Edward is so much impressed and touched with his sharpness as to predict that he will be the model prisoner before long, if he do not make his escape.  As to poor Maria, that was a much more sad meeting, though perhaps less really melancholy, for there can be no doubt that she repents entirely, she speaks of every one as being very good to her, and indeed the old influences only needed revival, they had never quite died out.  Even that poor child’s name was given for love of Ailie, and the perception of having been used to bring about her master’s ruin had always preyed upon her, and further embittered her temper.  The barbarity seemed like a dream in connexion with her, but, as she told Ailie, when she once began something came over her, and she could not help striking harder.  It reminded me of horrible stories of the Hathertons’ usage of animals.  Enough of this.  I believe the Sisterhood will find a safe shelter for her when her imprisonment is over, and that temptation will not again be put in her way.  We should never have trusted her in poor dear Lucy’s household.  Rose calls for the letters.  Good bye, dearest Colin and conqueror.  I know all this will cheer you, for it is your own doing.  I can’t stop saying so, it is such a pleasant sound—­Your own,

“E.  W.”

CHAPTER XXVIII.

VANITY OF VANITIES.

“Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.” 
          
                            Tennyson.

The funeral was very quiet.  By Colonel Keith’s considerate arrangement the attendants met at Timber End, so that the stillness of the Parsonage was not invaded, a measure the more expedient, as Alick was suffering from a return of his old enemy, intermitting fever, and only was able to leave his room in time to join the procession.

Many were present, for poor Bessie had been a general favourite, and her untimely fate had stirred up feelings that had created her into a saint upon earth; but there was no one whose token of respect she would have more esteemed than Colonel Hammond’s, who in all the bustle of the remove to Edinburgh had found time to come to Bishopsworthy to do honour to the daughter of his old commanding officer.  A flush of gratitude came over Alick’s pale face when he became aware of his colonel’s presence, and when the choristers’ hymn had pealed low and sweetly over the tranquil meadows, and the mourners had turned away, Alick paused at the Parsonage gate to hold out his hand, and bring in this one guest to hear how near to Bessie’s heart the father’s Highland regiment had been in all the wanderings of her last moments.

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Clever Woman of the Family from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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