East Lynne eBook

Ellen Wood (author)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 794 pages of information about East Lynne.

Coeval, you see, with the arrival of the ex-captain, Levison, at East Lynne, all the jealous feeling, touching her husband and Barbara Hare, was renewed, and with greater force than ever.  Barbara, painfully anxious that something should be brought to light, it would have puzzled her to say how or by what means, by which her brother should be exonerated from the terrible charge under which he lay; fully believing that Frederick Thorn, captain in her majesty’s service, was the man who had committed the crime, as asserted by Richard, was in a state of excitement bordering upon frenzy.  Too keenly she felt the truth of her own words, that she was powerless, that she could, herself, do nothing.  When she rose in the morning, after a night passed in troubled reflection more than in sleep, her thoughts were, “Oh, that I could this day find out something certain!” She was often at the Herberts’; frequently invited there—­sometimes going uninvited.  She and the Herberts were intimate and they pressed Barbara into all the impromptu gay doings, now their brother was at home.  There she of course saw Captain Thorn, and now and then she was enabled to pick up scraps of his past history.  Eagerly were these scraps carried to Mr. Carlyle.  Not at his office; Barbara would not appear there.  Perhaps she was afraid of the gossiping tongues of West Lynne, or that her visits might have come to the knowledge of that stern, prying, and questioning old gentleman whom she called sire.  It may be too, that she feared, if seen haunting Mr. Carlyle’s office, Captain Thorn might come to hear of it and suspect the agitation, that was afloat—­for who could know better than he, the guilt that was falsely attaching to Richard?  Therefore she chose rather to go to East Lynne, or to waylay Mr. Carlyle as he passed to and from business.  It was little she gathered to tell him; one evening she met him with the news that Mr. Thorn had been in former years at West Lynne, though she could not fix the date; another time she went boldly to East Lynne in eager anxiety, ostensibly to make a call on Lady Isabel—­and a very restless one it was—­contriving to make Mr. Carlyle understand that she wanted to see him alone.  He went out with her when she departed, and accompanied her as far as the park gates, the two evidently absorbed in earnest converse.  Lady Isabel’s jealous eye saw that.  The communication Barbara had to make was, that Captain Thorn had let fall the avowal that he had once been “in trouble,” though of its nature there was no indication given.  Another journey of hers took the scrap of news that she had discovered he knew Swainson well.  Part of this, nay, perhaps the whole of it, Mr. Carlyle had found out for himself; nevertheless he always received Barbara with vivid interest.  Richard Hare was related to Miss Carlyle, and if his innocence could be made clear in the sight of men, it would be little less gratifying to them than to the Hares.  Of Richard’s innocence, Mr. Carlyle now entertained little, if any doubt, and he was becoming impressed with the guilt of Captain Thorn.  The latter spoke mysteriously of a portion of his past life—­when he could be brought to speak of it at all—­and he bore evidently some secret that he did not care to have alluded to.

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East Lynne from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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