Beulah eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 629 pages of information about Beulah.
anywhere on her brow and temples; and the dark, gray eyes, with their long, jetty, curling lashes, possessed an indescribable charm, even for strangers.  She had been an ugly child, but certainly she was a noble-looking, if not handsome, woman.  To all but the family with whom she resided she was rather reserved; and while the world admired and eulogized her talents as a writer, she felt that, except Eugene, she had no friends beyond the threshold of the house she lived in.  As weeks and months elapsed, and no news of her wandering guardian came, her hope began to pale.  For weary years it had burned brightly; but constant disappointment was pressing heavily on her heart and crushing out the holy spark.  The heartstrings will bear rude shocks and sudden rough handling, but the gradual tightening, the unremitted tension of long, tediously rolling years, will in time accomplish what fierce assaults cannot.  Continually she prayed for his return; but, despite her efforts, her faith grew fainter as each month crept by and her smile became more constrained and joyless.  She never spoke of her anxiety, never alluded to him; but pressed her hands over her aching heart and did her work silently—­nay, cheerfully.

CHAPTER XL.

The day was dull, misty, and gusty.  All the morning there had been a driving southeasterly rain; but toward noon there was a lull.  The afternoon was heavy and threatening, while armies of dense clouds drifted before the wind.  Dr. Asbury had not yet returned from his round of evening visits; Mrs. Asbury had gone to the asylum to see a sick child, and Georgia was dining with her husband’s mother.  Beulah came home from school more than usually fatigued; one of the assistant teachers was indisposed, and she had done double work to relieve her.  She sat before her desk, writing industriously on an article she had promised to complete before the end of the week.  Her head ached; the lines grew dim, and she laid aside her manuscript and leaned her face on her palms.  The beautiful lashes lay against her brow, for the eyes were raised to the portrait above her desk, and she gazed up at the faultless features with an expression of sad hopelessness.  Years had not filled the void in her heart with other treasures.  At this hour it ached with its own desolation, and, extending her arms imploringly toward the picture, she exclaimed sorrowfully: 

“O my God, how long must I wait?  Oh, how long!”

She opened the desk, and, taking out a key, left her room and slowly ascended to the third story.  Charon crept up the steps after her.  She unlocked the apartment which Mrs. Asbury had given into her charge some time before, and, raising one of the windows, looped back the heavy blue curtains which gave a somber hue to all within.  From this elevated position she could see the stormy, sullen waters of the bay breaking against the wharves, and hear their hoarse

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Beulah from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.