Wives and Daughters eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 796 pages of information about Wives and Daughters.
beech-tree with the seat round it—­the wire arches, up which the summer roses had clambered; each came out faint and dim against the dusky velvet of the atmosphere.  Presently tea came, and there was the usual nightly bustle.  The table was cleared, Mrs. Gibson roused herself, and made the same remark about dear papa that she had done at the same hour for weeks past.  Cynthia too did not look different to usual.  And yet what a hidden mystery did her calmness hide, thought Molly.  At length came bed-time, and the accustomary little speeches.  Both Molly and Cynthia went to their own rooms without exchanging a word.  When Molly was in hers she had forgotten if she was to go to Cynthia, or Cynthia to come to her.  She took off her gown and put on her dressing-gown, and stood and waited, and even sate down for a minute or two; but Cynthia did not come, so Molly went and knocked at the opposite door, which, to her surprise, she found shut.  When she entered the room Cynthia sate by her dressing-table, just as she came up from the drawing-room.  She had been leaning her head on her arms, and seemed almost to have forgotten the tryst she had made with Molly, for she looked up as if startled, and her face did seem full of worry and distress; in her solitude she made no more exertion, but gave way to thoughts of care.

CHAPTER XLIII

CYNTHIA’S CONFESSION

‘You said I might come,’ said Molly, ‘and that you would tell me all.’

‘You know all, I think,’ said Cynthia heavily.  ’Perhaps you don’t know what excuses I have, but at any rate you know what a scrape I am in.’

‘I’ve been thinking a great deal,’ said Molly timidly and doubtfully.  ‘And I can’t help fancying if you told papa—­’

Before she could go on, Cynthia had stood up.

‘No!’ said she.  ’That I won’t.  Unless I’m to leave here at once.  And you know I have not another place to go to—­without warning I mean.  I dare say my uncle would take me in, he’s a relation, and would be bound to stand by me in whatever disgrace I might be; or perhaps I might get a governess’s situation; a pretty governess I should be!’

’Pray, please, Cynthia, don’t go off into such wild talking.  I don’t believe you’ve done so very wrong.  You say you have not, and I believe you.  That horrid man has managed to get you involved in some way; but I’m sure papa could set it to rights, if you would only make a friend of him and tell him all—­’

‘No, Molly,’ said Cynthia, ’I can’t, and there’s an end of it.  You may if you like, only let me leave the house first; give me that much time.’

’You know I would never tell anything you wished me not to tell, Cynthia,’ said Molly, deeply hurt.

‘Would you not, darling?’ said Cynthia, taking her hand.  ’Will you promise me that? quite a sacred promise?—­for it would be such a comfort to me to tell you all, now you know so much.’

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Wives and Daughters from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.