Watersprings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 290 pages of information about Watersprings.
and see the childlike appeal of her eyes.  Worst of all the scene at the Vicarage, the book held in her slender fingers, her look of bewilderment and distress—­what a pompous ass he had been, how stupid and coarse!  He thought of writing to her; he did write—­but the dignified patronage of his elder-brotherly style sickened him, and he tore up his unfinished letter.  Why could he not simply say that he cared for her, and was miserable at having hurt her?  That was just, he thought, what he must not do; and yet the idea that she might be making other friends and acquaintances was a jealous horror to him.  He thought of writing to his aunt about it—­he did write regularly to her, but he could not explain what he had done.  Strangest of all, he hardly recognised it as love.  He did not face the idea of a possible life with Maud.  It was to be an amiable and brotherly relation, with a frank confidence and an outspoken affection.  He lost his old tranquil spirits in these reveries.  It was painful to him to find how difficult it was becoming to talk to the undergraduates; his mild and jocose ironies seemed to have deserted him.  He saw little of Jack; they were elaborately unaffected with each other, but each felt that there had been a sort of exposure, and it seemed impossible to regain the old relation.

One morning he had an unpleasant surprise.  The Dean of the College, Mr. Gretton, a tall, rather grimly handsome man, who was immensely conscientious and laborious, and did his work as well as a virtuous man could, who was not interested in education, and frankly bored by the irresponsibility of undergraduates, walked into his rooms one morning and said, “I hope I don’t interrupt you?  I want to have a word with you about Sandys, as he is your cousin.  There was a dinner in College last night—­a club, I think—­Guthrie and that lot—­and Sandys got undeniably drunk.  They were making a horrible row about two o’clock, and I went down and dispersed them.  There were some outside men there whose names I took; but Sandys was quite out of control, and spoke very impertinently to me.  He must come and apologise, or I shall ask that he may be sent down.  He is a respectable man on the whole, so I shall not push it to extremes.  But he will be gated, of course, and I shall write to his father.  I thought you had better see him, and try if you can do anything.  It is a great nuisance, and the less said about it the better; but of course we can’t stand this kind of thing, and it had better be stopped at once.”

“Yes, I will see him at once,” said Howard.  “I am very sorry.  I did not think he would play the fool like that.”

“One never knows!” said the Dean; “to speak plainly, I don’t think he is doing much good here.  Rather too much a man of the world for my taste.  But there is nothing particular against him, and I don’t want to be hard on him.”

Howard sent for Jack at once.  He came in, in an obviously rebellious frame of mind.

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Watersprings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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