Jacob's Room eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 206 pages of information about Jacob's Room.

Still there is no need to say what risks a clergyman’s wife runs when she walks on the moor.  Short, dark, with kindling eyes, a pheasant’s feather in her hat, Mrs. Jarvis was just the sort of woman to lose her faith upon the moors—­to confound her God with the universal that is—­ but she did not lose her faith, did not leave her husband, never read her poem through, and went on walking the moors, looking at the moon behind the elm trees, and feeling as she sat on the grass high above Scarborough...  Yes, yes, when the lark soars; when the sheep, moving a step or two onwards, crop the turf, and at the same time set their bells tinkling; when the breeze first blows, then dies down, leaving the cheek kissed; when the ships on the sea below seem to cross each other and pass on as if drawn by an invisible hand; when there are distant concussions in the air and phantom horsemen galloping, ceasing; when the horizon swims blue, green, emotional—­then Mrs. Jarvis, heaving a sigh, thinks to herself, “If only some one could give me... if I could give some one....”  But she does not know what she wants to give, nor who could give it her.

“Mrs. Flanders stepped out only five minutes ago, Captain,” said Rebecca.  Captain Barfoot sat him down in the arm-chair to wait.  Resting his elbows on the arms, putting one hand over the other, sticking his lame leg straight out, and placing the stick with the rubber ferrule beside it, he sat perfectly still.  There was something rigid about him.  Did he think?  Probably the same thoughts again and again.  But were they “nice” thoughts, interesting thoughts?  He was a man with a temper; tenacious, faithful.  Women would have felt, “Here is law.  Here is order.  Therefore we must cherish this man.  He is on the Bridge at night,” and, handing him his cup, or whatever it might be, would run on to visions of shipwreck and disaster, in which all the passengers come tumbling from their cabins, and there is the captain, buttoned in his pea-jacket, matched with the storm, vanquished by it but by none other.  “Yet I have a soul,” Mrs. Jarvis would bethink her, as Captain Barfoot suddenly blew his nose in a great red bandanna handkerchief, “and it’s the man’s stupidity that’s the cause of this, and the storm’s my storm as well as his"... so Mrs. Jarvis would bethink her when the Captain dropped in to see them and found Herbert out, and spent two or three hours, almost silent, sitting in the arm-chair.  But Betty Flanders thought nothing of the kind.

“Oh, Captain,” said Mrs. Flanders, bursting into the drawing-room, “I had to run after Barker’s man...  I hope Rebecca...  I hope Jacob...”

She was very much out of breath, yet not at all upset, and as she put down the hearth-brush which she had bought of the oil-man, she said it was hot, flung the window further open, straightened a cover, picked up a book, as if she were very confident, very fond of the Captain, and a great many years younger than he was.  Indeed, in her blue apron she did not look more than thirty-five.  He was well over fifty.

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Jacob's Room from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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