The Young Step-Mother eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 787 pages of information about The Young Step-Mother.

‘Gilbert is shy,’ said Albinia, ’afraid of the responsibility, and perhaps he is almost too near, the very next to ourselves.  His father would have preferred Mr. Dusautoy from the first, and only yielded to my wish.  I wish you had come two minutes sooner, she was being paraded under that wall, but now she is gone in asleep.’

‘Her father writes grand things of her.’

‘Does he?’ said Albinia, colouring and smiling at what could not be heard too often; ’he is tolerably satisfied with the young woman!  And he thinks her like Edmund, and so she must be, for she is just like him.  She will have such beautiful eyes.  It is very good of her to take after him, since Maurice won’t!’

‘And she is to be another Albinia.’

’I represented the confusion, and how I always meant my daughter to be Winifred, but there’s no doing anything with him!  It is only to be a second name.  A. W. K.!  Think if she should marry a Mr. Ward!’

‘No, she would not be awkward, if she were so a-warded.’

‘It wont spell, Maurice,’ cried Albinia, laughing as their nonsense, as usual, rose to the surface, ‘but how is Winifred?’

’As well as could be hoped under the affliction of not being able to come and keep you in order.’

‘She fancied me according to the former pattern,’ said Albinia, smiling, ’I could have shown her a better specimen, not that it was any merit, for there were no worries, and Edmund was so happy, that it was pleasure enough to watch him.’

’I was coming every day to judge for myself, but I thought things could not be very bad, while he wrote such flourishing accounts.’

‘No, there were no more ponds!’ said Albinia, ’and grandmamma happily was quite well, cured, I believe, by the excitement.  Lucy took care of her, and Sophy read to me—­how we have enjoyed those readings!  Oh! and Aunt Gertrude has found a delightful situation for Genevieve, a barrister’s family, with lots of little children—­eighty pounds a year, and quite ready to value her, so she is off my mind.’

‘Maurice, boy! come here,’ she called, as she caught sight of a creature prancing astride on one stick, and waving another.  On perceiving a visitor, the urchin came careering up, bouncing full tilt upon her, and clasping her round with both his stalwart arms.  ‘Gently, gently, boy,’ she said, bending down, and looking with proud delight at her brother, as she held between her hands a face much like her own, as fair and freshly tinted, but with a peculiar squareness of contour, large blue eyes, with dark fringes, brimming over with mischief and fun, a bold, broad brow, and thick, light curls.  There was a spring and vigour as of perpetual irrepressible life about the whole being, and the moment he had accepted his uncle’s kiss, he poised his lance, and exclaimed, ’You are Bonaparte, I’m the Duke!’

‘Indeed,’ said Mr. Ferrars, at once seizing a wand, and bestriding the nearest bench.  Two or three charges rendered the boy so uproarious, that presently he was ordered off, and to use the old apple tree as Bonaparte.

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The Young Step-Mother from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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