• 24831阅读
  • 32回复

【英文原版】红礁画浆录(Beatrice)/(英)亨利·莱德·哈葛德 [复制链接]

上一主题 下一主题

只看该作者 30楼 发表于: 2012-07-17
Chapter XXX. Ave Atque Vale Sb9O#$89  
y'5 y  
  That frightful journey--no nightmare was ever half so awful! But it came to an end at last--there was the Bryngelly Station. Geoffrey sprang from the train, and gave his ticket to the porter, glancing in his face as he did so. Surely if there had been a tragedy the man would know of it, and show signs of half-joyous emotion as is the fashion of such people when something awful and mysterious has happened to somebody else. But he showed no such symptoms, and a glimmer of hope found its way into Geoffrey's tormented breast. #&L[?jEn  
He left the station and walked rapidly towards the Vicarage. Those who know what a pitch of horror suspense can reach may imagine his feelings as he did so. But it was soon to be put an end to now. As he drew near the Vicarage gate he met the fat Welsh servant girl Betty running towards him. Then hope left Geoffrey. k^x[(gw  
The girl recognised him, and in her confusion did not seem in the least astonished to see him walking there at a quarter to seven on a summer morning. Indeed, even she vaguely connected Geoffrey with Beatrice in her mind, for she at once said in her thick English: )yHJc$OlMx  
"Oh, sir, do you know where Miss Beatrice is?" :X?bWxOJ  
"No," he answered, catching at a railing for support. "Why do you ask? I have not seen her for weeks." b),_rr  
?pT\Ft V  
Then the girl plunged into a long story. Mr. Granger and Miss Granger were away from home, and would not be back for another two hours. Miss Beatrice had gone out yesterday afternoon, and had not come back to tea. She, Betty, had not thought much of it, believing that she had stopped to spend the evening somewhere, and, being very tired, had gone to bed about eight, leaving the door unlocked. This morning, when she woke, it was to find that Miss Beatrice had not slept in the house that night, and she came out to see if she could find her. lL*k!lNs  
"Where was she going when she went out?" Geoffrey asked. u 1?1x  
G/F0 )M  
She did not know, but she thought that Miss Beatrice was going out in the canoe. Leastways she had put on her tennis shoes, which she always wore when she went out boating. ")l_>y ?  
Geoffrey understood it all now. "Come to the boat-house," he said. r)jj]$0  
They went down to the beach, where as yet none were about except a few working people. Near the boat-house Geoffrey met old Edward walking along with a key in his hand. kve{CO*  
"Lord, sir!" he said. "You here, sir! and in that there queer hat, too. What is it, sir?" ^Bihm] Aq  
"Did Miss Beatrice go out in her canoe yesterday evening, Edward?" Geoffrey asked hoarsely. ]@bo;.  
%k#Q) zWJ  
"No, sir; not as I know on. My boy locked up the boat-house last night, and I suppose he looked in it first. What! You don't mean to say---- Stop; we'll soon know. Oh, Goad! the canoe's gone!" b9HE #*d,  
There was a silence, an awful silence. Old Edward broke it. /AWV@ '  
"She's drowned, sir--that's what she is--drowned at last; and she the finest woman in Wales. I knewed she would be one day, poor dear! and she the beauty that she was; and all along of that damned unlucky little craft. Goad help her! She's drowned, I say----" #Zk6   
~c,HE] B  
Betty burst out into loud weeping at his words. v/\l  
"Stop that noise, girl," said Geoffrey, turning his pale face towards her. "Go back to the Vicarage, and if Mr. Granger comes home before I get back, tell him what we fear. Edward, send some men to search the shore towards Coed, and some more in a sailing boat. I will walk towards the Bell Rock--you can follow me." 03L+[F&"?  
py VTA1  
He started and swiftly tramped along the sands, searching the sea with his eye. On he walked sullenly, desperately striving to hope against hope. On, past the Dog Rocks, round the long curve of beach till he came to the Amphitheatre. The tide was high again; he could barely pass the projecting point. He was round it, and his heart stood still. For there, bottom upwards, and gently swaying to and fro as the spent waves rocked it, was Beatrice's canoe. Md mS  
dU<\ FW_  
Sadly, hopelessly, heavily, Geoffrey waded knee deep into the water, and catching the bow of the canoe, dragged it ashore. There was, or appeared to be, nothing in it; of course he could not expect anything else. Its occupant had sunk and been carried out to sea by the ebb, whereas the canoe had drifted back to shore with the morning tide. wd*8w$\  
He reared it upon its end to let the water drain out of it, and from the hollow of the bow arch something came rolling down, something bright and heavy, followed by a brown object. Hastily he lowered the canoe again, and picked up the bright trinket. It was his own ring come back to him--the Roman ring he had given Beatrice, and which she told him in the letter she would wear in her hour of death. He touched it with his lips and placed it back upon his hand, this token from the beloved dead, vowing that it should never leave his hand in life, and that after death it should be buried on him. And so it will be, perhaps to be dug up again thousands of years hence, and once more to play a part in the romance of unborn ages. 8LuM eGs  
Ave atque vale--that was the inscription rudely cut within its round. Greeting and farewell--her own last words to him. Oh, Beatrice, Beatrice! to you also ave atque vale. You could not have sent a fitter message. Greeting and farewell! Did it not sum it all? Within the circle of this little ring was writ the epitome of human life: here were the beginning and the end of Love and Hate, of Hope and fear, of Joy and Sorrow. P^'TI[\L9  
z] +&kNm  
Beatrice, hail! Beatrice, farewell! till perchance a Spirit rushing earthward shall cry "Greeting," in another tongue, and Death, descending to his own place, shaking from his wings the dew of tears, shall answer "Farewell to me and Night, ye Children of Eternal Day!" sHqa(ynK  
@WCA 7DW!  
And what was this other relic? He lifted it--it was Beatrice's tennis shoe, washed from her foot--Geoffrey knew it, for once he had tied it. ({3Ap{Q}  
Then Geoffrey broke down--it was too much. He threw himself upon the great rock and sobbed--that rock where he had sat with her and Heaven had opened to their sight. But men are not given to such exhibitions of emotion, and fortunately for him the paroxysm did not last. He could not have borne it for long. 9W0*|!tQ,+  
UZdGV?o ?  
He rose and went again to the edge of the sea. At this moment old Edward and his son arrived. Geoffrey pointed to the boat, then held up the little shoe. *MS$C$HOq  
P z~jW):E  
"Ah," said the old man, "as I thought. Goad help her! She's gone; she'll never come ashore no more, she won't. She's twenty miles away by now, she is, breast up, with the gulls a-screaming over her. It's that there damned canoe, that's what it is. I wish to Goad I had broke it up long ago. I'd rather have built her a boat for nothing, I would. Damn the unlucky craft!" screamed the old man at the top of his voice, and turning his head to hide the tears that were streaming down his rugged face. "And her that I nursed and pulled out of the waters once all but dead. Damn it, I say! There, take that, you Sea Witch, you!" and he picked up a great boulder and crashed it through the bottom of the canoe with all his strength. "You shan't never drown no more. But it has brought you good luck, it has, sir; you'll be a fortunit man all your life now. It has brought you the Drowned One's shoe." R:+'"dBge  
"Don't break it any more," said Geoffrey. "She used to value it. You had better bring it along between you--it may be wanted. I am going to the Vicarage." JH{/0x#+  
He walked back. Mr. Granger and Elizabeth had not yet arrived, but they were expected every minute. He went into the sitting-room. It was full of memories and tokens of Beatrice. There lay a novel which he had given her, and there was yesterday's paper that she had brought from town, the Standard, with his speech in it. 7tXy3-~biz  
Geoffrey covered his eyes with his hand, and thought. None knew that she had committed suicide except himself. If he revealed it things might be said of her; he did not care what was said of him, but he was jealous of her dead name. It might be said, for instance, that the whole tale was true, and that Beatrice died because she could no longer face life without being put to an open shame. Yes, he had better hold his tongue as to how and why she died. She was dead-- nothing could bring her back. But how then should he account for his presence there? Easily enough. He would say frankly that he came because Beatrice had written to him of the charges made against her and the threats against himself--came to find her dead. And on that point he would still have a word with Owen Davies and Elizabeth. >2znn&g Z  
Scarcely had he made up his mind when Elizabeth and her father entered. Clearly from their faces they had as yet heard nothing. 9>&zOITTaL  
Geoffrey rose, and Elizabeth caught sight of him standing with glowing eyes and a face like that of Death himself. She recoiled in alarm. !G3AD3  
"What brings you here, Mr. Bingham?" she said, in her hard voice. oN1D&*  
[KK |_  
"Cannot you guess, Miss Granger?" he said sternly. "A few days back you made certain charges against your sister and myself in the presence of your father and Mr. Owen Davies. These charges have been communicated to me, and I have come to answer them and to demand satisfaction for them." EwPrh  
Mr. Granger fidgeted nervously and looked as though he would like to escape, but Elizabeth, with characteristic courage, shut the door and faced the storm. 8oX1 F(R  
"Yes, I did make those charges, Mr. Bingham," she said, "and they are true charges. But stop, we had better send for Beatrice first." QEJu.o  
"You may send, but you will not find her." ei= 4u'  
"What do you mean?--what do you mean?" asked her father apprehensively. !{l% 3'2  
v o:KL%)  
"It means that he has hidden her away, I suppose," said Elizabeth with a sneer. KLe6V+ki*  
"I mean, Mr. Granger, that your daughter Beatrice is dead." ~%\vX  
KUW )F  
For once startled out of her self-command, Elizabeth gave a little cry, while her father staggered back against the wall. f[zKA{R  
"Dead! dead! What do you mean? How did she die?" he asked. v]drDVJ   
"That is known to God and her alone," answered Geoffrey. "She went out last evening in her canoe. When I arrived here this morning she was missed for the first time. I walked along the beach and found the canoe and this inside of it," and he placed the sodden shoe upon the table. 4pu>f.  
There was a silence. In the midst of it, Owen Davies burst into the room with wild eyes and dishevelled hair. 5@Lz4 `  
"Is it true?" he cried, "tell me--it cannot be true that Beatrice is drowned. She cannot have been taken from me just when I was going to marry her. Say that it is not true!" "(d7:!%  
A great fury filled Geoffrey's heart. He walked down the room and shut the door, a red light swimming before his eyes. Then he turned and gripped Owen Davies's shoulder like a vice. ]MP6VT  
#yk m  
"You accursed blackguard--you unmanly cur!" he said; "you and that wicked woman," and he shook his hand at Elizabeth, "conspired together to bring a slur upon Beatrice. You did more: you threatened to attack me, to try and ruin me if she would not give herself up to you. You loathsome hypocrite, you tortured her and frightened her; now I am here to frighten you. You said that you would make the country ring with your tales. I tell you this--are you listening to me? If you dare to mention her name in such a sense, or if that woman dares, I will break every bone in your wretched body--by Heaven I will kill you!" and he cast Davies from him, and as he did so, struck him heavily across the face with the back of his hand. 8rXu^  
The man took no notice either of his words or of the deadly insult of the blow. |~Hlv^6H  
"Is it true?" he screamed, "is it true that she is dead?" qh!2dj  
"Yes," said Geoffrey, following him, and bending his tall square frame over him, for Davies had fallen against the wall, "yes, it is true-- she is dead--and beyond your reach for ever. Pray to God that you may not one day be called her murderers, all of you--you shameless cowards." vs-%J 6}G  
Owen Davies gave one shrill cry and sank in a huddled heap upon the ground. R0dIxG%  
"There is no God," he moaned; "God promised her to me, to be my own-- you have killed her; you--you seduced her first and then you killed her. I believe you killed her. Oh, I shall go mad!" N|cWTbi  
"Mad or sane," said Geoffrey, "say those words once more and I will stamp the life out of you where you are. You say that God promised her to you--promised that woman to a hound like you. Ah, be careful!" 3fC|}<Wzt  
Owen Davies made no answer. Crouched there upon the ground he rocked himself to and fro, and moaned in the madness of his baulked desire. DwTqj=l  
"This man," said Geoffrey, turning towards and pointing to Elizabeth, who was glaring at him like a wild cat from the corner of the room, "said that there is no God. I say that there is a God, and that one day, soon or late, vengeance will find you out--you murderess, you writer of anonymous letters; you who, to advance your own wicked ends whatever they may be, were not ashamed to try to drag your innocent sister's name into the dirt. I never believed in a hell till now, but there must be a hell for such as you, Elizabeth Granger. Go your ways; live out your time; but live every hour of it in terror of the vengeance that shall come so surely as you shall die. o6e6Jw  
"Now for you, sir," he went on, addressing the trembling father. "I do not blame you so much, because I believe that this viper poisoned your mind. You might have thought that the tale was true. It is not true; it was a lie. Beatrice, who now is dead, came into my room in her sleep, and was carried from it as she came. And you, her father, allowed this villain and your daughter to use her distress against her; you allowed him to make a lever of it, with which to force her into a marriage that she loathed. Yes, cover up your face--you may well do so. Do your worst, one and all of you, but remember that this time you have to deal with a man who can and will strike back, not a poor friendless girl." Xq&x<td  
"Before Heaven, it was not my fault, Mr. Bingham," gasped the old man. "I am innocent of it. That Judas-woman Elizabeth betrayed her sister because she wanted to marry him herself," and he pointed to the Heap upon the floor. "She thought that it would prejudice him against Beatrice, and he--he believed that she was attached to you, and tried to work upon her attachment." @18@[ :d"  
"So," said Geoffrey, "now we have it all. And you, sir, stood by and saw this done. You stood by thinking that you would make a profit of her agony. Now I will tell you what I meant to hide from you. I did love her. I do love her--as she loved me. I believe that between you, you drove her to her grave. Her blood be on your heads for ever and for ever!" h_]3L/  
"Oh, take me home," groaned the Heap upon the floor--"take me home, Elizabeth! I daren't go alone. Beatrice will haunt me. My brain goes round and round. Take me away, Elizabeth, and stop with me. You are not afraid of her, you are afraid of nothing." Hh;w\)/%j  
Elizabeth sidled up to him, keeping her fierce eyes on Geoffrey all the time. She was utterly cowed and terrified, but she could still look fierce. She took the Heap by the hand and drew him thence still moaning and quite crazed. She led him away to his castle and his wealth. Six months afterwards she came forth with him to marry him, half-witted as he was. A year and eight months afterwards she came out again to bury him, and found herself the richest widow in Wales. NYP3uGH]  
They went forth, leaving Geoffrey and Mr. Granger alone. The old man rested his head upon the table and wept bitterly. ,j_{IL690  
pRU6jV 6e)  
"Be merciful," he said, "do not say such words to me. I loved her, indeed I did, but Elizabeth was too much for me, and I am so poor. Oh, if you loved her also, be merciful! I do not reproach you because you loved her, although you had no right to love her. If you had not loved her, and made her love you, all this would never have happened. Why do you say such dreadful things to me, Mr. Bingham?"  ]Ea7b  
P9>C!0 -x  
"I loved her, sir," answered Geoffrey, humbly enough now that his fury had passed, "because being what she was all who looked on her must love her. There is no woman left like her in the world. But who am I that I should blame you? God forgive us all! I only live henceforth in the hope that I may one day rejoin her where she has gone." `UI)H*GA8  
There was a pause. oTfbx+i/G  
"Mr. Granger," said Geoffrey presently, "never trouble yourself about money. You were her father; anything you want and what I have is yours. Let us shake hands and say good-bye, and let us never meet again. As I said, God forgive us all!" PWMaB  
"Thank you--thank you," said the old man, looking up through the white hair that fell about his eyes. "It is a strange world and we are all miserable sinners. I hope there is a better somewhere. I'm well-nigh tired of this, especially now that Beatrice has gone. Poor girl, she was a good daughter and a fine woman. Good-bye. Good-bye!" .=yus[,~  
Then Geoffrey went. 1N!g`=}  

只看该作者 31楼 发表于: 2012-07-17
Chapter XXXI. The Duchess's Ball (sTuG}  
IV`%V+ f  
  Geoffrey reached Town a little before eleven o'clock that night--a haunted man--haunted for life by a vision of that face still lovely in death, floating alone upon the deep, and companioned only by the screaming mews--or perchance now sinking or sunk to an unfathomable grave. Well might such a vision haunt a man, the man whom alone of all men those cold lips had kissed, and for whose dear sake this dreadful thing was done. Y.6SOu5$]  
,  X{>  
He took a cab directing the driver to go to Bolton Street and to stop at his club as he passed. There might be letters for him there, he thought--something which would distract his mind a little. As it chanced there was a letter, marked "private," and a telegram; both had been delivered that evening, the porter said, the former about an hour ago by hand. @R|'X  
Idly he opened the telegram--it was from his lawyers: "Your cousin, the child George Bingham, is, as we have just heard, dead. Please call on us early to-morrow morning." HeGY u?&  
He started a little, for this meant a good deal to Geoffrey. It meant a baronetcy and eight thousand a year, more or less. How delighted Honoria would be, he thought with a sad smile; the loss of that large income had always been a bitter pill to her, and one which she had made him swallow again and again. Well, there it was. Poor boy, he had always been ailing--an old man's child! /&#XhrT  
[D "t~QMr  
He put the telegram in his pocket and got into the hansom again. There was a lamp in it and by its light he read the letter. It was from the Prime Minister and ran thus: <:FP4e "(  
"My dear Bingham,--I have not seen you since Monday to thank you for the magnificent speech you made on that night. Allow me to add my congratulations to those of everybody else. As you know, the Under Secretaryship of the Home Office is vacant. On behalf of my colleagues and myself I write to ask if you will consent to fill it for a time, for we do not in any way consider that the post is one commensurate with your abilities. It will, however, serve to give you practical experience of administration, and us the advantage of your great talents to an even larger extent than we now enjoy. For the future, it must of course take care of itself; but, as you know, Sir ----'s health is not all that could be desired, and the other day he told me that it was doubtful if he would be able to carry on the duties of the Attorney-Generalship for very much longer. In view of this contingency I venture to suggest that you would do well to apply for silk as soon as possible. I have spoken to the Lord Chancellor about it, and he says that there will be no difficulty, as although you have only been in active practice for so short a while, you have a good many years' standing as a barrister. Or if this prospect does not please doubtless some other opening to the Cabinet can be found in time. The fact is, that we cannot in our own interest overlook you for long." ,mS/h~-5n  
Geoffrey smiled again as he finished this letter. Who could have believed a year ago that he would have been to-day in a position to receive such an epistle from the Prime Minister of England? Ah, here was the luck of the Drowned One's shoe with a vengeance. And what was it all worth to him now? uPYmHA} _/  
^l^fD t  
He put the letter in his pocket with the telegram and looked out. They were turning into Bolton Street. How was little Effie, he wondered? The child seemed all that was left him to care for. If anything happened to her--bah, he would not think of it! 0JgL2ayIVI  
He was there now. "How is Miss Effie?" he asked of the servant who opened the door. At that moment his attention was attracted by the dim forms of two people, a man and a woman, who were standing not far from the area gate, the man with his arm round the woman's waist. Suddenly the woman appeared to catch sight of the cab and retired swiftly down the area. It crossed his mind that her figure was very like that of Anne, the French nurse. v+jsC`m  
"Miss Effie is doing nicely, sir, I'm told," answered the man. @!&}}"<  
Geoffrey breathed more freely. "Where is her ladyship?" he asked. "In Effie's room?" :';L/x>  
^I KO2Ft  
"No, sir," answered the man, "her ladyship has gone to a ball. She left this note for you in case you should come in." qH"Gm  
He took the note from the hall table and opened it. C1T_9}L-A  
"Dear Geoffrey," it ran, "Effie is so much better that I have made up my mind to go to the duchess's ball after all. She would be so disappointed if I did not come, and my dress is quite lovely. Had your mysterious business anything to do with Bryngelly?-- Yours, Honoria." VcK}2<8:+~  
"She would go on to a ball from her mother's funeral," said Geoffrey to himself, as he walked up to Effie's room; "well, it is her nature and there's an end of it." h%d^Gq~  
He knocked at the door of Effie's room. There was no answer, so he walked in. The room was lit but empty--no, not quite! On the floor, clothed only in her white night-shirt, lay his little daughter, to all appearance dead. `ia %)@  
With something like an oath he sprang to her and lifted her. The face was pale and the small hands were cold, but the breast was still hot and fevered, and the heart beat. A glance showed him what had happened. The child being left alone, and feeling thirsty, had got out of bed and gone to the water bottle--there was the tumbler on the floor. Then weakness had overcome her and she had fainted--fainted upon the cold floor with the inflammation still on her. K6\` __mLf  
At that moment Anne entered the room sweetly murmuring, "莂 va bien, ch閞ie?" &{^eU5  
"Help me to put the child into bed," said Geoffrey sternly. "Now ring the bell--ring it again. B3b,F#  
"And now, woman--go. Leave this house at once, this very night. Do you hear me? No, don't stop to argue. Look here! If that child dies I will prosecute you for manslaughter; yes, I saw you in the street," and he took a step towards her. Then Anne fled, and her face was seen no more in Bolton Street or indeed in this country. XARSGAuw  
R<j<. h  
"James," said Geoffrey to the servant, "send the cook up here--she is a sensible woman; and do you take a hansom and drive to the doctor, and tell him to come here at once, and if you cannot find him go for another doctor. Then go to the Nurses' Home, near St. James' Station, and get a trained nurse--tell them one must be had from somewhere instantly." !G>(j   
"Yes, sir. And shall I call for her ladyship at the duchess's, sir?" "1CGO@AXS  
"No," he answered, frowning heavily, "do not disturb her ladyship. Go now." =CGD ~p`  
"That settles it," said Geoffrey, as the man went. "Whatever happens, Honoria and I must part. I have done with her." pE~9o 9  
He had indeed, though not in the way he meant. It would have been well for Honoria if her husband's contempt had not prevented him from summoning her from her pleasure. y|&.v <  
CVyx lc>  
The cook came up, and between them they brought the child back to life. j`[yoAH  
L V[66<T  
She opened her eyes and smiled. "Is that you, daddy," she whispered, "or do I dreams?" :uU]rBMo  
"Yes, dear, it is I." b Q9"GO<X  
"Where has you been, daddy--to see Auntie Beatrice?" 3MBz  
"Yes, love," he said, with a gasp. Q&U= jX  
0?4^.N n3  
"Oh, daddy, my head do feel funny; but I don't mind now you is come back. You won't go away no more, will you, daddy?" ^MWW,`  
RkXLE"G '  
"No, dear, no more." 6nk|*HPz  
After that she began to wander a little, and finally dropped into a troubled sleep. @ShJ:  
;Cpm3a t  
Within half an hour both the doctor and the nurse arrived. The former listened to Geoffrey's tale and examined the child. 5w%9b  
n m$G4Q  
"She may pull through it," he said, "she has got a capital constitution; but I'll tell you what it is--if she had lain another five minutes in that draught there would have been an end of her. You came in the nick of time. And now if I were you I should go to bed. You can do no good here, and you look dreadfully ill yourself." UzRF'<TWf  
But Geoffrey shook his head. He said he would go downstairs and smoke a pipe. He did not want to go to bed at present; he was too tired. ;W"[,#2TM  
Meanwhile the ball went merrily. Lady Honoria never enjoyed herself more in her life. She revelled in the luxurious gaiety around her like a butterfly in the sunshine. How good it all was--the flash of diamonds, the odour of costly flowers, the homage of well-bred men, the envy of other women. Oh! it was a delightful world after all--that is when one did not have to exist in a flat near the Edgware Road. But Heaven be praised! thanks to Geoffrey's talents, there was an end of flats and misery. After all, he was not a bad sort of husband, though in many ways a perfect mystery to her. As for his little weakness for the Welsh girl, really, provided that there was no scandal, she did not care twopence about it. XUHY.M  
"Yes, I am so glad you admire it. I think it is rather a nice dress, but then I always say that nobody in London can make a dress like Madame Jules. Oh, no, Geoffrey did not choose it; he thinks of other things." !k) ?H* ^@  
"Well, I'm sure you ought to be proud of him, Lady Honoria," said the handsome Guardsman to whom she was talking; "they say at mess that he is one of the cleverest men in England. I only wish I had a fiftieth part of his brains." Pt$7U[N  
"Oh, please do not become clever, Lord Atleigh; please don't, or I shall really give you up. Cleverness is all very well, but it isn't everything, you know. Yes, I will dance if you like, but you must go slowly; to be quite honest, I am afraid of tearing my lace in this crush. Why, I declare there is Garsington, my brother, you know," and she pointed to a small red-haired man who was elbowing his way towards them. "I wonder what he wants; it is not at all in his line to come to balls. You know him, don't you? he is always racing horses, like you." xJ4T7 )*  
But the Guardsman had vanished. For reasons of his own he did not wish to meet Garsington. Perhaps he too had been a member of a certain club. Mb-C DPT  
"Oh, there you are, Honoria," said her brother, "I thought that I should be sure to find you somewhere in this beastly squash. Look here, I have something to tell you." VF;%Z  
"Good news or bad?" said Lady Honoria, playing with her fan. "If it is bad, keep it, for I am enjoying myself very much, and I don't want my evening spoilt." T2GJoJ!  
"Trust you for that, Honoria; but look here, it's jolly good, about as good as can be for that prig of a husband of yours. What do you think? that brat of a boy, the son of old Sir Robert Bingham and the cook or some one, you know, is----" lh{U@,/  
"Not dead, not dead?" said Honoria in deep agitation. K !g!tA$  
"Dead as ditch-water," replied his lordship. "I heard it at the club. There was a lawyer fellow there dining with somebody there, and they got talking about Bingham, when the lawyer said, 'Oh, he's Sir Geoffrey Bingham now. Old Sir Robert's heir is dead. I saw the telegram myself.'" JP{Y Q:NF  
"Oh, this is almost too good to be true," said Honoria. "Why, it means eight thousand a year to us." .VXadgM  
"I told you it was pretty good," said her brother. "You ought to stand me a commission out of the swag. At any rate, let's go and drink to the news. Come on, it is time for supper and I am awfully done. I must screw myself up." QC Jf   
 Il]p >B  
Lady Honoria took his arm. As they walked down the wide flower-hung stair they met a very great Person indeed, coming up. R-6km Tex>  
"Ah, Lady Honoria," said the great Person, "I have something to say that will please you, I think," and he bent towards her, and spoke very low, then, with a little bow, passed on. _]M :  
"What is the old boy talking about?" asked her brother. *}Gu'EU  
^ =RSoR  
"Why, what do you think? We are in luck's way to-night. He says that they are offering Geoffrey the Under Secretaryship of the Home Office."  DZ&AwF  
"He'll be a bigger prig than ever now," growled Lord Garsington. "Yes, it is luck though; let us hope it won't turn." o!M*cyq  
They sat down to supper, and Lord Garsington, who had already been dining, helped himself pretty freely to champagne. Before them was a silver candelabra and on each of the candles was fixed a little painted paper shade. One of them got wrong, and a footman tried to reach over Lord Garsington's head to put it straight. ;j/-ndd&&  
"I'll do it," said he. cuP5cL/Y  
"No, no; let the man," said Lady Honoria. "Look! it is going to catch fire!" 0\jOg  
"Nonsense," he answered, rising solemnly and reaching his arm towards the shade. As he touched it, it caught fire; indeed, by touching it he caused it to catch fire. He seized hold of it, and made an effort to put it out, but it burnt his fingers. );z}T0C  
"Curse the thing!" he said aloud, and threw it from him. It fell flaming in his sister's dress among the thickest of the filmy laces; they caught, and instantly two wreathing snakes of fire shot up her. She sprang from her seat and rushed screaming down the room, an awful mass of flame! [l#WS  
GPR`=]n& &  
In ten more minutes Lady Honoria had left this world and its pleasures to those who still lived to taste them. Q"hI!PO+  
An hour passed. Geoffrey still sat brooding heavily over his pipe in the study in Bolton Street and waiting for Honoria, when a knock came to his door. The servants had all gone to bed, all except the sick nurse. He rose and opened it himself. A little red-haired, pale-faced man staggered in. j&Hn`G  
"Why, Garsington, is it you? What do you want at this hour?" kW!:bh  
"Screw yourself up, Bingham, I've something to tell you," he answered in a thick voice. i/J NG  
"What is it? another disaster, I suppose. Is somebody else dead?" K2rS[Kdfaq  
"Yes; somebody is. Honoria's dead. Burnt to death at the ball." 'Tf#S@o  
8X ?GY8W:  
"Great God! Honoria burnt to death. I had better go----" M*~v'L_sI  
Rd vPsv} D  
"I advise you not, Bingham. I wouldn't go to the hospital if I were you. Screw yourself up, and if you can, give me something to drink-- I'm about done--I must screw myself up." A1|7(Sow  
And here we may leave this most fortunate and gifted man. Farewell to Geoffrey Bingham. ?ae[dif  

只看该作者 32楼 发表于: 2012-07-17
Envol sa#.l% #  
  Thus, then, did these human atoms work out their destinies, these little grains of animated dust, blown hither and thither by a breath which came they knew not whence. 1y[B[\  
If there be any malicious Principle among the Powers around us that deigns to find amusement in the futile vagaries of man, well might it laugh, and laugh again, at the great results of all this scheming, of all these desires, loves and hates; and if there be any pitiful Principle, well might it sigh over the infinite pathos of human helplessness. Owen Davies lost in his own passion; Geoffrey crowned with prosperity and haunted by undying sorrow; Honoria perishing wretchedly in her hour of satisfied ambition; Beatrice sacrificing herself in love and blindness, and thereby casting out her joy. +zO]N&  
Lb~\Y n'z  
Oh, if she had been content to humbly trust in the Providence above her; if she had but left that deed undared for one short week! 'JZ_  
But Geoffrey still lived, and the child recovered, after hanging for a while between life and death, and was left to comfort him. May she survive to be a happy wife and mother, living under conditions more favourable to her well-being than those which trampled out the life of that mistaken woman, the ill-starred, great-souled Beatrice, and broke her father's heart. 065A?KyD  
% :tr  
Say--what are we? We are but arrows winged with fears and shot from darkness into darkness; we are blind leaders of the blind, aimless beaters of this wintry air; lost travellers by many stony paths ending in one end. Tell us, you, who have outworn the common tragedy and passed the narrow way, what lies beyond its gate? You are dumb, or we cannot hear you speak. -faw:  
!g/_ w  
But Beatrice knows to-day! >:fJhF@  
限100 字节
各位家人朋友:如遇上传附件不成功,请更换使用 IE 浏览器!
上一个 下一个