La Croix instantlethereum hard fork datey fished out a corresponding number.
But the girl had grown hopeless and cynical. She had not penetrated his scheme to restore her mother to health, but understood the man well enough to be sure that her mother's hopes would end as they had in the past. She sat down apathetically on the trunk to see what would happen next.bitcoin price chartAfter a brief inspection Holcroft came down from the roof and said, "The chimney will have to be repaired," which was true enough and equally so of other parts of the dwelling. The fortunes of the owner were reflected in the appearance of the building.
If it were a possible thing Holcroft wished to carry out his ruse undetected, and he hastened upstairs again, ostensibly to see that all danger had passed, but in reality to prepare his mind for an intensely disagreeable interview. "I'd rather face a mob of men than that one idiotic woman," he muttered. "I could calculate the actions of a setting hen with her head cut off better than I can this widow's. But there's no help for it," and he came down looking very resolute. "I've let the fire in my stove go out, and there's no more danger," he said quietly, as he sat down on the porch opposite Mrs. Mumpson."Oh-h," she exclaimed, with a long breath of relief, "we've saved the dwelling. What would we have done if it had burned down! We would have been homeless.""That may be my condition soon, as it is," he said coldly. "I am very glad, Mrs. Mumpson, that you are so much better. As Jane told you, I suppose, I will pay you the sum I agreed to give you for three months' service--""My dear Mr. Holcroft, my nerves have been too shaken to talk business this morning," and the widow leaned back and looked as if she were going to faint. "I'm only a poor lone woman," she added feebly, "and you cannot be so lacking in the milk of human kindness as to take advantage of me.""No, madam, nor shall I allow you and Lemuel Weeks to take advantage of me. This is my house and I have a right to make my own arrangements."
"It might all be arranged so easily in another way," sighed the widow."It cannot be arranged in any other way--" he began.The struggle between love and ire was almost too much for nature:
violently gay and moody by turns she alarmed both her mother and thegood Dr. Aubertin. The latter was not, I think, quite withoutsuspicion of the truth; however, he simply prescribed change of airand place; she must go to Frejus, a watering-place distant aboutfive leagues. Mademoiselle de Beaurepaire yielded a languid assent.To her all places were alike.But when they returned from Frejus a change had taken place. Rosehad extracted her sister's secret, and was a changed girl. Pity,and the keen sense of Josephine's wrong, had raised her sisterlylove to a passion. The great-hearted girl hovered about her lovely,suffering sister like an angel, and paid her the tender attentionsof a devoted lover, and hated Camille Dujardin with all her heart:hated him all the more that she saw Josephine shrink even from herwhenever she inveighed against him.
At last Rose heard some news of the truant lover. The fact is, thisyoung lady was as intelligent as she was inexperienced; and she hadasked Jacintha to tell Dard to talk to every soldier that passedthrough the village, and ask him if he knew anything about CaptainDujardin of the 17th regiment. Dard cross-examined about a hundredinvalided warriors, who did not even recognize the captain's name;but at last, by extraordinary luck, he actually did fall in withtwo, who told him strange news about Captain Dujardin. And so thenDard told Jacintha; and Jacintha soon had the men into the kitchenand told Rose. Rose ran to tell Josephine; but stopped in thepassage, and turned suddenly very cold. Her courage failed her; shefeared Josephine would not take the news as she ought; and perhapswould not love her so well if SHE told her; so she thought toherself she would let the soldiers tell their own tale. She wentinto the room where Josephine was reading to the baroness and Dr.Aubertin; she sat quietly down; but at the first opportunity madeJosephine one of those imperceptible signals which women, and aboveall, sisters, have reduced to so subtle a system. This done, shewent carelessly out: and Josephine in due course followed her, andfound her at the door.
"What is it?" said Josephine, earnestly."Have you courage?" was Rose's reply."He is dead?" said Josephine, turning pale as ashes."No, no;" said Rose hastily; "he is alive. But you will need allyour courage.""Since he lives I fear nothing," said Josephine; and stood there andquivered from head to foot. Rose, with pitying looks, took her bythe hand and drew her in silence towards the kitchen.
Josephine yielded a mute submission at first; but at the very doorhung back and faltered, "He loves another; he is married: let mego." Rose made no reply, but left her there and went into thekitchen and found two dragoons seated round a bottle of wine. Theyrose and saluted her."Be seated, my brave men," said she; "only please tell me what youtold Jacintha about Captain Dujardin.""Don't stain your mouth with the captain, my little lady. He is atraitor.""How do you know?""Marcellus! mademoiselle asks us how we know Captain Dujardin to bea traitor. Speak."Marcellus, thus appealed to, told Rose after his own fashion that heknew the captain well: that one day the captain rode out of the campand never returned: that at first great anxiety was felt on hisbehalf, for the captain was a great favorite, and passed for thesmartest soldier in the division: that after awhile anxiety gaveplace to some very awkward suspicions, and these suspicions it washis lot and his comrade's here to confirm. About a month later heand the said comrade and two more were sent, well mounted, toreconnoitre a Spanish village. At the door of a little inn theycaught sight of a French uniform. This so excited their curiositythat he went forward nearer than prudent, and distinctly recognizedCaptain Dujardin seated at a table drinking between two guerillas;then he rode back and told the others, who then came up andsatisfied themselves it was so: that if any of the party hadentertained a doubt, it was removed in an unpleasant way; he,Marcellus, disgusted at the sight of a French uniform drinking amongSpaniards, took down his carabine and fired at the group ascarefully as a somewhat restive horse permitted: at this, as if bymagic, a score or so of guerillas poured out from Heaven knowswhere, musket in hand, and delivered a volley; the officer incommand of the party fell dead, Jean Jacques here got a broken arm,and his own horse was wounded in two places, and fell from loss ofblood a few furlongs from the French camp, to the neighborhood ofwhich the vagabonds pursued them, hallooing and shouting and firinglike barbarous banditti as they were."However, here I am," concluded Marcellus, "invalided for awhile, mylady, but not expended yet: we will soon dash in among them againfor death or glory. Meantime," concluded he, filling both glasses,"let us drink to the eyes of beauty (military salute); and to therenown of France; and double damnation to all her traitors, likethat Captain Dujardin; whose neck may the devil twist."Ere they could drink to this energetic toast, a low wail at thedoor, like a dying hare's, arrested the glasses on their road, andthe rough soldiers stood transfixed, and looked at one another insome dismay. Rose flew to the door with a face full of concern.Josephine was gone.
Then Rose had the tact and resolution to say a few kind, encouragingwords to the soldiers, and bid Jacintha be hospitable to them. Thisdone she darted up-stairs after Josephine; she reached the maincorridor just in time to see her creep along it with the air andcarriage of a woman of fifty, and enter her own room.Rose followed softly with wet eyes, and turned the handle gently.
But the door was locked."Josephine! Josephine!"No answer.
"I want to speak to you. I am frightened. Oh, do not be alone."A choking voice answered, "Give me a little while to draw mybreath." Rose sank down at the door, and sat close to it, with herhead against it, sobbing bitterly. She was hurt at not being letin; such a friend as she had proved herself. But this personalfeeling was only a fraction of her grief and anxiety.A good half hour elapsed ere Josephine, pale and stern as no one hadever seen her till that hour, suddenly opened the door. She startedat sight of Rose couched sorrowful on the threshold; her stern lookrelaxed into tender love and pity; she sank, blushing, on her knees,and took her sister's head quickly to her bosom. "Oh, my littlelove, have you been here all this time?"--"Oh! oh! oh!" was all thelittle love could reply. Then the deserted one, still kneeling,took Rose in her lap, and caressed and comforted her, and pouredwords of gratitude and affection over her like a warm shower.They rose hand in hand.Then Rose suddenly seized Josephine, and looked long and anxiouslydown into her eyes. They flashed fire under the scrutiny. "Yes, itis all over; I could not despise and love. I am dead to him, as heis dead to France."This was joyful news to Rose. "I hoped it would be so," said she;"but you frightened me. My noble sister, were I ever to lose youresteem, I should die. Oh, how awful yet how beautiful is yourscorn. For worlds I would not be that Cam"-- Josephine laid herhand imperiously on Rose's mouth. "To mention his name to me willbe to insult me; De Beaurepaire I am, and a Frenchwoman. Come,dear, let us go down and comfort our mother."They went down; and this patient sufferer, and high mindedconqueror, of her own accord took up a commonplace book, and readaloud for two mortal hours to her mother and Aubertin. Her voiceonly wavered twice.To feel that life is ended; to wish existence, too, had ceased; andso to sit down, an aching hollow, and take a part and sham aninterest in twaddle to please others; such are woman's feats. Howlike nothing at all they look!A man would rather sit on the buffer of a steam-engine and ride atthe Great Redan.
Rose sat at her elbow, a little behind her, and turned the leaves,and on one pretence or other held Josephine's hand nearly all therest of the day. Its delicate fibres remained tense, like agreyhound's sinews after a race, and the blue veins rose to sight init, though her voice and eyes were mastered.So keen was the strife, so matched the antagonists, so hard thevictory.
For ire and scorn are mighty. And noble blood in a noble heart isheroic. And Love is a giant.Chapter 2
The French provinces were now organized upon a half military plan,by which all the local authorities radiated towards a centre ofgovernment. By-the-by, this feature has survived subsequentrevolutions and political changes.In days of change, youth is at a premium; because, though experienceis valuable, the experience of one order of things unfits ordinarymen for another order of things. So a good many old fogies inoffice were shown the door, and a good deal of youth and energyinfused into the veins of provincial government. For instance,Edouard Riviere, who had but just completed his education withsingular eclat at a military school, was one fine day ordered intoBrittany to fill a responsible post under Commandant Raynal, ablunt, rough soldier, that had risen from the ranks, and bore a muchhigher character for zeal and moral integrity than for affability.
This officer was the son of a widow that kept a grocer's shop inParis. She intended him for spice, but he thirsted for glory, andvexed her. So she yielded, as mothers will.In the armies of the republic a good soldier rose with unparalleledcertainty, and rapidity, too; for when soldiers are being mowed downlike oats, it is a glorious time for such of them as keep theirfeet. Raynal mounted fast, and used to write to his mother, andjoke her about the army being such a bad profession; and, as he wasall for glory, not money, he lived with Spartan frugality, and savedhalf his pay and all his prize money for the old lady in Paris.But this prosperous man had to endure a deep disappointment; on thevery day he was made commandant and one of the general's aides-de-camp, came a letter into the camp. His mother was dead after ashort illness. This was a terrible blow to the simple, ruggedsoldier, who had never had much time nor inclination to flirt with alot of girls, and toughen his heart. He came back to Paris honoredand rich, but downcast. The old home, empty of his mother, seemedto him not to have the old look. It made him sadder. To cheer himup they brought him much money. The widow's trade had taken awonderful start the last few years, and she had been playing thesame game as he had, living on ten-pence a day, and saving all forhim. This made him sadder, if anything."What," said he, "have we both been scraping all this dross togetherfor? I would give it all to sit one hour by the fire, with her handin mine, and hear her say, 'Scamp, you made me unhappy when you wereyoung, but I have lived to be proud of you.'"He applied for active service, no matter what: obtained at once thispost in Brittany, and threw himself into it with that honest zealand activity, which are the best earthly medicine for all ourgriefs. He was busy writing, when young Riviere first presentedhimself. He looked up for a moment, and eyed him, to take hismeasure; then put into his hand a report by young Nicole, asubordinate filling a post of the same nature as Riviere's; and badehim analyze that report on the spot: with this he instantly resumedhis own work.
Edouard Riviere was an adept at this sort of task, and soon handedhim a neat analysis. Raynal ran his eye over it, nodded coldapproval, and told him to take this for the present as a guide as tohis own duties. He then pointed to a map on which Riviere'sdistrict was marked in blue ink, and bade him find the centre of it.Edouard took a pair of compasses off the table, and soon discoveredthat the village of Beaurepaire was his centre. "Then quarteryourself at Beaurepaire; and good-day," said Raynal.
The chateau was in sight from Riviere's quarters, and he soonlearned that it belonged to a royalist widow and her daughters, whoall three held themselves quite aloof from the rest of the world."Ah," said the young citizen, "I see. If these rococo citizens playthat game with me, I shall have to take them down." Thus a freshperil menaced this family, on whose hearts and fortunes such heavyblows had fallen.
One evening our young official, after a day spent in the service ofthe country, deigned to take a little stroll to relieve the cares ofadministration. He imprinted on his beardless face the expressionof a wearied statesman, and strolled through an admiring village.The men pretended veneration from policy; the women, whose views ofthis great man were shallower but more sincere, smiled approval ofhis airs; and the young puppy affected to take no notice of eithersex.
Outside the village, Publicola suddenly encountered two youngladies, who resembled nothing he had hitherto met with in hisdistrict; they were dressed in black, and with extreme simplicity;but their easy grace and composure, and the refined sentiment oftheir gentle faces, told at a glance they belonged to the highnobility. Publicola divined them at once, and involuntarily raisedhis hat to so much beauty and dignity, instead of poking it with afinger as usual. On this the ladies instantly courtesied to himafter the manner of their party, with a sweep and a majesty, and aprecision of politeness, that the pup would have laughed at if hehad heard of it; but seeing it done, and well done, and by lovelywomen of rank, he was taken aback by it, and lifted his hat again,and bowed again after he had gone by, and was generally flustered.In short, instead of a member of the Consular Government salutingprivate individuals of a decayed party that existed only bysufferance, a handsome, vain, good-natured boy had met two self-possessed young ladies of distinction and breeding, and had cut theusual figure.For the next hundred yards his cheeks burned and his vanity cooled.But bumptiousness is elastic in France, as in England, and doubtlessamong the Esquimaux. "Well, they are pretty girls," says he tohimself. "I never saw two such pretty girls together; they will dofor me to flirt with while I am banished to this Arcadia." Banishedfrom school, I beg to observe.
And "awful beauty" being no longer in sight, Mr. Edouard resolved hewould flirt with them to their hearts' content. But there areladies with whom a certain preliminary is required before you canflirt with them. You must be on speaking terms. How was this to bemanaged?He used to watch at his window with a telescope, and whenever thesisters came out of their own grounds, which unfortunately was notabove twice a week, he would throw himself in their way by themerest accident, and pay them a dignified and courteous salute,which he had carefully got up before a mirror in the privacy of hisown chamber.
One day, as he took off his hat to the young ladies, there brokefrom one of them a smile, so sudden, sweet, and vivid, that heseemed to feel it smite him first on the eyes then in the heart. Hecould not sleep for this smile.Yet he had seen many smilers; but to be sure most of them smiledwithout effect, because they smiled eternally; they seemed cast withtheir mouths open, and their pretty teeth forever in sight; and thishas a saddening influence on a man of sense--when it has any. Buthere a fair, pensive face had brightened at sight of him; a lovelycountenance, on which circumstances, not nature, had impressedgravity, had sprung back to its natural gayety for a moment, and hadthrilled and bewitched the beholder.
The next Sunday he went to church--and there worshipped--whom?Cupid. He smarted for his heathenism; for the young ladies wentwith higher motives, and took no notice of him. They lowered theirlong silken lashes over one breviary, and scarcely observed thehandsome citizen. Meantime he, contemplating their pious beautywith earthly eyes, was drinking long draughts of intoxicatingpassion. And when after the service they each took an arm of Dr.