Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

gate and watch all day. We can see the road, at least bits of it, for a mile and a half, and I am sure I shall see the carriage

[ocr errors]

“I shall ask grandmama to let us go to the station,” said Maria ; "that will be best of all; and I should like to go to-day and inquiro about the trains. It is so dreadful to stay at home and do nothing. Don't you think so, Miss Burnet?”.

Effic's feelings were perfectly in unison with the pleasurable excitement of her young friends, and therefore her society was to them particularly charming on this occasion.

“I think we had much better go to the station, Maria," said she. “I quite agree with you, it is unbearable to know nothing for certain. I will go with you if grandmama will let me, only it is too far to walk both ways.”

“Not a bit,” said Maria.

“Yes, dear, it is too far for Flora and Louisa."

“ Then I will ask grandmama to send the carriage to fetch us home. Will that

[ocr errors]

Yes, very well ;” and so Maria went in, and grandmama gave the desired permission, and away they all went to the railway station, spending their strength and energy, and walking as fast as they could, just as though upon their individual exertions that day, depended the quicker return of the expected traveller,

Long before the day came to a close the reaction came, and they were wearied and spent in mind and body; but now no exertion seemed beyond their power, and Effie, young and buoyant herself, had no desire to restrain the feelings in which she so warmly participated. Older and wiser heads than theirs have acted just as they did, and perhaps it is well sometimes to leave Nature quite alone tu her own free, unshackled emotions. The pure bright sense of pleasure will remain upon the memory, long after the penalty we paid for it has passed away, and we get a glimpse into the depth and power of our own spirits, which but for this would never have been ours.

Effie spent the remainder of the day at Mrs. Thornton's, that lady kindly sending a note to her aunt, requesting permission to keep her. And the sun arose on the morrow in unclouded beauty, as if to greet the young glad hearts, which were about to mark that eventful day with a white stone in their memories for · ever.

Though the children had ascertained exactly at what hours of the day the trains would arrive, and Mrs. Thornton had proved to her own mind (and to theirs also, as she believed) that their mother could not arrive before five o'clock in the evening-though all this was proved good in theory, it was found to be utterly untenable in practice, and little Louisa was at the garden-gate for an hour before breakfast, and Percy was in the village ten times in the cours3 of the morning, to ask the

old postman what his opinion was about it.

And

And not a pair of wheels passed within hear. ing of the house that day, not even a donkey cart with its store of cabbages and turnips for the market, but the children, with their quickened sense of hearing, were up at the window, or out at the hall-door, and Mrs. Thornton, after a few ineffectual attempts to quiet them, found it best to leave them alone.

Effie, who had something of the gipsy in her wild and untamed spirit, declared to Helen that she must go out and spend the day in the free air of heaven. “The house is oppressive to me, Helen. I am not going to the Thorntons-don't imagine for one moment I could be so injudicious; but I must go where I can breathe. I feel quite pent up, as though my heart were too large for my body. And I can't write that letter to-day that Aunt Her. bert talked about, and I can't read ; so now, dear Helen, just change that pleading face, and

[ocr errors]

give me that piece of work that is lying on the table, and I will be no trouble to any one," and so saying, Effie went into the garden, and from thence into the fields, which led up the hillside to a rustic bench commanding an extensive view of the country around. And here she sat, and while she plied her needle occasionally, she sent her thoughts on long excursions to foreign and fairy lands, and then to the young expecting group at“ The Friars,” rejoicing in the joy of her young friends, though now and then feeling a shade of sadness pass over her, when she remembered that the sweet sound of a mother's voice would never greet her ear.

Meanwhile the day wore on. The large clock in the hall pointed to five, and grandmama, with her face a shade paler than usual,walked two or three times up and down the drawing-room, and at length went into the hall, and walked up and down there. Little Flora had observed this, and kissed her hand two or three times as if in silent sympathy.

« AnteriorContinuar »