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make for the Milkwater, that the Weeper was gathering warriors

source:Obsessed with the networkedit:controltime:2023-12-02 07:56:45

Blanche gave him a little stare.

make for the Milkwater, that the Weeper was gathering warriors

"Ah well, that 's knocked on the head! From the way you speak of it, I think you would come after us; and the more I think of that, the more I see it would n't do. But we have got to go to some southern place, because I am very unwell. I have n't the least idea what 's the matter with me, and neither has any one else; but that does n't make any difference. It 's settled that I am out of health. One might as well be out of it as in it, for all the advantage it is. If you are out of health, at any rate you can come abroad. It was Gordon's discovery--he 's always making discoveries. You see it 's because I 'm so silly; he can always put it down to my being an invalid. What I should like to do, Mrs. Vivian, would be to spend the winter with you-- just sitting on the sofa beside you and holding your hand. It would be rather tiresome for you; but I really think it would be better for me than anything else. I have never forgotten how kind you were to me before my marriage--that summer at Baden. You were everything to me--you and Captain Lovelock. I am sure I should be happy if I never went out of this lovely room. You have got it so beautifully arranged--I mean to do my own room just like it when I go home. And you have got such lovely clothes. You never used to say anything about it, but you and Angela always had better clothes than I. Are you always so quiet and serious--never talking about chiffons-- always reading some wonderful book? I wish you would let me come and stay with you. If you only ask me, Gordon would be too delighted. He would n't have to trouble about me any more. He could go and live over in the Latin Quarter--that 's the desire of his heart--and think of nothing but old bottles. I know it is n't very good manners to beg for an invitation," Blanche went on, smiling with a gentler radiance; "but when it 's a question of one's health. One wants to keep one's self alive-- does n't one? One wants to keep one's self going. It would be so good for me, Mrs. Vivian; it would really be very good for me!"

make for the Milkwater, that the Weeper was gathering warriors

She had turned round more and more to her hostess as she talked; and at last she had given both her hands to Mrs. Vivian, and sat looking at her with a singular mixture of earnestness and jocosity. It was hard to know whether Blanche were expressing a real desire or a momentary caprice, and whether this abrupt little petition were to be taken seriously, or treated merely as a dramatic pose in a series of more or less effective attitudes. Her smile had become almost a grimace, she was flushed, she showed her pretty teeth; but there was a little passionate quiver in her voice.

make for the Milkwater, that the Weeper was gathering warriors

"My dear child," said Mrs. Vivian, "we should be delighted to have you pay us a visit, and we should be so happy if we could do you any good. But I am afraid you would very soon get tired of us, and I ought to tell you, frankly, that our little home is to be--a broken up. You know there is to be a--a change," the good lady continued, with a hesitation which apparently came from a sense of walking on uncertain ground, while she glanced with a smile at Bernard and Angela.

Blanche sat there with her little excited, yet innocent-- too innocent--stare; her eyes followed Mrs. Vivian's. They met Bernard's for an instant, and for some reason, at this moment, Bernard flushed.

He rose quickly and walked away to the window where he stood looking out into the darkness. "The devil--the devil!" he murmured to himself; "she does n't even know we are to be married-- Gordon has n't been able to trust himself to tell her!" And this fact seemed pregnant with evidence as to Gordon's state of mind; it did not appear to simplify the situation. After a moment, while Bernard stood there with his back turned-- he felt rather awkward and foolish--he heard Blanche begin with her little surprised voice.

"Ah, you are going away? You are going to travel? But that 's charming; we can travel together. You are not going to travel? What then are you going to do? You are going back to America? Ah, but you must n't do that, as soon as I come abroad; that 's not nice or friendly, Mrs. Vivian, to your poor little old Blanche. You are not going back to America? Ah, then, I give it up! What 's the great mystery? Is it something about Angela? There was always a mystery about Angela. I hope you won't mind my saying it, my dear; but I was always afraid of you. My husband--he admires you so much, you know--has often tried to explain you to me; but I have never understood. What are you going to do now? Are you going into a convent? Are you going to be--A-a-h!"

And, suddenly, quickly, interrupting herself, Mrs. Gordon gave a long, wondering cry. Bernard heard her spring to her feet, and the two other ladies rise from their seats. Captain Lovelock got up as well; Bernard heard him knock over his little gilded chair. There was a pause, during which Blanche went through a little mute exhibition of amazement and pleasure. Bernard turned round, to receive half a dozen quick questions.

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