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and acts of Parliament had passed for constructing five

time:2023-12-07 06:06:08 author:year read:316次

Mr. Thornton quivered with rage. The blood-flowing had made Margaret conscious — dimly, vaguely conscious. He placed her gently on the door-step, her head leaning against the frame.

and acts of Parliament had passed for constructing five

‘Can you rest there?’ he asked. But without waiting for her answer, he went slowly down the steps right into the middle of the crowd. ‘Now kill me, if it is your brutal will. There is no woman to shield me here. You may beat me to death — you will never move me from what I have determined upon — not you!’ He stood amongst them, with his arms folded, in precisely the same attitude as he had been in on the steps.

and acts of Parliament had passed for constructing five

But the retrograde movement towards the gate had begun — as unreasoningly, perhaps as blindly, as the simultaneous anger. Or, perhaps, the idea of the approach of the soldiers, and the sight of that pale, upturned face, with closed eyes, still and sad as marble, though the tears welled out of the long entanglement of eyelashes and dropped down; and, heavier, slower plash than even tears, came the drip of blood from her wound. Even the most desperate — Boucher himself — drew back, faltered away, scowled, and finally went off, muttering curses on the master, who stood in his unchanging attitude, looking after their retreat with defiant eyes. The moment that retreat had changed into a flight (as it was sure from its very character to do), he darted up the steps to Margaret. She tried to rise without his help.

and acts of Parliament had passed for constructing five

‘It is nothing,’ she said, with a sickly smile. ‘The skin is grazed, and I was stunned at the moment. Oh, I am so thankful they are gone!’ And she cried without restraint.

He could not sympathise with her. His anger had not abated; it was rather rising the more as his sense of immediate danger was passing away. The distant clank of the soldiers was heard just five minutes too late to make this vanished mob feel the power of authority and order. He hoped they would see the troops, and be quelled by the thought of their narrow escape. While these thoughts crossed his mind, Margaret clung to the doorpost to steady herself: but a film came over her eyes — he was only just in time to catch her. ‘Mother — mother!’ cried he; ‘Come down — they are gone, and Miss Hale is hurt!’ He bore her into the dining-room, and laid her on the sofa there; laid her down softly, and looking on her pure white face, the sense of what she was to him came upon him so keenly that he spoke it out in his pain:

‘Oh, my Margaret — my Margaret! no one can tell what you are to me! Dead — cold as you lie there, you are the only woman I ever loved! Oh, Margaret — Margaret!’ Inarticulately as he spoke, kneeling by her, and rather moaning than saying the words, he started up, ashamed of himself, as his mother came in. She saw nothing, but her son a little paler, a little sterner than usual.

‘Miss Hale is hurt, mother. A stone has grazed her temple. She has lost a good deal of blood, I’m afraid.’

‘She looks very seriously hurt — I could almost fancy her dead,’ said Mrs. Thornton, a good deal alarmed.


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