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"There was a time when I thought I could never tell you鈥攖hat I must go down to my grave with my sin unrevealed, and that you would never know how worthless a woman you had loved and cherished. Then, on my knees before my God, I vowed that I would tell you all, at the last, when I was dying鈥攁nd death is not far off now, Martin. I have delayed too long鈥攖oo long! There is scarcely any atonement in my confession now. I have cheated you out of your love."?
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"If it is a chaperon you are thinking about, I'll take care of you," urged good Mrs. Crowther.!
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"Not quite so well as she was two or three weeks ago. She improved wonderfully at first, but she caught cold one bleak, blowy day, and she has started a little nervous kind of cough, which makes us anxious about her.".
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This was a sample of many such visits. In the country, and even in London upon occasion, people are given to discussing the same subjects. Martin Disney heard a good deal about the Crowthers and their supposed disappointment. People liked Mrs. Crowther for her simple, unaffected ways, and thorough-going kindliness; but Vansittart and his daughters had made a good many enemies. He was too coarse; they were too fine; only the mother's simple nature had caught the golden mean between blunt vulgarity and artificial smartness.
Mr. Baynham accompanied his patient and her husband to Plymouth, where the family adviser of Trelasco had a long and serious talk with the leading medical light of the great seaport. The result of which consultation鈥攁fter the tossing to and fro of such words as an?mia, atrophy, family history, hysteria, between the two doctors, as lightly as if diseases were shuttle-cocks鈥攚as briefly communicated to Colonel Disney in a sentence that struck terror to his heart, carefully as it was couched. It amounted in plain words to this: We think your wife's condition serious enough to cause alarm, although there are at present no indications of organic disease. Should her state of bodily weakness and mental[Pg 203] depression continue, we apprehend atrophy, or perhaps chronic hysteria. Under these circumstances, we strongly recommend you to give her a change of scene, and a milder winter climate even than that of the west of England. Were she living in Scotland or Yorkshire we might send her to Penzance; but as it is we should advise either a sea voyage, or a residence for the rest of the winter at Pau, Biarritz, or on the Riviera.
"Heartless infidel, you told me not to write; and so I thought the only alternative was to come. And I have been coming for the last five weeks. We had a stiffish time across[Pg 234] the bay鈥攏othing to trust to but canvas; and I had to waste a week at Toulon while my ship was under repairs. However, here I am, and the Vendetta is safe and sound; and I am your most obedient slave. How is Mrs. Disney?"
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
The best!