The Frozen Deep
Between the Scenes--The Landing Stage
The morning of the next day--the morning on which the ships were to sail--came bright
and breezy. Mrs. Crayford, having arranged to follow her husband to the water-side, and
see the last of him before he embarked, entered Clara's room on her way out of the house,
anxious to hear how her young friend passed the night. To her astonishment she found
Clara had risen, and was dressed, like herself, to go out.
"What does this mean, my dear? After what you suffered last night--after the shock of
seeing that man--why don't you take my advice and rest in your bed?"
"I can't rest. I have not slept all night. Have you been out yet?"
"Have you seen or heard anything of Richard Wardour?"
"What an extraordinary question!"
"Answer my question! Don't trifle with me!"
"Compose yourself, Clara. I have neither seen nor heard anything of Richard Wardour.
Take my word for it, he is far enough away by this time."
"No! He is here! He is near us! All night long the presentiment has pursued me--Frank
and Richard Wardour will meet."
"My dear child! what are you thinking of? T hey are total strangers to each other."
"Something will happen to bring them together. I feel it! I know it! They will meet--there
will be a mortal quarrel between them--and I shall be to blame. Oh, Lucy! why didn't I
take your advice? Why was I mad enough to let Frank know that I loved him? Are you
going to the landing-stage? I am all ready--I must go with you."
"You must not think of it, Clara. There will be crowding and confusion at the water-side.
You are not strong enough to bear it. Wait--I won't be long away--wait till I come back."
"I must and will go with you! Crowd? He will be among the crowd! Confusion? In that
confusion he will find his way to Frank! Don't ask me to wait. I shall go mad if I wait. I
shall not know a moment's ease until I have seen Frank, with my own eyes, safe in the
boat which takes him to his ship! You have got your bonnet on; what are we stopping
here for? Come! or I shall go without you. Look at the clock; we have not a moment to