The Daisy Chain or Aspirations HTML version

Chapter I.21
WATCHMAN. How, if he will not stand?
DOGBERRY. Why, then, take no note of him, but let him go.
Much Ado about Nothing.
Dr. May promised Margaret that he would see whether the black-hole of
Cocksmoor was all that Norman depicted it, and, accordingly, he came home
that way on Tuesday evening the next week, much to the astonishment of
Richard, who was in the act of so mending the window that it might let in air
when open, and keep it out when shut, neither of which purposes had it ever
yet answered.
Dr. May walked in, met his daughter's look of delight and surprise, spoke
cheerfully to Mrs. Green, a hospital acquaintance of his, like half the rest of
the country, and made her smile and curtsey by asking if she was not
surprised at such doings in her house; then looked at the children, and patted
the head that looked most fit to pat, inquired who was the best scholar, and
offered a penny to whoever could spell copper tea-kettle, which being done
by three merry mortals, and having made him extremely popular, he offered
Ethel a lift, and carried her off between him and Adams, on whom he now
depended for driving him, since Richard was going to Oxford at once.
It was possible to spare him now. Dr. May's arm was as well as he expected it
ever would be; he had discarded the sling, and could use his hand again, but
the arm was still stiff and weak--he could not stretch it out, nor use it for
anything requiring strength; it soon grew tired with writing, and his daughters
feared that it ached more than he chose to confess, when they saw it resting
in the breast of his waistcoat. Driving he never would have attempted again,
even if he could, and he had quite given up carving--he could better bear to
sit at the side than at the bottom of the dinner-table.
Means of carrying Margaret safely had been arranged by Richard, and there
was no necessity for longer delaying his going to Oxford, but he was so
unwillingly spared by all, as to put him quite into good spirits. Ethel was much
concerned to lose him from Cocksmoor, and dreaded hindrances to her going
thither without his escort; but she had much trust in having her father on her
side, and meant to get authority from him for the propriety of going alone
with Mary.
She did not know how Norman had jeopardised her projects, but the danger
blew over. Dr. May told Margaret that the place was clean and wholesome,
and though more smoky than might be preferred, there was nothing to do
any one in health any harm, especially when the walk there and back was
over the fresh moor. He lectured Ethel herself on opening the window, now
that she could; and advised Norman to go and spend an hour in the school,